Wednesday 23 January 2019


The Guardian headline on 7th July 2018 read: 
Enough of the knob gags: penis size is a mental health issue

see -

The sub-text introduction started:
An academic studying penis size and self-esteem received many puerile messages. But for many men, it's no joke.
by Rhiannon Lucy Cossett

. . .
and there she was, the penis-size reporter, a young lady: an image of her head and shoulders was located to the right of the headline text wearing a bright floral top with yellows, reds, and greens prettily massed as flowers on white; with long, dark hair seductively draping over it - lengthy, straight locks joined by a low, bridging eyebrow fringe framing large, stunning, Egyptian-cat eyes. Oddly, the eyes appeared to be staring slightly upwards at . . . ? Was it a high camera? Was it the sly avoidance of an observation of significant penis size? Maybe it was a surprise reaction to someone's 'member'? The very restrained smirk seemingly awkwardly held back by the mouth pushing out puffy, rosy red, flushed cheeks, suggested maybe the latter.

But enough of jokes. Wasn't the whole article about the subject not being taken seriously? The odd thing is how so many particular issues are now said be considered mental health issues. Just the other day, the news report carried the story that computer games were now considered a mental health problem - a matter of addiction. Gambling has been categorized similarly in the MH genre, in the same way that an exaggerated involvement in social media has been. More recently, narcissism has been spoken about as a MH issue. . . . and now architecture itself: see - ArchitectureAU Discourse Opportunity and autonomy: mental wellbeing (sic) in architecture Catriona Li Bisset.

The point is that everything is potentially a MH issue; that everything in life, in all of its aspects, involves MH issues. Buddhists speak about the approach to manage MH matters as 'right thinking; right feeling' - of ' right knowing.' The Greeks summarised the circumstance as 'Know thyself,' words that were engraved next to more advice: 'Nothing in excess.' Indeed, life itself is a MH challenge: but our era is becoming so rationally specialised that it perceives issues as fragments, as piecemeal, unrelated aspects of being, and then concentrates on the further differentiation of each isolated particle, with the specialist investigation and analysis of each minuscule portion of every tiny piece of information as if it alone was significant, while it is wholeness, too, that needs attention in all ways and varieties. This was once considered 'holiness,' and religion was once the manager of MH issues, with guidance like: 'in whatever state you might be in, be content.'^ Now we know religion as the opiate of the people, itself a numbing, misguided MH addiction to be wary of, avoided for its cranky extremes.

We need to forget categories and analysis - well, no; we need to understand the limited, the specific role of science, of our rational world, and begin again to look at complex wholes, interrelationships, to comprehend and accept the fuzzy, incomplete, enchanting, uncertain world that we all participate in - to feel it, sense it, exercise compassion in it; care for it without any demands for definition or division; with tolerance - religion called the approach charity, supported by faith and hope: love.^^

Whatever one wants to name it, the challenge to change and recognise and respect wholeness needs to happen. Concentrating on penis size and its implications might be someone's speciality, jokes aside, but we must come to understand how specifically limited the study is. What might be next? Small breasts, hands, feet, fingers, eyebrows, finger nails, nipples, etc.? . . my insignificance as an architect in a world of heroes? - see ArchitectureAU above.*

The need for wholeness and understanding, for respecting, and being aware of divers interconnections with humility should be obvious to all who look beyond the size and rating of anything. Consider the sun, the moon, the stars, the earth, the sky . . and the question: what is man that you are mindful of him?# Consider the sparrow; the lily.** In one sense the proposition is Shakespearean in its awareness.

And all we can try to be serious about is penis length? . . . and we make cocky jokes about the work only in relation to penile references, rather than promote pungently potent jibes to highlight the study's minority role in life and living, its indulgent insignificance in the scope of things. One could suggest that the study, the interest in the subject itself, constituted a MH issue when taken out of context.

But what has this to do with architecture? It was Frank Lloyd Wright who, in The Future of Architecture, referred to 'the words of the architect of ancient times called carpenter who gave up architecture to work upon its source,' the beginnings of architecture. The words he cited to were: Consider the lilies, how they grow: they toil not; they spin not. (Matthew 6:28). It is advice that needs to be taken up without delay and self-interested diversions, for we need to return to our roots for inspiration and guidance rather than be led by circular, analytical perceptions driven by the hedonistic self-importance of social media - and penis size.

Tradition always saw in origins, in inspiration, a role for remembrance, the remembering of and respect for beginnings, a position that had nothing to do with being bespoke.*** It was only in this sense of understanding that one could truly be 'original.' This approach had nothing to do with any personal preferences of self- promoted geniuses. Yes, architects need to consider MH matters too, and think of beginnings as remembered origins, sources in being, rather than to seek out so-called originality perceived as an individual's unique 'self-expression': good work^^^ in architecture needs to be considered as the breadth, length, depth, and height of genesis in the making of space and place## - not of penis size, when considered as a metaphor for self-importance.

The concept of wholeness highlights the one dimensional hedonism in the detailed consideration of penis length, while referencing a richness and complexity in architecture that is so rare in our world today: see -

Philippians 4 : 11 (KJV)
11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
1 Corinthians 13:13 (KJV)
13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three: and the greatest of these is charity.
* Google 'Architecture' and the array of portraits appears in this order:
Frank Lloyd Wright; Frank Gehry; Zaha Hadid; Le Corbusier; Ludwig Mies van der Rohe; Rem Koolhaus
It sseems that this represents the Googled world of heroic importance.
# Psalm 8: 3 - 4 (KJV)
3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him?
** Matthew 6: 25 - 34
Ananda Coomaraswamy's writings are a good introduction to this concept and its implications.
Ephesians 3:18
May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
Bruno Zevi Architecture as Space
see E.F. Schumacher Good Work

Note: For more on penis size, see The Guardian report by Brigid Delaney Big dick energy: what is it, who has it and should we really care? Brigid is illustrated as a head in a small red circle below the headline text. Her hair is blonde, straight, and dark at the top; her lips are bright red, matching the background of the encompassing circle; the eyes look circumspect, suggesting some concern with the subject. One could say the portrait does not exude BDE: see - 

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