Wielrenners passeren het Atomium (Brussel)

A post by momus on Brussels’ Atomium has prompted my nostalgia for that city. The whole series of recent momus posts from/about Brussels have clicked on my memory in a weird way.

As a ten-year old child, I was first excited by the Atomium, and then quickly deemed it passé and boring – the sort of place you might stop while showing some city to visitors, with no excitement besides the sight of the building – a sight that quickly registered in my then young mind as 1950s (therefore boring, pretentious, naive).

Oddly enough, after many years I look back at the futuristic 1950s, 60s and 70s with awe, admiration and envy. Whatever happened in our stupid “post-modern”, eclectic, idiotic 1980s, that utterly destroyed the spirit of the future as it was lived in works like Atomium, Tati’s movies, Kubrick’s 2001? How could it all be abandoned, in the lackadaisical mood of the blase 1980s, as the future that wasn’t to be a future?