Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Pomposity on Parade

I have been trying to make the case lately that most of the opposition to Wal-Mart is based on snobbery of one form or the other.

My fellow Town Crier, Kathryn Meier, most convincingly displayed that elitist snobbery in her column in today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News.

Professor Meier feels the answer to all of Pullman's problems is for everyone to move into dilipidated (I'm sorry, "vintage") housing on College Hill. It seems Professor Meier and her husband are just delighted with their "classic home" and its turn of the century lighting fixtures and parquet wood floors.

She asks, "Do we seek the charm of downtown Moscow and its neighboring historic district, or do we want only a series of modern subdivisions surrounding generic big box stores?"

Personally, I'm happy with my little suburban tract home. I'm quite satisfied not having to stumble over beer bottles and used condoms on the way to my car in the morning and that my kids don't have to be subjected to the sight of coeds puking behind a bush on the weekend. I like having a big back yard and not having to call the plumber or electrician every few weeks. As far as historic goes, I know of a bunch of old barns in Whitman County that are historic, but I don't want to live in one.

What is it with these snobs? Can't they just live and let live? I don't care if Proesssor Meier chooses to live in her version of "The Money Pit", but why does she feel the need to condemn my lifestyle? It never occurs to the elites that suburbia, with its McMansions and Wal-Marts, ARE WHAT PEOPLE WANT!

Meier also asks, "where are the City Council and the community at large, with respect to this issue. That's an easy answer. They're approving and buying "soulless suburban sprawl" as fast as they can. In a front page story in today's Daily News , it was reported that the City Council approved the plats for two new subdivisions and enough new housing construction took place in 2005 that the property tax rate in Pullman will not increase in 2006.

As with Wal-Mart, people overwhelmingly vote to reject the idea of Professor Meier's quaint Utopia with their wallets and their feet.


April E. Coggins said...

What Kathryn Meier doesn't seem to realize is that at one time her home used to be a suburban tract house. Her entire neighborhood used to be a new development, with bald yards, no trees and no Martha Stewart type charm. I wonder if there was a group of people protesting the building of her neighborhood? People living in houses over time adds to the character of a neighborhood.

Then there is the issue of people buying houses in neighborhoods that are obviously going in a certain direction. WSU is a growing university and student housing needs near campus is demands are growing as a result. Who would buy a "vintage" house two blocks from Frat Row and expect to be protected from students acting like 18-22 year olds? The same goes for the people who bought houses adjacent to Bishop Boulevard. Bishop Blvd. has been zoned commercial for over twenty years and new development has been built up steadily. Why then, do people who live near Safeway, complain that there is retail traffic and noise? The facts were available at their time of purchase and it was obvious to everyone in the world that Bishop Blvd. would be developed for dense retail. Why do these people demand that it be rezoned because they didn't do their homework?

Joshua Coke said...

Excellent point, April. "Vintage" homes can have a unique charm, but regardless of how nice the home may be, it doesn't change the fact that the neighborhood may not be suitable.

When I purchased my home, it was with the expressed intent of moving AWAY from the College Hill area. There are a few homes that are nice, but the neighborhood just isn't always conducive to quiet, family friendly living.

Tom Forbes said...

Protesting against growth seems to be a recent phenomenon.

Once upon a time, hard work, growth, prosperity, and a new home were considered the American Dream (it still is for most Americans).

Starting in the Sixties, a small radical minority started rebelling against the American Dream. They want us to feel guilty and ashamed The believe the American Dream is nothing more than "crass consumerism", "expoitative of the poor", and "environmentally non-sustainable".