Thirty Things Make A Post That Has Nothing To Do With Maps

Fifteen Unpopular Opinions

  1. Examples of The Trains Running On Time should come from Switzerland instead of Japan.
  2. Moana is just okay, and is the kind of movie we’ll regard as howlingly racist in twenty years’ time.
  3. European urbanism is overrated, East Asian urbanism is underrated. Not for nothing were the foremost postwar documentarians of urban/suburban alienation and isolation English and French. (Exceptions: Swiss urbanism is excellent, Singaporean urbanism is terrible.)
  4. The Venn diagram of “men with blue Twitter ticks” and “men who are creepy toward women” is a small-ish circle that has been almost completely absorbed by a much, much larger circle.
  5. Anything built in Japan prior to ~1990 > Los Angeles dingbats > Identikit Hong Kong housing blocks >>>>>>> North American Gentrification Moderne condo towers. I legitimately don’t understand people who think Japanese architecture is ugly.
  6. “Problematic” is only an appropriate adjective when the Bad Thing is about as severe as telling an off-color joke.
  7. Alon Levy’s proposal of mandatory genderqueer conversion therapy for cis people, only 100% sincerely.
  8. Although the impulse is understandable, it’s uncool to cheer when a Bad Thing happens to a Bad Person when (a) the Bad Thing is unrelated to the reason the person is Bad, and/or (b) the Bad Thing will adversely affect Non-Bad People.
  9. The question of whether asexuals can call them/ourselves “queer” does not have a cleanly-defined answer and is not a question any respectable ace person should be asking until the community forges solid ties with [the rest of] the queer community.
  10. Manhattan and Annie Hall are the film equivalent of those lit fic novels that are incredibly detailed thousand-page ruminations on the author’s junk.
  11. The Anglophone left is an open sewer, yes, but it’s not a unique open sewer. Most internet gaming communities and religious organizations are just as bad or worse. I’ll take Jacobin over Christianity Today any day.
  12. The problem with streetcars is not the mode, but the application. The streetcar in Portland is successful because it actually goes somewhere.
  13. 90% of Mental Health Discourse is crud. 99% of Autism Spectrum Discourse is crud.
  14. My YIMBYism will foreground lower-income tenant/renter concerns and be nuanced about rental markets or it will be BS.
  15. The true unpopular opinions are the ones that you keep to yourself.

Fifteen Things I Love

  1. The fact that you can walk two blocks on more than a few city streets in Hong Kong and suddenly find yourself in the wilderness.
  2. The feeling of spiritual ecstasy that comes from being someplace staggeringly beautiful, like a mountaintop.
  3. Unbelievably complicated national borders, like Baarle-Nassau/Baarle-Hertog.
  4. Visiting a place you’ve seen on film/TV specifically because you’ve seen it on film/TV. Rank and consumerist, yes, but the zillions of people who visited that staircase in Your Name can’t be wrong. Conversely, recognizing a place you visited on film/TV.
  5. Empty highway rest stops in the middle of the night. Especially when it’s foggy.
  6. American colonial architecture, despite, you know, the unequivocal horror that is colonialism.
  7. That Diamond Geezer’s comment section is titled “Please empty your brain below.”
  8. The ten-minute live version of Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes.”
  9. Any music video that (a) unashamedly shows off the city in which it was filmed, and (b) takes a local’s perspective. e.g. Clean Bandit’s “Rather Be,” IAMX’s “The Unified Field,” or DJ Shadow’s “The Sideshow.”
  10. Having a passport.
  11. Streets that were designed from the beginning to prioritize people over cars, and didn’t have to be retrofitted.
  12. When a musician who’s disappeared or been in a rut for several years comes back and makes something brilliant. Think “Blackstar.”
  13. That liminal space between “place” and “no-place” that is the secure area of an airport terminal. Doubly so if you’re there for an international flight.
  14. When a plan comes together.
  15. When a transit map comes together.
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About theoditsek

I like going places.
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