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Heritage Final Nca

Heritage Final Nca

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Published by Timothy Burke
Cultural Heritage final paper on The Villages
Cultural Heritage final paper on The Villages

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Timothy Burke on Jul 08, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/24/2013

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AN ECONOMY OF HISTORICITY 1An Economy of Historicity: The Carefully-Crafted Heritage of The VillagesTimothy BurkeUniversity of South FloridaCOM 7933: Cultural Heritage12 December 2005
 
AN ECONOMY OF HISTORICITY 2Phillip K. Dick's 1966 science-fiction short story
We Can Remember It For YouWholesale
introduces us to Douglas Quail, described as a "simple and quiet" man whohas but one dream: to visit Mars before he dies. Alas, Quail's job as a "miserable littlesalaried man" working for the West Coast Immigration Bureau leaves him far short of thefunds necessary for such an excursion. Thus, he makes an appointment with the RekalCorporation, a company that offers implanted memories, or "extra-factual memory." The process quickly goes awry, however, as the implanted memories conflict with Quail'sactual memory (one that had been, it is suggested, erased earlier) and, it is later discovered, actually reflect Quail's lived reality. Rekal attempts to restore Quail'smemory, but by this point it is impossible to discern which memories were of livedexperience and which were falsely implanted. The story would later inspire the 1990Arnold Schwarzenegger film
Total Recall 
and pave the way for future "manufacturedreality" films like
The Matrix
and
 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 
, each dealingwith the manipulation and reconstruction of both the present and the past.The central question to understanding cultural heritage is, typically, "How is the past constructed?" In the traditional course of heritage research, we can examine artifactsof the past -- their production and interpretation -- and their presentation in the present,considering how well the gap between then and now is bridged. The process by whichindividuals in a culture navigate and interpret their artifacts is thus the dominant locus for observation. Further, we can inquire into memory; what we remember, and why, providessignificant insight into the past and how we identify with it.However, what happens when a past is constructed -- literally -- through the process of creative motion and a corporate goal? Our inquiry into the ever-debatable
 
AN ECONOMY OF HISTORICITY 3concept of "authenticity" becomes surreal when the truly authentic never existed to beginwith. This circumstance is the one we must deal with when considering the community of The Villages, an area that spans three northern Florida counties and is home to more than50,000 residents. Known as "Florida's Friendliest Hometown," despite the fact itsexclusion of citizens below the age of 55 makes this motto somewhat impossible, TheVillages is, as an unincorporated (but most certainly corporate) census-defined place, a powerful force in the development of north-central Florida.Growing primarily out of the township of Lady Lake, a town that until thedevelopment of The Villages had a population of only 400, the "active adult community"has grown at a rate such that the federal government is expecting the population toexceed 100,000 by 2010. This immense growth would make The Villages Florida's 14thlargest city, immediately behind Clearwater, and force serious considerations intoinfrastructure and political issues in the surrounding areas, considered to be some of Florida's poorest. The CDP is operated entirely by the private corporation that owns TheVillages; the only public institution on its property is The Villages Charter School,which, while a public school of the state of Florida, was built and is overseen by the private, family-owned interests.As a planned community, one of the nation's largest, The Villages does notdemonstrate the typical centralized nature of large cities. The term "The Villages" refersto the sprawling neighborhoods of similarly-shaped homes that radiate from two townsquares that lie roughly two miles from each other. Citizens of The Villages are identifiedinto these two communities via their proximity to them. The two squares, SpanishSprings Town Square and Lake Sumter Landing Market Square, have significant

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