Tag Archives: Phoenix

Chapter 53: By the Time I Get To Phoenix | My Southern Gothic Life

New Post up on my other blog:

I just don’t get Phoenix, Arizona.  There is something about this place that just isn’t natural.

I think the main reasons I don’t get it are that I’m both Southern and from the East Coast.  It’s just too different.  It doesn’t seem natural…

You will never convince me that nature meant for 4 million people to live in the middle of a desert so they could play golf all year. In no way, does that make any sense to me.

To me, the only people who seem to live in Phoenix are people with enough money to pay for a lot of air conditioning and pools or people too poor to leave.

No matter how hard they try, there is no cultural life here.  It’s all about golf and sports.  In a place where it gets to be 120 degrees in the summer, that’s just not sane…to be out playing sports in that kind of weather.  And I hate to think how much money it costs to keep all these golf courses green in the middle of a desert….

Like I said, it’s just not natural….

MORE:    Chapter 53: By the Time I Get To Phoenix | My Southern Gothic Life.

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How Air Conditioning Undermined American Civilization

Let me start by saying, I love air conditioning.  I really don’t think I could live without it.  Summer is my least favorite season.

Of course, it is now hotter than it used to be due to the FACT of Global Warming.  It didn’t always get this hot– even in the South.

I hate the heat.  I’m more of a fall/winter person.

But air conditioning really has changed our American culture.

Before air conditioning– and I am old enough to remember when air conditioning was very rare– people interacted more.  Now, in our air-conditioned society, we rush to our houses, cars and offices and try to avoid spending any more time outside than necessary.  That means we interact with other people less.  We become more isolated.

Before air conditioning, people would sit on their porches in the evening and talk to their neighbors.  I well remember this from my Grandmother’s neighborhood when I used to stay with her in the early 1960’s.  It was social hour after dinner with everyone on their porches, roaming to and from each other’s homes and chatting.

Luckily, in my neighborhood, we still see our neighbors and talk to them.  That’s not always the case.  My partner, Steve, does better than I do because he is responsible for walking the dog.  He knows everything that goes on in Sunset Hills.

Air conditioning also made it possible for  places like Phoenix to grow.

It’s no secret, I hate Phoenix.  To me, it embodies all that is wrong with America.  Too many people, isolated in their homes to avoid the heat, too many highways and too many homogenized Big Box Stores and Chain Restaurants.  This new “culture” has wiped out the historical local culture, over whelmed the native American influence and destroyed or hidden the desert beauty that used to be there.  It’s become one big Wal-Mart.

It’s just wrong  for millions of people to be living in the middle of the desert.  It wouldn’t have happened without air conditioning…

So now we have to make more of an effort.

Thankfully, we do have the internet and FaceBook to build new cyber communities.  But they aren’t the same.  It’s still more real when you see people face to face and deal with oppressive heat together. It gives you a common bond.  You are all in it together.  It gives you a starting point for conversations that might lead you to get to know people better.  People with whom you might not have anything else in common, but the heat.  Or so you think until you start chatting…

That’s why I love New York.  You still have to take the subway and walk in the streets.  You are still forced to interact with people.  You all complain about the heat.  Even with air conditioning…

Enough said.

It’s hot as hell in here.  I need to go turn down the thermostat….

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