So this article above got me kind of riled up this morning because it saddened me to see the erosion of an amazing part of San Francisco culture, in particular the Mission. The mix of artists, delicious mexican food and middle class community offers its particular charm, and the “start-up douchebags” are going to change it. Is all the impending change bad? No, but it got me to thinking about a larger phenomenon about change both in this country and also cultural change as a whole. Sometimes in this country, maybe being so new, we don’t understand the importance and value of preserving beautiful cultural phenomenons that arise in particular areas. A city is kind of like a rainforest, and the people are its trees. GIven enough time beautiful things grow and develop beneath that canopy of fog, and the Mission is one of those beautiful exotic flower beds that was given time to grow. Anyway, here are a few notes during a discussion with a friend that I thought were poignant.
cultures fade when young people have no interest in traditions, particularly young people with money who can choose to support whatever they want and don’t need to rely on their parents for money, particularly in the Bay where the culture is about innovation constantly changing and reinventing. Nostalgia kind of gets lost in the shuffle
ooh! fabulous point!!! I never thought about culture that way!!!! Innovation helps making tasks easier, simplifying our life but that can also be a culture killer in other ways… I don’t think they have to be mutually exclusive but yet, maybe they really do clash!
i don’t think they have to be mutually exclusive, but i feel like so much of the focus here is on the future, how do we make this process faster, this product better, etc. that it leaves very little time for anyone to think about the past or saving the past. I could see there being a backlash at some point
this is one of the reasons Europe is so appealing to visit as an American, and why we can learn from their preservation techniques. They appreciate the preservation of culture, embracing nostalgia and every cobblestone road is a reminder of it all. The US is still “new” relatively speaking, and we have always been about progress and the future, but I think we are generalizing way too much. Technology, civil rights, racial equality, these things should not be slowed down. They are going to move forward with or without government consent, or the bigoted conservative moment that hangs on to a time long gone, but there are things that are worth preserving; architecture, ethnic diversity in a city (per the article) holidays, and cultural traditions, those things deserve preservation. It is desperately important we keep reading and experiencing classical art, music and literature; these things are forged from the pain and suffering of the past as a way to cope, and they last for those reasons. Experiencing these things will prevent us from repeating past mistakes and avoid suffering like our ancestors. Maybe that is a dramatic reason to preserve culture; a simple reason would be that art and culture is beautiful and worth experiencing over and over, repetition is the stage before innovation, which builds upon the tapestry of life. New art, music and literature is and should be on the shoulders of the greats of the past and in that way, so does technology, upon the research of the past, it’s just developing at a much faster rate. I think my brain is about to explode