Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Bomb the Suburbs thoughts

I read this back in high school, but it means more to me know then it did back then. In high school I didnt quite understand what Uspki was really getting at, I didnt get the whole culture clashes and his way of expressing his concern.

But now that I have more life behind me it make more sense and I tend to agree with him on more things than before.

He honestly writes about his experience with racism and what he has viewed. He pulles out the idea that whites have a interest in how blacks live, "They [white kids] want to experience blackness, dramatic and direct, but not too direct, thank you very much" It is interesting that we as a culture still seemed as confused and concerned with racism as we did 40 years ago. It seem like we dont know who we are or who we want to be. But who should we be, what should we experience? Is it wrong for a white person to like hip hop (Which Upski says it is both good and bad, bringing various social groups together and spreading them apart) and want to experience the culture that goes along with it?

His overall thoughs in the book to me are that we as social groups need to interact with eachother, and this wont happen in the suburban home on 1.4 acres of land, we need to move back into the city where we actually see other people and experience other through city life.

6 Comments:

At April 5, 2005 at 9:19 PM, Blogger Katie said...

The thing I liked most about this piece of literature was that he made someone like me--a white girl born and raised in small town in very much white America--begin to see how the stereotypes we impose on blacks through advertising affect how African Americans view white life. I had never looked at the situation the way Uspki paints it--that we are stealing from the black culture.

However, whatever guilt I may feel for the shameless caricature we (I) depict of black life, Uspki makes illegitimate, as this feeling is but another part white ideology--a concept of pity.

But the most striking analogy used in this piece was the idea that we are "bikers with the wind to our backs." How could we possibly understand how life is for blacks in America? How dare we emulate them, robbing them of culture?

Katie

 
At April 5, 2005 at 10:34 PM, Blogger jon said...

1. There has always been nicer parts of neighborhoods and cities throughout history. Is there really huge difference now compared to the past 200 years? If so, what?

2. What do people consider the American Dream to be? Does Upski paint a too simple picture?

3. Does suburb mean lack of creativity and conformity to society? Upski states himself that "your children will cuss you out with language they from us." Wouldn't one assume many suburbanites will rebel against the way of living and search outside of it for depth and knowledge? Is he right to assume the current system will only become more superficial and segregated?

 
At April 5, 2005 at 10:34 PM, Blogger jon said...

1. There has always been nicer parts of neighborhoods and cities throughout history. Is there really huge difference now compared to the past 200 years? If so, what?

2. What do people consider the American Dream to be? Does Upski paint a too simple picture?

3. Does suburb mean lack of creativity and conformity to society? Upski states himself that "your children will cuss you out with language they from us." Wouldn't one assume many suburbanites will rebel against the way of living and search outside of it for depth and knowledge? Is he right to assume the current system will only become more superficial and segregated?

 
At April 8, 2005 at 12:19 AM, Blogger Monica Much said...

I agree that different groups need to interact and experience things outside of their own everyday life. The first key to doing so is to open your mind. Cultural differences are not to be judged or scorned or directly immitated as wiggers supposedly do. I think that most people who adopt aspects of other cultures have simply found something they appreciate in it. To me this is wonderful! There is so much hate in this world. We cannot simply "tolerate" others, this is only recognizing differences and "allowing" them without opposition. Tolerate also means to put up with or endure. Is that how humans should live? Even acceptance is bunk- it's just someone judging what is "acceptable."
Why can't we learn to appreciate and even celebrate our differences?

 
At April 8, 2005 at 12:24 PM, Blogger alex said...

To respond to Jon...

I think that we do learn most of our "cuss" language from African Americans, mostly from TV and music. Unlike Upski, I don't see a problem with that. If African Americans, as a society, didn't want us to learn from, appreciate, and mimic them, they wouln't be selling us their music or showing us their culture on TV. So I think it's okay that we learn from them, since it seems to me like that is what they want.
As for suburbanites rebelling and searching outside of it for knowledge, it seems unlikely to me. I think people generally feel that they could gain any knowledge they want without leaving their homes these days. With TV and the internet, you could learn about inner city life without stepping anywhere near the projects. Besides, people move to the suburbs because they like it there. It wouldn't make sense for them to then leave. In short, I agee that the current system will only become more superficial and segregated.

 
At April 17, 2005 at 9:08 PM, Blogger Melissa said...

I can't say that I completly agree with this article, I feel that the white people aren't robbing the blacks of their culture. They have a very Americanized culture like we do. I also don't believe that the subarbs are contributing to the poverity of the city; it we had the subarbs or not the city will still have poverty. By leaving the city we are not running away from it; we have no obligation to it like the author says its our choice to leave. If we feel the subarbs is more suited for our choice of living so be it. There will always be poverty to blame it on the subarbs is ignorant.

 

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