Ernő Rubik

By: Patrick Cates
July 13, 2009


L D2 L′ F′ D2 F. U R L U2 R′ L′. F D2 F′ D′ F D F′. Anybody who has ever experienced apoplectic rage while trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube, and has researched its solution, knows that these cryptic incantations all translate to the same bellow: “ERNŐ RUBIK (born 1944), you are an utter bastard!” Still, Rubik is an understated genius of micro-architecture. The Cube — and its offshoots, official and unofficial — is the bestselling toy of all time. This polychromatic bundle of infuriation was the Tetris of the early ’80s: a Cold War mind-muddler designed to terrify the West into submission at the feet of Soviet mathematical genius. The playground of my youth was transformed, overnight, into a graveyard of shuffling, wrist-rotating zombies, then into a graveyard of plastic proto-rave confetti as young lads ripped their infernal Cubes apart with bare hands. Rubik is a cackling Bond villain who, to this day, telepathically controls a global army of geometry-obsessed robots. For all this, he should be hated, feared, and worshiped.


On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: | Isaac Babel |

READ MORE about men and women born on the cusp between the Anti-Anti-Utopian (1934-43) and Blank (1944-53) Generations.


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