August 07, 2007

An Atrocity: Private ownership of land.

I've recently come back from a trip down to Monterey and I was disgusted at one point on the trip. Driving down the 17 mile drive there was some great places I was tempted to run around on the side of the road. But every so often, Barbed wire poked out from the thick brush. It got my hopes up and down. *sigh*

Then I began to think about explorers and how they treked over this nation and many others and not be stopped mid way by a tin sign that said No Tresspassing and some barbed wire and a bunch of poles. It was at that very moment, I wanted to be an explorer and I felt like tresspassing wherever I damn well felt like it. And I looked back to a book I was and still am to this day reading. "A Pattern Language" in a chapter that identified "The Countryside" it said:

"Parks are dead and artificial. Farms when treated as private property, rob the people of their natural biological heritage - the countryside from which they came" (Christopher Alexander, A Pattern Language, Center For Envirnomental Structure, Berkeley, CA, 1977)

I know i'm no countryman, but my ancestors were. I know there is not one person in this world, who cannot trace their heritage back, back, back and back to a farmer or a countryman. Even royalty I suppose. But the book really has me thinking, since I'm an architecture major at Berkeley, and I began to wonder. What can we as Americans, do to alleviate this problem. The fact that everyone is worried that their land will be used and lived on by squatters is the only reason why everyone pulls out the stakes, electric wires and barbed wires. As the book states. Property is Theft. It robs us all of the land we come from and for all of us, there is no way to enjoy a pasture or a field without hearing a gun cock. What happened to those good old days when grandpa and grandma with their kids would pull over the ol' Chevy Nomad on the side of the country lane, they'd walk out to the edge of a forest or grove, set down the blanket and picnic lunch and the kid's would have fun running around and playing in the grass with maybe a ball or kite. Not anymore. You look at the highway landscape and everything is fenced off, No tresspassing signs nailed to posts and trees. Mankind's ability to produce money has also produced our ability to buy the natural wonders of a nation, fence it off, build a tacky private house by it just to enjoy it constantly and never share with the world. Come on world. If you're so private about your personal life, I get why you'd move to the country. But Thousands of people drive by your house if its on the interstate and more if you're on 17 mile drive. The physical and mental structure of the american family cannot subsist entirely on the Nuclear scheme. Everyone is dependent on each other. Young kids need old people, Parents need children and Old People need everyone. Invariably, you set yourself apart and you become the dysfunctional family that you see on tv sometimes. Like that one from that sexed up town in georgia. Everyone is upper class, all the teens own a nice car and they could spider web a link of who has had sex with who and aparently, all the teens in that town are linked together. Kinda gross no? So there needs to be more social interaction in the family than just Jimmy, Dad and Mom. It has to be Jimmy, Dad, Mom and the world. But you lose the world connection when you isolate yourself and seclude yourself on your Private Property. Oh zeus... this world of ours. Well.. Just america.

1 comment:

somebody BLONDE! said...

uh, Zachary, are you on crack? there WERE no good ol' days with grandma, grandpa, and a chevy nomad and no barbed wire. They NEVER happened. I'm not saying it wouldn't be nice, but the fact is you are thinking of fantasyland, not something that was reality at some point. Actually, this whole post is fantasyland. Explorers trekked over the land and put flags everywhere to claim it as private property for their kings and tended to either kick out or enslave whoever lived there already. And guess what? Anywhere there is land worth owning, there are people guarding that land against other people. And so it has been for quite some time. The only reason native Americans had no concept of property was that the land was NOT worth owning, because they had to pick up and leave to follow the food the vast majority of the time.
And that sexed-up town in Georgia? It's only on TV.