The here and now… wherever that may be.
Monday, October 11 2004
Wherever you're standing, your sense of 'place' is largely a state of mind; it's meaning a construct of culture with connotations that change over time, because you change over time. In Mizota's case, living between two major US cities has caused an overlap in geography, a fusion of two separate cities into one that is a little of both, but not fully either place.
As the stretch limo crept along an access road to a large wall of strange shapes, my spirit died. This was what the long promised Magic Kingdom was all about? This was the Happiest Place on Earth? The Happiest Place on Earth slowly became the most miscreant marketing ploy on the planet.
In the US Capitol, multiple 'realities' and 'fantasies' coexist, creating a schizophrenic existence. It is a place of 'real world' politics as depicted by the mass media. We think we 'know' this city from so many movies and TV programs we've seen. It is our national site for pilgrimage, shared with people from other countries who bring their own historical understanding to this monument. And, it is home to a disenfranchised population with minimal representation in its own country, as if the people who live here are virtually non-existent.
In contemporary South Carolina, people seem willing and eager to evoke, rather than to exorcize, the ghosts of the past. Yet if you mention its uglier aspects, you will be told, perhaps by someone dressed in a hoop-skirt and getting ready to lead a tour of a 'two hundred yar old plantation', to 'stop living in the past'.