Monday, May 09, 2005

As you may or may not know, last winter, a proposition came up for my city, Somerville, to economically divest from Israel. Showing great sense, the Board of Aldermen voted it down.

However, some people don't seem to think that the authority of elected officials is good enough. I wouldn't be surprised if we do see this on the ballot next election.

It's a pity that our tax money - money that could go towards things like infrastructure, a new park, after school or summer activities for kids, has to get wasted on this sort of (and I put it lightly) foolishness brought about by unserious people on crusades.

In other somewhat related news, yesterday some Neo-Nazis paid the Holocaust Memorial in Boston a visit. I chose to stay away, but Michael of Dowbrigade was there.

-via Universal Hub


Miller Wolf said...

Since you are so afraid of anarchists (who are simply left wing libertarians a la Noam Chomsky) ... what do you think of the neo-conservatives who are destroying things like the tax funded infrastructure, new parks, after school or summer activities for kids, etc. that you are concerned about?

Simon Kenton said...

One of the important books of the 60s was Tom Wolfe's Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby. Its theme is what happens when mass-man get money and can express himself. Wolfe treated mass-man's artistic expressions - dragsters, hotrods, watts towers, neon signage. Now we're seeing - in Boulder, Santa Fe, Hollywood, Madison, Cambridge - what happens at the confluence of money and narcissism, where you not only have enough money to have time, but enough self-importance to think your effusions valid. In Boulder, the dingbat efforts to save the prairie dog and extend the exposure-death isopleth into northern Colorado; in Santa Fe the battle to save dirt roads and block nuclear waste transport; in Hollywood, .... (too much to note, though Ellen Degeneres's recent gabble about 'wild horses' is rich); in Cambridge, the latest in economic anti-semitism.

Ananke was the fundamental condition of human life. Ananke will be the fundamental condition of human life. But we're in a moment when economics and politics _seem_ as if they can be taught and expressed without reference to scarcity. The days of the self-acualizers are numbered, but the number won't be up for a while.

Be said...

Simon - you express perfectly something that I've been struggling with over the past couple weeks. I had visited a few of the Open Studios in Somerville a couple weeks ago and was very disappointed. Very uniform - mother goddess tchotskes, prints and paintings that all looked like LLBean Catalog or Putumayo Album covers.

We sort of see the same thing in the Summer Place up in Maine. I guess that this is what happens when, more and more, the only people who can afford to live in the Artistic Communities are well-to-do and just looking to keep themselves occupied by their idea of la vie boheme.

As for the activism thing, well, another thing for well-heeled dilletantes to dabble in.