A City’s Identity: Fixed or In Flux?

A city on its own does not have identity. Before it develops identity, it must provide the materials on which identity can be founded, these materials then being interpreted by perceivers. Created materials—the skeleton of a city—exert an unseen influence on these perceivers. Doing so excites their faculties, instilling in them the desire to imagine and order what is being presented. Every determination of the city’s identity is unique. For example, for some the city will be beauty and peace, while for others it will be squalor and chaos.
      Given the nature of the perceivers, however, not all of these determinations can exist concurrently. Here is where conflicts arise, forcing some perceivers into subjugation. Inflicting subjugation alone will not remove the longing for a particular determination. Just because the subjugated long, on the other hand, does not ensure that a determination will persist.
      Keeping such memories alive proves especially difficult when faced with efforts to purge this newly subjugated determination. Long before a subjugated determination can establish a foothold, it is generally routed and destroyed by the established subjugators. Most purging actions take the form of sardonic inquests, where the subjugated are asked numerous nonsensical questions. Next, the subjugated are tasked with defending their answers to these questions, many times leading to increasingly contradictory statements as the they struggle to survive.
      Oftentimes, some semblance of logic is born of these inquests, creating the peculiar case where the subjugator determination is brought into question by the subjugated. Pondering these new considerations reverses the dichotomy, whereby the subjugator becomes the subjugated, and a nascent determination, suddenly appearing sensible, becomes the intellectual foundation for a new subjugator. Quarreling in this manner helps, paradoxically, ensure that no determination remains constant, despite any efforts to maintain a uniform determination of the city’s identity.
      Routing of supposed subjugated determinations has become a matter of habit. So many determinations have come and gone, in fact, that it might even be argued that this infirm quality is itself the city’s identity. This argument also raises the question of whether a city, or any city for that matter, can truly have identity. Under such a system, it cannot be argued that there are any constants by which to derive meaning. Verily, as time and experience have shown, there are no other options by which to effect a lasting consensus. We now must face the reality that, in this system, all matters are subjective, coincidental, and/or arbitrary. Xenophobia prevents there being introduced any third, fourth, fifth, etc., determinations into this system, thereby creating an insulated form of governance, immune to change.
      Yet it is still believed that there must be a time when the system will be disrupted. Zoological data supports this hypothesis.


For the Intermittent Writer


Short books about albums. Published by Bloomsbury.

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