Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Fortress America

David Brooks does a good job describing exurbia, a horrible job describing why the GOP succeeded there.
On the one hand, people move to exurbs because they want some order in their lives. They leave places with arduous commutes, backbreaking mortgages, broken families and stressed social structures and they head for towns with ample living space, intact families, child-friendly public culture and intensely enforced social equality. That's bourgeois.

On the other hand, they are taking a daring leap into the unknown, moving to towns that have barely been built, working often in high-tech office parks doing pioneering work in biotech and nanotechnology. These exurbs are conservative but also utopian - Mayberrys with BlackBerrys.

Brooks forgets to mention the cultural impoverishment of these places, their isolation from the world (including the market, no matter how virtual it becomes) and how they create their own sprawl.


At 5:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Al Franken had a few choice words about that piece today.


At 7:07 PM, Blogger Nathanael said...

Did he mention how they bulldoze over places that could offer real identities?

At 9:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He knows Brooks and he was pointing out that in another piece he complained that on his book tour there was no place in suburbia to do book signings because there were no large philanthropic libraries and Al pointed out that he's done lots of book tours in suburbia - at the chain book stores that are staples of the strip mall phenomena.


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