Daily Archives: May 30, 2008

The Albeit Manifesto–2j

The Albeit Manifesto—2j

5/30/2008

Kenneth Burchfiel

One popular tradition for incoming residents is to write a paragraph or two explaining the reason for their move, then give it to family and friends. These ‘manifestos’ have become popular enough to spawn an off-the-wall memorial: Manifesto Wall in Spengler is a forty foot-long wall of concrete on which residents may pin up new manifestos.

Perhaps the most famous manifesto of all is that of Anthony Patron, a famous author and critic who made the move to Albeit after visiting the city. Some consider his essay to be a spot-on representation of Albeit’s citizens, values and goals; others say that Patron’s piece represents only the anti-establishment Albeitian and doesn’t take into account the majority of the population, who shares Patron’s love for adventure and creativity but not his hatred of the mainstream. Both groups do agree that his “Albeit Manifesto” has stood the test of time since its 1983 rendition; indeed, it occupies the centermost spot on the Spengler wall.

My reasons for living in Albeit: a Manifesto

The cities of the “modern world” have become polluted, filled with the packaged waste of corporations and the mainstream media. The citizens of each identify themselves as such, but American cities are all browning leaves of the same conformist stem. Television and the white-collar industry have made each city practically the same.

All through this land, humans have strained to maintain their deepest principles. Faith, hope and love are not alien to them; neither is a love for adventure. For them, the future looks as bleak and bland as the urban world in which they struggle to reside.

For 30 years, I have lived out a mental battle in New York. This city told me to love money. I refused. This city told me to love fine dining, flashy automobiles and stucco houses. Again, I refused. The aggravated city then goaded me into hobnobbing with cash-inflated socialites, and I spat in its face. And so, with my pen pointed West, I leave for Albeit.

My destination is a city that defends values–love for the poor, love for each other, love for God–in a time when the words “purpose” and “meaning” are becoming anachronisms. The town may very well be the last outpost on Eart for creativity, a lone hearth against the howling winds of passive materialism and indifference. Only in Albeit do citizens have the resolve and courage to live the life they know to be right.

But how can one even begin to write out the reasons for leaving? There are arrows in my heart, and they point towards Albeit—that is the only way to explain it. People ask why I leave New York for a city of lesser wealth and a lesser population. The answer is simple: my arrival destination is richer in spirit and contains more true individuals than any other spot I know. In New York, the money and the people are all the same. But now, I prepare to join a collection of citizens who have overcome the simple desires for money, power and acceptance to reach a new plane of meaning. 

Some describe Albeit as an “Alternative City.” This misconceived term never fails to irritate me. This place was not conceived in a knee-jerk reaction to modern society. It is built out of different material.

My departure will not be drawn out; indeed, I might already have arrived. Albeit is not a physical location as much as a corner of the mind. It is more than possible to live within its borders and still be miles away, but likewise, one can proclaim themselves a citizen without ever seeing it in person. I like to think that I’ve been an Albeitian for the last thirty years. This is my chance to meet the other 729,000 of them.

You are free to criticize me for this move. Write what you will in the magazines and the “social papers,” rest assured, I won’t be around to read it. There simply came a time in my life when the need for love, community and spirit finally overcame my primitive urges for cash, acceptance and power. There are thousands of cities that accommodate those seeking the latter desires; only one city, that western outpost called Albeit, satisfies mine.

Anthony Patron

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Unterwalden Overview–4A3

Unterwalden—4A3

5/30/2008

Kenneth Burchfiel

Unterwalden at a Glance

Population: 103,000

Traditional Architecture: run-of-the-mill skyscrapers share block space with wood-and-stone houses. Interestingly enough, concrete slab architecture has also taken hold.

Traditional Pastimes: Unterwalden is an entertainment destination, and the people like to be entertained. Movies, clubs and sporting events are all popular pastimes, though Albeit’s traditional emphases on creating and exploring—however the words may be interpreted—also see action here.

Traditional Food: Unterwalden is especially well known for its breads, though nobody quite understands why. Asian dining influences nearly every Waldie’s diet, and soy sauce is more popular in some supermarkets than ketchup.

Canton Designer: Pat Lewis, an architect and theologian. Some claim to see the later description’s influence in the road layout.

Offers: An endless stream of entertainment and relaxation, though not in the traditional Albeit sense.

The Typical Resident Is: alienated, in a sense. They enjoy the mainstream offerings that Albeit provides, but some wonder if this “violates” the motives of independence and the opportunity to create that bought them there.

Known Best For: the Globe headquarters, which occupies much of the northeast section, the commercial center near the center, a few parks that offer sporting amenities and Kino’s, perhaps the most popular casual restaurant in all of Albeit.

Name Derivation: Unterwalden is one of the three original Cantons of Switzerland. (The term “Canton” itself is derived from Unterwalden.)

Unterwalden: the canton that has a population of 450,000 in the day and 103,000 at night. This is the shopping center, the business center, the communication center of Albeit, and had it been set down in any other city, it would have been the very core of the place. Ironically, the more the Canton appeals to the white-collar crowd, the less status it has among Albeit’s traditional make-your-own-collar residents.

Unterwalden has always been near the epicenter of Albeit. When Noluevac filled out to the north, Unterwalden took on all the new entertainment developments: a truckload of diving options, a theatre complex and an artificial pond to hold it all together. The construction produced a domino effect that induced hundreds of companies and corporations to fall squarely into Canton borders. Recessions came and went, but nothing could put a dent in the place.

That is the exterior of Unterwalden: the shining glass buildings and the shining grey business suits. And yet, the Canton’s success dooms it to foreigner status in a city that values the pencil over the skyscraper. Most residents consider it the Canton that “sold out” to developers and lost its identity in the process. The “old hat” Albeitians in Unterwalden have become an endangered species, if only because nearby Cantons offer more for them. Vandalism and property crime are common in corporate offices. Most telling of all, perhaps, was the story of a young patent clerk who had business to do in Hauraki. When he mentioned that he lived and worked in Albeit, half the riders nearby shifted a few seats away from him. In the eye of Noluevac, Hauraki and Phoebe residents, Unterwalden is but a landfill on the map.

It’s an attitude that Waldies have to put up with every waking day. These people love their city, too; they just happen to love different things about it.

Nor is the Canton all “corporate wasteland.” A number of secret societies have their roots in Unterwalden, but most relocated as the businesses moved in. Pockets of the Canton remain in the hands of painters, writers and independent workers. These residents live a robust double life: one minute, a bleeding heart Albeitian; the next, a resident experiencing Unterwalden rich culture and activities. It’s a difficult life to live in polarized city, but they do their best.

Truth be told, Albeit needs this Canton more than any other. The city would become a ghost town were it not for an entertainment and shopping district that attracts new residents and encourages old ones to stick around. It would go bankrupt If all the tax-paying companies in Unterwalden chose to pick up and leave. And ultimately, unless there were an outlet for the city’s cosmopolitan and white collar side, Albeit would be just as bland and one-dimensional as the cities Albeit’s residents migrated from.

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Filed under 4--The Eleven Cantons