Monday, November 21, 2005

where the streets have no name

There is a thing named the suburbs. Here, where once there were endless flat cornfields as far as they eye could see, there is now equally monotonous looking housing constructions. Like an infectious disease these subdivisions, as they are known, have crept exponentially from the edges of the city to the far reaches of the unknown. Where the ill-fated cornfields once lay and where the subdivisions now rest there remains an existence as barren as ever, save for the occasional neon-lit church or adjacent McDonalds. Dissected by roads criss-crossing one another for hundreds of miles one can find respite behind the wheel of bullet-proof SUV or Hummer (scaled down military HumVee, fits inside a subdivision). This is a place where one can expect at any time to find him or herself at One Million 137th Street, where the streets have no names and where the roads have no pavements. It is truly the land of the consumer on autopilot driving incessantly from one commercial district to another. One is left in no doubt why this is the first resort of the fat, pale and apathetic.

Sipping Starbucks at the local drive-thru-bank, philosophers of subdivisions dream up more and more ridiculously superfluous names for the insipid communities their drones will erect. They work on the simple principle that any two-word combination of Native American-, fierce animal-, nature-related name with one of the following: glen, park, hill(s), ford, spring, avenue, creek and so forth amounts to an inspiring and appropriate designation for the assemblage of the click-to-fit Ikea-like paper houses which characterises these subdivisions. See if you can guess the real subdivision from the false in the names listed below:

Broken Arrow
Peanut Creek
Lighthouse Pointe
Cougar Glen
Chantilly Place

One day a storm will come and blow it all away.

Salvation is easily found at one of the numerous denominations of religions found on every right angle or by simply placing a stars & stripes emblazoned "I am proud of me /the military/god/my child's grades" sticker on the back of your car. Freedom from reality comes at a price, however: a culture of convenience has infected even the most benign aspects of life, turning food to spam, public holidays to seasons of buying, life to misery. For a people with so much material wealth there is, for want of a better word, a spiritual void that endless purchasing will never satisfy.



Michael said...

Well, I don't know about which ones are real, but the only one I'd want to live at is Chantilly Place, I mean that is a beautiful name. I once new a girl called Chantilly, she had a friend who left her phone at Oli's and Angela's in Barcelona, I seem to remember, but I forget her name.

Also, if this isn't an imposition, I would like to use this blog as part of my campaign to get munkchop more widespread in the global vernacular. Although its been in spoken usage amongst a few friends for a good few years now, until a few weeks ago a google search yeilded no results - quite incredible. So why not join me in posting it in around as you surf?

OK, thanks to Oli and Angela for this blog, it's cool!!!

Brian Sniggle said...

I once heard mention of this "Munkchop" around the Spar shop in Milford, Surrey, UK, Europe. It confused me & led me to wonder what it meant for years to come. Who'd a thunk I'd find the answer here? lldmk