The Gentrification of the Mind

“My book is a kind of love letter to the city as it was and before it got overtaken by money. Money, for me, may not immediately kill people in the way terrorism does, but it does certainly change the fabric of daily life in much deeper and more insidious ways. The terrorist may be defeated in 50 or 20 or 10 years, but money is going to be much harder to defeat.”
– Luc Sante, cultural historian, as quoted by Sukhdev Sandhu in The Guardian, 2 Jan 2016

“It doesn’t just effect the price of real estate. It effects the way people think; it causes a kind of ‘Gentrification of the Mind’.”
– Christian Viveros-Fauné, art critic for The Village Voice, paraphrased from a ‘The Conversation’ podcast

21 responses to “The Gentrification of the Mind

  1. Vancouver has always had a bit of a smugness about it, but it was (sort of) cool in the 70s, 80s, and even 90s. Its devolution into a wasteland of materialistic hollowness is directly attributable to the RE bubble of the past 10+ years.

  2. rod_jonsson_pmd

    phtahh! … westside has turned into a kind of yuppified slum replete with own brand of transients … don’t know how gentrific that is … unless gentrify now means something different … in like hey you – why don’t you go gentrify yourself!
    pffft! … bygones … time to carve – ode to pure, effervescent joy … get some … http://tinyurl.com/zdkj5vr

  3. Someone agreed that most BCers west coast Canadians are a bunch of snobby, fake, cold assholes. I got a YES when I asked this question in Victoria. Vancouver and Victoria are almost the exact mindset, except Victoria is super cliquey, standoffish, and snobby than even Vancouver. Vancouver almost appears sane when compared to Victoria. Victoria must be one of the most uptight, limiting, limited major cities in Canada? Go read all the comments on sites like Yahoo Answers, Topix (On Victoria, Is Victoria a nice place to live?, Vancouver, BC, Canada, etc), Numbeo, Why Some Immigrants Leave Canada (Canadian Immigrant), and others.

  4. By the responses to this thread you would think no one wants to be here. I am pretty sure Vancouver has some advantages to immigrants considering we are projected to have a much bigger immigrant population in 15 years.

  5. That mind game is global. Once the minds get used to the extra zeros, the world will take care of itself.

    anecdote:
    – owner bought the apartment for HK$5.45 million in 2009
    – owner was asking for HK$16.3 million in 2015 September
    – owner cut the price to HK$14.5 million two months later
    – owner sold it for HK$13 million (US$1.68 million)
    http://www.ejinsight.com/20151229-north-point-flats-find-buyers-but-at-hefty-discounts/

  6. Wealth disparity was always there, it’s just now the upper classes are running into some unwanted competition. What will it be instead that signals one’s status when wealth is so plentiful?

    • Bespoke luxury, one of a kind items, etc. probably explains why arts and other collectible prices are going through the roof.

      And if you are a Russian Oligarch or Saudi Prince, then a $1B yachat with all the attendent luxury, gold, and hidden Bond style weapons & special ops security teams are a must.

      For the morally decayed Chinese, it is how many mistresses and kids you have around the world.

  7. How do you defend against money? How do you have a life when billionaires walk the earth. One percenter Nick Hanauer, in a Ted talk, warns people like him against an uprising. That they’ll be coming with pitchforks. Sounds good. Bring out the guillotines.
    How do you compete in an environment where a “Greedy Jim” is a vertically integrated conglomerate? You can’t. The least you can do is avoid giving him and his supporters any of your slave wages.
    But people are naive. They’ll rah rah something as idiotic as hockey, or bankrupt a country like Greece to see if one elitist jackass can run half a second faster than another; throw a spear (javelin); a rock (discus). How bloody baboon moronic. What a stupendous waste of human energy. Got no job? No hope? No clean water? Kids dying? Fuck ’em, right. C’mon Germany, bail us out.
    I was influenced some thirty years ago by a book by the late great Pierre Berton: the Smug Minority. It’s still relevant today. Massive capital transfers to their spawn means this earth is tilting more and more to the robber barons. Peter Joseph’s Zeitgeist Movement has reasonable suggestions – building on the ideas of Buckminster Fuller and Jacques Fresco – and it’s easily accessible on YouTube. Joel Salatin is also an original thinker.

    • As my Business Strategy course instructor once asked, what do you think happens in a true capitalist system? Well, just look at Monopoly! Eventually most, if not all, the capital will accumulate to 1 player, and everyone else will be fighting for scraps.

      With all the patent laws, regulations, up-front investments, I think it is actually harder, not easier, to start up new business to compete against incumberbents, especially in existing industries. New no/very lightly regulated industries might be different as there are less protective measures.

  8. It was fascinating to peruse this week’s REW 2016 Real Estate Market Outlook – a piece of gibberish concocted by an anonymous industry flack with quotes from other industry toads. If you enjoy obfuscation from the lapdogs of real estate agents, you’ll get your fill. You better know how to parse; to read between the lines; to identify when you are being misled, conned, bullshitted.
    Look for the weasel words and wild mixing of disparate elements like BC, Lower Mainland, Vancouver, sales, listings, prices, housing starts, homes, condos, detached houses. A fetid understatement by REW – “that this time last year, forecasts were similarly timid and, ultimately, far off the eventual outcome for 2015” can be translated as: “We were blowing it out of our asses then, and we’re blowing it out of our asses now.”
    The Hershey squirts weasel award should go to the BCREA for predicting sales will drop in BC – “This could be caused by a cooling-off in demand but more likely by a lack of available homes for sale …” – could be? Cooling-off in demand? Later in the article it is quoted as describing “easing-off consumer demand”. What rubbish.
    The meat in the article is under the heading Demand from Overseas – that “large detached houses in desirable neighborhoods get snapped up”. WTF. So what? Would I rather the one they call “Greedy Jim” owns everything, or would I prefer the diversity of other cultures? The Chinese have enhanced my life. “Greedy Jim” has sucked the life out of thousands. Imagine a society where these hoarded billions were used to end BC’s status as being number one in child poverty; an end to food banks; an end to people digging in garbages for cans; free recreational facilities. A utopia – not a private aggrandizement – not an economic dictatorship.

  9. Youtube vids, conspiracy show hosts, all say the New World Order global elites and their mystery alien overlords have plans to terminate about 90% of the excess Earth population by various means. I think they may also be thinking of replacing people with artificial intelligence robots too? There you are, the Human meat is not longer needed. A future society will be worker robots servicing customer robots. Boss robots giving orders to servant robots.

    • But don’t they still need the human meat bags for backup energy in case of solar eclipses or pollutions blocking out the sun?

  10. Overlords, reptilians, or The Force are different words for god. A great antidote for this rubbish is to remember the Wizard of Oz – a little jackass with smoke and mirrors. And the other classic: the Emperor Has No Clothes. Why are we so scared to speak up? It’s a legitimate fear – and not just in the totalitarian regimes. It’s not enough that they own you – they want you to kowtow and be grateful. They want your praise.
    But speak up we must. What brought on the Arab Spring, or the end to apartheid? Speaking up. What brought light to the Catholic Church’s coverup of the child sex abuses by priests? Speaking up. Words are powerful. Action comes later.
    How do these sodomizers get away with taking people’s money; not paying taxes on real estate around the world; waltzing around the Vatican in dresses and weird hats? Pretending to be helping the poor. Along with Bill Maher’s Religilous, a must see skit is C K Lewis’ skit on the Catholic Church.

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