Thursday, September 28, 2006

Initial reactions to "Applebee's America"

I've been reading Applebee's America the last few days, and I want to write down some thoughts. Here is one of the first.

I was wrong about the exurbs, or at least the "community" part of the exurbs:
These are people that seem to have a few major commitments. First of all, their family. I can't fault them for that, the main subject of the story was obviously dedicated to her husband and the enrichment of her kids. Second, what I said above leads us into money, which obviously plays a roll in their decisions to move around so much.


I don't know, but their frequent abandonment of towns and communities doesn't speak to a deep connection to people around them. If the roads are so bad getting around suburban Georgia, who really cares about fixing the problem of poor planning, if you are going to leave in a few years anyway?

Anyway, much was made about George Bush's ability to win the so called exurbs last fall, which was one of the things that put him over the top. If these are the people that populate the fastest growing counties in the country, do I care?


I suspect that much of the exurbians political tendencies come from their personal choices of being rootless, not feeling connected to a particular place or holding your ground for a community. These are things that I expect the Democratic Party to stand for, and so I would assume that we would lose among with the relos.
While Democratic Party policies speak to a community commitment, the Republican Party actually sounds like they prefer people to be connected to one another. And, more importantly in 2004, they campaigned like community mattered in the exurbs, where people saw the greatest need for good old fashioned community.

People in the fastest growing communities feel the need for connection, for community, and it makes sense that businesses such as megachurches and Applebees, that provide this kind of service, would do well there.

I was wrong about exubians running away from community. They may be running away from their own responsibility to build community, and rather like to have it delievered to them through church or a place to eat. That may sound harsh, but I'll admit there is a desire for community, but no one talking locally how to actually build it, rather just sell it.


Tahoma Activist said...

Honestly, I think we have a lot more to worry about than some rich people in converted farmhouses. Seems to me that we are facing the rise of a fascist dictatorship before our eyes.

The question I have is: what do we do to stop it?

Emmett said...

Its insteresting when people make the "fascist dictatorship" statement, because then all other arguments about policy or social issues get thrown out the window, because apparently brown shirts are walking through downtown Olympia beating up homeless and breaking windows.

Honestly, its a lazy way out.