David Bryne = "New York has changed"

downtownrobbrowndowntownrobbrown 446 Posts
edited October 2013 in Strut Central
http://pitchfork.com/news/52570-david-byrne-says-wealth-inequality-has-crushed-creativity-in-new-york-city-in-new-editorial/

The city is a body and a mind ??? a physical structure as well as a repository of ideas and information. Knowledge and creativity are resources. If the physical (and financial) parts are functional, then the flow of ideas, creativity and information are facilitated. The city is a fountain that never stops: it generates its energy from the human interactions that take place in it. Unfortunately, we're getting to a point where many of New York's citizens have been excluded from this equation for too long. The physical part of our city ??? the body ??? has been improved immeasurably. I'm a huge supporter of the bike lanes and the bikeshare program, the new public plazas, the waterfront parks and the functional public transportation system. But the cultural part of the city ??? the mind ??? has been usurped by the top 1%.


This city doesn't make things anymore. Creativity, of all kinds, is the resource we have to draw on as a city and a country in order to survive. In the recent past, before the 2008 crash, the best and the brightest were lured into the world of finance. Many a bright kid graduating from university knew that they could become fairly wealthy almost instantly if they found employment at a hedge fund or some similar institution. But before the financial sector came to dominate the world, they might have made things: in publishing, manufacturing, television, fashion, you name it. As in many other countries, the lure of easy bucks hoovered this talent and intelligence up ??? and made it difficult for those other kinds of businesses to attract any of the top talent.
A culture of arrogance, hubris and winner-take-all was established. It wasn't cool to be poor or struggling. The bully was celebrated and cheered. The talent pool became a limited resource for any industry, except Wall Street. I'm not talking about artists, writers, filmmakers and musicians ??? they weren't exactly on a trajectory toward Wall Street anyway ??? but any businesses that might have employed creative individuals were having difficulties surviving, and naturally, the arty types had a hard time finding employment, too... Unlike Iceland, where the government let misbehaving banks fail and talented kids became less interested in leaping into the cesspool of finance, in New York there has been no public rejection of the culture that led to the financial crisis.



http://pitchfork.com/news/52570-david-byrne-says-wealth-inequality-has-crushed-creativity-in-new-york-city-in-new-editorial/


Does he have a point?
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  Comments


  • Of course he has a point. It's not just New York, though. It's easily the worst problem the US has as a whole.

  • JimsterJimster Cruffiton.etsy.com 6,902 Posts
    If money is your God, The Big City is your church. Same the world over.

  • LaserWolfLaserWolf Portland Oregon 11,517 Posts
    He is a good bullshitter.
    Lots of words, not much to say.

  • bassiebassie 11,710 Posts
    downtownrobbrown said:
    http://pitchfork.com/news/52570-david-byrne-says-wealth-inequality-has-crushed-creativity-in-new-york-city-in-new-editorial/

    But the cultural part of the city ??? the mind ??? has been usurped by the top 1%.



    This city doesn't make things anymore. Creativity, of all kinds, is the resource we have to draw on as a city and a country in order to survive. In the recent past, before the 2008 crash, the best and the brightest were lured into the world of finance. Many a bright kid graduating from university knew that they could become fairly wealthy almost instantly if they found employment at a hedge fund or some similar institution. But before the financial sector came to dominate the world, they might have made things: in publishing, manufacturing, television, fashion, you name it. As in many other countries, the lure of easy bucks hoovered this talent and intelligence up ??? and made it difficult for those other kinds of businesses to attract any of the top talent.

    The only people who have been able dedicate their lives to art and creativity and live above the poverty line have always been the wealthy. Guess what? People want to eat and the distance from hand to mouth grows farther and farther every year.
    There is how you pay the rent and how you keep your mind and soul alive.
    I'd like to see what the numbers are for enrollment in art, film, design, etc. schools now compared to 20, 15 and 10 years ago.
    His definition of how people "make things" is limited, myopic and - as he references the 1% - elitist.

    Smacks of the hip hop is dead line. It doesn't look/feel/sound/etc. exactly like it used to, I can't relate, the rules have changed, the medium and message has changed - therefore it must be dead!

    Show me a living thing that has remained the same for the past 30+ years and I'll show you something boring, stuck and irrelevant.

  • DB_CooperDB_Cooper Manhatin' 7,823 Posts
    David Byrne = X has changed over time.
    Everyone else = No shit. That's how time works.

  • HarveyCanalHarveyCanal "a distraction from my main thesis." 13,234 Posts
    American culture has shonuff been getting squeezed by corporate boring.

    b/w

    Analog ---> Digital.

  • DocMcCoyDocMcCoy "Go and laugh in your own country!" 5,917 Posts
    The malaise he describes has spread everywhere. The 1% has stifled creative talent in a lot of places, not just New York, and not just the U.S. That's the issue that needs addressing.

    In any event, if David Byrne is only just noticing this now, he's a sight further behind the curve than most people. I particularly liked this:
    "But where will I go? Join the expat hipsters upstate in Hudson?"
    Well, why not? You probably haven't been a poor struggling artist for a very long time - at least you have the option of being able to afford to go somewhere else.

    Meanwhile, in Berlin...

  • it's not just a new york problem but the visibility here, and the quickness with which it happened, makes it feel much more profoundly violent than i've seen in other places. in the last 5 years, the exponential luxury development of downtown new york and brooklyn is absolutely insane. if you don't live here, it's probably hard to relate to and seems myopic or like some 'old man yells at cloud' shit, but most of what byrne says here is on point. creative people make apps now, not sculptures. and they don't make apps during the day, and then go home and work on their personal projects. the nature of the money game is such that you have to dedicate your entire life to it if you want to play on the same playground. it's absolutely fucking sickening.

  • The "creatives" class in this city is rife with poseurs and people high with raw, social climbing ambition but terribly short on interesting or compelling ideas. I don't know who to blame for that but their fuckshit parents and peers.

  • Tl;dr but if Byrne doesnt see the inherent fuckery of a bikeshare program emblazoned all over with Citigroup logos and limited to the rich parts of town then I don't even know.

  • DB_CooperDB_Cooper Manhatin' 7,823 Posts
    I've only been around the city for the last five years, so I just assumed it was always a hyper-competitive copycat clusterfuck.

  • FrankFrank 2,370 Posts
    I've spent two 4 year stretches in NYC, first in the mid to late 90s and then again up until last year. It's still a great city but it has lost most if not all of its appeal to me. I mean ok, back in the 90s everybody was complaining that it wasn't the 80s anymore but at the same time they said how they appreciated not having to worry about being mugged or shot at. The city still was totaly safe but still exciting enough, there was plenty of grit left and it still felt authentic. Everybody was freelancing some easy shit and went out on weeknights and if there were no live shows everybody stayed in on weekends, got some work done and recovered from a week of hard partying. The nightlife was pretty nice (although I already felt a bit underwhelmed having moved there from Berlin -what do you mean everything closes at 4:00? -where do we go now? home? you're kidding right? why do they call this the city that never sleeps?). Today you won't really get people out to party on a weeknight. Hell even on a Friday night most people leave at 3:00. I have an old friend who's been working a pretty cool job for a big video game company for 10+ years and since he became single again he has to hold down a 2nd job to pay for his Manhattan apartment and work every other Saturday. Being in his 40s. WTF? In our old neighborhood in Boerum Hill around the corner from Smith Street there used to be all those great Cuban eateries where you'd get a big plate of really good food for $5, now it's all trendy bullshit eateries. We paid $750 for a one bedroom when we moved in in '97 -after having spent a year in a converted garage on Staten Island for around $300. Before we moved back I spent months looking at real estate listings and I saw a similar sized place on the same block for $2.500 (someone once told me you should be able to pay for a month's wort of rent with one week's pay). Who in the hell makes $10.000 a month and then wants to live in a small apartment that's suitable for a single person or a young couple who doesn't need much space? Where do you live if you're a young aspiring artists, writers or musicians? Not in NYC I guess. And NYC nightlife is fucking depressing these days. There are no really good smaller clubs (capacity of 200-300) left in the city. The cost of dealing with all the regulations, noise complaints etc makes it impossible. So many key parts of the city have become completely unauthentic. In the summer of 2008 during the first month of my 2nd stay I got busted for putting postcard sized gig flyers onto a construction fence on Ludlow street. The cops came speeding around the corner with the lights flashing and screetched to a halt right in front of me. I looked around to see what was going down when I realized they were there for me. In the 90s you could score drugs on that block, now they're worrying about keeping the plywood of their construction fences clean.

  • HarveyCanalHarveyCanal "a distraction from my main thesis." 13,234 Posts
    Austin is supposedly "the live music capital of the world", but ridiculous noise ordinance enforcements have really been putting a cramp in the style. It used to be that hardly anyone lived literally downtown. But in the past 10 years, high-rise condominiums have been going up left and right. So now downtown is filled with recent outta-state transplants who are completely oblivious to what they are messing up for all.

    Of course, you can't have even just a dj gig down the block from a residential building. But if you want to get some corporate sponsors together and throw enormous music festivals that tie up and ultimately tear up the lawns of our few municipal parks, then hey...how many weeks do we need to reserve the space for you?

  • Big_StacksBig_Stacks "I don't worry about hittin' power, cause I don't give 'em nuttin' to hit." 4,670 Posts
    Jonny_Paycheck said:
    The "creatives" class in this city is rife with poseurs and people high with raw, social climbing ambition but terribly short on interesting or compelling ideas. I don't know who to blame for that but their fuckshit parents and peers.

    Gotta love NCLB :shitty: "Excess breeds apathy."

    Peace,

    Big Stacks from Kakalak

  • DelayDelay 4,530 Posts
    I think there is a huge segment of this city that was raised in the suburbs. People who grew up in cul-de-sacs that have no idea how to live in a city, and expect the city to morph to their standards. If you grew up in an apartment building, you walk around like you would expect your upstairs neighbor to walk around. Tyler and Emily from Columbus, Ohio moved to 68th and Lexington in the beer-pong district right after finishing college, stomp around like human dildos, and complain at every movement of their upstairs neighbors. They are also the people that get on the train before people walk off, and then stand in front of the doors and act all ass-hurt when you squeeze by them to get in an otherwise empty car. They walk out into traffic without looking. They take leisurely Sunday rides on their citi-bikes while talking on the phone. They come to full stops at the top of a busy stairway or sidewalk with a loose $20 bill hanging out of their pocket. Things that have been ingrained in some of us our whole lives, and are viewed as common knowledge, bounce off oblivious skulls with no hope of ever sinking in.

  • DB_CooperDB_Cooper Manhatin' 7,823 Posts
    Delay said:
    They are also the people that get on the train before people walk off, and then stand in front of the doors and act all ass-hurt when you squeeze by them to get in an otherwise empty car. They walk out into traffic without looking. They take leisurely Sunday rides on their citi-bikes while talking on the phone. They come to full stops at the top of a busy stairway or sidewalk with a loose $20 bill hanging out of their pocket.

    My god, yes.

  • batmonbatmon 27,574 Posts
    Rudy Giuliani cracked down on crime and made it safer for out of towners & tourists.

    Brooklyn is now the safe haven for these kids.

  • BrianBrian 7,618 Posts
    im moving from Williamsburg to harlem
    am I part of this problem (that of course I didn't read)

  • DelayDelay 4,530 Posts
    i blame brunch

  • FrankFrank 2,370 Posts
    Delay said:
    I think there is a huge segment of this city that was raised in the suburbs. People who grew up in cul-de-sacs that have no idea how to live in a city, and expect the city to morph to their standards. If you grew up in an apartment building, you walk around like you would expect your upstairs neighbor to walk around. Tyler and Emily from Columbus, Ohio moved to 68th and Lexington in the beer-pong district right after finishing college, stomp around like human dildos, and complain at every movement of their upstairs neighbors. They are also the people that get on the train before people walk off, and then stand in front of the doors and act all ass-hurt when you squeeze by them to get in an otherwise empty car. They walk out into traffic without looking. They take leisurely Sunday rides on their citi-bikes while talking on the phone. They come to full stops at the top of a busy stairway or sidewalk with a loose $20 bill hanging out of their pocket. Things that have been ingrained in some of us our whole lives, and are viewed as common knowledge, bounce off oblivious skulls with no hope of ever sinking in.

    So true! When I first moved to NYC from Berlin, I was impressed and energized by how fast everybody was moving. people seemed to be constantly alert, walking fast on busy sidewalks without ever bumping into anybody. What you said about going on the train before people got off or coming to a full stop like a broken toy once they cleared the doors. Shit like this never happened. People on escalators would stand on the right side and walk on the left side. I moved back to Berlin and I was shocked at how lethargic and thoughtless people were moving around, not clearing the doors, freezing on busy sidewalks, blocking escalators etc. Fucking krauts, I thought, lame and blind. Then come 2008 I'm back in NYC and it has become the fucking same! How was this possible?

  • HarveyCanalHarveyCanal "a distraction from my main thesis." 13,234 Posts
    Pretty sure it's all Jay-Z's fault.

  • Delay said:
    I think there is a huge segment of this city that was raised in the suburbs. People who grew up in cul-de-sacs that have no idea how to live in a city, and expect the city to morph to their standards. If you grew up in an apartment building, you walk around like you would expect your upstairs neighbor to walk around. Tyler and Emily from Columbus, Ohio moved to 68th and Lexington in the beer-pong district right after finishing college, stomp around like human dildos, and complain at every movement of their upstairs neighbors. They are also the people that get on the train before people walk off, and then stand in front of the doors and act all ass-hurt when you squeeze by them to get in an otherwise empty car. They walk out into traffic without looking. They take leisurely Sunday rides on their citi-bikes while talking on the phone. They come to full stops at the top of a busy stairway or sidewalk with a loose $20 bill hanging out of their pocket. Things that have been ingrained in some of us our whole lives, and are viewed as common knowledge, bounce off oblivious skulls with no hope of ever sinking in.

    1000x

  • doble

    it's an easy strawman to blame it on the financial industry. Wall Street has been here. That's not the reason for lacking creativity. Look at any area of commerce in NYC (including the "cool" ones like mine!) and I guarantee you, weak shit is at an all time high.

  • BrianBrian 7,618 Posts
    I complained to my upstairs neighbor that his movie was rattling my ceiling and he posted about me on Twitter :(

  • Where in Harlem are you moving?

    Do they still shoot guns in Williamsburg? I mean, non-ironically, like without the aid of a musket or blunderbuss, vintage gunpowder and salvaged wooden barrels?

  • BrianBrian 7,618 Posts
    west harlem, 117th

    ive never heard gunz in Williamsburg but im also never home or sleeping if I am home so not the best person to ask

  • This article contained nothing hitherto unknown, to any of us here. The city doesn't MAKE anything anymore/every creative person builds apps and doesn't paint/there's no good clubs anymore/the city is a playground for the very rich now/people are a bunch of spectators and it's ruining the creative culture/art is so shitty now compared to what it was/everyone is a total pussy/it's so expensive and it's only getting more expensive... blah blah. Yes it's sad.

    It is the fact that these particular proclamations are coming from someone with the eminence of David Byrne as artist/Talking Head/cool dude that gives them weight to people other than ourselves who knew it but didn't want to hear it. And it is happening everywhere not just here.

    There's no easy answer to this. The only constant sure thing in New York is change.

  • so brian, what's your take on the living in the big city? if i recall, you announced you were moving there and no one, including me, believed that was really going to happen. guess you showed us doubters.

    b/w

    when are we going to get the re-formed talking heads? aren't they ripe for a cash-in about now?

  • david byrne = official voice of things being the same, or not the same, as they ever were.

  • batmonbatmon 27,574 Posts
    crabmongerfunk said:
    so brian, what's your take on the living in the big city? if i recall, you announced you were moving there and no one, including me, believed that was really going to happen. guess you showed us doubters.?

    I told him to look Uptown from jump.
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