August 10, 2011 at 5:07 am #161001Zach WatsonParticipant
I know there is much discussion about how Urban Sprawl damages our way of life in many ways, while I personally would like to see us live a little closer together and create more and better urban spaces, could urban sprawl help to reduce the types of riots that are taking place in London?
London along with many other cities/countries that have experienced this type of action over the last year or two have urban areas that have been hit hard by the action of the rioters. Urban settings provide opportunities for many people in similar living conditions to gather together quickly and unexpectedly because of how closely they live to one another.
Like I said I personally like cities that have urban downtown locations because of the mix of life and the social activity that takes place but I just want to get others feedback on a few of these thoughts I have had the last few days.August 10, 2011 at 10:47 am #161043Trace OneParticipant
I think it is sprawl that creates the anomie that possibly is giving rise the the London riots, although the Al Jazeera reporter yesterday said there is categorically NO political component at all, several times..
I grew up in McLean Virginia, one of the most disgusting sprawl environments I ever had to experience, with the exception of Gwinnett County Georgia, or maybe Alpharetta..
Your idea seems very spatially-inclined, sort of seeing the country like a vast prison where the inmates need to be separated.
If you have ever seen the “Farm Estates” that they call the projects, in Britain, it is the essence of rootless, connected-less development, with the american counterparts being things like Cabrini Green, in Chicago.
So IMHO,. the connectedness of cities gives one the ability to connect with opportunity. It is the anomie of sprawl, where one gets disconnected and disaffected.
I still wonder about the motivation of the rioters..I suppose it is varied.August 10, 2011 at 1:23 pm #161042
I think what’s happening in England is an example of people that are oppressed lashing out. It started with the “thinking” people peacefully protesting an injustice, but it didn’t take long for the ***holes to take advantage of the situation and turn it into ugly violent event. It’s a shame that something that could have given energy to a movement was hi-jacked by bunch of teenage thugs. I understand the feeling of desperation in these young people, I’ve been there, but I can’t condone their actions. Young people need hope and to be kept busy. Western leaders wake up! Keep playing games with peoples’ lives and you get more of this kind of madness.August 10, 2011 at 5:31 pm #161041
I agree. They have real reason to be frustrated…but this is the wrong way to go about it. Very sad for the people losing their homes and businesses. Anyone remember the WTO riots in Seattle? All it takes is a spark…doesn’t even have to be related to the recession…and we will have the same thing.August 10, 2011 at 6:18 pm #161040michael vipondParticipant
The area of London were the riots are taking place is one which has seen little in the way of regeneration in recent years.most of the buildings are cramped Victorian terraced houses or poor quality council flats built after the war. I cant see these conditions doing the community any good as a whole, especially for the younger generation were gang culture has become the social norm. The riots are people venting their frustration at their crap living conditions…August 10, 2011 at 7:24 pm #161039Roland BeinertParticipant
Just a few months ago everyone was praising urban areas, because they provided the right setting for the protests in Egypt. Sometimes things get violent when people are upset about something, but I don’t think that means we should make it harder for them to organize for protests.August 10, 2011 at 9:35 pm #161038
Jason I can agree with you to a certain extent, but I’m not jumping on the liberal/conservative destroying America bag. I feel people on both sides are responsible for the mess we’re in. All we’re seeing is the fruit of generations of adults that were/are self-centered, money driven, overworked, and addicted. This is what happens when we let the streets and technology raise our children.
The “Feral Human” is alive and well outside of our cities. Our society is breaking down as a whole. There’s just as much ugliness in the ‘burbs, the difference is it’s kept hush-hush. We’ve had two stabbings in two months in the quaint little village me and my wife live in on Long Island’s “Gold Coast”. We live on Main Street where there are a lot of upscale boutiques, restaurants and pubs. We have a mini-riot here where someone gets the snot beat out of them at least once or twice a year. Once there was a fight of about 10-12 guys and girls in designer duds that were able to go at it for so long they had fought themselves out and left with their wounded before the cops arrived. I stopped riding the train home on the late at night on the weekends, because I saw too many vicious brawls and beat-downs involving clean-cut, well dressed, bulked up primates from some of the most affluent communities in the country. The funny thing is that it never makes the local MetroNYC news like it does when it involves young inner-city street kids. Senseless violence is the same whether its ***holes in the hood beating an innocent man in the middle of the street or ***holes pounding on a guy at an upscale club.
“The immigrant population seems to find work.” – What exactly are you getting at Jason?August 10, 2011 at 11:01 pm #161037
I don’t believe our society is breaking down, every generation looks back on the good old days with rose colored glasses. Humans can be really good…or they can be really bad. Otherwise we get into the whole topic of violent music and video games. haha
The college town across the border, rural eastern Washington town had a riot about 10 years or go where they literally torched cars, etc. because their team lost. So these would be mostly white middle class kids that threw a temper tantrum because they lost. I don’t think we always have to look deeply at the reasons WHY people do things like this. Sometimes they are just idiots. I am not surprised however that we are hearing young people say they are angry…nor am I surprised by their response however unjustified.August 10, 2011 at 11:04 pm #161036
haha…I think you are right. The puritans take a little longer to take note.August 10, 2011 at 11:12 pm #161035
As a conservative then you should realize that all this talk about creating family cohesiveness…blah, blah, blah is useless. What do you suggest? That the government DO something? You know what we do in the US? We put them in jail. Pretty expensive solution but one that conservatives heartily approve of. Rather then deal with the issues that create this situations, because these are symptoms. These people are not animals despite this writer’s opinions. I had to chuckle when he mentioned two parent families? I never had two parents…I even was adopted by a single mother. What I did have was stability in the second half of my childhood and someone who taught me I was worth something. I would be curious to know how many jobs these kids parents were working…where are their parents? Of course the assumption is that the poor don’t work and only live off the dole. I don’t buy it. If you have a single mother trying to support two teenage sons…13 or 14…who is supervising them while she goes from job to job? All children need supervision: anyone with children knows that they need jobs and meaning as well even if that just looks like chores around the house. Children have the same inclination to work that you or I have. They are not animals.
I have to say, whenever I see this opinions being espoused…were you sheltered? Did you have an idyllic childhood? My life experiences were anything but, perhaps this is why you sound out of touch to me.August 11, 2011 at 1:47 am #161034
You’re right Heather; there are no good ol’ days. We just plunder in a different way now, but you have to admit our sense of family and community is at an all time low. We’re in a digital information age yet we don’t understand one another any better.August 11, 2011 at 3:17 am #161033
O.K. I’ll buy that. But, they’re also the primary victims of exploitation in this country. Yes some of them might be willing to endure years of hardship and pay a price that most Americans aren’t willing to pay. They do it because even in the midst of their struggle, they still know they’re better off here than where they came from. So they’ll be silent and virtually out of sight. Some of these people work for years as slaves for fat-cat connected businessmen gangsters so that they can work off their passage. When people are fleeing deplorable conditions on a scale that most Americans can’t even relate to, you have to understand that they have a different kind of motivation.
Besides, the people that are the “takers” and cause all of the problems are the minority. The real victims are the poor people that have to live in the communities with these idiots. You may not realize it but its not fun living in impoverished neighborhoods in this country. Do you really think that it’s easy being a dope dealer or living on welfare? These people are so beat-down that they settle for the low-life. They feel that they can’t compete against kids from shiny new suburban schools that have the newest computers and technology, while they’re reading out of the same books I used 30 years ago in classrooms with mildew on the ceiling and lead paint peeling off the window frames. That doesn’t’ sound like an even playing field to me.
I promise you there are 100 people busting their tail to get out the “hood” for every one that wants to remain in that life. It has always amazed my how invisible the givers and strivers are in our inner-city communities. I understand, what’s more titillating to watch on the news, a saggy pants wearing swaggering street tough or a laptop carrying polite student.August 11, 2011 at 3:49 am #161032
Once again Trace you’ve gone over the edge. I truly think your hearts in the right place. I see eye to eye with you on most of what you’re saying, but you’re taking too many casualties to prove your point. Jason might be a little too far to the right for my liking, but I’ll fight for his right to express his beliefs. I don’t think he deserved to be assaulted by your post.
Also, as child of a single black mother, I’m asking you to retire the single black mother thing. I don’t think it’s helping your case. It just sounds like more ultraliberal-elite gobbidy gouk.August 11, 2011 at 3:50 am #161031
I agree Craig. I do think there is bit of a swing back to what we would call more traditional families. I know many families that scrimp and barely get by in order to have one parent stay home with their children. I think our most important job is to care for our children and that means the decisions we make generally revolve around what will not only provide the best for them but how we can help guide them into productive adulthood with as little damage as possible. I also agree that technology is not helping us to “hear” one another better but just gives each of us our own little megaphones. 😉 I gave up Facebook for Lent and it was absolutely wonderful!August 11, 2011 at 3:55 am #161030
I agree…the ones that are working hard are not the ones that make it on the evening news. Those that make it out are facing amazing odds. I am only whereI am because I left my birth mother at age 9. Both my biological parents are very poor…my mother being homeless many times. I was fortunate to have an aunt and uncle that realized my situation was not healthy. Who knows what kind of life I would lead if I had stayed with her? I would like to think I would have risen out of that…but I am not sure. Not much shocks me when I hear what people will do to escape their lives.
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