Monday, May 15, 2006

monday media: its a turvy-topsy world

for some reason today, every article I come across, I think "um, are they hitting the pipe?" I generally have that reaction whenever I read anything that is by/about/quotes joel kotkin but today it seems to be everywhere.

exhibit A: suburbia makes you thin. the aussie researchers argue that big yards equals more active kids. apparently Xbox hasn't made it down under, or these researchers have never actually met any kids. maybe they just raise heartier children than the ones I see in American suburbs.

exhibit B: high gas prices will invigorate the suburbs. Joel Kotkin is on crack. for reals. every time I read his drivel I wonder how MSM takes him seriously. so maybe james howard kunstler is alarmist and his predictions sound frighteningly dire, but he cannot be dismissed outright, as kotkin does here. like a cassandra for the oil age, I'm afraid kunstler will have the last laugh. kotkin also doesn't seem to be familiar with (or chooses to ignore) theorists like saskia sassen, who argue globalized networks (of information, finances, power) privileges cities, and their importance increases even as corporate headquarters may move to lower-rent suburbs. kotkin seems to base his argument on the 70s oil crisis - which seems to bear little resemblance to the one we face today. and his comparison to Europe is just facile.

exhibit C: Bonus! more kotkin kraziness. this time, he argues that cities such as Berlin, San Francisco, Montreal and Sydney will be replaced by "no-nonsense, middlebrow places" like Reno, Phoenix, and Fort Myers, FL. I can barely bring myself to even read the rest...Why on earth does the LA Times continue to provide him with a platform for his claptrap? I might be more apt to forgive his specious conclusions if he could come close to displaying the crisp wit, rancorous bile, or irascibility of a kunstler or wolcott.


At 10:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen. Amen girl. "Kotkin" is the new word for "clueless." I'm so sure the cultural capital stored up over the better part of a centrury or more in places like SF and Montreal will simply be vanquished by the patently superior animatronic cultural offerings of Chuck E Cheese at the local Phoenix strip mall.

Why can't you see that, you dizzy girl?

At 10:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chuck E Cheese: I rest my case.


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