You’re a comedian who also works for social and environmental justice. I’m a writer of theories which aim to be praxis oriented – stuff like Biography of a Synthesis and Ecology of Sanity – and I’m looking for a project. Would you like to help me and a group of professionals to design, build and run an affordable housing complex that not only low income folks can live there but middle class and even rich folks want to live there too?
In case you’re wondering why I picked you to help; I’ve liked you forever even though some of the angle and turns your work takes, I’m not crazy about. Then a couple of weeks ago you softened my heart when I saw you and Seinfeld in a car getting coffee as you said, “I love them” after talking about your friends who stunk up your car.
Like your friends I also stink in an adorable way. But I’ve been too serious most of my life in trying to save the world. At first, as a teenager growing up in a weird family in Tehran as I started to become overwhelmed by pictures of kids starving to death in Africa and all other insanity and injustice around the world and had no idea what to do about them. Let’s skip the teenage year, the years after and get to right now.
You know that LA, as most cities and towns in America and around the world, has a population of unhoused folks – some of whom have jobs. There’s also a population of middle class and rich people living in nice homes, alone, some with severe loneliness issues. I suspect the later is a social problem that is not talked much about and if it is talked about the individual is to blame for his or her predicament hence most people will either deny they’re lonely or drug themselves with the help of doctors to forget. I think is more of a societal problem than individual’s.
Bernie couldn’t have fixed these problems if he had become the president. Just as the Big Bully couldn’t do all the things he wants to do such as ban Muslims in his first year in office. Bernie would have had obstacles too. We need to work on it one block at a time, so…
Check out this Hakka House on YouTube or where ever. It’s a design that comes to my mind for a housing unite/community which will take one square city block. And here is some more ideas for your amusement. The first floor could have a coffeehouse/chow-hall/market on one corner and on other corners a bigger market, clinic, bike shop, school or something else. The four corners on the street level are four points of contact between the building/community members and the neighborhood and larger society.
Inside the building/community the relation between people and what they want to create together is in such a way that they don’t need to drive anywhere to fulfill their needs of bring income, educate their children, provide health care, socializing, entertainment and spiritual union. Obviously this is my personal bias and not of someone like Jerry Seinfeld who seem to have to be able to jump into one car or another on daily bases. In fact in a community that I’d like to be part of there is a general agreement that we could all live without owning cars or even use cars. But no one is prohibited from renting a car and driving half hour for some event – okay enough details for now and let’s picture the wider view. As more building like this pop up in a neighborhood then one square city block can become some sort of arena for community of communities meeting and other events.
I have a spiritual mindset as well which is non-hierarchical and non-religious but it revolves around identifying and respecting the Shaman in the community. To get an idea of what I’m talking about please see Shaman on a House Call on my website, rozomid.org.
Anyway, let me know if you want to have coffee and talk about this affordable housing project or about Ecology of Sanity in general.
Added note on May 10, 2018: Sorry Sarah, Didn’t hear from you so I made other plans for a few months. Maybe we can have coffee another time in L.A. or in another part of the world.