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Utopia Interviews February 2009

Lady: OK. My idea of utopia is lots of white light, ambient sound and green hills

that cover quasi-uh ter.)

buildings. If that makes any sense. (Short burst of laugh-

glass

Man: Oh

rounded by really amazing people who are committed to working and thinking hard about how they want to pursue their pursuits--that’s kind of broad and general I know, but I think that it leaves the bar well-set for everyone’s creativity to come into play and that it would be able to feed and play with one another in a beauti- ful environment. So, that would be my utopia. I feel like I had a touch of that at a summer camp that was near and dear to me oh so long ago. ‘Got to hang out with a bunch of crazy maniacs in the woods for a for a few years there in my late teenage years and had a ton of fun. So, I think my concept of utopia is is modeled after that and I seem to, no matter what my life pursuit is, always be reaching back for that kind of experience.

would have to be being sur-

what’s

my utopia. That’s interesting. So

it

a castle with cats and a fireplace sounds like a utopia to me. And

everyone’s happy and you have like cognac or something. (Laughter) That sounds good, ok that’s it.

Lady: Umm

Man: umm

somewhere in the woods. I don’t know how else to expand it. (Laughter)

huh

(laughter)

I

don’t know maybe

probably,

I guess being

Boy: My idea of utopia is a skate park and you guys should donate money so we could get a skate park. Please? We need 350,000 dollars.

Lady: My idea of utopia would be a group of people with

ideas of

compassion for other human beings. In a nutshell

ideas of compassion for other human beings. In a nutshell shared goals and shared umm and

shared

goals and shared

umm

and

human beings. In a nutshell shared goals and shared umm and cultural value and a relatively

cultural

value and a relatively consistent work ethic I suppose

value and a relatively consistent work ethic I suppose Lady: Utopia is just this—I think of
value and a relatively consistent work ethic I suppose Lady: Utopia is just this—I think of
value and a relatively consistent work ethic I suppose Lady: Utopia is just this—I think of

Lady: Utopia is just this—I think of distopia. I think of all the people I know who have joined communes or the different things looking for utopia—the Menonites

never works. It never works. I think we should

the so-and-so the Summer Hill

embrace you know difficulties and not look for a perfection in the future. Thanks. (Laughter.)

It

Man: Okay- I just talked about my utopia?

definitely involve lots of parades

spiels, umm gamelan, lots of snare drums, lots of umm contemporary hip-hop trans-

basically a lot of time with

the uh

a variety of scales. You could have a neighborhood parade you could have a city

wide parade, you could have a nation wide parade. umm I guess uh sort of similar

to

So, um you know not replacing the idea of work, but allowing time for um a lot of

uh

know dedicated to selling crafts or umm food. They would really be more about the music and closing down the streets.

Umm

perimeter around the the downtown or around the city, anything within reasonable biking distance for the average person—course there would still be public trans- portation umm but the streets would be thronged with bicycles of various kinds (laughter) Thank you.

that subject I think uh on a local level there would be a umm uh car free

guess social creative activity. Umm so these would not be parades that are you

I haven’t been to Mardi Gras, but from what I hear that’s like, um yeah.

know uh set aside for-for parades. Umm and these could happen on

lated into uh marching band arrangements. Umm

see umm my utopia uh would

Let’s

umm

and lots of parade music and

and

glocken-

you

umm

I

on

Man: Umm

see—cause it always changes too—that uh that utopic feeling, at least, you know.

And everything kinda comes together for that brief—but its very momentary. It’s

never-never stays—it’s not in one place. It’s not—it’s

it’s

just that that—You know I had it on the plane for an instant you know lookin’ out the window and looking down at all the mountains with the snow on top and know- ing that I can’t actually live in this state umm eternally and constantly but it was that moment of just appreciating that beauty and that: like ‘ok this is right where I’m at and its ok,’ cause of course you can’t go anywhere on a plane. You have to sit tight

never for a time—it always changes time umm yeah umm

lets

I

have lots of idea about utopia, I don’t know

umm.

yeah

ok

that kind of like uh um

it

yeah

umm

yeah

and enjoy what you’ve got, little glass of water, little bag of pretzels, you know that was nice. That was it there. That’s when it happens.

Man: My utopia is beer.

Man: Ok, my utopic vision

ing the realization of utopia here and now, for me, is the um

ated this umm delegation of duties into umm uh so you’ll specialize in one certain task that you’re better in makes the whole system more efficient, and allowed us to produce a lot more but it means our individual tasks became less interesting. We don’t uh get to build things from scratch with our hands. We don’t get to umm—We

don’t have a large variety in our work we tend to focus on ‘this is your role.’ Fur- thermore, then we have introduced computers to make things more efficient and it kind of turned you into ‘I interface with this computer’ and that umm is my sole in- teraction with production and consumption is through this one unit and I uh I think it, it just turned us into individual profit centers. We’re trying to make money so that we can purchase the things that make us happy rather than just the going through the task of life being fulfilling. And-uh in my vision of utopia, I guess its kind of this ludite ideal that we could go back to having diverse lives, where we did a lot of different things to support ourselves. Umm that included active things and intellectual things umm, but at

Uh I don’t know

least there was this variety umm rather than this specialization

how that could be realized in the 21st century without really just checking out of society and kind of like becoming some mountain man in the woods or something,

read lots of Tolstoy. (Laughter) So, I guess it’s not a very realistic utopia Unfortunately.

Well

I think the element of society that is-uh prevent-

Industrialization cre-

(laughter)

Man: My idea of utopia is balance and people getting what they need not necessar- ily what they want.

Lady: My favorite colmy utopia is like my favorite color because my favorite color’s always changing and one color leads to the next favorite color leads to the next one and so utopia is like that. It’s where things are constantly changing but

everything is perfect now, but you know it’s going to change in a minute.

MAN: My favorite color is no favorite color. And umm my idea of utopia is a place

vegetables growin’

out of everywhere and uh

body’s got food everybody’s got—they’re all warm, you know they’ve got vitamin D so a lot more happy that way. Yeah, I think its just lots more fruits and vegetables

and everybody’d be happy, and their own spot you know under the tree with some shade from the sunshine. All those things

where it’s warm all the time. There’s fruit on all the trees

every-

and

yeah

everybody’s happy

Fruit

and vegetables

Woman: I don’t think I have a-an idea of utopia. That’s so lazy

Woman: No

cally. Is that good? Woman: Uh utopia. I-I don’t know, I-I used to think uh it would be like uh

like a

field like I used to think I-I could find like this friendship or something that would that whenever we would be together it would be this this field like this sunset there

would be weed or something and we would be skipping and rolling around and laughing. So, I guess that’s the closest thing I thought about as utopia (Laughter)

bright, something bright. Red that’s my color like ah-astrologi-

mmm

Man: Let’s see, my utopia is to live in a world where everyone has an open mind and uh where the truth prevails and people don’t get caught up in rhetoric and uh— Cause the thing I find is that people get caught up in rhetoric and get caught up in maybe something but I think the key is to just keep asking more and more questions, never stop asking questions. Because that’s what gets us closer to the truth. And I think that for the most part people are all moral, but they may be misguided so they make poor decisions. So, I think that I don’t know a big factor of utopia is just find- ing the truth so that we can act on the truth rather than something different. And I think that’s all I have to say about utopia right now.

Man: Umm

person on earth, and they have everything that they want and need. That’s it. Woman: Ok well, my utopic vision is uh pretty I-I don’t know cliché and probably

my idea of a utopia is one in which everyone is happy, every single

uh

generic, but it’s somewhere where people are allowed to be whoever they want to be and aren’t criticized for it, and communities help raise children, and-uh people don’t take more than they need or-uh pollute in unnecessary ways.

Man: Uh my idea of utopia is definitely going to start with lots of delicious crafted beer umm and would probably involve some hammocks swinging, uh swimming actually and uh a fair amount of warm weather umm. I would probably like there to

be a good amount of uh

ably everyday umm. Yeah, that’s pretty much it.

uh-harmony and a bit of a bit of art-making, prob-

social

Woman: My favorite color is blue, Umm probably like a dark-like-dusky blue sky

don’t know, utopia’s a really dif-

ficult question, but I think that it would involve a lot more equity, financial equity, social equity, than there is now and umm you know probably a lot more equity in terms of access to education, and umm preservation of natural places and beauty,

and probably

more time to spend with our family and friends and less time working, but you know I-I like to work, so you know it’s not that I don’t like work, I just—It’s hard to find balance, and I think a utopia would be umm a society where there was a little more balance between work life, home life, family life, and maybe the other things

and perhaps a lot fewer cars and that sort of thing. (laughter) Umm

kinda get-getting towards the dark side. and

I

you like to do in life, intellectual things or you know being out in nature. Its pretty

vague but

so

that’s that’s it.

Man: I have no favorite color Man: Oh. What’s my utopia? Well I don’t—I don’t know (yet?), I-I’ve never thought of it, but I thought is was a very interesting question. The thing is and the

fact’s is the world is not perfect. We all make a lot dirty things and we does stupid

the world is not perfect. I don’t

things, but it’s a good thing because it’s not believe in u-utopia.

so,

Man: --just like the green you have in Oregon as opposed to where it’s been bleached out. So, I don’t know how to describe it although when you take your sunglasses off you just wonder if it’s real or not compared to if you were from somewhere else and

you see just a little bit of green here a little bit of green there. I don’t know

I don’t know if that is--qualifies for what you want. But umm

the walls come tumbling down and it feels good as opposed to big cities and stuff like

this is the place where

yeah

that

but

that’s

a strange question-out

to

be side-walked. Is that enough. I’m sorry

Woman: Color? My favorite color is blue and utopia’d be a place where umm my son is still alive, he died in June, so

Boy: My name is Caleb

green and my vi-umm utopia is the whole entire world being a skate park and like free food all day long and no people are mean or anything. Yeah.

and my favorite color is purple, black, red, and lime

Kellogg

Woman: Utopia is where I, and everyone, would understand that everything is animate and would treat it with the respect and love and gratitude that animate things should be treated by. Thank you. (laughter)

Burgundy, 57 gold buried by a psychopath, 94 carried by slaves, 88 chains, 88 cloth, 88 coins, 89 crown, 87 earrings, 88 necklace, 87 limited to one thousand pounds, 62 as raw material, 86 in reserve, 85 rings, 88 as sacrificed, 58 -smith, 129 stripped, and inspected in the nude, 94 thread, 127 as a useless substance, 89 in vast quantities, 111 green, and pleasant growing earth, 40 multi-coloured, vestments worn by priests, 127 natural color, wool, 78 purple, cloth, 85 scarlet, cloth, 85 silver carried by slaves, 88 equivalent to one thousand pounds, 62 as raw material, 86 reserves of, 85 white dress, of the congregation, 127 linen, 78

Index of Color to Utopia by Thomas More

Translated by Paul Turner Published by Penguin Books Ltd. © 1965

by Thomas More Translated by Paul Turner Published by Penguin Books Ltd. © 1965 Indexes compiled
by Thomas More Translated by Paul Turner Published by Penguin Books Ltd. © 1965 Indexes compiled
by Thomas More Translated by Paul Turner Published by Penguin Books Ltd. © 1965 Indexes compiled
by Thomas More Translated by Paul Turner Published by Penguin Books Ltd. © 1965 Indexes compiled
by Thomas More Translated by Paul Turner Published by Penguin Books Ltd. © 1965 Indexes compiled
by Thomas More Translated by Paul Turner Published by Penguin Books Ltd. © 1965 Indexes compiled
by Thomas More Translated by Paul Turner Published by Penguin Books Ltd. © 1965 Indexes compiled
by Thomas More Translated by Paul Turner Published by Penguin Books Ltd. © 1965 Indexes compiled
by Thomas More Translated by Paul Turner Published by Penguin Books Ltd. © 1965 Indexes compiled

Indexes compiled by Anna Gray 2009