Thursday, 22 August 2013

Is city life superior to rural life?

An 'issue' that I have been thinking about recently is the relation of urban people (YUPPY, GUPPY, etc) with rural people (hicks, rednecks, etc).

 Pop culture would have one believe that city people are somehow more developed/better/smarter then rural people. For example, in Freakanomics, the economist author from U of T assumes smarter people move to bigger cities for better jobs, have smarter kids, etc. Furthermore we think of civilization as the rise of 'city life'-but in my experience the bigger the city the more violent, dirty and hostile they become. Does concrete really trump trees? Its like when some idiot looks at a patch of forest and calls it 'undeveloped land.'

Any thoughts from my big city or little town friends on this topic?

Monday, 19 August 2013

The myth of progress: the Russian Olympics

Vladimir Putin is kind of like a James Bond Super Villain. Climbing the ranks of the KGB and seizing total power in present day Russia - a power that will last into the foreseeable future. This guy does what he wants and is representative of the 'might makes right' mentality which has been so prevalent in history.  But instead of building a moon base or an underwater castles his new mission is to push back progress in human rights, in this case, gay rights in Russia.

Super Villain or plain asshole?

He is the leader of a supposedly 'developed nation' who participates in things like the modern Olympic Games.
But he has recently made headlines with a updated annihilation of 'gay rights' and people not only outraged but are wondering how this will effect the Olympic games and the support of Russia. This has come as a major shock to most of the developed world since human rights protection has grown so much in recent decades. However, what we find in Russia is an example of how there is no 'human progress' outside of laws and legislation really. That is why we need to fight so much for awareness and legislation in the directions of justice. That is why advocating for human rights and the protection of people (and animals) is such an important topic-because it needs constant attention and reinforcement. Just because we have IPhones 5's and the internet does not mean that human beings on a whole have become more compassionate or understanding then they were in the Dark Ages. Russia is a perfect example of this right now. That is what I call the myth of progress- just because we make some progress  does not guarantee that it will last and like staying in good physical shape- fighting for human rights is a repetitive task that takes courage and endurance in the face of gigantic obstacles.
I know that these types of pictures make it seem like we are somehow progressing? But what is progressing?