Thursday, March 29, 2012

Intermission- PINK HOLES IN A BURSTING UNIVERSE: Progressive Pretensions, Modern Delusions



by Dick & Poli Tico

We are on vacation. But more "thought-provoking" narrative next time. In Chapter 11, we got to know an "unexpected" side of San Francisco from the viewpoint of one of the city's variegated minority groups, Asians who composed a third of the city population. We left the impression there that despite the "spooky" something which retarded the growth of what could have been the biggest metropolis in the West Coast, the region could still be wealthy. In the next chapters, we'll see the reality behind the facade: that area and the rest of California compose the financial sinkhole of the US. It is a microcosm of the developed world circa 2012: wealthy facade, but behind are the cobwebs- in this case, debts and social decay. San Francisco is a sobering reminder that "progressive" pretensions and "modern" delusions are not "cool" in the long run.Ultimately, they are self-defeatist and dangerous. It is the prime embodiment of how intellectual dishonesty disguised as progressive sophistication could corrode the fundamentals of a city insidiously, the first proof that a first-class city could be distorted by pretensions & delusions. A city could sabotage itself by too much pretension. Apply that distortion into a civilization, and what are we having as a result? More on that next in the novel.

As preview of more "surprises" ahead, look at the column below. You saw the figures for San Francisco in Chapter 11, there will be more to come about that city. But how about the Los Angeles area? Let's start with LA even now. The column below is the pattern of the population growth of the city of West Hollywood while the cities of Los Angeles & Beverly Hills sorrounding it were bursting with people despite the high rents and land prices. You'll be surprised to know that some of the fastest growth of any American metropolis (LA metropolitan population : 18 million) happened around but outside the boundaries of contracting West Hollywood. So why is the population growth trend of West Hollywood opposite to that of its booming neighbors? Why a black hole in a bursting universe? Here's the punch line: West Hollywood has one of the toughest rent control law anywhere, designed to protect its citizens from the galloping high rents of Los Angeles thru local legislative control since 1984. It turned out people obviously cared less for lower rents than for the kind of neighbors they had. Just like with central San Francisco, people are fleeing away- is there something also spooky down there? Tell me. Here's the beef: 41% of its population are gay, the highest concentration in any city in the US.

POPULATION GROWTH IN THE CITY OF WEST HOLLYWOOD

1980 - 35,703

1990 - 36,118 - ( 1.2%)

2000 - 35,716 - (-1.1%)

2010- 34,399 - (-3.7%)

*West Hollywood is a part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area of 18,000,000 people, completely sorrounded by the western edge of the city of LA & the northern part of the city of Beverly Hills, both latter cities with positive population growth.



We see the same pattern of "rebuffing" people in their places of concentrations, be it in central San Francisco or in the edge of LA. At least, because it consigned them to the edge, LA is not about to grab the title of "the first city stunted by pretentiousness" from San Francisco.

Also coming next is the one most dreaded by gay activists to appear in this novel: sexual conversion in action, in its naked psychodynamic detail. However, not as part of their propaganda of a Right Wing plot but from personal experiences of actual converts- mostly liberal actually, only they were naturally homophobic & in no mood to patronize a sputtering bandwagon of "progressive"/"modern" pretentiousness. So I suggest, forget politics for a while & read, it may help you personally. Despite all the corny propaganda, being gay is the lowest fate one could be had by a self-respecting man so grab a chance to flee while you can. Many wrote to ask me for guidance. I didn't have time to answer everyone but I included scenes tackling the most relevant questions as my belated response. As for the girl readers, enjoy the love story.

As they say, you ain't seen nothing yet!

NB
Tim from Sheffield, UK wrote he was intrigued by the discussion on religion in the early part of the novel. He asked if we won't touch on religion again. Here's something, just to lessen the suspense: the last half of the novel, right as it hurtles toward the climax, will be a very "religious" landscape for our dysfunctional characters' foibles. You'll see what I mean. A new way of looking at things beyond the old pretensions of modernity.
Btw, these INTERMISSIONS are part of the novel, compiled in an APPENDIX.

MUSIC
The Germans call the genre Mittelalter Rock. Or Medieval Rock. From the album "Stereneisen".

In Extremo - Siehst du das Licht