America's Biggest Ghost Town | Virginia City, Nevada, and the Power of Community
SUBSCRIBE for videos about living the GOOD LIFE. This week, Team Friendship visits Virginia City, which is nowhere near Virginia. It’s one of the last remaining time capsules of the mining and cowboy days. When industry left after the gold rush, it became a ghost town. What’s unique about Virginia City, is that the people who stayed never changed.
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Virginia City looks like a renaissance festival or some sort of civil war reenactment, but in fact, this is how the residents and visitors to Virginia City dress. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Choosing to live as though cell phones, the internet, and NFTs never happened. And the thing you notice right away, is that they absolutely love it, and they seem much happier than the modern-day city slicker.
According to studies, as communities break down and technology begins to replace face-to-face interaction, we are becoming more depressed, more medicated, and more suicidal. In fact, the closer you get to a modern city, the sadder you become. That’s according to the book “Tribe,” by Sebastian Junger (see our video breakdown under Not Boring Book Club). Money and the comforts of life have done little to address our heartache and loneliness. The sociologist Emile Durkheim coined a term for this, called “ennui,” or the alienation of being surrounded by millions of people while feeling completely alone. The people of Virginia City don’t have ennui.
I learned a lot about the power of old town communities here. They’d fought secessionists in the civil war, and protected the American dream by striking it rich with gold, and then by preserving our history amidst global change. The people smiled, danced in saloons, and walked their boots off. All they needed was someone to wrap their arm around while enjoying some old stories, a drink, and a cigar, at the local shop. And they welcomed us–two LA normies with a massive camera–into their community.
We may have left Virginia City to start the new year on the west coast, but it hasn’t left us.
We’ll be exploring more subcultures in the coming year. Places that address the most pressing issue of the 21st century, namely mental health and the devolution of community. We all need a place that feels like home, something that stays the same, no matter what changes.
#ghosttown #virginiacity #goldrush #ghosttowns