Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Still a Pedestrian, but No Longer Unruly?

Sorry for not blogging for awhile, I was ill last week and I have also been busy with other things.  Anyway, I also came to a realization; well, I came to it quite awhile ago, but now I am willing to finally confront it and attempt to do something about it. 

I decided to name my blog "The Unruly Pedestrian" because I am that rarest of breeds, a suburbanite with no vehicle.  Anyone who has been in that situation knows how difficult it can be.  It limits the jobs that you can apply to, there might be activities going on that you can't take part in, you're dependent on family and what there is of public transportation (there is public transit here, but it isn't very good; I couldn't possibly depend on it to get to a job, for example).  I do have family who does help a lot, but unfortunately, anything short of having a 24/7 chauffeur in suburbia just does not work. 

Again, this isn't an epithany that I just came up with; I came to this realization some time ago.  I hate to bring up PO again, but reading books like "The Long Emergency" and seeing a documentary like "The End of Suburbia" showed me how insane this lifestyle is.  For various reasons, I am not willing to buy a vehicle.  Factoring in all the costs (taking out a loan, buying insurance, filling up the car with gas prices changing all the time), it would probably make more sense just to move out.  I also consider PO and think that fully embracing the car-dependent, sprawl lifestyle would be crazy.

So, I think about the late comic Sam Kinison and his famous routine about the Ethopians.  He would decry the Ethopians for living in a very arid climate and starving as a result.  "Why don't they move to where the fuckin' water is?  They live in fucking sand!!!"  I've concluded that that's a little similar to my situation, in that I am in a situation where getting a career job (if such a thing exists anymore) is virtually impossible as long as I stay where I am.  It also helped in that I recently read about people in Detroit whose auto industry jobs were outsourced, and rather than migrate to locations where employment was more probable, they stayed behind and were never able to get back on their feet.

So, I am starting to look for employment in the NYC area.  I know that there is more competition there, but there are also more openings.  What I am yearning for is a position at a business where I will want to climb up the ladder.  Virtually every job I've had up to this point, has been no more than a paycheck, a way to live week by week.  It has either been impossible to advance at these jobs, or I've had no desire to.  My plan is to hopefully find something, commute for awhile, and if it works out, look for a place to live.  I don't care if I have to live out of my backpack, or room with 5 or 6 other guys.  I just want to live in a place where I don't have to stress on getting to work, or if I want to do something, I can just walk or take a train without worrying with all the logistical crap that comes with not having a vehicle.

Collapse is also on my mind too, but honestly, not too much so.  I don't know, I know that a city won't be an ideal place to live in a crash scenario, but what really would be?  Maybe a rural setting, and even then, you'd need to know how to grow food.  I've read plenty of predictions that things were going to fall apart, and I have no doubt that they will, but I just don't think that it'll happen tomorrow.  Unfortunately, as far as my career path goes, I have to live under the assumption that things are going to continue as they have been.

(I'm sorry about the personal post.  My next posts will be more in the usual format of relating to issues that are hot in the news.) 

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