Email to Amanda #1

p. 467: Class and Place: Why do the privileged vampirise the culture of place? What’s the process by which they murder culture? If culture can be murdered, how is it born, how does it accumulate and what transformations does it endure? Culture is place’s lifeblood. Culture is psychic energy and ley lines. Ley lines are flows. Which come first – the lines or the intersections? A town exists not in its occupants, but in the process of entering and leaving. (Is there a word for all-normative people? Rich, white, straight, male, etc. Ruling class? The privileged?)
Is there something about minorities and marginal people that makes them more vital? Am I romanticising disadvantage? If I am, why shouldn’t I? Nothing says I can’t acknowledge how shitty it is to be disadvantaged and take pleasure in what the disadvantaged have over the privileged – vitality. In being marginal, we constitute edges. This is why we’re better at making place. What’s alive is nomadic – if a place is cool enough to get lines forming, it’s no longer cool. Cool is never a cause – if you go to a place because it’s cool, you’re missing the point.
p. 473: Destruction of place: “Navaho beliefs that Arizona’s Black Mesa is a sacred place did not prevent the Peabody Coal Company from strip mining it for coal starting in 1970 (Kelley & Francis 1994).”
Destruction – to build down, to reduce builtness, to unbuild. Why is there a visceral rush at the idea of destroying a sacred place? Why does it give you a sense of power? Bad power. Violating the inviolable makes you inviolable. Consider the effect of zeroing place on the people who do it. What happens to them? What does it take to do it, and how does it leave them changed?

I’m going to start working on a book and posting it here.

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