Koreans from the US, protesting WTO meetings in Hong Kong with Korean farmers... And writing about the experience.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

arrived in Hong Kong... it seems like the contradictions of the hyper-urbanized Asian cities is more extreme here than I remebered from Seoul. Buildings seem to be both older and newer, and the air is the worst of any city I remember. yet when I was walking through the city streets, on Sat. night after two hours of jet-lagged sleep, the neon lights that gave the cityits life also gave me energy and a second wind. Right until i got to my rest...

sothatis the contradiction that is urban development- cities are more economically and environmentally viable than suburbs, but we don't make them. My relationship to food is also shaped by my upbringing in an urban poor community in Seoul, another hyper-urbanized Asian city. Food is harder to grow in the city, and the food we consume becomes that more removed from us, for me this meant that i didn't like eating anything that wasn't processed. After a while this diet becomes a part of you, like bleached hair and english becomes a part of your culture.

So how does this relate to anything? the process of urbanization has been tilted so unevenly. On one hand is producing for need, and another for economic expansion, and for excessive consumption. The result of this is what we see in seoul and hong kong. So what'sup?

quickly, because ppl haven't heeded my call to write about the practice of dumping-

Developed nations subsidzie their agriculture, and enable its agricutlre giants to sell crops at below market, or as a nation gives its crops as food aid. This destroys the local agriculture, at which point it becomes dependent on the developed nations' big agriculture for food. at their mercy.

gotta go gotta go more pies to break up...

2 Comments:

Blogger medium rare said...

Sounds like a blast!
How about some pics of HK? I haven't been there in close to 15 years when she was still a colony...

1:16 AM

 
Anonymous fzkn said...

young,
first things...stay safe and bring back some stories.

it might not be what youre after, or even what I’m after, but you laid out a pretty interesting dualism b/t nation-state and city, while in hong kong no less. if there was ever a situation that shows the opposition of the city & state, its gotta be HK<->China.

urbanism is capitalism, literally. The world system geographers, f.braudel et al, described how the city is the centralized space for capital and lost it’s dominance in Europe ‘cause the nation-state was the only system that could gear up for war, i.e. state=violence & coercion. city=capitalism & coercion. Of course, as much as the state fears the forces of urbanism (lots of people in one place), the state needs cities to pay for violence. City needs state to make sure there’s a force that manipulate markets so the local capitalists can make a buck without breaking a sweat. No doubt, the city doesn’t want to be told what to do by the state, especially, if the state threatens to become a weapon of the workers or worse, the state decides to regulate capitalism to spread its $ across more than a couple of generations.

So is that where we’re at? the city/capital doesn’t care if it screws the state right now, what’s good for GM aint good for America anymore, elites in bejing and HK don’t give a shit about the people in the countryside and would rather they starve than be heard, ect.?

i’m not one to believe that states are all of the sudden meaningless, but I agree with john cusack in grosse point blank when he says nation-states are “public relations theory,” only more so. I’m think the nation-state apparatus is all about psywarfare on the masses. but that at least there’s some room to fight. i think this is where the autonomists say that we need other spaces outside the cities & states construct to build communities and relationships, whatever that means. maybe that’s where the ‘organizer’ comes in?

also, i’m not willing to add my name to the list of people who have come before and said the game is in its last throes. But something’s gotta give.

4:22 AM

 

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