Monday, December 30, 2013

"holes of cultural experimentation"

As mentioned in yesterday's post, "One" was written by Harry Nilsson. Though an accomplished songwriter, Nilsson was also a great interpreter. One of his biggest hits was his rendition of Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin'", which was the signature song for a film I have posted on in the past, Midnight Cowboy (1969).

Before it was a film, Midnight Cowboy was a novel written by one James Leo Herlihy (1927-1993), a lesser known figure (at least these days) who lived a remarkable life and whose Wikipedia page is a start. 

Something I learned about Herlihy was that during the 1960s he spent six months travelling the United States visiting communes, from which he concluded that the "holes of cultural experimentation" that the communal experience provides would one day "bring forth new cities and the state will become servant to the communal structure."

This augurs with some of what I have been thinking about lately concerning the impossible city of Vancouver, which is cruel to its youth, particularly those interested not in (market) certainty but in (cultural) ambiguity. If these people were to leave Vancouver for its forested edges, might they be the ones to lay the foundation for the cities Herlihy is referring to? I hope so. Because as things stand, something's got to give.

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