Monday, November 26, 2007


North Americans are deeply conflicted about urban politics. David Olive recently penned a brief article on the strident anti-urbanism of Canadian politics: A brief history of urbanophobia.

I blogged about this American tendency about a year ago, in a seemingly unrelated matter, the "DaVinci Code" mysticism we saw surface in pop-culture about five years ago - a phenomenon which I related to (9/11 inspired) romantic obsession with all things inherently Western, or "Metaphysical Westernism". But there is a good back-bone reason why we are anti-urban. North Americans shall always gaze suspiciously at the "system", or the even more feckless "man", the well-oiled cog in the system. Bureaucracies and gang cultures teem in the cities, and cities, to Americans, are beasts that belch shadowy systems that threaten our personal interest and control. The metaphysical romanticism of Frank Lloyd Wright, Thomas Jefferson and Thoreau is much better suited to our personal idealism regarding our rights and domain: we need to fence out the maddening world.

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