Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Monday, October 14, 2013

segregation by smurf

What is the level of income that the community has that means your kids and your elderly mother would be living in a crime-riddled, drug-ruined, hellhole? At what point does the poverty line climb up enough to mean that your neighbors will be good neighbors? These are ridiculous questions, but they are the questions that Americans answer and ask amongst themselves all the time. Poverty is a state of crime and failure that means if your neighbor is poor, you need to get out. If your neighbor looks poor, your home loses value and you can't sell it for as much. I've lived in some poor neighborhoods. I know what it means to look around and wonder when your apartment door will be kicked in, and think maybe I don't check the mail because it's dark out right now. I know what it means when people see you driving by and they wonder about you, because everyone is a little afraid just to be there. So we moved. We lived in a suburb, with a family member for a while until we could get on our feet solid-like. We moved again into a suburb. Segregated by wealth, we are safe from the people that drift among the bus stops and the garages and fast food. We are on a dead-end street surrounded by people who are upstanding citizens with good jobs and bright futures. Do I even know anyone anymore that leads a different life than me? The wealthier communities look down upon us. I have long hair, the worn-in clothes of a book-ish writer. I don't belong in your neighborhood. We segregate by wealth. I do it and I know better. Because there is a fear. It is a fear I cannot shake. Keep the streets empty at night. Let wild cats and dogs own the night. No people there. All good people are in home, asleep, pulling into driveways and home. By sundown, all the kids must come in from the yard. Segregate by wealth, and live behind high fences. Then, we line the voting districts around the neighborhoods to maximize the effectiveness of the votes of the economic segments. This is our insanity. How can a community absorb and mitigate the horror of poverty if we just push all who are poor into an area and quietly, systematically wall them all off, and wait for the desperation to eat itself? The government has shut down because rich people would rather blow up the world then pay a little extra for healthcare for people that live behind that wall. When will the civil war end? The rich and racist don't want to do anything to help the "other" of a race when so much money is made and so many cultural institutions are built around... The rich and racist convince the poor whites that the "other" is going to get more than them, take it immorally, become some sort of welfare socialist hog devouring resources that hard-working, generally white, individuals will not be able to match. They will come for your daughters. They will take your things and harm your children because they are... Think of the children who are not safe at night, and are influenced by such horrible things in the schools, in their communities, flee to the suburbs, to the exurbs, to the hills where real America hides from the urban blight and rural plight, an in-between place with manicured lawns and good schools and no connection to either the industrious city or the productive farmland, just an in-between place as much in a state of limbo as the ideals upon which they were founded. Isolation, and separation of the falsely named "real America" that is as fake and damaging as the bushido code. The real America is indifferent to denominations of codes, but exists as a border on a map, and a massive, massive cluster of bodies pressed into a legal boundary that moves and moves and does not move towards justice when you aren't white, rich, etc. In conversation, I like to think that you should just take anything someone says about another person or community and replace it with the word "smurf" and see if it sounds like you have an irrational hatred and/or fear of smurfs. Replace the words "illegal immigrant" with smurf in every newstory and speech and you hear this strange, confused, confounding relationship with the little blue men and women that have turned up as if like mushrooms at the edge of our towns. Hear the discussion of smurfs as a problem, a work force, a dangerous thing because the background checks, a blessing of expanded taxbases, and all the other strange things people say about the magical apparition-like things that have been here all along, and suddenly we're acknowledging them, trying to resolve this thing that's happening. Liberals are like smurfs, too. They live in communes, like socialists, obeying their bearded master, without religion, sharing everything they produce, and getting nowhere with no innovation and no change and no improvement while the whole free world passes everyone by. Smurfs are fools, then. Talk of the Tea Party and use the term smurf, instead, and see the irrational fear and hatred of folks who are simply fed ignorance. Media is a powerful tool that can turn even good-hearted folks into tools of insanity. These news memes are already viruses. The cyberpunk infection is already here. These mentally sick are fed mental illness by the mentally ill and there is no mercy for their plight, no talk of cures. We just wall them off from the rest of us, in communities that embrace the insanity. Let them go. Let them leave us for their wooded paradise of personal industry, while we know they will return to our towns. We are unable to talk about the problem because free speech means free ignorance and these smurfs are such vermin, and these smurfs are irrational, and these smurfs have a religion that is unscientific, and these smurfs live in isolated communities at the edge of society, walled towns, hiding from the world, where their illogical and irrational ways push up against the real and burn. Stop smurfing. Start talking. Start trusting other people to have the same fundamental values as you do: life, happiness, security, peace, family. Reality does not care about any of our ideologies. Science does not care if you believe in it or not. The point of working towards what's best for a community is that everyone in the community is here, a part of our community, and we will all be happier treating each other like we're fully, reasonably human. We'll see what happens in a few days. I fully expect to see the government start printing money to keep the debt-wheel running, because the alternative is the end of the systems of this world. My prediction is the Trillion-Dollar Coin.

No comments: