If you were to be suddenly beamed from the sky into a suburban town in America, it would be difficult to figure out where you were. There’s just nothing different about most towns except maybe the people. KnowwhatImean?
You got yer Subway, yer Dairy Queen, yer Wal-Mart. You gotcher McDonalds, yer Burger King, yer Wendy’s. You got yer predominantly white police force, yer rowdy high school football team, and, of course, yer malls and yer supercenters. You gotcher grocery chains, yer hardware chains, and yer gas station chains. Yup, check, check, and double check. It’s all there. Everywhere.
Look at the stretch between Everett Washington and Olympia, Sacramento and San Jose, Chicago and Evanston, or Atlanta and anywhere 30 miles away. It’s like someone created a concrete mould for “town” and kept filling it up and plopping it down. Not a particularly interesting mould either if you want to talk architecture. Lots of glass, plastic, and press board. Lots of squares and rectangles.
All the charm of a packing crate with none of it's structural integrity. The word “thoughtless” springs to mind.
This is what happens when you let retailers plan your town. “We’ll putcher supercenter here, then we’ll have some strip malls on the road leading to the supercenter. We’ll have residential streets shooting off that route. And, clap clap, cut the ribbon, clap, clap.
One of the reasons The Simpson’s beats out just about any other show on TV is because literally half of this country really does live in Springfield. The other 50% enjoy mocking them because there is ABSOLUTELY nothing else to do in these places except spend money on things they either don’t need or shouldn’t eat. Well, either that or get drunk and experiment with physics.
But should they mock?
Maybe not. Because these are exactly the kinds of places where many of our creative minds grow up. Boredom breeds innovation. Sameness begets freshness. It’s torture for some people to grow up in these towns. But torture yields art and the kind of dark, cynical thinking that can only come from being raised in cush white American suburbs.
Don’t you think this country needs as many Bart Simpsons as it can possibly get? It seems to me that creativity is the one advantage we do have over Asian countries. Viva la Sunnyvale.
Just a thought. I ramble therefore I am.