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2006 06 05
Designing Destruction
Reading Toronto comments on the design, culture, and politics of the city. Given that lens, I have to review this weekend's terrorism related events with more than a little incredulity.

Designers by their very nature look at the world and wonder how they can improve it. It is a psychological blow to discover that their efforts to create a more thoughtfully designed city - one premised on an overall public good - can be destroyed by willful acts of hatred. Let's face it. Beautifying Toronto's waterfront doesn't mean much if our culture is ripped apart by extreme acts of violence.

Vengeful destruction is by its very nature antithetical to the subtle process of creation. Creating beauty is one of the greatest affirmations of a civilized society. Blowing things up isn't.

But we live in an increasingly small world. Political actions that once took place in remote lands and were out of site and out of mind, now have repercussions here. That is why we have to be sure that as a political culture our actions abroad are fair and democratic. I remember with a degree of nostalgia Canada's image as an impartial peace-keeping nation advancing the cause of a modern world.

What happened to that ideal? Does it still exist? Who are the Lester B. Pearsons of 21st Century Canadian politics?

Canada's role on the international landscape is evolving. We have to be sure our actions at home and abroad are committed to the highest ideals of our culture. Otherwise, designs of hatred and destruction may overtake our designs for a beautiful and civilized city.
[email this story] Posted by R Ouellette on 06/05 at 12:15 PM

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