About the Author:

With a career that has spanned advertising, production, technical services, and project management, Michael is able to articulate the wide range skills and professions that make the Internet work. This eclectic understanding and his desire to shine the light on those hiding behind techno babble has brought success to a wide range of projects.

Twitter @bissell

Linked In


Past Postings:

New York, New York

Made it to SXSW in Austin

Good Morning America, now Go Fight Traffic

More surreality in Portland

Irish Music in Oregon City

Landing on an Aircraft Carrier

Got Curry? And some bizarre art?

Random Music and Random Life in Portland

To the dump, to the dump, to the dump dump dump

Flight Simulator

Cold night, hot fire, happy cat

Walking to work in the snow

A window into Moreland of the Past

Big and Little Beirut

Reflections on my DC Trip

Born Again American

The wall of pissing

National Treasure/National Archives

My trip to DC so far

Everyone is insane

Getting ready for DC

The Very Model of a Modern Major General

Race to Witch Mountain

Christmas Fire

CAT Scan!

Follow up to the shoulder injury

Ironic Injury

On the Santa Monica Pier

Oil prices and birdsong

Watching Starship Troopers AGAIN!

You can't build life

Accidentally Drunk in Portland

Al Gore the Winner

Intelligent life is out there (but itís bugger all down here on earth)

Aussie Rules Football

Trip to Nostalgia Land

I am such an idiot

Long day of travel

Miami -- as far from Portland as you can go in the US

I'm fascinated with modern plumbing

Leaving Seattle (or why you should keep your ticket close)

On the Rails



RSS for this blog
You can't build life
2007-11-24 12:00:00

I was watching a program on video games, of all things, where they said that Japanese kids go out in a way that kids never go out in the US because their homes are so small that they HAVE to go out.

We've had so much space in the US for so long that it's hard not to think bigger. Look at the homes in suburbia now. 5,000 square feet for a family of four is getting to be normal. We don't need public squares or centers anymore, because our houses are all the space we need.

Community was built, or is built in other places, by chance encounters. You're forced into being with people -- college dorms, the ration queue during the Blitz, and summer camp are all places people have been forced together and talk about simultaneously as painful and the most wonderful places they have been.

We don't NEED the companionship the way we did in the rough places that shoved us together. And while I'm not a fan of bashing entertainment, television and interactive entertainment give us a substitute for human contact.

Our public spaces today are bars, which are fleeting places. Coffee houses don't count, because we've learned how to insulate ourselves and sit quietly. Churches might count, except for the fact they are constructed to mold a mindset, control belief and homogenize the congregation.

This is where we get to the basis of my philosophy on life. Life is not staged; it isn't a safe, insular place. Life is what happens along the way. We learn from experiences, and if all our spaces and experiences are constructed and scripted, we never learn.

I truly believe the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. But that's because the parts behave in ways we don't expect. We gain new insights into ourselves and our world by being surprised, not by getting exactly what we want.

What ails American culture, and has for so long, is that desire to be safe, to live in a world of our own creation. And with the wealth and power so many of us enjoy, it's not only possible to live in a fantasy world but it's happening. We're safe, we're comfortable, and we're stagnating.


Comment on this blog
Your name:


Your email (will not be displayed):


Subject


Message



Enter the text above to help us filter spam: