Sunday, January 16, 2011

How Much Should One Respect Differing Opinions? + Obesity Blvd.

A big tension I feel is the tension between advocating for what I believe in and getting along with other people. If I were totally on the advocacy side I'd be out here writing with my real name, for example. I have to interact with people on a daily basis who disagree radically with my ideas on urban design, on the merits of cities in general. Because these interactions fulfill vital personal interests that I have, I feel like I have to use restraint in certain situations. Indeed, I have already "recused" myself from talking about them directly.

However, there is such a thing as taking restraint too far. Of going along just to get along. Of nodding your head in agreement for the money, for the social acceptance, or whatever it is that competes for space in your soul with your idealism. Given the devastated state of our economy and particularly the scarcity of jobs, this issue is perhaps more urgent than ever.

I think I should respect the opinions of those who disagree with me enough so that I can at least occasionally acknowledge that they are real, that some of them are serious, and that we might just be able to learn something from them, but not so much that I have to stop making fun of them :)

And so, let me show you what I was originally going to post all by itself:

I think suburbs should have street names that reflect their true nature. They might function as a warning label or something. I don't know if any of these street names actually exist, but in a more hilarious world they might, and I'm in a pugnacious mood:

Homogeneity Street
Anomie Road
Infrequent Transit Way
High Per Capita Emissions Lane
Boredom Boulevard
Strip Mall Avenue
R-1 Road
Industrial Lawn Lane
Used to Be Nature Way
Detroit Boulevard
I Dare You to Bike on Me Highway
Just Like the Street You Just Passed Street

And one more, actually . . .

Complete Street

Because there's always some hope, even in suburbia :)


  1. Yeah, it's tough. I'm on the job hunt and I know that blogging and tweeting under my real name probably don't help me out much. But I figure eventually somebody will appreciate my particular worldview...hopefully.

  2. Good luck to you. I'm sure lots of people appreciate your ideas already.