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The density/no density debate on Canada’s northern shores, in every one of its urban settings, like what is going on everywhere else in the world, continues to fuel the never-ending hostilities between the Nimbys and the Yimbys. The NIMBYS and the YIMBYS, one could argue, are the two basic human personality-types that exist in the world; both of whom are as if total alien strangers to each other.

The NIMBYS are the new ‘Indians’, as much hated, feared and maligned by the YIMBYS as were the real Indians of old for the obstacle they represent to the YIMBY Civilization’s juggernaut journey through time and space that crushes or pushes off to the side any and all who ever dare to stand in its way. For the NIMBYS to try to defend themselves and their way of life against the juggernaut, and what its skewed perception of life is everywhere doing to our Mother Earth is, as it always has been, like trying to stop a Tsunami wave with a wall made of gossamer-thin tissue paper; that Tsunami part and parcel of a monstrous conspiracy committed by an entire civilization’s way of seeing and being. To deflect its juggernaut even a few degrees, let alone turn it around 180 degrees, will require the mightiest of Herculean efforts.

This Herculean struggle recently surfaced in the Toronto area over the heated controversy of a proposed eight-storey condo set to be built behind the home of The Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood and her wealthy neighbours on their ritzy Admiral Road-Annex neighbourhood.

Not surprisingly, Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper featured a number of editorial and opinion pieces on this issue, whose bias in their titles are most instructive and clearly illustrate the Yimby philosophy. To wit, such articles as those written by the Globe and Mail’s architecture critic Alex Bozikovic (“The storeys Margaret Atwood Condemns”); a Globe editorial (“Why you agree with Margaret Atwood, and why you shouldn’t”, and; two op-ed articles by Marcus Gee (“The Upside of the Margaret Atwood Uproar: Nimbys are on the defensive.”, and “Build it taller, please: A modern story about Toronto that never appeared, but should.”). Another op-ed by Margaret Wente did seek some balance but still offered a Yimby slant to the issues at hand (“Margaret Atwood is a Nimby – and so are most of us”).

This writer’s own lengthy op-ed, “Nimbys & Yimbys Battling Over Mother Earth”, as yet unpublished, further articulates, from a Nimby perspective, what some of the fundamental political, philosophical, spiritual differences are in this long-standing debate throughout the modern, urbanized world of the 21st century. To date, the overwhelming unofficial official pregnant silence sent as a response to the writing, by the broad spectrum of publishing sources queried, have been palpable; the silence speaking volumes about what the underlying harsh realities of this endless historic debate and the pervasive bias that exists in modern society towards Yimbyism and its disdain for anything that smacks of Nimbyism.

The most glaring point, perhaps, of all in this widespread debate is that if the “Nimby” label was replaced with that of “indigenous”, “aboriginal” or “native”, and the “Yimby” label with that of the “invader”, “colonizer” and “non-native”, the dynamics of the conflict between them would immediately become crystal clear to every reader in the world.

It would also explain, with little surprise, why the concept of the Nimby continues to be so demeaned, slighted or ignored in the corporate media and general society and why the Yimby is so hallowed by them both. This historic, on-going conflict certainly won’t end any time soon in any of our lifetimes.

Jerome Irwin is a freelance writer and author of “The Wild Gentle Ones; A Turtle Island Odyssey” (www.turtle-island-odyssey.com), a three volume account of his travels as a spiritual sojourner, during the 1960’s, 70’s & 80’s, among Native American & First Nation peoples in North America. It encompasses the Indigenous Spiritual Renaissance & Liberation Movements that emerged throughout North America during the civil rights era. During this period of sojourn, Irwin also underwent a Lakota hanbleceya vision quest, under the tutelage of Joe Thunder Hawk, and received the name Twin Rainbow that symbolizes a healing bridge between the cultures of the West & East. and their many ensuing conflicts. In addition to being a long-time activist and political organizer among his community of Lower Capilano, Twin Rainbow-Irwin has authored over the years a number of environmental, political, cultural, spiritual articles with a special focus on Native Americans, First Nations, Australian aboriginals, Israel, Gaza, Palestine and Syria. Irwin also is the publisher of The Wild Gentle Press.

3 Comments

  1. K SHESHU BABU says:

    The clash between ‘ Nimby’ ( native) and ‘ Yimby’ ( invader) is becoming more and more pronounced as Canadian politics is moving towards rightist tendencies followig its neighbour – the US !

  2. “Northern Shores?” How about all the grand cottages going up around lakes, which then have to be defended against springtime flooding. The water is diverted to farm land, which can ruin the timing for the crops.

  3. Sally Dugman says:

    This horrid pattern of development is happening across the globe, including in my neighborhood about which I write here: “Please Sign This Petition. I Desperately Need Help!” … You may wish to check out:
    A Short History of America by R. Crumb and Joni Mitchell – YouTube
    Inline image 1▶ 2:51

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRkq595NhD0
    Sep 21, 2009 – Uploaded by bdlightner
    Music Video: “A Short History of America” cartoon poster by R. Crumb with music by Joni Mitchell, “The …

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