Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Vibrant! Diverse! Enough!

Actually, it's not only in New York or only in Queens. These type of events are celebrated throughout the world wherever people of the Hindu faith build shrines. This screenshot from

Instead of hyping "vibrancy" and "diversity" all the time, maybe the Queens weeklies should talk about how none of this would be possible if it wasn't for the freedom of religion this country's constitution provides. Freedom of religion that was first demanded by Flushing Quakers. (The celebration of that happened in 2007, wasn't exactly front page news and has long since been forgotten until the 400th anniversary.) But that would require actually caring about the history of Queens instead of reducing it to running an old photo of the borough once a week on one of the back pages. Queens has been "diverse" for centuries so why do we act like it just started within the past few years? Why do newspapers act surprised that people actually take advantage of the opportunity and freedoms our country provides?

Why do reporters flock to events such as Hindu festivals and condo openings yet ignore many issues of vital importance to their readers? Like how we are supposed to absorb 1 million more people when we can't meet the needs of the ones we have now? How long before our sewers and electrical systems give out completely? How about asking why we are inviting 1 million more people here and how will it benefit the people already here? The latest building boom certainly hasn't benefited the natives as promised. Remember the mantra of more jobs! increased tax base! more money for services! Well, where is it? Why did we give giant tax breaks to developers? Why are we pushing ahead with massive development projects when we lost 3 hospitals within the past year?


kingb said...

qood post

the more i travel to other cities the more i realize nyc isn't all that unique anymore...diversity exists in many cities, yet they manage to do it with a lot more class, better quality of life, and better budget priorities...not everywhere, not 100%, but the idea the nyc is the greatest place on earth is laughable

Wade Nichols said...

Steve Sailer commented on the use of this tired cliche here:

"Whenever I read about "vibrant immigrant neighborhoods," I wonder exactly which ones has the writer has been to, if any. Come to the vast immigrant neighborhoods of the San Fernando Valley and check out the vibrancy: there isn't any. They're boring, tacky, and low-brow. There's no culture beyond the video store. It was like that before, too, but 35 years ago we expected the place to improve a little with time, not regress."

Rod Dreher also commented on this stupid word here:

"I can't stand the word "vibrant" when used to describe a geographical locale. It's the kind of jargon you hear from bourgeois white people (my tribe!) to mean "an ethnic neighborhood most bourgeois white people would probably not like, but of which we approve." What would a non-vibrant ethnic neighborhood look like, anyway? Can white-people enclaves vibrate too? Do people only vibrate when around others of a different ethnic background?"

Stuff White People Like also made fun of this:

" White people like to live in these neighborhoods because they get credibility and respect from other white people for living in a more “authentic” neighborhood where they are exposed to “true culture” every day. So whenever their friends mention their home in the suburbs or richer urban area, these people can say “oh, it’s so boring out there, so fake. In our neighborhood, things are just more real.” This superiority is important as white people jockey for position in their circle of friends."

Miles Mullin said...

Good work, Wade.

Anonymous said...

'Vibrant' is coded for noisy, colorful (lots of yellow, red and blue), dirty, and smelly.

Anonymous said...

Very well done post.

Anonymous said...

FYI, the Flushing Remonstrance did get a central mention in this NYT story on the festival:

Queens Crapper said...

Now ask yourself why the remonstrance was mentioned in the Times but not in the local weekly newspapers.

Anonymous said...

Because the Times stands for quality journalism.
Let's remember that next time we're bashing journalistic sources with omsbudsmen.