International Competitions in Architecture
A(nother) HOUSE FOR MIKE TYSON
Nothing would seem as removed from St. Francis as Mike Tyson, at least if we are to base our appraisal on the "news." Yet, the same very "news" informed us not too long ago that Mike Tyson loves (and always loved) the birds. And when we read what he himself said that he didn't hurt anyone until someone hurt one of his birds, we begin to wonder...!?
Indeed, surprising is the human heart and the human life...!
When we first saw Mike Tyson fighting in the ring we thought that there was, pure and simple, God's wrath and nothing else. His fist was a mad thunderbolt. Nothing, and we mean nothing, would have stopped that thunderbolt.
Everybody fell under it, almost instantaneously.
And the "bad boy" of boxing was like a tiger.
Incredible ferocity, almost divine (if we are allowed to say something so oxymoronic, from a Christian point of view).
It is the same "ferocious" man who now, we learn in amazement, loves and feeds the birds.
What a beautiful conjunctio oppositorum!
What a beautiful proof that many times what seems to be "satanic" might not be so removed from what we call "angelic," and perhaps vice versa. As a character in one of Akira Kurosawa's movies says: people are not what they seem to be.
So we ask you to design a house for a "ferocious" fighter who loves the birds.
Something between an angry Hercules and a placid, supremely mild, St. Francis.
Address these two sides of human being, TOGETHER.
And send us your works.
Too bad our "beneficiary" might not be so rich any longer... we looked at him recently receiving some prize for playing in a movie, and we saw, unless we were wrong, a timid man, kind of hiding behind the other actors... we loved that timidity though, being his...!
Yes, a timid man who loves to feed the birds, but otherwise, in the ring, a wild, wild tiger.
We will invite Mike Tyson to judge this competition.
And who knows, he might like the idea to see what the world of architecture is offering him through: A HOUSE FOR MIKE TYSON.
Are we frivolous...?
We don't think so.
There is, sometimes, a sad smile on Tyson's face. The face of a black boy, underprivileged, born in Brooklyn, New York. A boy who didn't hurt anyone, until one hurt one of his birds.
Design a House for Mike Tyson.
And try to unite, thus, the beast with the angel, the tiger with the pigeon.
Mike Tyson with St. Francis.
A quick note: only a few days ago we saw pictures of Mike Tyson's mansion in Ohio, unfinished and abandoned... we also saw pictures of his tattoos... and both convinced us that this man is a man who struggles, like most of us, and perhaps even more... a man who earned four hundred millions dollars in a few years of glory, and who has, amongst other tattoos, a portrait of Mao and a portrait of Che Guevara inscribed on his body, can only be complex, because we cannot imagine him being ideologically kinky or pretending what he didn't have to pretend... and this feeling was highlighted when we contemplated the sad pictures of the abandoned mansion: a proof that indeed, the distance between a king and a beggar sometimes is quite small and that Shakespeare was right when he wrote: "A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king, and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm." The king of boxing left everything behind, squandered the almost half a billion dollars and started to feed the pigeons... beautiful, much more beautiful than the unconvincing "success stories" of so many others, enjoying the flaccid fruits of their mediocrity...! Tyson is above them, we think, so much so that even a Princeton professor and writer like Joyce Carol Oates dedicated countless pages to him, probably as puzzled and bewildered as we were and are.