The Urban, Cosmopolitan, Elitist/Middle American Divide

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by JesseJB, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. Augusto86

    Augusto86 Sean Penn's Mexican love child

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    Its dripping all right, but I dont think it resembles honey.

    Thanks for weighing in.
     
  2. Dedalus

    Dedalus Senior member

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    I am neither a hipster nor in denial so the whole scenario is not really my concern.

    That's exactly what a hipster would say.
     
  3. chorse123

    chorse123 Senior member

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    I grew up in one of those ideal 19th century suburbs. About 9 miles from a major metropolis (Chicago), on public transportation, and relatively walkable. In my mind it's what a suburb should be. Leafy, pretty, close to arts and culture, really more like a residential city neighborhood. I have relatives who live much farther out of Chicago, in that netherworld where the suburbs only relate to eachother and people drive from a subdivision on a former working farm to a strip mall and super walmart on another former farm. Depressing. Ugly buildings in ugly places
     
  4. Augusto86

    Augusto86 Sean Penn's Mexican love child

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    I am neither a hipster nor in denial so the whole scenario is not really my concern. I'm just lamenting the bending over backward getting laid sometimes demands.
    [​IMG] You're doing it...wrong? Right? I don't know what's going on here. Why do you have to bend over backward during sex?
    That's exactly what a hipster would say.
    +1 Precisely. It's like being a Communist - your denials only reinforce your dirty, Red identity.
    I grew up in one of those ideal 19th century suburbs. About 9 miles from a major metropolis (Chicago), on public transportation, and relatively walkable. In my mind it's what a suburb should be. Leafy, pretty, close to arts and culture, really more like a residential city neighborhood. I have relatives who live much farther out of Chicago, in that netherworld where the suburbs only relate to eachother and people drive from a subdivision on a former working farm to a strip mall and super walmart on another former farm. Depressing. Ugly buildings in ugly places
    +2 My hometown is like that, a 15 minute walk from Harvard Square and maybe 25 minutes by train from the Boston Common. Old trees, a mix of old and new buildings, parks, etc...it may be the best of both worlds, provided you don't need to go out every night. Public transportation, in my mind, is key. The alienation caused by everyone driving is so depressing. I mean, you don't talk to other people on the train, usually, but at least there's a communal sense of shared suffering or shared experience. Everyone in their own metal box on broiling strips of asphalt, hating each other in traffic - true, sprawling suburbia has a tangible alienation that bugs me.
     
  5. Fuuma

    Fuuma Franchouillard Modasse

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    [​IMG] You're doing it...wrong? Right? I don't know what's going on here. Why do you have to bend over backward during sex?



    +1 Precisely. It's like being a Communist - your denials only reinforce your dirty, Red identity.


    I'm just following what the Kamasutra taught me. I'm there for the enlightement, or so I say.
     
  6. Augusto86

    Augusto86 Sean Penn's Mexican love child

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    I'm just following what the Kamasutra taught me. I'm there for the enlightement, or so I say.
    Too good for vanilla sex, huh? Elitist!
     
  7. redcaimen

    redcaimen Bigtime

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    Thanks for weighing in.

    Youre welcome.

    I would say much of the divide is class driven. People (particularly young people)with aspirations to what they percieve as a higher class are constantly on the hunt for differences that can separate them or help them cement their identity with the right groups. Even though small towns in France are probably not that disimilar to small towns in the US in affluence or educational level, a member or aspirant to the Urban Cosmopolitan elite might view the US towns inhabitants as "poor and uneducated" while seeing the French town and people as "quaint and traditional".

    I would bet that many of the people now deriding suburbia as some kind of spiritual and intellectual wasteland are just products of suburbia engaged in "trading up" on their self identification. Thats why I agree with Plano thats its kind of ironic but I wouldnt describe it as honeylike.
     
  8. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    There are the people who think you can get "authentic" Italian food at the Cheesecake Factory.

    And there are people who think you can get "authentic" Italian food in "Northie Boston".

    And then there are the people who know you can't get "authentic" Italian food in either place.


    +1

    I am a little more "traveled" than most. it took me years to learn to shut up about it. most of my family lives in a small city, and isn't terribly cosmopolitan. when I visit them, I grin and bare it, and eat the crap that is available there. such is life.
     
  9. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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  10. Fuuma

    Fuuma Franchouillard Modasse

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    Youre welcome.

    I would say much of the divide is class driven. People (particularly young people)with aspirations to what they percieve as a higher class are constantly on the hunt for differences that can separate them or help them cement their identity with the right groups. Even though small towns in France are probably not that disimilar to small towns in the US in affluence or educational level, a member or aspirant to the Urban Cosmopolitan elite might view the US towns inhabitants as "poor and uneducated" while seeing the French town and people as "quaint and traditional".

    I would bet that many of the people now deriding suburbia as some kind of spiritual and intellectual wasteland are just products of suburbia engaged in "trading up" on their self identification. Thats why I agree with Plano thats its kind of ironic but I wouldnt describe it as honeylike.


    Hubs are designed a lot differently in western europe and you often have all you need within walking/biking distance instead of having to rely on your car to get to the mall. Not all differences can be glossed over, although I'd say america is incredibly varied.

    As for the suburban "trading up" I'd say it's more pop-psychology than anything else. Although I must confess I do enjoy stopping some former suburbanites in the middle of their pro-metro diatribes and ask them an embarassing question about their place of origin.
     
  11. redcaimen

    redcaimen Bigtime

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    Hubs are designed a lot differently in western europe and you often have all you need within walking/biking distance instead of having to rely on your car to get to the mall. Not all differences can be glossed over, although I'd say america is incredibly varied.

    As for the suburban "trading up" I'd say it's more pop-psychology than anything else. Although I must confess I do enjoy stopping some former suburbanites in the middle of their pro-metro diatribes and ask them an embarassing question about their place of origin.



    Ive noticed a great deal of "pop-psychology" going on here on Style forum. Like clothes, opinions can be worn to try and separate you from the hoi poloi (spelling?) Again, a guess, but Im would also bet many of our internet gentlemen think like they wish to dress - as a form of exclusion and self affirmation..
     
  12. CTGuy

    CTGuy Made Guy

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    As for the suburban "trading up" I'd say it's more pop-psychology than anything else. Although I must confess I do enjoy stopping some former suburbanites in the middle of their pro-metro diatribes and ask them an embarassing question about their place of origin.


    There is a lot of weird psychology in this thread. I grew up in a rural area by New England standards and I am extremely proud of it. Growing up working on farms in the summer and all the other small towny type stuff are things I would not trade the world for-- I doubt I would have appreciated much of city life until I got to be older anyways-- I was more interested in catching frogs and playing frisbee as a kid. Like a lot of kids from my town I went to a private high school with a more cosmopolitan group of kids, which definitely helped me bridge the gap between the two backgrounds. I think the perception that somehow kids who grew up in an urban environment are more educated or sophisticated has a certain amount of validity, but only to a certain point.


    By and large a lot of my home town contemporaries have gone on to be exceedingly successful and interesting people, but maybe because those are the only ones I keep in touch with these days.

    As Matt said-- it is so hard to generalize on this issue. Suburbs/rural in New England means something completely and utterly different than it does in someplace like Tennessee where I have family and of course that is totally different than something in California or Texas.
     
  13. Fuuma

    Fuuma Franchouillard Modasse

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    Ive noticed a great deal of "pop-psychology" going on here on Style forum. Like clothes, opinions can be worn to try and separate you from the hoi poloi (spelling?) Again, a guess, but Im would also bet many of our internet gentlemen think like they wish to dress - as a form of exclusion and self affirmation..


    Who doesn't? Dressing is certainly influenced both by distinction and belonging.
     
  14. Augusto86

    Augusto86 Sean Penn's Mexican love child

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    Youre welcome. I would say much of the divide is class driven. People (particularly young people)with aspirations to what they percieve as a higher class are constantly on the hunt for differences that can separate them or help them cement their identity with the right groups. Even though small towns in France are probably not that disimilar to small towns in the US in affluence or educational level, a member or aspirant to the Urban Cosmopolitan elite might view the US towns inhabitants as "poor and uneducated" while seeing the French town and people as "quaint and traditional". I would bet that many of the people now deriding suburbia as some kind of spiritual and intellectual wasteland are just products of suburbia engaged in "trading up" on their self identification. Thats why I agree with Plano thats its kind of ironic but I wouldnt describe it as honeylike.
    Well, one would think the people best placed to properly identify suburbia would be its residents, no? As for the America/France thing, think about it thusly - the OLDEST occupied areas of the US are about 400 years old. The only places that have a real sense of continuous history are a thin strip of settlements along the East Coast and a few Indian reservations. Much of the US is only 150-200 years old, and the suburbs are really the product of the 1950s and Eisenhower's highway system. Compare that to the small, 'traditional' towns in France or wherever, which have been occupied for a LONG, in some cases for over 1000 years. Little English towns with Roman walls and tracks. French hamlets with medieval castles. Italian villages with aquaducts. They have real history & tradition, and most of America doesn't, and it does make a difference in the way a community feels about itself and about the rest of the world. Ennui, isolation, homogeneity, disillusionment, and intellectual torpor are nothing new in humanity's history, and they can be generated as easily in a city or the rolling countryside. But notice that after the 50s, after the spread of suburbia and modern conventionality, those became the prevailing artistic reactions to that oarticular form of modernity. Basically, if you have a temperament that is artistic or adventurous, you react to the archetypal suburb with horror and dismay. You can see it in every movie, every piece of art, every book written since the '50s about modern, day-to-day life. If you find some redeeming aesthetic or intellectual value in this: [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] Than go right ahead and enjoy. But don't try to pretend that the negative reaction of intellectuals, artist and thinkers to it is evidence of their elitism rather than some inherent problem with suburbia. Please keep in mind that the picture above is the sort of deadening suburbia I'm referring to, while there are other types of non-urban, non-rural living that I don't believe have the same effect: Take a town near me, Newton, for instance: [​IMG] It is agreeably close to major city centers, but has it's own center, civic life, a variety of neighborhoods in terms of class/race/religion, a college located within it...it is suburbia, but suburbia with a purpose - it is a SUBset of an URBan area, where people live and move back and forth. That's different than the dislocated, stranded suburbs that cover this country, built without any apparent sensitivity to the land, water, or other features of the world around it. And the WORST part? We're EXPORTING it! As if it's the IDEAL form of civilization! As if our sprawling, disposable, resource-draining society can simply be picked up and slotted in to China or Mexico or Egypt...
     
  15. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    . Basically, if you have a temperament that is artistic or adventurous, you react to the archetypal suburb with horror and dismay. You can see it in every movie, every piece of art, every book written since the '50s about modern, day-to-day life.

    If you find some redeeming aesthetic or intellectual value in this:
    [​IMG]

    Than go right ahead and enjoy. But don't try to pretend that the negative reaction of intellectuals, artist and thinkers to it is evidence of their elitism rather than some inherent problem with suburbia.



    there is something a little childish in this position, though. a large number of "urbanites" start off in the suburbs, and then move back to the suburbs when they have kids. they have a negative reaction to the suburbs precicly during that point in their lives when it works well for them to live in the city.
     

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