In retrospect I find this story slightly disturbing.
Our desire for the free market to remain ‘unencumbered’ by government imposed restrictions is in actuality a desire by private interests (in essence, no different than you or I, except with investment capital & lawyers on retainer) to not be held down by any societal responsibility, to cut themselves off from the collective for a brief moment to give themselves an unfair advantage over the interests of their fellow man. Consider when the owner’s wife shows up to curse us out and call the cops, telling demonstrators and members of the community to get off her land, she was also demonstrating – very clearly mind you – that she did not consider herself to be in any way integrated with other members of her society. She may even tell you as much to your face, for spite.
She didn’t recognize that all citizens are fundamentally united, chiefly via taxation and the specifics of our citizenship, constitution and charter, and that her imposition on others by refusing to realize this is far, far greater than the imposition she feels by recognizing her tacit claim to land ownership may be worthless given a decision made in favour of the interests of the collective.
What kind of sick society would have you believe you belong to a collective, tax you accordingly to provide for the whole, and then turn around and accord special interest arrangements to put some above the great mass, for their myopic, individualistic and ultimately financially-driven motives?
Standing even among a couple dozen like-minded people demonstrating their belief that the interests of the collective always outweigh the interests of the Howard Roark crowd is sufficient enough for me to see what’s right here. While city’s across North America build modern tenements in the form of postage-stamp condos on every square foot of ‘apparently available’ land, the delicate balance that was achieved so well in Montreal becomes threatened. Make no mistake, there’s a reason we have so many great neighbourhoods in this city – it wasn’t an accident, it was planned. Parts of this city were designed and built by some of the finest minds in the business – other parts were influenced after the fact. It’s part of our legacy as the first Metropolis of Canada, and we damn well better fight to keep it. I find it difficult to believe the social-cohesion of this city isn’t at least in part a result of excellent neighbourhood design and cohesive community planning and management. I can’t imagine what this city would look like and how it would feel if we allowed all the Fatal’s of this world to do whatever they felt with every scrap of land illegally transferred into their ‘ownership’.
Suffice it to say, if free-market capitalism in action seeks to destroy a community green space, then I’ll take socialist city-planning any day of the work-week.
So I finally had an opportunity to listen to Arcade Fire’s latest album. Yes, I’m aware the Suburbs came out some time ago and they all already won the Grammy for best album. What can I say, I like taking my time and waiting for an ideal moment to sit down and really get into an album. There can be no interruptions, nothing to take away my focus.
This past weekend I had the opportunity – specifically on SUnday, when there wasn’t much to do given the tailed of the hurricane.
And as if it needs to be said once more – with gusto – The Suburbs is a truly fantastic album. Made me weepy at one point, and made me remember long car rides with my parents some twenty years ago. Kudos Arcade Fire, for awakening some very pleasant memories. If you haven’t given it a listen yet, go out and get it on vinyl.
Or, wait until September 22nd and see them live at Quartier des Spectacles.
Sweet Zombie Jesus, I really can’t wait.
Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) is perhaps my most favourite song of all time. What can I say, I know I’ve said that a lot, and I meant it each time.