Society in the Elements

The sun in summer, rain in spring, winter snows and biting autumn winds. On foot the elements become well understood companions, your clothing quickly deteriorates with their ever present attention. Shoes wear thin, the cuffs of your pants fray, and your sport coat becomes softer with each passing day.Walking Home

All this goes unappreciated when you aren’t on intimate terms with the natural order. As quick as a cigarette pack rots on the curb, the soles of your shoes get holes that let the air and water in.

Technology, as artifice, requires an artificial environment to survive. As society embraces technique in all it’s forms, the understanding of what life outside of a controlled environment entails passes away into grandparent’s bemoaned reflections.

How do you attend a meeting after walking 2 miles to get to the office? Your hair unkempt, sweat pooling at the small of your back, it’s an odd condition to walk into a board room filled with people who’ve had their heads crammed with crafted portraits of executive demeanor.

What if it’s raining? or the snow is piled 2 feet high?

In Europe gas is already nearly $12 a gallon, but cities designed before the automobile are fit for walking and their public transportation is up to the task of managing the requirements of the daily commute. The suburbs of the United States were designed to accommodate cars, not pedestrians.

Started in the 1950′s when every middle class family assumed to have a car, the suburbs are not kind or attuned to the needs of those on foot. Have you ever tried to stroll down the highway?

How will we face our fast approaching future, with high speed trains? car pooling? or on foot along crumbling roads and untended side ways. Have you started practicing your stroll yet?

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2 responses to “Society in the Elements

  1. peripatetics are not well liked in the automobile age. something untrustworthy about them – like they’re not playing the game properly or something.

    • The other day as I was walking home a guy in a nice car leaned out the window and howled “Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrawwwwwwwwwwwwgggggggggghhhhh” or something along those lines. It was fantastic. Normally it’s teens who get up the energy to hoot out the window, but this guy was 35 or so.

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