There are reasons to be glad about being in Pittsburgh. The history here makes eye candy anywhere you go, the attrocious lack of decent planning is still tolerable, you can always predict who will win an election, and people are better than most about minding their own business, minus the usual snoops and gossips.
This is a quiet town.
In spite of as many as twelve shooting incidents a week, virtually all neighborhoods are peaceful at all times other than when the angry cars or pedestrians pass. A few alarming seconds, and things are just like they were before, like an urban pasture. Pittsburgh has improved in a subtractive process over the past five years, having scared away most of the very people who have plagued my life for much of it: people who think they are better than me.
The breed of human that I would like to lambast today is the grouping that feels the old ways are better than then the new ones, and most of these swine have advanced college degrees.
These people come in herds, like smug elk. Few have the stones to live where I do, (IN TRENCHES I TRUST,) and I am pleased about how well some nice, loud hip hop, pounding out a basement window, will disperse a flock of soft college liberals. It's hunting season for fledglings with credit cards and laptops. Okay, there's some noise here and there, but for the most part it helps.
There's this thing called 'more rusticated than thou." I thought they all died, but there are still people out there trying to prove they are happier than you in their unheated cabin.
Few of this set are actually poor, many have old money from Mayflower dynasties, yet they live like Daniel Boone. When here, they fill their apartments with antique farm equipment.
Some of these cheese eaters make their own cheese, and they are too inversely elite to make brie or cammembert, it's always some rough hewn nameless goat curds, prepared so not to challenge the environment or appear to be anything but pure primordial munchies for pseudo-agrarian snobs.
I had the misfortune of visiting too many of these people's homes because I went to college at a time when people where still expected to be social. It was a deceptive and false premise since the Earth oozed out of the sun. There is no reason to believe, anymore, that people interact for any reason other than cool mutual interest, aside from which people cut their losses, in discomfort and and ever-useful fear, by fleaing the vacinity. Some of the back-to-nature set moved to Maine, others found midwestern forests and farms far from here. Each day I face East and thank urban blight for chasing away some jerks.
I wore polyester slacks at the height of the Natural Fiber Wars, circa 1967-89. For 'wrinkle free,' I paid with my social standing among luddite academics and hippies. Some of these people owned looms and went on torid junkets to adore one another's hand woven fabrics. The least deviation tolerated from their pink program was either Osh Kosh or L.L. Bean. If they weren't having a backroom pow wow about my petrochemical pants, they were angry that I wasn't altering Middle Eastern politics, as many did with cash contributions to the PLO. They despised American smoke-stack industry and condominiums and malls, bought folk art from people who seem, like them, to live like Pilgrims, and they objected to my love for Clint Eastwood movies. These people objected to my views on space and time, also.
I wouldn't have such a dark attitude about it if people weren't as annoying. More backward:more ethical is crud. People in foriegn lands don't hack each other to death because they are technologically advanced. And I wouldn't have let one side of the moon go dim if I hadn't been persecuted by people who object to my views on business and industry. They all think that everyone could survive as cobblers if people got hip to what used to be necessary. The past wasn't better than now, unless raw milk is better than a Big Mac.
They hated my linear, goal oriented thinking. They think in trained, enlightened clusters of sod.
To spare further insult, I seldom leave the comfort of illiterate Perryhilltop, which exited it's last uppity post-graduate in flannel and dungarees in the 1980s.
Isolationism and healthy mindless consurmerism, here, is sweet.