Tag Archives: United States

(68) Escape from suburbia [DVD]

Escape From Suburbia: Beyond The American Dream dates from 2007 but we reference it here as quite a nice piece of background material.  The topic is peak oil and suburbia.  Escape is the follow up to The End of Suburbia and focuses on possible solutions.  Nothing much has really changed since either movie came out except that all our money was emailed up to some giant orbiting death star and we burned another 400 million barrels of oil.  Neither commodity is coming back any time soon.
The people seen in Escape are undertaking a handful of possible responses to the withdrawal of cheap energy from suburbia.  Some are optimistic, some are pessimistic, some are getting the hell out while they figure they still can.  Some are staying put, some are intellectualizing, others are angry.  The critique of the energy and consumer future begun in End of Suburbia turns toward suburban poverty with the compelling destruction of a large community garden in south central Los Angeles.  Implicit the whole time is that suburban poverty will be coming to a cul-de-sac near you sooner rather than later and that it won’t be pretty.
In 2007 suburban poverty was still somewhat behind the curtain …it ain’t now.
What will it all look like in 2017?

Canadians will enjoy scenes filmed in and around the Greater Toronto Area and words from David Suzuki and Kathryn Holloway.
James Howard Kunstler, a suburban-poverty.com favourite for years now, warns us not to ask him (or anyone for that matter) for solutions and hope but to find them within ourselves.  JHK would make a better social worker than he thinks he would.

(66) Las Vegas

Worrisome reading about Las Vegas, Nevada and poverty.  Probably the ultimate in suburban statements in its day, one has to wonder what kind of future this desert city has.  A near total dependency on motor vehicles, air conditioning and water from far away makes for some hair-raising possible futures.  Does it seem like the economy there is recovering in any way?  Will real estate values go up again?  Is it a matter of just waiting around for the next real estate boom?

Behind Las Vegas glitz and glamour: a dark city marred by poverty Guardian UK

(60) Au contraire…

Copyright free image from Wikimedia

I was driving through Philly the other day and …blah, blah, blah, …poor people.

We thought it good form to find some content from the interwebs that contradicted our own take on the issue at hand lest we be judged smug, dismissive.  A semi-anonymous blog post from this summer fits the bill nicely and is linked to below.  It employs the relativity argument.  Not derived from Einstein’s view of the universe this is a technique beloved of those politically to the right.  A cross-comparison to global poverty is usually involved.  It is designed to shut down arguments about social policy in a developed country and is, in our experience, driven by fear, loathing and the lack of experience of life though it is usually presented as highly rational and objective.  Such positions on social matters remind us that the battle against poverty need be waged as much in middle and upper class brains as in government offices, clothing banks, soup kitchens and shelters.
Suburban poverty? The Burning Platform

(55) Unexpected Texas

When we started suburban-poverty.com we had no idea what we’d come across.  Texas has surprised us a little.  Perhaps because right wing presidential hopeful Perry hails from Texas the state is enjoying some extra profile in North American discourse.  It seems the economy is doing well in right wing terms: lots of new crap jobs, low taxes and so forth.  The state is also physically more or less on fire from one end to the other, has been a brutal series of global warming oranges and reds on the continental weather maps for some time now.  Here’s some more Texas consciousness for you:
Poverty in the suburbs looks different than urban models
Baptist Standard