Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Berlin Car Burnings

Very interesting on a number of levels: German Authorities Struggle to Stop Car Burning Surge.

I certainly would never condone violence or vandalism. And this is interesting not because of the fact that the target is cars, but the broader issue and how it relates to larger issues of instability. While the city is or can be designed as the engine of progress, innovation, and well-being, it is equally as often the platform for instability. In both cases, it brings people together. Sometimes with torches in hand, sometimes with daisies. The key is the input and the output. Why is this happening and what comes out the other side? Will we throw away cities because Vancouver and London rioted? Or will we look deeper into the issues of the uprising and the instability in the current socio-economic paradigm? Near all forms of vandalism in some way are about power. This is about haves and have nots, and the car is simply a symbol of the divide in one particular place. Rather than burning or destroying, why not just make like the Japanese and rebrand cars as vulgar and the car-free as the hip?