Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Eden


Let me tell you about Eden:
Historically a one-horse town where passing travellers were cajoled into buying souvenirs; now a strategic mover and shaker in the country’s twenty-first century commodity; bullshit – or more commonly, information and the money it generates.
This town became one big suburb at about the time I became a teenager - all rugby posts and teevee antennas, bored kids hanging around at night smoking and drinking. Ahead of me stretched years of high school, ducking the rugby players and gangboys. Man, it was awful, aweful and empty. At the time I may not have been able to see the wood for the trees, but I could sure hear the chainsaws revving in the distance.
Sure enough, the eighties brought the boom, and money turned Eden into a city. And boy did she revel in her new wealth – everything that a modern city should have, she got. Museums, monolithic government buildings, glass office blocks for insurance brokers and city bankers, phallic war memorials, new motorways for flash new cars to jam on, nightclubs for the young and up-and-coming owners of those flash cars to spend the money they earned on the markets and show off their possessions while powdering their noses in mirrored unisex toilets lit by the dust of success.
Eden got the works – civic pride and neighbourhood watch; traffic lights and parking meters; the retail hierarchy that comes with prime real estate; bank charges and spitting cash machines - the green blood of the system flowed in a sacrifice to no tomorrow. A city built by the various money-based industries; insurance; marketing; lawyers and accountants; with their various links to government and the sale of arms and aid to third-world dictatorships.
Every city has a character all of its own; all have their dark secrets – their little quirks; foundations built on corruption or wet mud; megalomania or socialist good intentions. Older cities ramble absent-mindedly through twisted streets on hillsides or riverbanks lined with ancient trees whose bark has been wiped on the arse of industry, their buildings thrown together – granite and glass – by mad dash through the ages of progress. The younger ones have been laid down in a grid of uniform blocks like an idiot savant’s solution to the complexity of existence. Their buildings aging by the day, designed by committee and built by the lowest bidder; crumbling before their tenants even get to move in.
To the east, where some claim the real Eden lies, the city tapers out through warehouses and more and more disused railway sidings, to strip joints, massage parlours, factories for dubious pharmaceuticals, film studios that cater for the type of consumer too far gone for pornography, and casinos, seedy by definition, where money preys on the greed taught in suburban schools.
And to the west – by some weird Capitalist bylaw it’s always to the west - to the west those very suburbs, the malls and bowling alleys and grids of manicured lawns; the air tense with teenage psychosis, the dishwashers whirring to the nicotine inhalations of housewives in mid-life crises. When it comes to the suburbs, I know what I’m talking about; it’s where I’m from.
Eden, city of opportunity, the future starts here.

Excerpt from 'Markov Chain'

5 comments:

elasticwaistbandlady said...

This excerpt cetainly appeals to the dark, cynical side of me. I bemoan the encroaching civilization on our own homestead while secretly reveling in delight that we reside in close proximity to the grocery store and other amenities. Conflicted suburbanite, I am.

Though separated by thousands of miles your tale seems vaguely similar Pisces. Perhaps this modern day, anti-environment stance has become universal.

Pisces Iscariot said...

Anti environment?
Do you mean environ(mental)?

elasticwaistbandlady said...

I almost had it. What's one 'AL', more or less?

littlebitofsonshine said...

yeap thats it americanisum is more and more and forget everyone else all out for self sad to have been raised in this age can some on build me a time machine and send me to 1 day before i die to say i told you so or see if a healthy world happens

elasticwaistbandlady said...

I didn't want to reveal my secret operative status with the NO AL MOVEMENT or N.O.A.M (like Chomsky). We are working diligently to eradicate all the detrimental AL's from this World like Al Jazeera, Al Quaeda, Al Franken and most of all the much maligned Big Al from Happy Days.