I whined a bit about being in the city. For four and half months, actually. And I can’t take that back even if I wanted to. Which I don’t. I like it here better. Way better. In fact, I am appreciating here thanks to my recent urban experience more and more. I didn’t think it was possible for me to proselytize more about living off the grid but I am. Get out, guys. Get out, now!
OK, that statement is not based entirely on my Vancouver experience. Some of that time was very good. There are things I like in the city. And not everything here is paradise. I freely admit that. But the ratio of good to bad is so much in favour of the ‘country’ that I have to say it again. Get out, guys. Get out now!
I am thinking this way because I just read a book about how urban life is the new revolution. How cities are the cutting edge of social advancement. How life is getting better every day in leading edge urban centres and how the world will cure it’s ills through urban institutions. The book is called the Metropolitan Revolution (by Katz and Bradley) and it is unmitigated BS. Total crap.
How do these people get published?
I won’t bore you with the premise – ’cause there isn’t one. It is a civic-boosterism, PR-type book on some urban initiatives that are themselves designed to address horrible and deep-rooted urban ills. There is basic irony there, folks……….the authors are celebrating some potential cures for some long-standing ills. Like band-aids for trauma.
For instance, they cite the 2 square miles of downtown Detroit that some rich guy called Gilbert is rebuilding. Why cite that? Because the city of Detroit has 137 square miles of squalor and chaos – that’s why. The two miles looks good by comparison. Over 25% of the buildings in Detroit are abandoned. Even the water system leaks so much that only 40% of the water flowing gets to where it is supposed to. Detroit is a failure of civilization not a model for the Metropolitan Revolution. What nonsense!
I am writing about this because it is indicative of the BIG LIE. Part of it, anyway. The BIG LIE is, after all, BIG! This part of the BIG LIE is that the city is great and people should go there. And the lie is working. Last year or so the world hit that critical balance point where the majority of people lived urban rather than rural. There are now MORE people jammed like sardines than there are people living more naturally. Of course, in the first world, we achieved that dubious milestone decades ago. But now the world has caught up and we now have more bees in the hive than bees flying in the garden.
That’s not right. Not for the garden. Not for the bees. The only beneficiary in that system is the Queen.
I am likely wrong. I have probably erred. Headed down the wrong garden path. But I think that the best time to have lived in the city is over. Maybe it was good for the last 200 or so years but it is now headed downhill. Circle of life…kinda.
I think that the place to be (in future) will be small towns, villages and off-the-grid settlements. I think technology will improve and we will be able to be global without being crammed into cubicles. I think country will make a comeback. I think that beauty will be seen in nature and not in concrete. And I think that people will destroy themselves if they don’t get out.
So, I say, get out now!