The NRA puts architecture, and L.A., in the crosshairs

Here’s a current-events quiz of a truly depressing kind: What do Walt Disney Concert Hall, the shiny, stainless-steel Bean sculpture in Chicago’s Millennium Park and the headquarters of the New York Times have in common?

The short answer is that they all star in a bilious, minute-long video ad released by the National Rifle Assn. at the end of June. The more revealing one is that they were designed by people who are either Jewish (in the case of Frank Gehry’s Disney Hall) or born outside the United States (as with Anish Kapoor’s Bean, an Instagram staple officially called “Cloud Gate,” and Renzo Piano’s New York Times tower).

The ad appeared one day before Infowars, the conspiracy-happy website founded by Alex Jones, posted a video even more screed-like than the NRA’s, which is saying something, called “Why Modern Architecture Sucks: And How It’s Used as a Tool of Social Engineering.” (A sample: “The globalists’ goal is to make the whole planet identical in its atomizing dreariness. By dulling our senses, they hope to dull our very life essence.”) It came two days before President Trump tweeted a GIF of himself wrestling to the ground and pummeling a man with a CNN logo where his head ought to have been. Oh, and four days before the country celebrated the 241st anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

Quite the long weekend.

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Chris Alexakisart