Paulville, USA

May 9th, 2008 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Anyone know why wacky, culty phenomena always seems to turn up in my home state, Texas? Like the Branch Davidians, the polygamists, and now…Paulville? Conventional wisdom has always been that Texas was once its own country and blahblahblah. But that was a long time ago and true for about two seconds (actually 9 years, but, whatevs), and I’m not buying that as an explanation.

I’m also not buying a home anytime soon in Paulville, a new gated community on 50 acres in west Texas designed for Ron Paul supporters and “people that live by the ideals of freedom and liberty.” Although residents of Paulville have the option of living off the grid, there’s nothing else about this arrangement that strikes me as “individualist.” When I, the product of a Texas subdivision, hear the words “gated community,” I think “suburban hell,” “conformist hell,” and “cookie-cutter hell.” Who has ever lived free in a planned development? Who has ever been able to “mind their own business”–to paraphrase Ron Paul–as a member of a co-op? Will Paulville really be able to sidestep the usual gated community issues, like whether or not the color of your house is acceptable, is the quality of your landscaping up to snuff, are your holiday decorations lamer than your neighbor’s, are you keeping up with the Joneses?

Actually, something tells me that it just might. In which case, Paulville could be Utopia! A homely, sloppily-crafted utopia, but a utopia all the same.


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