mamamusings: October 27, 2004

elizabeth lane lawley's thoughts on technology, academia, family, and tangential topics

Wednesday, 27 October 2004

a suburbanite responds

<vent>Having just returned from a several-day stay in smog-shrouded, traffic-clogged LA, I have to admit to a bit of irritation reading about Molly’s upcoming presentation at Design Engaged: “All Hail the Vast, Conforming Suburb of the Soul.”

I happen to be one of the “commuting parents in minivans” she’s referring to, and I find her somewhat condescending tone quite troubling. It’s not just Molly—I see the same thinly-veiled contempt in the comments of many urbanites. (I was equally put off by danah’s post on the “wal-mart nation” some time ago.)

I live in a suburb, own a minivan, and don’t fit many of the stereotypes that city-dwellers want to ascribe to me. I love cities, but I have two small kids and a single income. In the suburbs of a small city, I get the following advantges:

It’s also the case that interesting culture isn’t limited to major urban areas. Rochester has a wealth of good music and art—from an excellent philharmonic orchestra to the Eastman House.

Reading posts like these from women I generally respect and enjoy makes it easier for me to understand why those awful “Back to Vermont” ads from the Republican Coalition for Change were so appealing to people in the “red states.” It played right into the backlash that urban contempt for suburbia creates.

I’ll tell you what…you stop labeling me and my lifestyle as boring and homogenous, and I’ll refrain from labeling you as effete and out-of-touch, mmkay?</vent>

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more like this: Rochester | curmudgeonly

andrew sullivan: why i'm voting for kerry

If you’re a conservative planning to vote for Bush (and I know there are some of you out there), I’m asking you—as a personal favor to me, in exchange for any value or pleasure you may have received from this blog—to read this column by Andrew Sullivan.

Sullivan is far from a liberal standard-bearer, or member of the “vast left-wing liberal media conspiracy.” He’s an honest-to-goodness conservative, one who supported Bush in 2000 and then supported the decision to go to war in Iraq. But he’s decided that Bush is the wrong choice this year, and he’s got specifics to back up his decision.

Here’s an excerpt. Read the whole thing. Please.

I should reiterate: I do not hate this president. I admire him in many ways—his tenacity, his vision of democracy, his humor, his faith. I have supported him more than strongly in the last four years—and, perhaps, when the dangers seemed so grave, I went overboard and willfully overlooked his faults because he was the president and the country was in danger. I was also guilty of minimizing the dangers of invading Iraq and placed too much faith, perhaps, in the powers of the American military machine and competence of the Bush administration. Writers bear some responsibility too for making mistakes; and I take mine. But they bear a greater responsibility if they do not acknowledge them and learn. And it is simply foolish to ignore what we have found out this past year about Bush’s obvious limits, his glaring failures, his fundamental weakness as a leader. I fear he is out of his depth and exhausted. I simply do not have confidence in him to navigate the waters ahead skillfully enough to avoid or survive the darkening clouds on the horizon.

(via KF)

Posted at 5:54 PM | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack (2)
more like this: politics
Liz sipping melange at Cafe Central in Vienna