we're f*cked: a rant
America Is F*cked.......(graphically at least) from Jess Gibson on Vimeo.
Check this out. This little video clip gets to the heart of North America's cultural erosion -- for want of a better term -- using disrespect for our manmade visual landscape and its history as a metaphor for what ails society in general. I have driven through small towns in Washington state where every single business is part of a huge, anonymous chain. The signs and buildings don't reflect personal investment because let's face it: owning or working in a Jiffy Lube, i.e. someone else's vision of a company, really is just another job. Lots of towns in Canada are almost as bad. I'm pretty convinced that we are deeply, personally influenced by all this visual/corporate homogeneity.
I can't remember where I was or what I was listening to but the speaker said that there are only five cities in all of Canada worth living in because they are the only five cities that have honoured the past by preserving the architecture and charm of their early years, and therefore that important visual link to the past. I do remember the cities, though: Ottawa, Quebec City, Charlottetown, St. John's and Victoria. I lived in Victoria for four years (and Greg grew up there) but we have never made it back in spite of countless tries. It just feels better being there.
Architect and visionary Arthur Erickson died on Wednesday. Will his buildings be flattened in a century's time, dismissed as just more outdated late 20th century glass-and-concrete crap?