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The meaning of the word 'utopia' is catastrophically and wonderfully fluid. Catastrophic in terms of the word's practical usefulness, it teeters on the border between total ambiguity for some, and strong but opposing meanings for others. Wonderful in the word's having reached such a dynamic state. Where will it go from here? What will it do next? Following this little word's epic journey is one of this project's main goals.




The Huffington Post, Roya Rastegar, Jan. 30, 2010:

The most compelling screening of the entire [Sundance] festival was part of the festival's most brightly shining New Frontier program -- Oscar-nominated Sam Green and Dave Cerf's "live" documentary Utopia in Four Movements traces four impulses towards utopia at the dawn of the 21st century. Giving new meaning to the "you just had to be there" quality of Sundance, only two screenings took place, at which Green warned the audience that at any moment "we might f**k up" because of the real-time nature of the film's presentation -- Green did the voice over narration from memory in front of the audience, and on the other side, to the right of the screen, was the three-person band playing the film's score. Particularly in a digital age where people are becoming increasingly dependent on smaller, more individual, more mobile screens (ipods, dvdplayer, netbooks), Utopia was not only utterly moving but a reminder that there is real power in the physical experience of collectively watching cinema. It is for this reason that Utopia most aptly captures the spirit of rebellion and rebirth of independent cinema that Sundance 2010 was all about.


::, Jeannine Cook, Jan. 30, 2010:

Dutch Utopia tour at Telfair Museum

Today's visit to the Telfair Museum's exhibition, Dutch Utopia: American Artists in Holland, 1880-1914, was a fascinating delight for a huge group of art lovers from Savannah and beyond. Curator Holly McCullough led everyone through the genesis, choices, history and social background of an exhibition she had worked on for long years.

Holland became a magnet for many American artists, men and women, who chose to work, sometimes in colonies, in many small towns throughout the country. They created paintings that reflected Holland's silvery light, seascapes and dunes. Other work depicted Dutch society, selectively and with an emphasis on older, traditional mores. People were portrayed as sober, hardworking, church-going, mostly garbed in costumes that were chosen more for their pictorial value than any accuracy of local costume.




Guardian (comment under U.S./China article), BrasilMercosul, February 1, 2010:

Very interesting, balanced piece .

Western propaganda about its "freedoms" ignores how such "freedoms" mean eternal for gunpowder and fire elsewhere .

1mn+ dead in Iraq and still, no WMD , that simply did not exist for most north-americans, small wonder, their press is so so free....

The north-american rabble still believes in its utopia held mentality when all points to decadence looming, slow and steady, regardlessly .

The USA, 4% of humanity is hell bent on hegemony over all the remaining 96% .

The USian president seems to carry on with his predecessor´s PNAC , even if at the expense of the livelihoods of a growing number of north-americans , 5% of its GDP going for attack, always disguised as "defense" .

This utopian military belief can only lead to more respect for China, no matter how the usual USian rabble might criticize all others so self-righteously.

The US administrations have repeatdly played dirty since the end of WW2 .

Preaching democracy and freedom, justice, delivering the opposite and now to its own rabble, which carries on asking for more blood .

All militaristic utopian entities of the past have seen the usual fate which the United States will soon witness : defeat , decadence, shock and awe .

4% of humanity against the other 96%, well, it is easy to foresee the outcome .

When will the USian rabble realize that the inherent militaristic mindset is the seed of its economic decadence ?

All those north-americans who happen to disaprove such militaristic mindset have my respect, I feel sorry for these however, they will equally bear the cost of the majority´s blind belief in utopia turned reality .

Utopia held USA is obviously at war with humanity, Obama is a mere continuation of Bush, with new PR techniques, poor ones .

Indeed much more dangerous with Obama, now poking its main financier, a millenar disciplined society which nobody will stop, China.

Glad to be far from both .

Though China´s past history is the best PR that can be , there is no "free north-americanist militaristic press" and utopian self-belief which can beat the reality of historical records of both countries .

Has the 96% remaining of humanity agreed with the USian utopists?




Right Side News, Daniel Greenfield, Jan. 31, 2010:

Because it is easy, because it accommodates the facile worldview of the left and provides minimum disruption to their plans for a global order – the Assimilationist Model remains very hard to shake. Its optimism and humanism makes it seem morally indefensible to its followers. But its fatal flaw, like that of all utopian delusions, is that it is completely unreal.

The core meaning of utopia is a place that cannot exist. The Assimilationist Model too posits a mythical place brought to life by the ideological will and intellectual laziness of a civilization at war, but refusing to acknowledge it.




All Things Pakistan, Raza Rumi, March 12, 2008:

For Me. Pieces Of My Heart

'Karta hun jama phir jigare lakht lakht ko (I seek to gather the scattered pieces of my heart).

'Not long ago, say two decades ago, we the Zia’s children yearned for a country that treaded the Malaysian path for prosperity; and somehow were to transform a tolerant, inclusive society. Such were the dizzying dreams. We wanted the Hudood laws to vanish, the witch-hunt under the blasphemy laws to end and sectarian-ethnic monsters buried. We were inspired by the likes of Mohtarama, for some the charitable cricketer appeared the redeemer. The road to utopia also emerged when a bus took off from the other side of the border and landed in Lahore. The brothers Sharifov became new faces of a moderate, booming Pakistan. Mr. Vajpayee’s chant on the ancient roads of Lahore, “ab jang nahee ho gi” was enough to willingly suspend our disbelief. For many a precious day, we forgot the corruption stories, the political squabbles and incompetence all around.

'And then the utopia signs dwindled as the battles on the white peaks of Kargil turned red, a VVIP plane hijacked re-invoking the sorry state of martial rule. We could not live without the dream however. So the new goals — accountability, devolution and economic miracles — weaved a new chador of delusions. Like that mythical chador, this new age of globalised Pakistan made reality invisible. We had technocratic solutions spun once again and the opening up of imperial coffers gave us a false sense of moving towards the dream-path.

'Yet again, the ideal was snatched and smashed as the myriad myths of unequal development started exploding with imported and local bombs.

'This time my utopia seems painfully distant, blurred. I have forgotten what it was. It slipped from the vision when the suicide bombers started visiting the idyllic Islamabad. I now suffer from a mild amnesia. I don’t know what I hoped for in those naive, uninformed days when Faiz’s Hum dekhain ge outlined its contours; and the daagh daagh ujala was destined to transform into sheer resplendence of a vibrant society future.

'How do I gather the slipping grains of what was the cherished utopia. I had heard that human memory vistas theoretically are seamless and clear. But that vision of those vast green fields is now blood-stained. Suicide bombers are omnipresent and my dear friend in Waziristan tells me that the queue is long and restive. The streets of Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi are potted with excess blood choking the civilization arteries. The vacant Liaquat Bagh a haunting shrine where many come to share the loss of a vision. A vision, tainted by cynicism, slander and murder, not once but twice over.

'The floating limbs of ticket-holders to heaven have created a temporal hell. First, it was the mosque, then the eid-gah and now a janazah prayer. It used to be the army post, then a bazaar and now it’s under the banyan tree where Gautama and his followers found peace; and Khanqahs thrived on its lasting shade. The paths with Ashoka’s footprints are infested with land-mines. Indus, the mighty nourisher, is mixed with suffering. Urban life has turned into a quest for personal security — the ‘ideal’ existence where one is simply not dead!

'But this fear of death does not bother me. What haunts me is the deeper decay of a polity that started with a high note. The old has crumbled and the new is not there. But then pessimism is useless and nihilism is nothing but the ultimate denial of being.

'The recent awakening of urban Pakistan now provides the silver lining. It points towards a long road towards my utopia that will comprise a country with enough oxygen, expression and free of scary little gods. It would also mean that poverty will have to be eliminated, not just reduced, alleviated or targeted. Here inequality would be unacceptable and not a way of life (as I have grown up with it).

'In this world, heritage would not be dismissed or reduced to food streets. In this Utopia, citizenry would be at the forefront and will lead the country into a new era where the bitterness of the past would be nothing more than lessons for the days to come.

'And I want to walk freely. Pray in a mosque when I am required to without the fear that someone would enter with dreaming of the other-world. I want my children to grow up in an environment that is not plagued by the toxicity of consumerism and emptiness of a historical world. I don”t want those old trees to disappear taking along the music of koels and calls of enlightenment. I want my utopia to be free of de-humanisation, devoid of nuclear balances and imbalances and cacophony of jingoism.

'Above all, my utopia is where the centuries of mystical thought, bhakti and love for fellow human beings are paramount. Only such a world can be free of greed, revenge and terror. This is a utopia where Mohammad’s egalitarianism backed by the hama-oost of the Sufis shall reclaim the footsteps of Gautama, Nanak and Bulleh Shah.

'Is it possible to dream again when the memory has to be rediscovered and dreams re-scripted. When will those pieces of my heart gather together?




The Conservative Voice, Craig Chamberlain, April 3, 2008:

'There are three types of people when it comes to communism. Those who reject it on pragmatic grounds. They think communism sounds fine in theory, but know that it can never be made to work. Those who reject it on moral grounds. Communism is evil, and in its operations and failings it shows the world how evil it really is. Then, those on the left, embrace it as the future of mankind. One day, they proclaim, they will work all the bugs out of the system and the world will be one Marxist Utopia.'




Guardian (UK), Rory Carroll & Tom Phillips, March 12, 2008:

'Trouble in utopia as the real Brazil spills into Niemeyer's masterpiece. Overcrowding, traffic and crime blight futurist capital, admits legendary architect.'

'It was the spectacular creation of a modern utopia: in the heart of a continent, built from scratch with daring architecture and urban planning, arose a city like no other.

Unveiled almost half a century ago, Brasilia astonished the world. Brazil's purpose-built capital of perfect grids and avant garde buildings exuded wonder and optimism, control and beauty.

The then president, Juscelino Kubitschek, hailed a new dawn for his country and the United Nations designated the city a world heritage site. It was a living, futurist museum.

As the 50th anniversary approaches, however, the future seems to have ambushed Brasilia. What was supposed to be a shiny citadel with huge attention to detail and organization has in places degraded into a violent, crime-ridden sprawl of cacophonous traffic jams. The real Brazil has spilled into its utopian vision.

That is the bittersweet verdict of Oscar Niemeyer, the legendary architect who designed many of the city's civic monuments and is a keeper of its original flame. In a rare interview Niemeyer, now 100 and still professionally active, told the Guardian that his masterpiece was out of control.

"The way Brasilia has evolved, it has problems. It should have stopped growing some time ago. Traffic is becoming more difficult, the number of inhabitants has surpassed the target, limits are being exceeded."

'Instead of 500,000 people as planners envisaged, the population has ballooned to 2.2 million, choking infrastructure and, in the rundown outskirts, ushering in scenes of gang violence more commonly associated with the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. Some areas have been nicknamed the baixada federal, invoking the baixada fluminese, Rio's most homicidal region.

'Niemeyer, considered by many the world's greatest living architect, defends the city's conception and his designs for landmarks such as the cathedral, national congress and palace of justice. "There is no other place like Brasilia." But he laments the unplanned growth. "The city should call a halt."

'It is an ironic appeal given that Brasilia was built at breakneck speed. The dream of moving the capital from Rio on the Atlantic coast to the centre of the country had existed for over a century but Kubitschek pursued it with urgency. Building started in 1956 and the new capital, along with a surrounding area known as the federal district, was inaugurated just 41 months later, in April 1960.

'Commercial and residential zones were meticulously demarcated. Cars zipped along wide highways past buildings that projected simplicity and modernity with fine lines and waves.

'Less fine were the subsequent waves of migration and lines of jobless people. The population surge aggravated problems of access to healthcare and education.

'A recent study by the University of Brasilia found that unemployment among the city's youth had jumped from 21% in 1992 to around 40% in 2003.

'Even more dramatic has been the rise in crime, especially on the outskirts.

'Plinio Araujo, the mayor of Cidade Ocidental, an impoverished and gritty town in neighbouring Goias state, described the suburbs of the federal district as a "pressure cooker" which, if action was not taken, would "explode over the Alvorada Palace", the presidential residence which is the centrepiece of Niemeyer's creation.

'Over 100 members of an elite security force were recently dispatched to the outskirts of the federal district and Goias to try to control the violence.

'The country was especially shaken by the shooting of Amaury Ribeiro Junior, an investigative journalist from the Estado de Minas newspaper. He had just published a series of articles called Trafficking, Extermination and Fear, based on undercover work in violent neighbourhoods just outside the federal district in Goias. He had returned to the area to research a follow-up story on sexual violence in the so-called Entorno, an impoverished belt of around 30 towns that flanks Brazil's capital.

'A teenager with a 38mm revolver fired three shots at the 44-year-old reporter as he sat in a bar waiting for a contact, hitting him once. It was never clear whether Ribeiro, who survived, was targeted because of his work or if he was the victim or a hold-up gone wrong.

'"The place where I was shot is 15km from where the president sits in his palace," said Ribeiro. "It really is like the wild west; and what shocked me most was that so close to the capital you have such barbarity."

'He said the high levels of violence were the result of huge migration to the region and an almost total absence of social services or policing. "The parents go to work in the capital and their kids are abandoned and end up being co-opted by drug traffickers."

'But despite the disappointments, Brasilia's utopian dream is not completely dead. Residents say they never tire of gazing at the city centre's sublime, otherworldly architecture. Parents say it remains a better, safer place for children than Rio or Sao Paulo.'




The Daily News (Lahore), Rafia Zakaria, March 15, 2008:

'A Worn Out Utopia.

'Revolutions are ushered in on hopes and dreams; people participate in mass protests, shout slogans and raise placards all poised on the vision of a drastic change in the course of their country and the shape of their lives.

'Nearly thirty years after the Iranian Revolution, the edified image of an Islamic republic which aspired to moral purity and obliterated the hedonistic excesses of the Shah’s regime, has become somewhat tarnished. It is no secret that utopias realised are utopias destroyed, the mental images of perfection that mobilise masses to risk their lives and bring about violent change in any regime show their dirty feet and rough edges when perceived in the harsh light of unforgiving reality.'


:: (Wellington, New Zealand), Nancy Morgan, Friday, 2 May 2008:

'Hillary [Clinton] is one smart cookie. Under that Dorian Gray exterior, she is ruthless, determined and has shown she will go to any lengths in her quest for power. The real danger is the fact that, unlike Bill Clinton, Hillary is, and has been her whole life, a dedicated socialist/Marxist. She is a true believer. She has a vision of the world, one that has already been tried and proven disastrous, that includes her as President, with her hands on the levers of power. Power to destroy capitalism in favor of her version of utopia. Knowing that, since man, not God, is responsible for the state of the world, man (Hillary) will finally be able to establish utopia.'




The Times (London, UK), Ross Leckie, April 25, 2008:

'Paperback - Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia by John Gray

'One of the things I'm supposed to do is tell you what a book is about. In this case, because I'm still not sure whether it's brilliant, barmy or both, I can only tell you what I think it's about. That is this: we humans used to make sense of the world via apocalyptic religions. “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand,” and so on. Now we've transferred that instinct to politics: President JFK's Camelot, Harold Wilson's white-hot revolution, Poland under Lech Walesa - the examples are legion. What is common is utopianism, and Gray thinks that is naive, or redundant, or dead.'



Daily News & Analysis (Mumbai), Venkatesan Vembu, May 01, 2008:

'China’s ‘utopia village’ has gone bust

'A showcase socialist ‘Animal Farm’ is exposed as a multi-million-dollar myth

'HONG KONG: One of the last outposts of Communism in China, a village whose 3,500 residents lived in a Mao Zedong-era time warp, has gone belly-up, and is being dragged kicking and screaming to the free market, which other parts of China embraced exactly 30 years ago.

'Nanjie village in Henan province in central China, which was showcased for over a decade as a modern-day symbol of Chairman Mao’s dream of socialist utopia and an “economic miracle” where the collective spirit prevails, has today been pushed deep into bankruptcy.

'Its critics now say that the mountain of debt it is buried under reflects the price of dolling up a fraudulent Orwellian ‘Animal Farm’, with its veneer of “equality” hiding a sordid tale of corruption and ideological posturing. In Nanjie’s heyday, life in the pseudo-socialist bubble drew truckloads of admirers, who came to gaze in wonderment at residents who lived in the cocoon of a ‘commune’, singing revolutionary songs and chanting Mao slogans.

'In an era where social safety nets disappeared all across China, which embraced the market economy under Deng Xiaoping and successive leaders, Nanjie stood out because everything in the village was collectively owned and everyone enjoyed cradle-to-grave welfare.

'True, everyone in the village, including the village head, drew only a small honourarium, but residents enjoyed free food, housing, healthcare, schooling and even free weddings and funerals.

'Home to some agricultural and food processing industries, Nanjie came to be known as the ‘wealthiest village’ in Henan province, and its economic model became the subject of research by scholars the world over.

'In particular, there was an eagerness to understand how Nanjie overcame the “free-rider problem” — where the security of a safety net and the absence of incentives to perform may lead some workers to shirk their responsibility to the collective.

'Cui Zhiyuan, an Associate Professor of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, concluded after a game theory study that Nanjie’s experience “demonstrates that the free-rider problem can be overcome” in a collective economy.

'But it now turns out that Nanjie wasn’t an “economic miracle” so much as a house of cards built with a limitless credit line from state-owned banks as part of an elaborate effort to showcase the “correctness of the Mao Zedong Thought”.'

'Faced with this mountain of debt, the village committee has now reluctantly embarked on a privatisation effort. On the 30th anniversary of China’s embarking on economic reforms, its last Communist outpost has bowed to the gale winds of market forces.'


::, Chuck Hall, March 8, 2008:

Global Warming Building Ecotopia .

Sir Thomas More’s seminal 1516 work, "Utopia", presented his vision of the perfect society. Since that time, many have attempted to create their own version of Utopia. One of my favourites was conceived by Ernest Callenbach. His 1975 work, Ecotopia: The Notebooks and Reports of William Weston.

Callenbach’s book is the story of a sceptical reporter who visits a Utopian village built on the principles of sustainability. As the title suggests, Callenbach calls his ideal society ‘Ecotopia.’

As with most great ideas, the idea of Ecotopia took a while to catch on and build momentum, but 33 years after Callenbach’s book, mini-Ecotopias are springing up all over the world. His original vision predicted a separate country, independent of the United States, consisting of Washington, Oregon, and parts of Northern California. Today, the Ecotopian ideals are sweeping those areas. There are also Ecotopian communities throughout the world in places like Vancouver, British Columbia, Nimbin, Australia, and Newcastle, South Africa. It has indeed become a global movement.




The Washington Post, Andrea Sachs, May 2, 2008:

'A Green Utopia Grows in the Arizona Desert

'Arcosanti is a pilot utopian community that champions sustainable living.

'"Hey, come join us," a guy in a dress, belt and outsize personality beckoned. "Have a beer."

'The Californian graphic artist was one of up to 80 residents living and working at Arcosanti, a pilot utopian community that champions sustainable living. After a long day of working on passive solar power, gardening and bread-baking, the group was tossing back a few.'

'Arcosanti was started in the 1970s by Italian architect Paolo Soleri, a spitfire who seeks an alternative to a car-dominant, hyper-consumerist society. With his so-called urban laboratory, Soleri, 88, hopes to eliminate the automobile, promote frugality and create a functional metro center run on the Earth's resources: food from organic gardens, power from the sun, air conditioning from the shade, building materials from the natural surroundings.'


::, Edward Levy, Monday, May 5, 2008:

'We are always faced with a conflict of idealism and reality. Idealism remains fairly constant. It is reality that continually changes.

'If readers will pardon me, I intend to get academic here. In graduate school I took a course on Utopias. The translation of Utopia is - no place! We read Thomas More's "Utopia." As one reads it he finds that it is an impossible place in which to live.

'Utopia is further complicated with issues based in numerology that become clear to a critical reader. One has to admire his wit in presenting his satire (yes, I think it was satire) in this manner. So, it is the common misconception that Utopia is a perfect place. It doesn't exist. We are then left with reality and the dream that we can create a better world with what is left of our idealism.

'This means that an open and frank discussion of the dangers facing us is needed.'

'It is this unfortunate truth that causes me to believe that our privacy may be a casualty of our desire to come together in our mutual search for the ideal world for our heirs.

'We are engaged in a war that is not only for our survival, but that if brought to a decisive conclusion will enable us to restore the basic rights we revere. This includes privacy. Despite the political rhetoric, we did not start this war. We reacted to 9-11 and previous assaults.

'Whether we chose the right arena is still for history to decide. Our fate if we lose it or settle for a tie is inconceivable. Albert Einstein said, "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." Is this what we want for our children?'




Sydney Morning Herald, Ruth Wajnryb, May 10, 2008:

'From Suburbia to Utopia

'EVER since Thomas More called his fantasy-perfect society "Utopia", you're more or less obliged to follow suit with a Latin ending of "-ia", should you want to come to the party. In this regard at least, Australia is well placed.

'This is what Stephen Reilly did. His introspective Ninety East Ridge (HarperCollins) is a fantasy novel, billed as a "millennium thriller", about a group of so-called social architects who dig through the Earth's surface to establish a new (and better) society. About the best thing they do is call it "Globalia".

'The name may have accrued more gravitas had it not run off the tongue a little like "lobelia" (the -ia suffix also being a common one in the world of flora - consider "magnolia", "begonia"). Problem with Globelia and lobelia is their partial overlap (vowels and consonants) with "labia". But that's another matter altogether.

'Globalia's biggest challenge came less as external threats than as internal squabbling. And notwithstanding a slowish plotline and characters one may not really care about, it's at least refreshing that petty politics, in fiction as in life, are seen to have non-petty - indeed, quite toxic - outcomes. I suspect on this score at least, an analysis of the fall of empires would provide much corroborating evidence.

'More's "dystopia" didn't get the great press that the favoured sister did. But, all things considered, we're not short of literary dystopias - consider George Orwell's 1984, Aldous Huxley's Brave New World and Yevgeny Zamyatin's We. Uplifting they're not; all entail some assortment of suppression of individuality and human connectedness, and political dissent. I remember well the darkly depressing cover of my second-hand copy of We as it sat on the bookshelves of my adolescence, urging me to enlist in the gloom.

'More recently, "Dystopia" became a name for a so-called "sludge band", popular among those into heavy metal and "crust punk" (about which I have no need to know more). The name is grounded in the group's bleak and misanthropic lyrics - a disaffected melange of emotional, social and political antipathies.


::, Brian Linder, May 8, 2008:

Bioshock Movie Announced

Pirates of the Caribbean director at the helm of videogame adaptation.

It's not yet clear how closely the movie will mirror the game, but it's a pretty cinema-ready property, so we don't expect much of a departure. The setup goes like this: An eccentric genius named Andrew Ryan creates an underwater utopia called Rapture, gathering the best and brightest scientists, artists and industrialists of his day and relocating there with them. Decades pass and by the time Jack, an aircraft crash survivor, sets foot in Rapture, Ryan's idealistic vision has devolved into a horrifying remnant of a failed society. The decaying art deco city is now littered with corpses, genetically mutated humans, and bio-mechanical monstrosities. The game was largely inspired by Ayn Rand's classic Atlas Shrugged.

"I think the whole utopia-gone-wrong story that's cleverly unveiled to players is just brimming with cinematic potential," Verbinski told Variety.




Salt Lake Tribune (letter to the editor), David T. Lancaster, May 06, 2008:

'Valley Utopia

'Do a bit of traveling before calling Salt Lake polluted and crime-infested.

'From my perspective, Salt Lake is utopia. After spending 14 years trying to raise a new family in Las Vegas, my family relocated here.

'Take my word for it, there is no comparison between the two cities. Salt Lake is clean, filled with friendly people and has very little crime. Everybody - the people at work, the people in my neighborhood and the people you meet every day - has welcomed us with open arms. It was the best decision we ever made.'




New York Times, Ben Sisario, May 10, 2008:

'The video game “BioShock” is set to become a film. Take-Two Interactive Software said on Friday that Gore Verbinski (“Pirates of the Caribbean”) would make a movie version of its popular game about an underwater utopia gone disastrously wrong, Reuters reported.'




Boston Herald (Letters to the Editor), Michael Ferragamo, May 12, 2008:

'Sky’s Not Falling

'Edward Moscovitch’s column illustrates his fanatical perception of American life in a liberal utopia. His accusations about the myth of global warming have been debunked by the facts being the world’s oceans have cooled, not warmed, along with Earth’s temperature cooling by 0.6 degrees Celsius, which brings it to 1930 levels. His continuation of comparing our country’s higher use of petroleum to Europe also dispossesses the fact that it is that petroleum which powers our economy, which towers above any of the European countries. His advancement of the gas tax would not facilitate any superfluous decrease of demand, as noticed by the rise of gas prices. If he’s extremely worried about carbon emitting entities, why not have an additional breathing tax against all humans who emit carbon dioxide?'


::, Garrett Edward Godwin, May 11, 2008:

'John Taylor: State Controlled Consciousness

'John Taylor Gatto realized that children are being taught not by their teachers or their parents, but the State. The people who created schooling, said the retired American schoolteacher, were utopian people who believe in a perfect society. They believe in family and tradition. Every utopia that survived invents schooling - universal schooling in order to reach utopia.

'Gatto was a schoolteacher for almost 30 years, and has since written several books about education. He is very outspoken of compulsory schooling as well as the hegemonic nature of discourse on education and its professions.

"Schooling is a form of adoption" he illustrates. "You give your kid away to a group of strangers". Strangers like Gatto, several other faculty and staff members in the education system. From Mondays thru Fridays, from morning to mid-afternoon, the kids are in the custody of the "State" while their parents go to work."'



East Iowa Herald, Mitch Traphagen, May 1, 2008:

'I recently overheard Pastor Doug Morton having a casual conversation in which he mentioned an event that changed his priorities. His column this week also touches on that. Priorities, it seems, are the key.

'Living in a big city is expensive and most people have to hustle double time just to pay for it all. Sure, there is lots of cool stuff in the city but when you are dropping $2,000 to $3,000 per month to pay for your house and when you are spending an hour in traffic burning expensive gasoline to get to your job, priorities tend to become focused on those things that really don’t matter. Suddenly, “Survivor: Battle of the Dancing Network Stars” might not seem like a bad escape.

'For whatever reason, the trappings of bling seem less important here. The priorities of most people seem to be a little more clear: family, community, church all top the list in varying order. No, it’s not a puppies and rainbows utopia here and no, not everyone is randomly firing shots off at their neighbors there, but the joy of seeing kids play with abandon in the town park - and seeing the pride the community takes in a group of well-dressed and excited high school kids heading off to the prom is something I rarely, if ever, experienced while living in the city. Maybe this is utopia after all.'

::, Katherine Monk, May 01, 2008:

'[Faran] Tahir may be taking a break from theatre for the next little while. He's just been cast as a Federation captain in the forthcoming Star Trek film from J.J. Abrams, and he couldn't be happier.

'"This guy is heroic. He's a manifestation of the beautiful Star Trek Utopia where humanity has been able to transcend issues of race and gender. That's one of the reasons why I'm a huge Star Trek fan," says Tahir.

'"I'm not afraid to say I'm a Trekkie. I'll own that because the whole Star Trek code is about hope. It's always saying we can get out of this place, and get to someplace better. The beauty of the franchise is the way it's been able to show us what a different world would look like. It makes that Utopia tangible."

'Tahir says without hope, we have nothing.'



Salt Lake City Tribune, Steven Oberbeck, April 24, 2008:

'The UTOPIA fiber-optic system, a consortium of 11 Utah cities that pledged $202 million in taxpayer money over 20 years to build a high-speed broadband network, moved several steps closer Tuesday evening to gaining approval.'



The Western Edition (San Francisco):


San Francisco is full of diverse and wonderful people. Many are actively engaged in living and working progressively toward a better future. Better means cleaner and safer. Environment is sacred and most of us know it. To know it is one thing but to defend it takes you to another level of experience! Defending is defined as protecting. SF Utopia is about progressive lifestyles, progressive thinking and progressive living. We care about the planet and the inhabitants! If you are progressive, then SF Utopia is all about YOU!'




Forbes Magazine, Mark Lewis, April 10, 2008:

'America and Utopia: The link goes back to the Pilgrims, who sailed off in the Mayflower to find a suitable location for their ideal community, and found it in Plymouth, Mass. Here was a tabula rasa upon which the Pilgrims could write themselves a new and better world. And there was plenty of room for other people to create alternative versions. The English Calvinists who peopled New England were followed across the ocean by German Anabaptists, who flocked to the wilds of Pennsylvania and founded villages that were the equivalent of Protestant monasteries. In time, these immigrant communities gave birth to native-born utopians who broke away to found their own communities, usually further to the west. Few lasted very long, but they kept the dream alive.

Three things about America rendered it irresistible to utopians. It was enormous; it was mostly empty; and it had a tradition of religious liberty, eventually enshrined in the First Amendment.'




Mother Earth News (Topeka, Kansas), April 9, 2008:

'By their own description, they're "utopian test pilots . . . single, intellectual artists united in the creation of a new, universal religion and a model, utopian community.'

'The model utopian superfamily—toward which they're now working—is to be a closed group of twelve men and twelve women who form no exclusive pairings among themselves and have no intimate relationships outside the community. Each female member will have one child and then undergo voluntary sterilization. This policy is called "minus zero population growth".'




Canadian Centre for Architecture (Montreal):

Ghost, 28 February to 25 May 2008, Octagonal Gallery.

'The exhibition title wall features a photomural depicting the dramatic implosion of the high-modernist St. Louis housing project Pruitt-Igoe designed by the architectural firm Leinweber, Yamasaki & Hellmuth in 1950-54. This spectacular and much publicized demolition in 1972 marked not only a public expression of the failure of certain modernist ideologies embodied by the project, but could subsequently be interpreted as a moment of “birth” for the postmodern period. According to Reinhold Martin, much of the architectural production of the past half-century has been haunted by the ghosts of modernist utopias: “the projects documented in the exhibition are understood as bearers of a latent discourse that contradicts the very same anti-utopian currents that many of these projects have been thought to represent.”

'The exhibition draws attention to an uncanny presence of the modernist notions that had been declared dead. The reproductions and originals representing a selection of projects of the 1970s and ‘80s take on the character of evidence assembled within five subject groups that trace a utopian afterlife: Babble/Babel, Islands, Roads to Nowhere, (In)human Scale, and Worlds within Worlds. In this reorganization, the curators challenge the traditional understanding of postmodernism and offer a new framework for approaching the architecture of this period.

'The exhibition is a result of the research seminar “Utopia’s Ghost: Postmodernism Reconsidered,” conducted at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP) in Fall 2006 and with a different group of students in Fall 2007. Led by Reinhold Martin, the first group of students developed a series of concepts for tracking the ghost or ghosts of utopia in a wide range of architectural works conventionally understood as postmodern.'




Press & Sun-Bulletin (Binghamton, NY), William Farrell (letter to the editor), April 1, 2008:

'Torture has its purpose. Why Waterboarding?'

'Right now you feel safe in your home in the United States. Hopefully the protections you have now will keep bad things from happening. Although people like you keep trying to live in Utopia, a place that only exists in your mind, you may have to start living in the real world.'


::, R.J. Moeller, March 31, 2008:

'Beguiling Simplicity of the Left.'

'I would be willing to wager that very few people know that the actual definition of the word "utopia" is "nowhere." As in, where has a utopia ever existed here on earth? Answer: nowhere.'




Guardian (UK), Pankaj Mishra, March 22 2008:

'At war with the utopia of modernity.

'Tibetans' rage is directed not at communist rule, but the consumerist threat to their traditions and sacred lands'.

'Chinese-style development, which heavily favours urban areas over rural ones, could only exacerbate economic inequality and threaten traditions, such as nomadic lifestyles. Not surprisingly, Deng Xiaoping's post-Tiananmen gamble - that people intoxicated with prosperity will not demand political change - failed in Tibet. Like predominantly rural ethnic minorities elsewhere, Tibetans lack the temperament or training needed for a fervent belief in the utopia of modernity - a consumer lifestyle in urban centres - promised by China.




Hawaii Reporter, Frank Salvato, March 24, 2008:

'One of the biggest buzz-words used by the Progressive-Left -- America’s Fifth Column -- is “diversity.” They used the idea of advancing diversity as a means to achieving what they hoped -- what they “knew” -- would be a racially and culturally symbiotic utopia where “all men are created equal.” The problem with this line of thought is that celebrating diversity factionalizes people; it does not help to bring people together under a commonality. By exposing the great racial and cultural divides that exist in the United States -- within all racial and ethnic communities -- Barack Obama is forcing an examination of the ideology of multiculturalism versus e pluribus unum (out of many one), much to the chagrin of the Progressive-Left.'

'We, as a people, encouraged by the American Fifth Column and manipulated by their false-promise of a racial and cultural utopia, abandoned our American ideology for multiculturalism. We stopped being Americans.'




The Dominion, Kim Stanley Robinson, March 21, 2008:

'Dystopian science fiction has its place, as a warning sign, saying "Don't go this way." So it can be important. But the dystopian cliche of our times is just too easy, it no longer says "Don't go this way" but rather "This is the only way no matter what you do, so don't try to fight it." That kind of dystopia is reinforcing of the status quo, it's a capitulation. I'd say most dystopias today are of the latter type: people don't really suffer (not the book's protagonist anyway, they're too "street smart"), and the reader is told that no alternative world is possible, the dystopia being the most likely of all possible worlds.

'Okay, say that we're in trouble at the end of the 20th century. We are. Resources are depleted, populations are rising, we're in a race to invent a kind of living that will work before our problems overwhelm us. That being the case (and who but the rich think tank experts can deny it?), what kind of political art do we create? The utopia is the only choice. And for a novelist, the problem then becomes the utopian novel; which is a kind of bastard genre, from two very different kinds of parents, because the novel is about what IS, while the utopia is about what should be; so what then is the utopian novel? No one knows.'


::, Elijah C., March 20, 2008

'Quite unsurprisingly, writers have once again predicted our future. The sad but true fact is that we are steadily moving towards what would be considered a state of dystopia, or negative utopia. Generations of writers have used their talents to warn us that we need to change the way we do things, but like the stubborn country we are, we do nothing unless the danger is at hand. By that time it will be too late! Writers like Aldous Huxley (Brave New World), George Orwell (1984), Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451), and Sir Thomas More (Utopia) have warned us that a nation that has restrictions like the destruction of all literature (Fahrenheit 451), the unification of all people under a single leader forever (1984, Brave New World), and the ultimate demise of all democratic government (1984, Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451, Utopia) will lead to the end of the human race as a dominant species. We may have our problems now, but this would most definitely cause even more.

'We have already taken steps towards it. most nations have unified health care, another example of socialistic agendas, and the United States is considering this idea. STOP THIS TREND!! TELL A FRIEND AND SAVE THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT!!'




Moscow Times, By Marina Kamenev, March 21, 2008:

'Hope for Utopia

'Plans are in place for Moisei Ginzburg's constructivist masterpiece "Narkomfin" to be converted into a hotel.

'Moisei Ginzburg's constructivist masterpiece, Narkomfin, has been attracting international attention ever since it was built in 1930. A classic example of a utopian vision of communal living that slowly backfired into state housing, the principles of its sleek design, where form followed function, were taught in architecture schools worldwide.'


::, Rich Barlow, March 19, 2008:

'What do neoconservatives, right-wing televangelists, and the current crop of atheist authors have in common? According to Chris Hedges, they're all fundamentalists of one sort or another, seduced by the siren proposition that the world can be made a utopia. In "I Don't Believe in Atheists," Hedges roasts their kind.'

'What I've read of the atheist writers leaves me unpersuaded that they're chasing utopia, but Hedges's main point that they're often intolerant cranks is dead-on.'



'A high-performance environmentally friendly car that doesn’t rely on petrol or diesel is generally regarded as automotive Utopia. From the established manufacturers to the small studios, the race to reach that Utopia is well and truly on.'


::, Oscar Wilde, March 14, 2008:

'Oscar Wilde wrote that “a map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail.”




Calgary Herald, Paula Arab, March 13, 2008:

'Calgary stampedes toward painting itself on the art map.'

'Calgary, the cradle of the new Renaissance? Try not to laugh. A number of philosophers, big thinkers and art types seem to think our little city has everything needed to become the cultural capital of Canada and indeed the world. And, they've been saying so on the lecture circuit.'

'It arose again this week when two influential thinkers visited Calgary as part of Alberta College of Art and Design's Stirring Culture series -- a lecture presentation intended to, as its name suggests, provoke and stir things up. That it did when UCLA arts professor Peter Sellars went further in his depiction of Calgary and described it as the next Utopia. I nearly fell off my chair. "Calgary has a marvellous sense of Utopian possibility," said the cultural visionary, who teaches courses on art as social and moral actions.'

'In Florence, "artists were hired to improve real estate values and created an amazing Utopia place," says Sellars, comparing the city that sparked the Renaissance to Calgary.'

'Our renaissance isn't the one spelled with a capital R, which spanned Europe during the 14th to 17th centuries, but a rebirth from a population explosion that's nearly tripled in as many decades. "As a consequence, it is the new Utopia," says Spalding. "People have come from all over the world seeking peace, security and the potential for prosperity."'


:: (New Delhi), March 13, 2008:

'Day two opened with Nitin Bal Chauhan's first ever Wills Fashion Week stint. His collection, called 'Waiting for Yellow' was a beautiful evocation of a rapidly vanishing craft, that of tribal craftsmen and their innovative art.'

'And what went behind the title of the collection? The possibility of Utopia, hope and happiness, for a prosperous panorama befitting the righteous cause of upliftment of grassroot talent - embodied in the colour yellow.'




Philippine Daily Inquirer (Manila), March 3, 2008:

'Utopians convention.

'The fraternal order of utopia will hold its three-day second national convention starting Friday at Hotel Elizabeth in Baguio City with the theme: “Coming Closer, Growing Stronger.”

'A total of 150 alumni and 50 resident brod Utopians from all over the country are expected to converge in Baguio for this event. The guest of honour and main speaker will be former Supreme Court Senior Justice Josue N. Bellosillo who will talk on the independence of the judiciary. Supreme Court Associate Justice Renato C. Corona, chairman of the Fraternal Order of Utopia Foundation Inc., will deliver an inspirational message. Noted Catholic renewal movement leader, Bo Sanchez, will give a talk on the opening night.

'The Fraternal Order of Utopia is a law school-based fraternity established in 1964 in the Ateneo de Manila University, School of Law. Its membership is composed of practicing lawyers, businessmen, politicians, jurists, military and police officers, and law students all over the Philippines. The fraternity upholds the values of service, sacrifice and excellence in its commitment to the legal profession.'




The Australian, March 04, 2008:

'Utopia in health lead.

'SELF-DETERMINATION and a traditional hunting lifestyle dramatically improve the health of Aboriginal people, according to a definitive study of a remote Northern Territory community.

'The death rate at Utopia, made up of 16 homeland communities in the desert northeast of Alice Springs, was strikingly low compared with other indigenous populations in the territory, the study found.

'The average adult mortality rate for Utopia residents in 1995-2004 was just over 1000 deaths per 100,000 population - nearly half that of the general NT Aboriginal population.

'The research, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, found no increase in diabetes and obesity in the area over the past 20 years. In the 10 years from 1995 to 2004, death rates from cardiovascular disease at Utopia were about half those of Aboriginal people in the NT generally.

'Hospital admissions for cardiovascular disease occurred at a much lower rate, and was close to that of the Territory's non-indigenous population.

'The results are unique because they buck the national trends, even though Utopia residents have the same levels of housing, income and employment as other remote Aboriginal communities.'