Judge Dredd’s Backyard


Viikko 6


Date: Aug 6th, 2013
Motion: THB that smaller municipalities should always be incorporated into bigger communities or units
Role: Rep. (opp.)

Some years ago, two decades to be precise, Finnish author Ms. Anja Snellman published a book called the Geography of Fear (literal, but likely the eventual title, if translated). It purported that women better not go to certain places in towns and cities lest they be raped or worse. Snellman’s thesis was that per the human liberties outlined by Isaiah Berlin, a known Jewish-British philosopher, women would lack the positive or administrative liberty of going where they want.

I would like to say, on the other hand, that the geography of fear, or that of Ill Feeling, is everywhere, and not just for women. All of our inhabited towns and that one (capital) city are pervaded by fear and loathing, but not in Las Vegas. Let me explain in detail what I mean.

Anxiety and negative feelings characterize emotion in living anywhere. In a big place, the anxiety is of the unmysterious sort: population density. It is on such a level that the anxiety is mostly caused by competition, congestion, crowds, pollution, scarcity and risen prices. People often prefer this kind of anxiety to downright dread, panic or fright. How else could we explain the popularity of a place like Helsinki to live in? The upside of living in a city is the relative feeling of safety in numbers. Mystery is to be found elsewhere.

In smaller, often migration-depleted localities, two forces prevail: a) mystery or b) bleakness/squalor. External factors determine to some extent if a place is bleak or not, as it does for mystery as well. Mystery, however, is a touch-and-go thing, or not something that one can buy. It either exists in a place, or not. Sometimes it hinges on the history of the place, its location under the stars, or just the nature and the movements of wind and water around the place. One can sense it clearly, though. If, in the quiet hours of the afternoon or evening, the place is permeated by a sense or spirit of impending ”something”, mystery is present indeed.

If there is no(t) mystery, bleakness takes its place instead. Bleak places are on the bottommost rung of existence in inhabited, man-populated places. However, they may have some redeeming qualities. They may be close to some natural wonder (which would probably tilt them more toward mystery). They may be the place where the sole person in the world who makes love with one lives in. They may provide quiet that is necessary for sleeping, dreaming or creating. They may hold a vacant lot one wants to guard over and sell up.

It is a matter of taste whether one places an anxious,  bleak or mysterious place first to take precedence. Sometimes there is no choice, sometimes variety is the spice of life, and sometimes materialistic considerations get the upper hand in what needs to be done. But, I would say that a true emotionalist & idealist might want to live in a mysterious place for long stretches of his or her life, because then there is always something to feel. On the other hand, I’m willing to admit that a mission in life or social ties (which are part of Life’s Mission) compel us to seek ourselves to the biggest available watering holes.

If you imagine your person to generate mostly a positive electric charge, then the inherent negative charge of the place in which you live may be seen to generate the tension or voltage that exists to keep you going. It’s the voltage of existence, based on the geography of ”fear”.

Arvio: Tämä puhe tekee osittaista, hidasta vastarintaa motionia kohtaan. Vastustuksen ei täydy olla aina kovaäänistä poikkiteloin asettumista, tuttua päivänpolitiikan tekemisestä. I puhujan täytyy olla ”poikkitelainen”, ja II puhujankin tämän peesaajana enimmäkseen myös, mutta III puhuja ynnä Whip voivat luottaa melankolisempaan meininkiin. Vastustus käy ilmi siitä, mitä sanotaan, eikä pelkästään siitä, miten sanotaan.




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