The Editorial: Election Day / Everyday


The Editorial: Election Day / Everyday

There’s something about elections that inflames our sense of urgency. They bring concerns we let lie beneath the surface to the forefront, and we temporarily become activists. We engage in heated discussion. We evaluate our conditions, our place in our countries and cities, our values. Today, Milan is voting. Several candidates with drastically different agendas are vying for the future of this first-class world city, which has over the past two decades lost much of its lustre. Milan is, at the very least, ready for a renewal.

There have been drastic shifts in our way of life over the past several years, driven by an infinitely more dynamic generation and consumption of information. Much of this information is misguided, and clear voices have been subsumed by a general raucous. Advertising and marketing is slipped ever more sneakily into our daily routines. Cycles have sped up, trends live and die at lightening speed, and overarching cultural trends – i.e. the “decades” of the twentieth century – have in just a few years become unequivocally a thing of the past. In the midst of this, we face a major crisis of values. Our problems are no longer generational; they are systemic, huge and transcend age and geography.

But despite these apparently monumental changes, the real material issues we’ve faced for years remain. Problems of sustainability are accelerating. Food crises deepen. Current policy is neither adequate nor forward thinking enough to address the myriad socioeconomic, cultural and design problems we face. And if we were under-informed before the advent of blogs and Twitter (and slave to the whims of newspaper editors and TV anchormen), we now run the risk of being dangerously misinformed. All discourse, no matter how absurd, misguided or hateful, is now privy to its own platform. Sifting through the noise has therefore never been more imperative – politics, environment, everything depends on it.

So, where does your information come from? And by extension… what about your food? Your energy?

These questions address issues central to our happiness, our future, our health and even our continued existence. Their answers are values around which our generation must rally. We must remain informed (and that means much more than just spreading messages by social media), and learn to diligently curate and edit the information we consume in order to remain well-informed.

We must take a more active part in our food’s genesis, and at the very least understand where it comes from. From the simple mechanics of growing a few greens, we can better conceive of the massive shortcomings inherent in pure supermarket consumption, and then make smarter choices concerning the foods we will inevitably purchase. It takes neither an epic effort nor a huge plot of land to grow a sizable portion of the vegetables you would otherwise buy at a shoppe. Not to mention, maintaining a garden is spiritually (and gastronomically) quite rewarding.

If only a third of the citizenry with the financial means to do so would install solar panels in their homes, the impact on consumption over time would be monumental. A perceptual shift – by taking part in making energy – also would force us to understand that the electricity from the sockets we plug into everyday are not endless fountains of an intangible X that allows our objects to function.

And in much the same way, our politics must well-considered, honest and hands-on. Today is election day. Get out and vote if you’re able (and live in Milan). In addition to a recharged hope for a new era in the city, we hope for a brighter new era for everyone. Wherever on the planet you may find yourself, channel the energy and hope inherent in this day (and any election day) into these matters of substance everyday. Left, right or centre, they’re truly what matters.

Tag Christof