Like any great work of art or architecture, Bishop Castle is a pleasure to visit on many (any) levels. Jim Bishop, its architect and namesake, and his caricaturistic anti-heroism has enough negative capability for all the Romantics put together, and his screeds are usually part of the sauce. But on a recent visit, absent Bishop himself, I found myself taken with the lovely and hilarious contradictions that Bishop and his castle embody, namely: Bishop’s Constitutional fanaticism and all-American rugged individualism combined with what is probably the most potent symbol of monarchical/dictatorial power known to humanity: the castle. And yet, by way of his total openness to the public, Bishop somehow manages to make his castle a beacon of messy, precarious, and thrilling democratic freedoms. With all its porta-potties, graffiti, ad hoc fixes, globs of chewing gum, rotten apple cores, vertiginous stair-cases, and its total at-your-own-risk attitude, Bishop Castle truly belongs to its visitors in a way that it only could in America.

Here’s to Jim Bishop and his freedom!

 

5 Responses to The People’s Castle: Bishop Revisited

  1. Mary H says:

    Never ceases to amaze me. So much work. So much creativity.

  2. Sarah says:

    I didn’t think that structure seemed entirely sound.

  3. Mike M says:

    Great treatment. Reveals Bishop Castle to be more than a castle – but also a cathedral and art gallery . . . perhaps even a shrine to art and humanity.

  4. Dianne says:

    Nifty pix. Thanks for these perspectives, especially from heights I never plan to ascend. What was the music? Lovely.

  5. Nico says:

    Jim Bishop is a crank and a nut and a treasure. Thanks to Noel Black for reminding us that J.B.’s still out there, doing his kooky thing, and thanks too for going, as Dianne says, to heights I plan never to ascend.

News

Pew Research Center
June 22, 2017 | NPR · Americans’ relationship with guns is complicated and often contentious. But they do agree on restricting sales to people with mental illness or on watch lists.
 

AP
June 22, 2017 | NPR · The archbishop of Canterbury offered “an unreserved apology” for how the church handled a bishop’s crimes against young men. The apology followed the release of a “harrowing” report on the incidents.
 

AP
June 22, 2017 | NPR · The Senate’s long-awaited “Better Care Reconciliation Act” was written largely in secret, with even many Senate Republicans unaware of what was in it.
 

Arts & Life

June 22, 2017 | NPR · In Chain Letter, cartoonist Farel Dalrymple returns to The City, the mysterious metropolis at the heart of his early 2000s series Pop Gun War. It’s a weird, complicated and charming place.
 

Boom Studios
June 22, 2017 | NPR · The classic tale of the Monster resurrected from the dead gets a new treatment in Victor LaValle’s new limited-series comic.
 

Courtesy of Netflix
June 21, 2017 | NPR · In the docuseries The Keepers, Jean Wehner shares her story of being abused by her high school chaplain. She says the teacher she confided in may have been killed for knowing too much.
 

Music

YouTube
June 22, 2017 | NPR · HAIM, one of our patron saints of roséwave, feels a certain way about heartbreak that is expressed with steadfast solidarity.
 

YouTube screenshot by NPR Music
June 22, 2017 | NPR · The new video is an unnerving look at madness in the age of uncertainty.
 

Jazz at Lincoln Center
June 22, 2017 | WBGO+JAZZ.org · The saxophonist opens up about the legacy of his father, Dewey Redman, and performs with Still Dreaming — his own nod to the quartet his dad once helped convene as an homage to Ornette Coleman.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab