glossy grossy

don't get me wrong. i love city of sound. it's smart, sympa, and usually impeccable. i have a problem with monocle, though. i'm totally into the idea of working "with the system" or even "within the system" instead of "against the system" countercultural neohippie or neomarxist naomiklein crap that's been proven useless before. but sometimes, if you get fucked up the ass too much, you might start to actually like it and forget about the reason you accepted to take it in the first place. ¿what makes cities desirable? ¿livability? ¿what do the guys and gals at monocle mean by livability? ¿niceness, correctness? ¿managed, unconflictive diversity? ¿shinyhappydirtfree "urban villages"? my god, ¿what is this? ¿the XIXth century redux? a perfect little cityscape of delicious breads, cakes, "textured milk", special edition knitwear and outsanding service, a milanese laundry, fresh seasonal blooms "without a dyed carnation or celofane wrapper in sight"... jesusxist, ¿who are these people? ¿are they SERIOUS? ¿is this what snotty british folk crave? ¿this is your idea of global dynamics? ¿picking the bestest and cutiest boutiques and shops and espresso bars in the world and cramming them on a single street so you can walk back and forth in beautiful pointlessness? i probably wouldn't want to live in any of their top 20 liveable cities (¿honolulu?) anytime before i'm like 40 or something. and i already do... ¿am i wrong? ¿are my sensibility and my idea of what makes cities cities a result of me being damaged thirldworld goods? ¿am i the only one here who finds this neoaristocratic citybeautiful cityslick gross? ¿why am i writing my questions with upsidedown question marks at the beggining?

1 comment:

Brendan said...



When Monocle's list came out, I quite liked it at first. And I still do, I suppose. But here's the thing: you have to read it with a grain of salt. What is especially unique, I think, is that they flat out say that they excluded some places because they just *didn't like them*. I hate pretentious lists that try to rank places by using a bajillion different matrices and degrade cities to a collection of numbers. So the outright objectivity was refreshing. Still, it does skew the results -- hence the salt. Yes, all of the cities on the list are neoliberal bastions of espresso and sunshine, but there are people who get off on that shit. It doesn't make you or I crazy for appreciating a little good old fashioned urban chaos. It just makes them opinionated. And that's fine.

On the other hand, Monocle's city travel pages are fucking gross. They should call the series "A Hoity-Toity Asshole Business Traveler's Guide to Well-Worn Tourist Ghettos Around the Globe."

Also - upside down q' marks are hahhhht.