Paul Nervy Notes
“Jokes, poems, stories, and a lot of philosophy, psychology, and sociology.”

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Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  .This section contains notes about specific environments one encounters.  ---  12/30/2003

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  .This section is about specific environments.  Topics include: ( ) City.  ( ) East vs. West USA.  ( ) NYC  ( ) Suburbs.  ---  1/24/2006

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  City and country.  (1) The country is big, green and blue.  (2) The city is small and gray.  ---  02/05/1998

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  City and country.  Ever since the Beverly Hillbillies and Urban Cowboy.  Ever since communication and transportation technologies leveled the landscape.  Country-people living in the city and city-people living in the country.  There is no longer a big difference between city-folk and country-folk.  The dichotomy has been lost.  So what.  Instead of "either/or" people today are "both".  An individual may have a city-side and a country-side.  People contain multitudes.  Multiple selves.  Diversity of personality.  Not homogenous, but rather well rounded.  ---  7/28/2000

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  City and suburbs.  (1) NYC and the suburbs.  They are not worth hating.  They are not worth loving.  You might as well live anywhere, because  (A) Every place is the same (homogenized), and  (B) The action is where my head is anyway.  Home is where the head is.  (2) The opposite view says this:  If you live in manhattan, specifically the east village, you have put yourself in an environment that can't help but make you cool, and that will spur your artistic creativity.  ---  12/30/1996

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  City vs. country.  Country: quiet, inactivity, simple, wild.  City: loud, activity, cluttered, civilized.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  City vs. suburbia.  (1) What is great about NYC is not the material stuff (tall buildings, stores) or the culture (theaters, museums).  What is great about NYC is the people.  Many people.  Diverse people.  A liberal, tolerant people.  People constantly in contact on the sidewalk, bus, and subway.  At close quarters.  Not shut away in their homes or cars.  Social interaction.  You can talk to them.  (2) Suburbia is boring because everyone is the same (homogenized, white, middle class america), and everyone is shut away in houses and cars, in isolation.  ---  02/15/1997

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  City vs. suburbs.  City: competition.  Suburbs: complacency.  Rural: cooperation.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  City: roaches, no trees, noise, crowds, no space, pavement everywhere.  ---  05/30/1993

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  City.  (1) Pros.  The city is convenient, everything is close, you don't need a car.  Pretty young single sophisticated girls are everywhere.  (2) Contra.  The city is also more dangerous.  Roaches abound.  ---  05/30/1996

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  City.  (1) Small town sociology.  You are under the microscope.  Everyone knows everyone else's business, and puts in their two cents worth, and interferes.  Pecking orders are constantly and ruthlessly pecked out.  (2) Big city sociology.  Anonymity and freedom.  People are not really unfriendly.  ---  12/26/1997

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  City.  (1) Stores go out of business and new stores open up seemingly overnight.  The city is new each time you see it.  The city develops.  The city morphs.  Dynamic, not static.  Why is this important?  Because the city, more than any other built environment, reflects ourselves and what we can become.  The city reflects the concept of reality as change.  (2) The pace of the city is increasing.  At first the city moved at the speed of nature, then the city moved at the speed of civilization, then the city moved at the speed of the human body, then the city moved at the speed of the human mind.  ---  11/25/1999

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  City.  Does the city create or just attract liberals?  Does it create or just attract tough people?  Does it create or just attract neurotics?  Does the city create or just attract homosexuals?  Or is it just that there are more intelligent people in the city, who are more prone to neurosis and homosexuality?  Or are the rates of incidence the same as suburbs and rural areas, it is just that there are more people in general in the city?  Or is it just that people see and interact more in the city, so homosexuality and neurosis are more obvious in the city than in the quiet, hidden suburbs?  ---  12/30/1996

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  City.  Does the city really change?  Or is it all surface?  A front?  A sham?  ---  11/30/1999

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  City.  Four metaphors for the city.  (1) The city as nature.  Big, changing.  (2) The city as machine.  Rational, mechanized.  (3) The city as organism.  (4) City as person or being.  ---  11/30/1999

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  City.  In the city, smiling is frowned on (pun intended) because (1) It is seen as showing off, bragging.  I.e., "I am happy and you are not.  In your face!"  (2) This bragging is also taken as mocking of the other person.  Not just "I am happy and you are not." but also "I think this fact is funny too".  ---  12/30/1996

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  City.  People in the city are like a massage.  Walking the street, they are like tiny bubbles.  ---  9/30/1996

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  City.  People in the city.  (1) Weekend visitor (within 500 miles, 2 days).  (2) Vacation visitor (over 500 miles, 2 weeks).  (3) Commuters (blue collar and white collar).  (4) College students and academics.  (5) Year in NY Eurotrash.  (6) First job in NY (out of state ivy league graduate).  (7) The shark businessman.  (8) Professionals (doctors and lawyers).  (9)(A) Struggling artist (painter, poet, writer, musician), (B) Successful artist, (C) Washout artist.  (10) Ultra rich.  (11) Ultra poor.  (12) Criminals, insane, homeless.  (13) Normal folks?  ---  12/30/1996

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  City.  The city has more people.  More opportunities to do good.  More opportunities to do bad by ignoring the opportunities to do good.  ---  05/10/1997

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  City.  The city is more human than it is steel, glass and rock.  ---  11/30/1999

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  City.  The city physically draws people together (which is good).  Does the city really alienate and cause hopelessness (crime, drugs, poverty)?  Is the city just the town writ large, with more good and more bad, or is the city really different from the town?  ---  9/30/1996

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  Country.  (1) Pro:  Clean water.  Fresh air.  Peace and quiet.  Far produce.  Healthy.  Calm.  Bucolic.  Pastoral.  Rustic.  Rural.  (2) Contra:  Isolated.  Provincial.  Cut off.  Disconnected.  Out of it.  Ignorant.  Backwards.  ---  4/20/2006

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  East and West USA.  (1) East coast in summer after a thunderstorm, lush pthalo green.  (2) West coast beaches, minimalist tan, dark blue, and light blue.  (3) Boulder, forest green, brown, and dark blue.  ---  02/07/1994

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  East and West USA.  (1) The East is about the city and the town.  (1) Comfort rather than the discomforts of cold, wet, bugs, etc.  (2) Ease, not labor.  (3) The East tolerates a certain degree of stupidity and recklessness.  Surrounded by people and products, you can afford to make mistakes.  The wilds, the West, requires care and smarts.  (4) The East is about people, society, and social skills.  Finding and keeping friends.  Dealing with various assholes, violent and sly.  Power relationships.  Sexual relationships.  Communication skills.  Cooperation and competition.  Developing a fine sense of social justice.  (5) The East is about civilization with its knowledge, skills, tools and products.  ---  6/9/2000

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  East and West USA.  (1) The East:  Rich, leisure and excess.  Slick and sophisticated.  (2) The West:  Poor.  Hard-working.  Honest and open.  ---  6/5/2000

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  East and West USA.  (1) The west: space, size, view, nature, loneliness.  Low humidity, clear and comfortable.  (2) The east: people.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  East and West USA.  The east: neurotic intellectuals.  The west: healthy physicality.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  East and West USA.  The East: prissy, decorative, repressed, cowardly.  The West: honest, open, utilitarian, unrepressed, brave.  ---  08/17/1997

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  East and West USA.  The West (any west, any wild place) is about the following: (1) Land.  (2) Space.  (3) Distance.  (4) Wild Nature.  (5) Lack of people.  (6) Lack of buildings.  (7) Boredom.  (8) Loneliness.  (9) Close to man's existential position of being alone.  (10) Shell of civilization missing.  Raw and exposed.     PART TWO.  (1) Land:  You see so much land in the west.  Then you realize that all the land you see has been accounted for.  Either the land is privately owned or else the government owns it.  There is no unowned land.  Unowned land being perhaps the definition of wilderness.     (2) Space:  (A) Volumes of space.  The space says volumes.  Above the land is space.  The space yields views.  The west is about 360 degree views.  The west is about seeing for miles and miles (and for this reason Pete Townsend of the Who might enjoy the west).  (B) Question: does one actually see space or does one perceive space by seeing an object at the other side of a space?  What happens when one tries to focus on a point in space between here and there?     (3) Distance:  (A) Distance is about lines.  In the geometry of the west, space is about volumes, views are about planes, distance is about lines, and the individual is the point.  (B) Great distances let one ponder the curve of the earth.  One cannot see the curve of the earth.  If one could actually see the curve of the earth then the idea of a flat earth would never have taken hold years ago.  (C) Distance is about time.  Hours, days, months describe the distance between people.  If time is not an issue then distance loses its power.  For example, modern transportation and communication technologies such as the phone and airplane make distance less of an obstacle.  The problem in the old days was not that people far distances apart; the problem was that they were a long time apart.  (D) In the west, the great physical distances can make people feel closer.  A neighbor who lives a mile away can be a close neighbor.  In the city, the close physical distances require more emotional distance.  ---  6/5/2000

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  East and West USA.  The West: new, physical, solitary.  The East: old (history), cerebral/intellectual/mental, social.  ---  03/01/1997

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  East and West USA.  The West: There is nothing out there but the inhuman distances of beautiful yet pitiless nature, the void.  ---  10/30/1997

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  East and West USA.  The West.  (1) The West is about Nature (flora and fauna).  Wilderness refers to just one potential characteristic of Nature.  For example, a botanical garden and a city zoo are nature but they are not wilderness.  (2) Wild can also refer to the quality of one's experiences in an environment.  Epics searing into one's brain, branded into one's brain.  Experiences that leave a person burnt or fried.  To physically and psychologically "bonk", or expend all one's resources.  Experiences that temper your steel.  Coming to terms with the cold cruel world.  Coming to terms with yourself.  Its true that knowledgeable, skillful, well-prepared individuals can have pleasant experiences in the wilds.  However, sometimes things go wrong and epics ensue.  ---  6/9/2000

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  East and West USA.  The West.  (1) The west is direct.  Remove the buffers and release the hounds.  Unaided.  Unimpeded.  Like a raw nerve.  No skin.  Walking in the storm.  Walking into the waves.  (2) The west is minimalist.  Almost an abstract geometry.  Austere in good times, grim in bad times.  Simple.  Almost poor.  No excess.  (3) The west is thus very Zen.  Almost like an animal.  ---  6/5/2000

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  East and West USA.  The West.  Being alone in the West one has three alternatives.  (1) Turn off the brain.  Don't think.  For example, those nameless specters and those of Zen no-mind.  (2) Use a loop.  Think about one thing.  Obsession.  For example, the gold and silver miners.  (3) Go deep.  Really start thinking.  For example, the poets and philosophers of the west.  ---  6/5/2000

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  East and West USA.  The West.  What is wild nature but a minimum of people and a minimum of civilization (buildings, etc.)?  For if the wilderness is full of people then is it wilderness anymore?  Not really.  It is just Nature.  And if the wilderness is full of empty buildings then is it wilderness anymore?  Not really.  It is just a ghost town.  (2) The lack of people in the wilderness has the effect of making one realize one's basic existential position in this world, i.e., that of being alone.  (3) The lack of buildings in the wilderness has the effect of making one realize that civilization is just a protective shell, and that without civilization one faces directly the rawness of life and one feels quite exposed.  ---  6/5/2000

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  East and West USA.  What the east is lacking is the pioneer spirit (psychology).  What you have in the East is the people who stayed behind.  Playing it safe.  No bravery.  ---  09/10/1994

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  In the city, in the cafe's, people read books, write letters, and talk about things.  In the suburbs, people sit on their asses and feed their fat faces.  ---  7/24/2006

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  In the South they know how to enjoy life.  They know about happiness and celebration.  In the North they know how to endure life.  They know about sorrow and stoicism.  ---  04/30/1993

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  LI is flatland.  When I saw the mountains life suddenly went from 2-D to 3-D.  ---  09/20/1994

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  Los Angeles lacks atmospheric adversity.  ---  4/23/2002

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  Mountains: Zenish.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  Nature: to think and to recover.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  Night.  Up all night.  (1) Staying up all night first time, just to see if you can.  (2) Staying up all night to party.  (3) Staying up all night to study for school.  (4) Staying up all night with insomnia.  (5) Staying up all night to work the night shift.  (6) Staying up all night to take care of sick kids.  (7) Staying up all night making love.  ---  10/26/2003

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  Night.  With the invention of street lights, 24 hour television and 24 hour convenience stores, the night effectively no longer existed.  ---  11/15/2000

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  NYC has more people.  This means more cool people, and more assholes.  But I only meet the assholes.  ---  05/18/1997

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  NYC.  (1) Good points.  Many creative, smart people in one place creates a very good social scene.  Women all over, for sex and friendship.  Jobs galore.  Culture everywhere.  Many varied people, places, and experiences.  You can learn and grow a lot as a person.  Central park for walking and meditating.  Poetry readings.  Good colleges close by.  The city has history too.  (2) Bad points.  Crime of all types from druggies, crazies, homeless.  Noise, pollution.  No nature.  ---  12/30/1995

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  NYC.  (1) Midtown: the land of weenies, wimps, and weebs.  They are smart, fearful, brown-nosers who play by the rules, and conform.  Play it safe, never take a risk, repressed, timid, not brave.  (2) Downtown: the people are not afraid to express their emotions and views.  Not afraid to rebel.  There is more life downtown than in midtown.  ---  02/22/1997

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  NYC.  (1) NY is about diversity and tolerance, not homogeneity and bigotry.  (2) The history, architecture, and people, are all meant to keep your spare moments perky.  (3) People move to suburbs to raise kids.  ---  12/30/1995

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  NYC.  After a while, NYC starts to seem like a small place, that you know well, reassuring and homey.  At this point you become a New Yorker.  ---  10/26/1999

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  NYC.  Downtown.  The attitude vs. the physical place.  (1) The attitude or culture.  Good and bad sides.  Artists, decadents, and societal rejects.  As taboo ideas and taboo acts become accepted into society (and other ones become taboo?), the cutting edge moves further out or otherwise changes.  The question is whether it is a matter of taste or ethics.  (2) The place.  As the rich move into the neighborhood and raise rents, the artists, decadents, and societal rejects move out to new areas.  The question is, can they stay together as a group and keep their attitude and culture when they move out, or will they be dispersed and thus lose their attitude and culture, as well as their energy and power as a group.  A partial solution is the Internet, which can bring people together.  ---  06/10/1997

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  NYC.  East Village is a premier neighborhood.  There is a lot of youth, energy, and excitement.  Liberal, arty types.  About as hip as it gets anywhere.  ---  07/30/1996

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  NYC.  East Village.  Types of east village residents.  (1) Artists: make a living as art producers.  (2) Artist wannabe's: have artistic aspirations, work at art production but aren't able to make a living at selling it.  (3) Arty types.  They are art consumers.  Usually young and rebellious, or at least left wing.  (4) Hip or Cool: Think it is hip or cool to live in the east village.  (5) People just living here.  Here by circumstance and chance.  Could be living anywhere.  (6) Dregs: homeless, addicts, criminals, crazies.  (7) Yuppie invaders.  (8) Tourists.  ---  01/12/1997

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  NYC.  New York City provides the promise of a mirage.  Other places don't provide the mirage.  Still other places don't even provide the promise.  It is with the promise of a mirage that people create themselves and their lives.  This IOU for an illusion keeps us smiling.  Credit for a dream keeps us going.  ---  4/15/2002

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  NYC.  New York holds a mythical, even magical, place in the minds of the entire worlds population.  It is the archetypal city, the superlative city.  The biggest, tallest, busiest, fastest, richest, smartest, noisiest, most crowded, wildest, raunchiest, meanest, city.  Just by living here you become, by association, part of it and thus holder of the same attributes.  You become mythical.  (2) The draw of New York today is not culture, because in today's world of hi-tech communication culture is instantly distributed, transported, exported.  You can get culture anywhere today.  You do not come to NY for the "culture" any more (theater, music, visual art, etc.).  You come to New York today to mingle with the culture creators.  The people in New York are intelligent, communicative, and creative.  ---  03/20/1997

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  NYC.  New York.  When you are away from it too long, you crave it.  When you have too much of it, it makes you sick.  Isn't everything like this?  Or only heavy drugs?  ---  12/30/1995

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  NYC.  People in NYC do not buy dogs for protection.  People in NYC buy dogs to pick up other people.  Which is pathetic.  A city full of people requiring dog chaperones.  ---  10/20/1997

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  NYC.  Some people think that all the hub-bub, all the busy-ness, is a sign that something is actually happening and something is actually being accomplished.  Such is not always the case.  As much meaningless activity occurs in the city as occurs elsewhere.  And everywhere there is much more meaningless activity occurring than meaningful activity.  Find the meaningful.  Create the meaningful.  ---  10/27/2004

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  NYC.  The key to NYC is the grid.  The grid makes possible the avenues.  The avenues make possible the views, the distance and height, which are important.  ---  05/10/1997

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  NYC.  The New York Public Library.  A great collection, in a great building, in a great city, in a great country.  The best library in the world.  When I walk up the steps of the New York Public Library it is like a dream, it is like heaven.  For both me personally, and for mankind.  It is the apex of human existence, and of my existence.  All the people suffering and starving today, and all the centuries of struggling, had been building up to this point, of a person (me) walking up the New York Public Library steps.  Giving it one more try, to push it a little further, to make things better.  They boosted me up and I am climbing.  They pin their hopes on me.  I feel lucky and obligated.  Serious joy.  ---  10/05/1997

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  NYC.  The question, "What is the meaning of New York City?", is like the question, "What is the meaning of life?"  New York has no meaning.  New York means whatever you think it means.  You give a meaning to New York.  ---  6/5/2000

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  NYC.  There is a cultural glut in NYC.  There can be such as thing as too much culture.  Too much information, education, art, etc.  ---  3/21/2001

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  NYC.  This city is full of women who will blow your mind.  Hot, ideal, lovable.  Thank god.  The hope can keep one alive and productive.  ---  12/26/1997

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  Ocean vs. lake vs. pool swimming.  The ocean is where we all come from.  The ocean is enormous and monumental.  ---  02/04/1994

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  Roads.  When the road is flat and straight, neither bumpy nor curvy, the traveling is easy.  Long Island is flat land.  ---  05/30/1993

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  Sky.  It is always there.  It is always changing.  It has high entertainment value.  ---  2/21/2000

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  Suburbia and the bourgeoisie.  (1) Contra.  Weaknesses.  Comfort, safety, contentment leads to mediocre, normal, average, plain, regular, uniform.  There is no tension in their life, no need for them to think, no oppositions for them to gain strength by fighting, no need for them to excel.  They think everything will be taken care of for them.  (2) Pros, strengths.  More people, more happy.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  Suburbs are like a garden, and the houses and cars are like sculpture.  ---  06/30/1993

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  Suburbs ascendant.  Rural areas have become suburbanized, with cars, telephones and Internet.  Urban areas have become suburbanized, with air conditioners and national corporate chain stores.  Every place has been suburbanized.  We have all become suburbanites.  Homogenized.  What to do?  Create your own environment.  ---  10/27/2004

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  Suburbs seem sterile, empty of meaning, and having nothing with which to make meaning.  ---  12/2/2001

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  Suburbs.  (1) No one says the suburbs have to be: (A) Unecological: with polluting cars and chemical laden lawns.  (B) Mindless: not thinking, emotionally numb, hedonistic.  (C) No conscience: concerned only with self.  Trapped in the immediate here and now.  Isolated.  Unconcerned with social justice.  (D) Materialistic: always hungry for more money and more stuff.  (2) Is not the city and the country just as bad as the suburbs?  Its the entire society, the entire world that can be duped by the shallow attitudes that we attribute to the suburbs.  (3) It does not necessarily have to be this way.  It is not a physical law.  It is not a social law.  (A) Science and technology can be used to monitor the environment and develop ecological technology.  (B) The information age makes it easier than ever to work with ideas and emotions.  For example, digital visual arts and movies.  (C) The Internet is a powerful communication tool that allows us to gain news from around the world.  The Internet promotes cooperation.  The Internet promotes a global view.  The Internet promotes a long-term view.  The Internet promotes an open society which can monitor governments, corporations, etc.  (D) Voluntary simplicity.  As people's mental lives and experiences become richer, stronger and more varied then the accumulation of excess physical stuff becomes less important.  ---  6/30/2000

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  Suburbs.  Not much going on.  Not much interesting.  Not much exciting.  People locked away in cars and houses.  A self-perpetuating "car house baby" cycle.  Suburbia starves the mind and heart.  ---  1/1/2002

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  Suburbs.  Sometimes suburbs function as city: center for work.  Sometimes suburbs function as rural: retreat.  ---  12/30/1992

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  Suburbs.  Suburbs pro: secure, peaceful, consistent.  Suburbs contra: boring, confining, deadening.  ---  9/30/1996

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  Suburbs.  The suburbs is not a place; the suburbs is a state of mind and a way of life. When you look at it this way, the suburbs have essentially taken over both the city and the rural areas.  We see the same national franchise chain-stores everywhere nowadays.  People everywhere are engaged in the same activities today, watching the same television channels everywhere.  In the competition of lifestyles, the suburbs has won over the city and the countryside.  We are all suburbanites now.  It's happening all over the world, not just in the United States.  The suburbs are everywhere.  The suburbs are a lifestyle and a state of mind.  The suburbs means being cut off from nature and from one's fellow human.  Isolated, average, bland, comfortable.  PART TWO.  If the suburbs are a state of mind and the suburbs are everywhere then how does one escape the suburbs?  Escape from the suburbs requires a concentrated, prolonged mental effort.  To get out of the suburbs you have to free your mind.  ---  3/16/2002

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  Suburbs.  Two problems of the suburbs.  (1) No history, no past.  Suburbs like Levittown pop up overnight out of potato fields.  No way to tell who you are based on the past because there is no past.  (2) Each house looks like the next.  No way to differentiate yourself.  No way to tell who you are based on those who surround you because every thing around you is the same.  (3) Diversity helps you figure out who you are.  ---  7/11/2002

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  The Mall.  (1) Suburbia is typified by the shopping mall.  In suburbia the mall is the only place to go.  The mall is the only thing to do.  The mall is the only thing they know.  (2) The mall is a symbol of materialism and overconsumption.  The mall has only shopping stores and food stores.  The mall posits shopping as being everything.  At the mall, shopping is the only thing to do.  Consumption is the new disease (and its not tuberculosis we are referring to).  Shopping was once regarded as a necessity (men), nowadays at the mall shopping is regarded as a recreation (women).  Nowadays shopping is considered by some people to be a raison d'etre.  Live to shop.  (3) In the mall you are literally surrounded by stores everywhere you look.  Surrounded by material possessions.  In the suburbs children come of age and live their lives in the shopping mall, an environment in which they are surrounded by chain stores, plastic, chrome, mirrors and junk food.  (4) The mall is an indoor environment.  A perfect little insulated fake world.  The mall ignores the rest of the world.  The mall posits nothing outside itself.  (5) The chain stores go for mass appeal.  They are middle of the road.  They cater to the average.  There is no individuality.  There are no exceptions.  We all wear the same clothes now, whether it be from the Gap or from Mao.  (7) The mall parking lot.  The mall is surrounded by asphalt.  The asphalt is dotted with cars.  The cars appear to be gathered around the mall as if they are worshiping the mall.  Suburbia is perhaps as much about cars as it is about the mall.  (8) The mall does not bother me so much anymore because I don't go there.  I don't live in the suburbs and I try to keep my material possessions to a minimum for the sake of the earth's ecology and for the sake of an uncluttered life.  Yet sometimes I remember back and I feel for those still trapped in the mall.  ---  5/20/2000

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  The Southwest:  wood, clay/earth, stone, cloth, real, honest, elemental, natural.  The Northeast:  Mirrors, metal, black and red paint.  Paint is an illusion, a deception, a lie, false, contrived, decoration, artificial.  ---  9/30/1996

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  Tonight it was cool and moist, sultry and balmy.  Low thin clouds wisped quickly by like smoke from unseen campfires.  The spring has been very good, with many golden Yosemite days.  The trees are in pollen.  I feel calm.  The night is my blanket.  Tomorrow I will think again.  ---  06/12/1994

Philosophy, environment, specific.  ---  Urban vs. rural.  Urban environment: ugly, loud, fast, competitive, manmade, crowded, people dependent and nasty.  (2) Rural: pretty, quiet, slow, friendly, natural, lonely, people independent and friendly.  ---  12/30/1992

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Paul Nervy Notes. Copyright 1988-2007 by Paul Nervy.