Temple of Self-defeat

There are stories where gentrification is the evil, then there are stories of areas that can’t be gentrified or improved, where “the evil is deeply buried.” Areas that are totally accursed, built on gravemounds. In which the developers aren’t the bad guys but run out of town by “the evil that lies beneath.” (An evil which may be zoning laws or may be of a historical and racial character or may be simply geographical or what was once an idea of Good that won’t, however, change, and so has not remained Good. Maybe it is the Will of The People and not evil at all, but their simple inclination. Or it really is something like Satan, or grave mounds, or Satan in grave mounds.) Or the developers are kept in town to do something nobody wants or likes but which yet no one is entirely responsible or blameable for. Even when the doomed area is “gentrified” no one really wants to be there. All of it unfolds very slowly. Then it may turn out that that Evil that prevents change is of the same stamp as that Evil which creates it, and so public policy isn’t the answer but “looking inward” is. Build a big temple in the center of the busiest street devoted to — what is wrong with us? Devoted to why we are not smart and do not do those things that will be to our advantage. The Temple of Self-defeat or what have you. Let us build a big temple in the least pragmatic place so as to compel ourselves to “look inward” (and once we’ve robbed from the temple the invaluable golden Idol of the idea that makes us defeat ourselves, we’ll remove the temple to a more sensible spot. Make housing of the old temple, or mixed-use. But it will be highly maneuverable, this building, a mobile temple, so that in times of derangement, we can roll it back.)

%d bloggers like this: