Tagged: gentrification

Ordinary world

Along with foraging, scavenging will become a way of life under the twin forces of Brexit and Trump.

Fighting gentrification is like fighting gravity.

From an aesthetic point of view, film has no necessary relationship to reality. The more unreal film is, the better.

Bob Dylan will not attend the Nobel Prize ceremony. Perhaps he has nothing to say.

Trigger warning

In a 1968 interview, Marcel Duchamp told Joan Bakewell that art no longer had the capacity to shock the public. Today shock is imposed on art (and all visual images), from the outside, by the professional outragetariat, thereby reducing sublime and beautiful aesthetic experiences to feelings and emotions and short-circuiting the aestheticization of life.

Dragons over King’s Landing. High Sparrow on fire. Sansa dead. Let the Game begin.

Fanfic: Carrie and Quinn foil a plot to kidnap Hodor.

Voir dire is one of the scariest things one can experience as an American citizen. One would never want to be judged by a jury made up of such peers.

One cheer for gentrification: coffeehouses and grog shops were the springboards of English greatness.

NY Republican Primary: People whose social status has been falling for decades live vicariously through the towering ego of Mr Trump. His campaign is basically following the format of reality TV. He should do well in places like Long Island, Staten Island, Buffalo, and Scores (his old haunt).

Saying something really deep

Lack of access to New Yorker cartoons leads to cultural impoverishment.

Like Syriza’s Tsipras, Labour’s Corbyn is making amateur mistakes.

Ben Carson is all for the Christian theocratic subjugation of America citizens. He panders to the subculture of homeschooled Americans, reared on Young Earth science and exhibiting an absence of social skills. Just another instance of a Republican who hates America.

The anti-gentrification protesters of the Cereal Killer Cafe mistook a charivari for real political action. This is a common occurrence nowadays: an exercise in performance art gone terribly wrong.

Now I know how Joan of Arc felt

Kim Davis is the Pope of religious bigotry.

Pope Francis looks a bit like Peter Gabriel.

Texas + football brings out the paleolithic in people.


Anti-gentrification protestors are as well meaning and as misguided as their colleagues in the Occupy movement. Attacking a cereal shop in the East End of London is as impotent a gesture as the refusal to formulate specific demands for political authorities.

Hipsters keep our culture fresh. Embrace them and then real progress might commence.


In light of the kerfuffle over the Cereal Killer Cafe:

People move around. Sometimes other people don’t like it. It’s not that complicated.

Complaints about gentrification and gentrifiers are not new. Trendy hipsteria is predictable and stale (like the air inside Farrell’s).

I have more problems with strollers than skateboarders.

Free popcorn is better than free wifi.

I think the rule of thumb in the Slope is that if you’re not pushing a Maclaren Techno XT or if you don’t have a pacifier in your mouth, you’re persona non grata.

The Pavilion and Farrell’s are bookend institutions in terms of quality of service and experience.

I leave Park Slope occasionally to see how regular folks live. I always regret it.

LA is great, especially the Valley. Everyone is beautiful and there are few strollers.

Veselka and  Joe (the art of coffee) should open an outpost in Park Slope.

Upscale Hooters: silicon and gluten free.


I have no doubt that gentrification is not a pleasant process for people who suffer from rising property taxes and obnoxious new neighbors. Usually, these negatives are only slightly mitigated by things like an increase of services (including police service) and amenities (including restaurants) that would not otherwise have flowed into the area.

Let’s say that one finds that the negatives outweigh the mitigating factors and gentrification should be fought against. One could b*tch and moan hipsterically about rude bicyclists and skinny neighbors who play The Sounds at high volume. Or one could face that fact that as long as our economic system allows residential areas to be spaces from which wealth is extracted, there will be gentrification and displacement. If one takes the second point of view, one might seek to join a local community organization to help local residents who face displacement and other forms of alienation to claim their “rights” to residential space. This latter course of action, while not the only one possible, is at least rational.

As for myself, I’ve moved around quite a lot and I am undisturbed by experiencing new things and new people. I suspect part of the heightened emotional cathexis towards gentrification/gentrifiers is an age old antipathy for “outsiders” and “newcomers.” When all else fails, it is easy to simply plant one’s flag and say “get off my turf.” Unfortunately, the myth of ownership over one’s infantile home is shattered by the reality principle. Are all gentrifiers obnoxious and pretentious? No. Are all “original residents” (whatever that might mean in Brooklyn) nice people? No. It seems to me that rather than point fingers at individuals, it would be more profitable (but apparently less psychically satisfying) to amend the institutional patterns that exacerbate the worst aspects of gentrification.


Confederacy of dunces

The post-Civil War south fought the results of that war, the demise of slavery, for another one hundred years via the instrument of segregationist “black codes.” The same region, bolstered by westward expansion and hellbent on preserving its nineteenth-century lifestyle, rushes to impose “gay codes” which could last for another century. (NB: it is still legal to discriminated against LGBT in Arizona, the veto of SB1062 notwithstanding). The irony is that today’s religious authoritarians are wearing the white hoods of religious liberty in their struggle against other peoples’ pleasure.

America’s constitutional design creates the possibility for state governments to act more tyrannically (and demagogically) than any real or imagined federal “monarchy.”

Banditry used to be an honourable profession.

Re Spike Lee’s profane rant against gentrification in the Fort Greene neighborhood he helped to gentrify: before there was gentrification, there was serfdom. Mobility means change and displacement. Everything that is solid melts into air and all that jazz (apologies to Mr Marx).