Archives for the day of: March 21, 2011

…of the manhattan grid plan– when a ruler and 90 degree angles were applied on the map of manhattan, disregarding any and all topography, laying the foundation of the city we love (and sometimes hate) today.  times published a great article and an interactive map today; it is worth reading…  they quoted rem koolhaas, who defended the grid by exclaiming that it created “undreamed-of freedom for three-dimensional anarchy”– i think the most apt way to describe the impact of the grid.  read the article, check out the map, and enjoy the below picture copied from the article– it is a northernly look on 2nd avenue from 42nd street from 1861– see if you can recognize 2nd avenue– on the left side there stands the pfizer building now and on the right side is the ford foundation and mcfadden’s:

…ranting away in the sunday times.  this time we have a ms. susan behrens, known for her grammar handbook, going off about how noisy restaurants are…  her first paragraph, in itself, summarizes the new social nazism, the hegemony of a select few on the entire society.  ms. behrens states:

“I used to love eating out; I don’t anymore. Even though the smokers have been moved outside and the food is more likely to be from some local, free-range, organic farm, and I can finally afford the “better” places, I would rather stay home — because I am tired of the noise.”

ok, we are rid of the smokers, the non-healthy foods, now it is time to move to the last bastion of free life, fun.  let’s get rid of that as well and the social nazis will finally be happy, eating their tofu steaks in sterile restaurants, away from the riffraff..

one of the first things they teach you in law school is the elusive “reasonable person” standard: a legal fiction purporting to pinpoint the common denominator of social relations and actions.  how would a reasonable person act under the circumstances? that is your bar, your bright line.

this is supposed to be an objective criteria, indicating the “standard” in the society.  standard, in most cases, means the majority: its wrong side being a low standard and right side a higher standard.  higher standard is always good.  lower, you’re in trouble brother.  both the higher and the lower standards are, as logic goes, statistical exceptions.  most people act and relate one way and that is the standard of a reasonable person…

that ain’t the case in modern western society anymore.  modern western society is using a statistical exception, the oversensitive, as its common denominator, as its “reasonable person”.  the highest standard, not the natural median of the society, is becoming the rule.  whereas, elsewhere, such as education, the lowest standard is being accepted as the norm.  it is fucked up if you ask me…

because the oversensitive is filling the shoes of the “reasonable person” smoking is banned everywhere, including public places in NYC, and food diversity is accepted as long as it is healthy and sterile.  now revelry is about to go down the drain if the social nazis have their way.  being boisterous, reveling, getting excited are human traits.  i guess these are not traits ms. behrens wishes to see in the restaurants she frequents.  and, sadder yet, many of the times readers who commented on ms. behrens’ piece agree.

society needs to say a firm “no” to these social nazis, the oversensitive, and should take humanity and the “reasonable person” standard back from them.  otherwise they will continue to have their say and get their way.  if you’re oversensitive to smoke, noise and unhealthy foods, well, stay the fuck away from places where they’re enjoyed.   or live with them, your call.  that’s what being a social animal means: to get along with society’s norms.  not to change the norms based on the hegemony and choices of a select few…

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