The student blog for Drake University first year seminar entitled Visual Politics

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Home Town

The above photo of The Golden Dome of Pure Knowledge is weird to most but for people in my home town this dome is just part of the landscape. I come from a small town called Fairfield, Iowa or as some may may know it “The Meditation Capital of the World.” Fairfield has held this title ever since a man named Maharishi came to town and started “The Movement” which drew a lot of very interesting people from all over the world. (I mean that literally.. Many people have moved to Fairfield for The Movement but they also ship in men they call Pundits. These are men usually of Indian descent whose only purpose in life is to meditate. Oh and after some issues with them trying to break into houses of young girl they have been fenced in to their own small area...yes they are actually fenced in like animals.) I could spend all day talking about what the followers of Maharishi do and who they are but I’ll try to sum it up quickly. Basically these people gather at the domes every day and meditate. They practice Transcendental Meditation and the TM-Sidhis Program which include Yogic Flying. Yes I said flying... They believe that if they can get one million people all over the world to meditate at exactly the same time then world peace will just magically happen. Maharishi’s followers are a very peaceful group that just wants to achieve world peace for everyone else which I agree is a good idea but I never understood how meditation will help that. 
I could go on for a very long time about my opinions and how the town feels about this group but unfortunately growing up on the other side of town has left me very biased. (You should hear some of the stories I have though..they’re pretty entertaining..) You see, Fairfield is an extremely segregated town. I believe this is simply because the “townies” (yes that’s what we’re called) do not understand the “roos” (that would be their nick’s short for guru) and vice versa. I grew up on the other side of town where we go to public school, do not practice meditation, and even eat meat. Our views of the “roos” are pretty universal and I cannot count how many people I have met here that have asked me if I levitate daily but I still feel that my biased opinions are wrong. These people have done great but unappreciated things for the city. Because of their business school (they have a private school of K-12 and college) we have more restaurants per capita than San Francisco and too many art galleries and small businesses to name. I think they are unappreciated because a few of them give the rest of them a very bad reputation (again..I have great stories..) and it’s not fair to be prejudiced against them but growing up with this ingrained in me has made it difficult to change my opinions. 

This post is getting quite long and I haven’t even done the required stuff yet but it’s just so hard to explain the very unique culture of Fairfield in such a small space. I’ll leave it at that and if anyone has any questions feel free to ask me. Getting back on track though I’ll now begin analyzing the photograph. This photo has aesthetic familiarity because is a simple landscape photograph that is very balanced and symmetrical. The backdrop of the sky is familiar to all and it has no special lighting or effects altering the picture. This photo also has semiotic transcriptions. When one side of town the see tranquility and peace but the other side of town just feels annoyed by the people inside and find the whole concept of “floating” odd.
Lauren Oliver
For those of you still stuck on the flying concept here is a photo of it...basically they sit cross legged and hop repeatedly which gives them excellent leg muscles. This is also a view of the inside of the domes which smell awful because..well meditation is very serious business and it is not okay to use the restroom in the middle of a meditation session..if you get my drift..

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