The convoluted brain map

It always makes him sullen and resentful when he doesn't have anything to be sullen and resentful about.
Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman, Zits

When art, science and philanthropy merge, I tend toward joyous-and-thankful, but not this time.  The Cleveland Clinic to manage Lou Ruvo brain center in Vegas headline shot my sullen-and-resentful-meter sky high.  It isn't architect Frank Gehry's 'rippling grid of stainless steel' or the 'way north of $120 million' price tag that confound me.  It's this:

'I'm going to have the best doctors in the world here,' Ruvo said he told Gehry.

And this:

Cleveland Clinic Chief Executive Delos "Toby" Cosgrove, who considers architecture a key element for recruiting world-class doctors and improving patient care, said the Gehry building was a draw to the project.
Cleveland Plain Dealer

While Gehry's thatched undulations snag the big fish, Northeast Ohio's safety-net health system is revamping its fees so 37,000 more people can get discounted care.  Not the same crowd, I take it, that can jet out to the Clinic's 200 patient western outreach anytime soon.

I try to wrap my mind around the health care business in the USA.  We sell the best care to the highest bidder and the discounted care to the lowest.  We think roads, bridges, sewers and armies are good things to go in on for the common good.  But if your body needs help, hon, you're on your own. 

And then there's the matter of art-as-window-dressing, architecture as pomposity for the well heeled.  History is chock full of wealthy arts patrons erecting glitzy structures for posterity.  Around 2600 BC, Egyptian King Khufu and 100,000 workers spent 20 years building him a pyramid (Vegas has one of these, too).  And please note:

The ancient Egyptians tried to forget the hated pharaoh by calling his tomb the pyramid of Philitis, after a local shepherd.
Larry Gonick

If King Khufu hadn't been a megalomaniac, we'd have nothing to gawk at in Giza.  But if Jeremy Duncan and people like me recalibrate our resentment, we could join the multitude of advocates for universal health care, architects of the newest of new world wonders.

photo GNU Free Documentation License