Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Move to the city--please!

(A large city, somewhere on earth.  I don't see why they can't add a few floors to that tall building on the right.)

I want everyone, all of you and all your friends and relatives, to move to the city nearest you.  If you already live in a city, please stay there!

After all, isn't the city where all the excitement is, and the movies, and the restaurants, and the museums, and the libraries, and the schools.  You are more likely to have sex if you move to a metropolitan area where there are lots of other people.  In fact, most young people move to a city so they can increase their probability of getting laid.  I'm sure this wisdom applies to people of all ages.  Your churches are in the city, for the most part, so your god must spend more time there than in a sparsely populated rural area where there are few converts to service.  Drinking water and chlorine are in abundance there, so you won't go thirsty.  You won't be bothered by tobacco smoke either, because it is illegal to smoke everywhere.  There are many examples of interesting architecture in the city; there are no examples of cathedrals built in the Italian Renaissance design out here in the boonies.  Out here, we have great examples of "early-dilapidated".

In contrast, here in the country we have Lyme disease, which can cripple your children, lots of mosquitoes, coyotes that eat your babies, and letter carriers who have to drive a car to get to your mail box.  If their car broke down or they ran out of gas, you might have to wait an extra day to get that credit card offer you were expecting.  Out here, people let their dogs and cats run free, and they defecate and urinate everywhere.  The stench of domestic pet waste products, which is accented with the delightful droppings of deer, possum, and raccoon, permeates the air for miles around my home.  The pollen count out here is atrocious; there are times when my wife needs to help me open the door because of the density of pollen on the other side.  We have more deer mice inside the house than there are outside, so I just leave the door open so they can run out.  We have no Starbucks.  We have no high-speed internet.  If we want to order a pizza, we call on Monday so the delivery boy can get here in time for our dinner on Wednesday.

We have to deal with those drivers from the city who come out here on a Sunday afternoon just to see how the country folk live.  When I hear their Audi's coming, I don my straw hat and slap a twig in my mouth as I wave to them passing by.  And the chances of getting laid out here, well, let's not even go there.  Soon, hunting season begins, so there will be men and women walking the hills and fields and shooting at deer with lethal weapons.  Thank God you don't have to worry about that in the city.

In short, hundreds of millions of people live in cities around the world instead of in the country, and for good reason.  In fact, China is forcing millions of their people to move to one of their 160 cities that already contain over a million residents. The leaders of China are smart guys, so I'm sure they know what they are doing.  Life can be tough out there in the countryside.  Who wants to grow rice or wheat when you can just buy it at the corner store?  Everything you need is close at hand, convenient, economical, tidy.  I mean, Management and I have to drive almost 30 minutes to get to a mall to find a falafel or a gyro served in one of those fancy food courts.  As a result, we don't get to eat much of that Mexican food.

Live in highly dense aggregations of humans.  The denser, the better.  The more people there are, the denser it is, and the more fun you can have.  There are traffic jams so crowded now in places that you can text everyone you know two or three times before you get home at night.  Now that is efficiency.  Why just sit there when you can catch up on your correspondence?  Here in the country, we have no excuse while driving but to keep moving in our vehicles, so we get way behind on letter writing and the like.  We only see our neighbors a couple of times a year, so we forget their names.

I spent a few days in Chicago last week. There would seem to be plenty of room for more people there. There are streets there where the sun still reaches the ground, so there is vertical space for expansion. And those green areas or parks are a waste; they are just a depository for pigeon poop. Fill those up with habitable dwellings; there is no reason why Chicago could not house 4 million residents instead of 3.  There is even a river running through that city where you can go fishing and, I am told, those fish are almost safe to eat.

But let me be perfectly honest for a moment. The real reason I want you all to move to the city is because if you don't, you build new houses near me.  The footprint of each new house eliminates a little more natural habitat, and contributes to the ongoing sterilization of nature that is ubiquitous.  Every time a new house goes up within a mile of my place, I am sick to my stomach for a week. And it is just no fun sipping scotch with an upset stomach.  I realize that this is egocentric and selfish, but I don't care.  So order up that caramel macchiato, text a friend or two in this morning's rush hour traffic, and go to a nightclub this weekend where you can strut your stuff.  And enjoy!  After all, it is easier not to be depressed about the natural world when you live where there is nothing more to lose.


  1. Well written pal....all the best

  2. And perhaps the most persuasive reason to move to the city, particularly if you are an average Earthling (poor, under-educated, and a resident of a developing country)? Gainful employment and a chance to get ahead in life.

    No matter how awful third world urban slums might look to our western eyes, my career suggests that they are where life takes a turn for the better for most.

  3. " The pollen count out here is atrocious; there are times when my wife needs to help me open the door because of the density of pollen on the other side. We have more deer mice inside the house than there are outside, so I just leave the door open so they can run out." HAHAHA!! Lol

    I feel the same way. My family has lived in our house for as long as I can remember. Before, we were hassled by oppossums, turtles, frogs, water moccasins, water snakes, and those dreadfully unsightly great blue herons, green herons, and spoonbills.

    Oh, but commerical development has finally made its way to our community and cut down the habitat behind our home and built a lovely, spacious park with parking and restaurants behind it. We now enjoy blaring norteno and salsa music, loud whistles, yelling and clapping, every weekend (and some weekdays until 11pm) from mexican soccer teams. Oh what joy! :/

    ...I no longer have to worry about the snakes or turtles, or herons anymore because the creek that used to be behind our home is barely in existence. :( Cheers to progression and development!

  4. Barbara, in the short term that is almost certainly true. My thesis, is, however, that that will change sometime this century.

  5. And Sha, congratulations. I finally found someone whose sarcasm is richer than mine. LOL.