Monday, December 15, 2008

i chu-chu-[steven] chuse you

yeah i know, it's a terrible joke. (for those of you who don't get are we friends? kidding. here it is.)

i've been watching the cabinet appointment process with some interest. so far, he's vindicated eric shinseki and, in my mind, wen ho lee. we've distanced ourselves somewhat from automatically associating asian men in science with espionage (yeah, i know, bill richardson, who led the charge against lee, will be commerce secretary in the new administration. it's not a complete victory. let's just hope that he doesn't make all asians rebuild america's crumbling infrastructure). i also admit that steven chu sort of looks like a more handsome (?) version of your prototypical asian male nerd. one stereotype at a time, i suppose.

what's even better than having two asians safeguarding some of america's icons (military, energy/national security)? 3 asians? no, government officials from cities. yes, those un-real, un-american bastions of elitism. so far, eric holder, obama himself, timothy geithner, hillC, this dude arne duncan, shaun donovan, and rahmbo all hail from NYC and chicago. you can let me know if i've missed any.

my unshakable bias in favor of urban areas (loosely defined in my head as places with a certain level of population density, viable public transportation system, and a government with a at least some understanding of the need for public services and infrastructure) started when i moved from vancouver to atlanta and realized that sidewalks--sidewalks--were not a given. whether driven by race or some other misguided NIMBY-ism, atlantans generally eschewed investment in public property; certain counties refused to permit MARTA within their boundaries. i don't have any sophisticated thoughts on this. it's just mean to not give people who either cannot afford or do not want to drive a car an alternate mode of access.

with 2008 drawing to a close and possibly the best bush comedy skit behind us (this one? that one? too many to count), i really hope that this new administration, with their exposure to and faith in cities, will rebuild public infrastructure and give cities their due.

oh yes, for those who may think city folk are a bunch of snobs, people who live in single-family dwellings with fenced-in yards at the exclusion of all others shouldn't cast stones.

1 comment:

cold4thestreets said...

when i lived in north carolina, i used to drive around, from one retail center to the next, totally anonymous in my charming, sleepy town.

when i lived in brooklyn, i knew the ins and outs of the love life of the woman who ran the laundromat, i knew the names of all the bodega guys' kids in yemen, and had a usual order at the bagelry down the way.

new york is a big city, made up of small towns. small towns, on the other hand, sarah palin's "real america", are a complete fucking fiction.