Evolving Peace

A site that is progressing for the goal of everlasting peace within ourselves, our family, our friends, our country and our planet !

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Lost Suburbia

Over the last week I left my small rural enclave of Vermont and let for an adventure into the concrete jungles of New Jersey. Having been absorbed with life in rural Vermont, it had become a shock to return to my boyhood home. The plastic suburbs of New Jersey are not my vision of a utopian dream, but a mere nightmare. While to those living in the compressed communities of Manhattan the green grass and miniature fortresses decked out in the conveniences of modern life may feel that is pleasures of life, I quickly realized that the suburban sprawl has left vast gasps of culture and community behind.

Passing the hundreds of chain stores and flooded highways of traffic is a vacant look of desperation from its inhabitants. Whole neighborhoods exist where not a single soul knows are even cares about each other. A homogenized culture captivated on what is on the television. I found out that while I was there that the Soprano’s last show was being aired that night and for the next night it was another episode of HBO’s Big Love. If you have no life, the television is where you can experience it at all without ever leaving your home. To those communities, television has replaced the real and natural world of community and experience. There is little hope given except through their expressions of consumption. It is no longer keep up with the Jones it is keep up with the “Bradys” or whatever Hollywood or Madison Ave produced image.

Fortunately, while I was out visiting I had reasons to venture into New York City. Oh, what a relief. At first though, a venture into the Big Apple maybe considered horrifying coming from the big city of Montpelier (8,000) because there is so much noise, people and big buildings and there is little room for escape. One of the days, I visited a friend who had moved back to NYC from Orlando (the happiest place on earth). She couldn’t wait to get away from who she called the “bible thumpers just ready to bang each other over the heads with shovels.” I soon realized that NYC is far from the false reality prescribed by Disney and the popular American media.

Quite the contrary, NYC is a place to be, on any given street corner there is a plethora of activity and a diversity of cultures. You can go from “Chinatown” to “Little Italy” and then stumble into an artist collective all within a few blocks. New York a collection of individuals that you can be whoever you want to be. You can have the most outrageous quirks in personality and are bound to find at least a thousand others just like yourself. Compare that to here in Vermont, while there are not millions of people congregated within our borders, here we too have the freedom of individuality. Due to the sparseness of population, you can have whatever personality quirks and interests no matter how far fetched one may think they are, because quite frankly there is no one dominating culture to tell you that you are wrong. You can be whatever you want to be and that is the freedom to the soul. No prescribed notions of what culture is, or how you are supposed to be.

So leaving the suburbs of New Jersey, I was ecstatic to return to my home nestled within the Green Mountains of Vermont. I am glad I left the one-dimensional culture of suburbia and have been allowed to flourish like the budding of the trees. The “Big Apple” or the “Green Mountains” are places I can totally be free.

Robb Kidd

“Insist on yourself; never imitate... Every great man is unique.” Ralph Waldo Emerson


At June 21, 2007 7:36 AM, Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

I can't think of any reason I'd return to New Jersey.


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