Places of development always seem half finished. Roaming through the affluent college towns of the midwest, one can find a lot of consistency and not a lot to do. The suburbs blend in smoothly with the cities because the cities were nothing but a square mile surrounding a campus until the investors decided they were tired of paying for poor people’s educations and moved from the old cities to move some more dirt. Small towns are becoming strip-mall metropolises while our city-cities debate whether gentrification is better than leaving up rows of rotting buildings and most who can eventually move out anyway.
I’ve always thought of myself as an urban person. I wasn’t made that way. Growing up in between two tiny Wisconsin towns as a child, I’d hear trains pass in the distance and dream of taking them to Milwaukee or Brooklyn. I’ve done both, and always feel better when I can walk for miles surrounded by people and holes to crawl into, should the need or urge arise.
Now it seems clear that there’s little difference no matter where people dwell. There are small matters of population and modes of transport, but for the most part, people are generally boring, repetitively commuting to their schools and jobsites, discussing the same issues (equality or personal gains with slight variations on themes), then back home to ingest some digital entertainment or chosen chemical. They’ll travel a little bit and gain an annoying perspective about what life really means until they forget their discoveries and settle back into routine.
This is how we function. It seems like only a few very loud people are upset about it. Everyone questions it at some point, but most of us remain happy eating our tails as producer-consumers measuring sporadic quips against each other. Some of us make more of us, and we all just keep passing the time with our chosen prescriptions. It really doesn’t matter where we live. Everywhere we are, we indulge in habit and savor its rhythm.
I used to think this was bad, or ignorant, but I’m beginning to see that it’s what most people want and that’s ok. The simplicity of dependable outcomes can provide great comfort whilst existing in a natural world that is violent and unpredictable. Humans only seem to become volatile when their predictability is infringed upon. Of course every generation gets fancy new ideas from youth and their usurping academics, but these minor revolutions rarely disrupt everyday people’s lives unless they choose to heed them attention, most prefering to stay out of the way unless directly confronted. Those who face oppression and their advocates are almost always fighting for stability and normalcy. Those with power only yield to such demands when doing so results in less disruption.
What I’m trying to say is, we probably want to be boring. Which can only be countered by asking why we create.
Keep Making Shit,