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Re: David Brooks

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  • enjax
    I read the entire article and interpreted it less a brilliant lampoon on the new suburbia than more of a delusional feel good piece defending an economically
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 8, 2002
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      I read the entire article and interpreted it less "a brilliant
      lampoon on the new suburbia" than more of a delusional feel good
      piece defending an economically and socially unsustainable way of
      living.

      The article however did get one thing right: "Americans don't solve
      problems, they just leave them behind. They take advantage of all
      that space and move. If there's an idea they don't like, they don't
      bother refuting it, they just go somewhere else, and if they can't go
      somewhere else, they just leave it in the past, where it dies from
      inattention".

      This pathological view, more than anything else, explains why most
      American cities are treated as nothing more than disposable
      containers to be discarded like a hamburger wrapper once problems
      arise.

      Its easy to see the connection between this 'Conservotopia' and the
      free market, laissez-faire fanaticism of the libertarian absolutists
      that drive its construction. Such abstract concepts as 'Sense of
      Place', 'Quality of Life', and 'Connection the Past' mean nothing to
      such zealots as its all about short-term prosperity and illusory
      consumer freedoms. The external costs of such a relationship: the
      continuing deterioation of the environment, apalling levels of income
      inequality, and destruction of the social fabric mean little or
      nothing to them.

      Out of sight, out of your mind..

      -Matt Lyons

      --- In carfree_cities@y..., "Rob Foley" <superman_inside@h...> wrote:
      > I am not a fan of the American conservative magazine "The Weekly
      Standard." One of their Editors, David Brooks (author of "Bobos in
      Paradise") wrote this week's cover story, a brilliant lampoon on the
      new suburbia:
      >
      >
      http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/001/531w
      lvng.asp?ZoomFont=YES
      >
      > What follows is an excerpt from "The Patio Man," by David Brooks:
      >
      > "The dominant ideology of Sprinkler Cities is a sort of utopian
      conservatism. On the one hand, the people who live here have made a
      startling leap into the unknown. They have, in great numbers and with
      great speed, moved from their old homes in California, Florida,
      Illinois, and elsewhere, to these brand new places that didn't really
      exist 10 years ago. These places have no pasts, no precedents, no
      settled institutions, very few longstanding groups you can join and
      settle into. ...
      >
      > And when they do join groups, often the groups turn out to be still
      in the process of building themselves. The migrants join
      congregations that meet in school basements while raising the money
      to construct churches. They go to office parks at biotech companies
      that are still waiting to put a product on the market. They may vote,
      or episodically pay attention to national politics, but they don't
      get drawn into strong local party organizations because the local
      organizations haven't been built.
      >
      > But the odd thing is that all this imaginative daring, these leaps
      into the future, are all in the service of an extremely conservative
      ideal. You get the impression that these people have fled their
      crowded and stratified old suburbs because they really want to live
      in Mayberry. They have this image of what home should be, a
      historical myth or memory, and they are going to build it, even if it
      means constructing an old fashioned place out of modern materials."
      >
      >
      > --Rob
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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