Monday, February 13, 2006

The Emperor's New Clothes

First they cleared the land. The trees fell, the faeries fled, the sun still shone. Bulldozers dug and piled and shovelled the sweet forest loam for days on end and the earthmovers drove their dump-truck treasure away to a far unknown.

Next they staked their designer-jean slogans into the sun-baked clay. Stark against the naked horizon, the banners with butterfly graphics announced: Bronte Creek: Oakville’s Natural Neighbourhood. Bronte Creek: Grand Chateau Inspired Designs. Bronte Creek: Perfectly Integrated with Nature.

Perfectly. Integrated. With. Nature.

Then, up they went, the cookie-cutter chateaus side-by-side-by-side with their grass patch lawns and their lonely stick-twig trees. Numbered lots labelled ‘Estate Homes’ — bought at high digit prices by wedding cake couples with their cell-phoned children and their golden doodle dogs — sold like candy floss at a May Day fair.

Perhaps fringed by a thin thicket of trees... perhaps bordered by a creek ravine... perhaps neighboured by a provincial park with campsites and trails and nature guides... perhaps this grants the illusion weight yet all I can feel is despair at such bullshit bravado.



Blogger herhimnbryn said...

oh, Hell. I know we need houses, but,but,but why not well made and affordable ones. Set in amongst trees, with bush gardens.All having minimal impact on the surrounding environment?
Amm I being too idealistic?

Blogger Joy Des Jardins said...

That is a terrific piece. Thanks Gemma. I love visiting you and seeing what you have in store for us.

Blogger Mary said...

When you've known and loved the "before" it's truly painful to see the "after", particularly when it could have been done so much better. I've experienced the same thing.

Blogger MB said...

It is a standing joke around here that subdivisions are named after what used to be there! Yes, it's very sad.

Blogger Gemma Grace said...

Smiles to each of you ~~~~

Herhimnbryn ~ I think you're being down-to-earth realistic :)

Joy ~ Thank you. I was feeling kind of fierce when I wrote it ;)

Mary ~ Yes, sadly to say, it seems common practice around these parts.

MB ~ Hello again ~ Isn't that true! It's that old Emperor's New Clothes thing again.


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