Space and Time: Some Things and Other Things

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        How high can you count? Go for it. Stop there! That was really good. I’m impressed. But! Be warned, you didn’t even make it to the square footage of your home. In 2013, the average size of a house in the United States was 2,491 square feet. People throw numbers like that around all the time, but what does it really look like? I’ll tell you: imagine your foot was actually a square of one foot by one foot, and you walked the square root of 2491 steps in any direction, turned 90 degrees to the left, then walked the square root of 2491 steps that way. Easy! Anyway, it’s a lot of space, more than a thousand square feet more than the median house size in 1970. This change has coincided with a shrink in the average size of the family unit, so people have more personal space than ever. So stay far away from me. Or hold me close now tiny dancer. I am easily bent to your will, but I’m lucky, a special case, because the population density of America is quite low compared to, say, Bangladesh, which has 1,250 people per square kilometer. My point is, recently, on the heels of Music Midtown, space has seemed to me such a luxury, and such an oddity.

        My house contains four people, and each person gets a whole room to themselves. After I gave me body up to the whims of the crowd leaving Post Malone, I shared my bubble with thirty of my closest friends who I had never met. When I got home I laid on my bed and screamed primally to assert my claim upon it. Nothing is yours until you’ve done this. It’s so incredibly crazy that the entire world population could be comfortably fit into a landmass the size of Sweden. I pitched that idea to the major world powers and I got some of them on board. I know a girl who owns an whole county in South Georgia. At that point she may as well be entitled to self-government. Why do we require so much space and still demand to pack ourselves into cities that geographically cannot grow? How do I know exactly how much space I need? Let’s think about it. That can be answered multiple ways, because I need somewhere at least my size to sleep, and I need somewhere to eat, but I also need the hundreds of acres of land that it takes to grow and slaughter the food I consume, and the fields that drill the oil I burn. Is this where rights become unproductive? I mean, I am constitutionally guaranteed the right to private property, but all the land I own is land not expanding the common good. That might be a bit communist, so let’s invert it. What I own I enterprise, whether I mean to or not. I could be running a business on my property, but more likely I am exchanging money for the services of electricians, plumbers, banks, and my sister who decided she wanted to be an interior designer before dropping out of college. So then am I justified in having such a disgusting amount of space to myself when the vast majority of the species is quite content with less? I do not know at all, but the question gets at the heart of music festivals as well: we force ourselves together and drown ourselves in excesses, but also starve and lack water and hygiene and live like much of the world lives all the time, but we pay money to do it. That is me romanticizing poverty, which is Not Cool, but every time I force myself into that breed of modern day festivity, I have to wonder why we punish ourselves for prosperity.

        I think I can fix inflation by collecting so many quarters that a significant amount of all the money in circulation is removed. Would I have to list that on my tax statement? Maybe I’ll keep them in the Bahamas, away from the prying arms of the IRS. Speaking of, I recently learned how to jive and now I know why the Great Depression happened. I also can’t decide if we need another one of those or another war. They really clean a society out like Drano. If you find that dark then do remember that many ecosystems rely on forest fires to maintain soil quality. This is getting a little murder-y. I blame that on Music Midtown. What has allowed music to become the driver of popular culture, and why is that the art form we have singled out as the most useful? It might be the packaging, in a world of convenience density beats detail. Is the diversity of prominent artists today a good thing, or is it subconsciously limiting the roles marginalized people can fill in a white society? Is relatability in art now worthless, as the people telling stories are irrevocably different from those listening to them? Does it matter at all, as the product rappers are selling is being bought? We have built strata of life around land and spaces, climbing the ladder grants more and more, and as everything, and I mean everything in this country has changed, this has remained exactly the same: no matter how it is come by, success is marked by space and time. How much you have of one, and how little you have of the other. Happiness is productivity. I am happy because I haven’t a moment to think, collecting all these quarters.

        Almost nothing I can count is worth knowing. A topic that fascinates me is the idea of control, in the baseball sense of the term. It relates to a pitcher’s ability to place the ball where they want it. I have gravitated towards what I can quantifiably control and control well. It is the only way to assert my usefulness. It is the only way to win myself some space. It is the only way to waste my damn time.

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