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Archive for the ‘WASP’ Category

The Proper Care and Treatment of Batshit Crazy Republicans

Matt Tiabbi’s recent profile of Michele Bachman in The Rolling Stone┬áhas got me thinking: Is it counterproductive to circulate these kind of ideas within the liberal memeosphere? Bachman, Palin, Santorum, et. al. aren’t going to be winning any votes from The Rolling Stone’s audience anytime soon. Bachman and her base probably love the negative publicity, especially from one of the favorite magazine of the gay socialist treehuggers who are conspiring to turn our country into a muslim caliphate.┬áThe Bachman base has a chip on its shoulder. It is paranoid, perhaps RIGHTly so (you see what I did there?); it thinks that people who live within 50 miles of saltwater are plotting to turn America into a country where people have the right to marry who they want to, and where poor people can get world class medical service, and where hard working immigrants can escape the tyranny of their homelands.

Assuming she doesn’t get the nomination (which I pray to Allah, Al Gore, and Dan Savage that she does not… because even though it would [hopefully?] be an easy win for Obama, I think it would be a very bad thing for American Politics), she is being empowered by this article and pretty much any other attention she is getting/will get, be that attention negative or positive. Her base is bigotry and ignorance. These people have been on the wrong side of history every time. They have an underdog mentality, and Taibbi poking fun at there queen is not only giving their “movement” an existential colonic, it is also legitimizing her as a contender. In a dystopian future coming to an election year near you, the news cycle will be dominated by “Bachman: she’s so crazy” stories (in much the same way that Palin was treated in 2008) that are going to further distract us from the real public discourses we should be having about the economy, the environment, and the future of America as the Benevolent Imperialist.

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Cities Where I Would Want to Live, or Cities Where I Would Want to Die?

The Financial Times has this piece about other pieces about the most livable cities in the world. Jet Set mags like Monocle, Forbes, and The Economist release these types of lists every year to make me feel like shit about having never been to Copenhagen. The FT gets it right in its criticism of these types of lists: the cities are white, boring, pre-gentrified, and expensive. So these cities (Vancouver, Copenhagen, Zurich, Munich) all sound like great places to die slow, but dying slow isn’t living. I’ll take the grime, disease, and social tension of a real city any day. The reason places like Los Angeles and Shanghai are so awesome is precisely because they aren’t planned: they are emergent patchworks of ad hoc design, infinitely more dynamic and interesting than the pasteurized, hermetically-sealed Scandinavian utopias.

Besides being havens of WASP-style pretentiousness, the cities on these lists also have another thing in common: no poors. Nothing brings the “livability” of a city down quite like poor people.

Categories: Cities, Design, WASP