Total Rambling, an old post, wrote Early March 2011, I felt incomplete at that time and didn’t publish. But when I read it today, it had a charm of its own. So felt like posting it. Read at your own risk!
Last time when I was in California in 2010, I was definitely a different person. I did not have an idea of what I was going to do with my post graduate degree or whether I wanted to stay in academia? in U.S. It was a turbulent time. I also used to eat meat, I was not against big cities, not against fast food chains. The book Omnivore’s dilemma was the beginning of my change. I should say. The book which ‘actually’ made me a “green man” to my friends and hopefully and subsequently a pseudo hippie.
I still vividly remember, one morning on my way to Hollywood, late morning, I was hungry and we had battery issue in the car. It was a funny situation and my last day in LA, and I was hungry after the fast. We sorted out the battery issue and we just got some random breakfast from McDonalds. Before that day also I was against fast food joints just terming it as unhealthy, but in a not so informed way. That day, McDonalds saved me from hunger panic and I should say it even earned some kind of respect from my side. I wondered sitting in the car, finishing the chocolate milk about the amount of hungry people they have fed. Hungry stomachs they have taken care of. I let it settle in and thought about blogging in favor of all the fast food joints in the monstrous cities.
Anyways, the book changed lot of it, I was transiting from for- to anti-. I was having this constant inner turmoil of values, morals and ideals. I just didn’t to stick on to one dogma. I had arguments with everyone standing on both sides. Few blamed me as a nay sayer. However, I knew I was not, I also had a clear picture of what I was doing. I was looking for clarity. The clarity of thought of something which is ‘right’ and ‘useful’. Those two terms get themselves into loggerheads sometimes, that is when the FUN starts. The loggerhead situation is actually momentary, until both gets aligned on one side of argument.
For example, McD is useful, was useful for me as I mentioned. It is not good or right, as it is not exactly healthy. It is also not exactly healthy for economy, for employment, but it somehow manages the small term problem, like hunger, it starts or is part of a huge vicious circle of rich-poor divide, unemployment, migration, un sustainable agriculture, pollution, blah blah blee blee.. end of the world. Yes, McDonalds is the reason for end of the world. I said it. So, is McD useful? Yes and No.
The post is not about that, but about city. It created the situation. One of the great thinkers in the world E.O Wilson said at a disussion at MSU, that the solution for the Human virus(not exactly his words) is to settle in small sustainable towns. The size of 30,000 to 100,000 people should be just fine. Those small town communities are friendly, more educated, low carbon impact, more recycling, low carbon footprint. etc etc. , So go visit your co-op. Buy local stuff, buy seasonal fruits and veggies. For all the pepperoni I love, quit it. Else, at least know where your meat is from.
Am I getting preachy? Well, Argue if I am wrong, I don’t mind changing my stance. Again, the arguments for cities are as scattered as the McDs in the town. The highly evolved living being called ‘city’ in anthropomorphic language has a charm on its own. The material life it exudes, the bitchy attitude it showcases. But when you dig deeper, Just like any other woman, there is depth(pun intended), the history, the ethereal beauty, the art galleries, the sidewalks, the minions bustling around. The appreciation of beauty, love and awe The cries of damsels for the fallen hero. Well, these days everyone wants to see a hero fall. But the beauty is so contagious that you just get sucked into it. I was in Santa Monica boulevard. The sidewalks, the little shops that will sell you stuff without paying tax. The gypsy singers, the newbie artists bursting with thousand times more talent than Draco Malfoy. Oops, not Malfoy, his look alike Justin bieber, I meant. Anyways, I was sucked in. Probably that is why I came here twice. I am part of this mega structure even though momentarily. What would I do If I stay here? Am I a virus? Will I kill it? I would love to change it, all the time, not due to my OCD, but just to see what I can do to it, how much I can do to it. Change, embrace it.
The breeze is heavenly. The music is alluring. Women are pretty.
LA, just like women in my life, I love you in a tangy way.