Looking at the world, how many examples of dishonesty can you see? It shouldn’t be hard. We run on it like gasoline.
I was struck by it yesterday in a very strange way: architecture.
This seems like a weird thing to get into a fuss over. I was in geography class and for some reason the professor found it good class material to go through pictures of Dallas, Texas and examine why things were the way they were. It makes for interesting discussion, even if it really has nothing much to do with the class.
For the rest of the class, I was struck by dishonesty in even the way things were built. Looking at architecture, infrastructure, or any other thing people build, you can tell a lot about the values of the people who live or work around these buildings.
The first slide showed a Google Earth image of downtown Dallas, boxed in by highways. The highways, the professor explained, were constructed in the late 50s and early 60s as a way to segregate poor, black neighborhoods from the mostly white downtown. This infrastructure development actually caused white people to pour out of the city into the newly developing suburbs. Anyone who has heard of “white flight” is familiar with the concept I’ve just described.
The case of the highways helped me realize that, as a 21-year-old, I’m blind to the fact that much of our infrastructure was constructed in a way to enforce segregation. Perhaps this continues to this day, unbeknownst to the average observer.
In my own burg of Oklahoma City, once you cross south of the highway rimming the southern part of downtown, you enter a poorer minority district that continues until the loop, where suburbia begins. Is this how most large cities are constructed?
When the next picture comes onto the screen, it shows a windmill standing in front of a suburban housing district within sight of Dallas’s skyline. The windmill was built to suggest the peace and tranquility of the country in one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States.
Obviously, this isn’t the country. People are still willing to believe it is, because it is a very successful housing district in the Dallas area. The idea of fakeness is obviously appealing. To me, it’s not as though people are fake themselves - they just prefer comfort, even if it means accepting a lie.
The next picture shows Plano, a wealthy suburb of Dallas, and a Wal-Mart that was built with a country motif. A girl in class, who said she lived in Plano, said she always shopped there, even though it was not the closest Wal-Mart. The reason was that she felt safer there.