Annals of the Surreal
By Eli Epstein-Deutsch
posted: 08-03-11

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"Lilliputia, the MIdget City: If dreamland is a laboratory for Manhattan, Midget City is a laboratory for Dreamland. Three hundred midgets who had been scattered across the continent as attractions at World's Fairs are offered a permanent experimental community here, 'a bit of old Nuremberg m the fifteenth century.' Since the scale of Midget City is half the scale of the real world, the cost of building this cardboard utopia is, at least theoretically, quartered, so that extravagant architectural effects can be tested cheaply. The midgets of Dreamland have their own parliament, their own beach complete with midget lifeguard and "a miniature Midget City Fire Department responding [every hour] to a false alarm -effective reminder of man's existential futility."

"But the true spectacle of Midget City is social experimentation. Within the walls of the midget capital, the laws of conventional morality are systematically ignored, a fact advertised to attract visitors. Promiscuity, homosexuality, nymphomania and so on are encouraged and flaunted: marriages collapse almost as soon as they are celebrated; 80 percent of newborn babies are illegitimate. To increase the frisson induced by this organized anarchy, the midgets are showered with aristocratic titles, highlighting the gap between implied and actual behavior. Midget City represents the institutionalization of misbehavior, a continuing vicarious experience for a society preparing to shed the remnants of Victorianism."

-- Rem Koolhaas, Delirious New York

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