rough notes

Distant Places

Rugged Brown Burnt Mountains
Glazed Starbucks Tasty Treat Machine
Non-fat soy grande venti latte
W cinnamon or sugar or
Salt or chocolate
Lotus land is a giant
Fragrant flavour shot

= = = = =

Cathedral City is not Lotus Land. Lotus Land is some times Los Angeles, sometimes Vancouver, and much of the time a metaphor stripped away from Greek mythology and misused in all the inappropriate places.

But Cathedral City – an adjoining municipality next to Palm Springs CA, in the Coachella Valley, does have all the amenities that the local elites could ever want or ask for. So many amenities that questions (aside from Should We Shop Here Or There?) need not be asked. It’s the good life. The produce is always fresh. The sun is always shinning. The grass is always green(er). The high school football team always win. The wind is always a gentle breeze. The mass-market malls, plazas, factory outlets and independent retailers always have what you’re looking for. There is never a moment of doubt, loss, or disappointment.

Cathedral City/Palm Springs really is a beautiful place to visit. The skyline is always dotted by mountain peaks which hold back the clouds, the temperature ranges from 20-35 degrees (but never less), and people are generally so well-off that they can afford to turn their desert landscapes into beautiful front lawns and backyards. It’s the good life.

It is also completely manufactured.

Those who can afford to live here live the high life, reaping the bounty of a commodified nation on behalf of all the people who live twenty minutes away that come into to work and serve them. It is an economic system that is not much different from any other Western economic system, but only hyper-accelerated in terms of wealth and prestige. One cannot condemn the denizens of the Coachella Valley for their lifestyle without first condemning his own social structures. Cathedral City/Palm Springs is an example of the American Dream (the western lifestyle, that is) revved up to meet the demands of those who can afford to want more, and the needs of a culture that requires a consumerist elysian fields to retire to. Coachella is not where The American Dream goes to die, but where is goes to be honoured and revered. We all long to be there, no matter how manufactured or false it may be. Born and bred in the west, products of our own maligned environment, Cathedral City/Palm Springs is the soul’s homecoming. There is no sense of déjà vu if one has not been to the area before, because it is a paradise for the spirit that only knows plastic shapes and plastic money.

You are commodified.


Written by mitchellirons

April 18, 2007 at 10:18 am

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