The Small God NIMBY

[image description: A curiously curvy stands with one hand on hip and the other forward in the gesture of ’stop’! This pale and angry character has a curiously angled forehead and his left eye is a pinwheel of fury. He stands on well-tended bright green lawn under a bright blue sky with light fluffy clouds. A bright white picket fence separates him from the trees of a greenway in the background. Text (in a puffy comical font) reads, “218, The Small God NIMBY.”]

• • • • •

Everyone needs to live somewhere.  This isn’t a perspective, a point of view, or a radical idea: this is a fact.  If a person exists, they need to live somewhere, and no attribute or point of demographic data will make that any less true.  The rights of existence have long been the subject of greater minds than ours, but the needs of existence are clear and immutable.  People have to live somewhere.

Yes, agrees NIMBY, they do.  There is no denying that they do.  But not here.

They are not a god of empathy or consideration, of love or compassion.  They are a god of the status quo, a god of convenience for the small demographic sliver that believes itself to need a sheltered world that can be controlled from the inside, never subject in any way to outside forces.  Yes, it’s very sad that people are suffering, that people are hungry, that they need to go somewhere.

But not here.

They are not a malicious god, although they are a cruel one.  They simply don’t see the cruelty.  For NIMBY, someone else’s backyard will always suffice. Someone else’s purpose, someone else’s problem.  As long as they can keep pretending everything is perfect and unchanging, mired in a past that grows farther from the present with every passing year.

Everybody has to live somewhere.  Power plants and garbage dumps have to exist somewhere.  Everyone’s life will be better if that happens.

But not here.

• • • • •

Join Lee Moyer (Icon) and Seanan McGuire (Story) Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a guide to the many small deities who manage our modern world:





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