Starting This Sunday…
…I’m going to start writing a series–that will run weekly on Sundays–
…based on these quotes I read in Bicycle Diaries by David Byrne (yes, THAT David Byrne, the guy in the big suit in those Talking Heads videos…because he’s a genius and lead singer of one of the most underrated bands of all-time, The Talking Heads).
See, what Mr. Byrne started doing while he was in the various cities his art (both musical and otherwise) took him was to bike around. He even got one of those fancy schmancy fold-up bikes popular in Europe that you can take on trains. See, he felt that you could “connect” with a city more that way than if you were in cars or the places their public transportation took you. So, he bicycled around and simply journaled his observations. Here’s a couple:
“Cities, it occurred to me, are physical manifestations of our deepest beliefs and our often unconscious thoughts, not so much as individuals, but as the social animals we are. A cognitive scientist need only look at what we have made–the hives we have created–to know what we think and what we believe to be important, as well as how we structure those values and beliefs. It’s all there, in plain view, right out in the open; you don’t need CAT scans adn cultural anthropologists to show you what’s going on inside the human mind; its inner workings are manifested in three dimensions, all around us. Our values and hopes are sometimes awfully embarrassingly easy to read.”
And this one (he started in his suburban Virginia hometown):
“My generation makes fun of the suburbs and the shopping malls, the TV commercials and the sitcoms that we grew up with–but they’re part of us, too. So our ironic view is leavened with something like love. Though we couldn’t wait to get out of those places they are something like comfort food for us. Having come from those completely uncool places we are not and can never be those urban sophisticates we read about and neither are we rural specimens–stoic, self-sufficient, and relaxed–at ease and comfortable in the wild. These suburbs, where so many of us spent our formative years, still push emotional buttons for us; they’re both attractive and deeply disturbing.”
So, I’m going to wander around my little suburb here in Flower Mound on Saturday mornings. I don’t have a bike, so I may drive and park and then walk, which is more my speed anyway. I’m going to make observations based on the premise that our structures indicate what we value and believe…and some of them will be both attractive and deeply disturbing.
Now, keep in mind that I’m not restricting myself to the city limits of Flower Mound. My venture will certainly take me into some neighboring towns, a.k.a. the FlowerPlex.
With this in mind…anything you want me to stroll by, patrons?