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Here's another Detroit = Armageddon article worth reading, every one of it's six very saddening pages:

"The city reached a peak population of 1.9 million people in the 1950s, and it was 83 percent white. Now Detroit has fewer than 800,000 people, is 83 percent black…"

This is not about painting black and white or whatever colour.
The real question is if or how any social entity could survive such huge changes?

BTW: Unfortunately I posted the previous article I had found a few weeks ago on Facebook only and now I already can't figure out, how to retrieve and cite it. One more proof how useless FB is for stuff that really matters.

PS: I found it. After some monkey-like clicking my way down the FB-wall. On 30th of Sept. I noted:
"Most depressing text in a long time. I remember with what pride our relatives from Michigan, who visitied us when I was a young boy, related from Detroit. And now a devastated railway station and the Michigan Theatre in use as a parking lot??? Hell, this all time 'American Dream' has become way too complicated for me."

Here's the 'Requiem for Detroit' documentary for the more "audivisually gifted" of you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OpXhd7iau8

Interestingly the video now seems 'protected' from non British viewers courtesy of BBC stupidity.Thanksalot.


( 5 Kommentare — Kommentar hinterlassen )
24. Nov 2010 09:30 (UTC)
When my dad came to the United States he settled in Detroit. This was in the early 80s. The way he talks about it now... it's like someone who accidentally got stuck in hell and clawed their way out.
He worked for the car factories while trying to finish his degree in architecture. His close friend recently told me that he was so sick of it and so disappointed that he was trying to figure out a way to cut off his hand at the factory just so they would pay for his college tuition.
Aaaah, Detroit. My dad (step dad. let's not get confused ;)) worked and lived on the 8 mile. He once ran out of gas and had to walk two miles to a gas station, where they refused to sell him any gasoline. They said "yeah. You're just going to set a house on fire." it was the "Devil's Night". He actually pushed his car two miles to the gas station to get gas. He talked about the bullet proof glass at the gas stations and the banks and the Kentucky Fried Chicken. This was over 20 years ago.
The cool thing about that area at the time.. - artists could rent studio space in old factories for pennies. You could have cool artist parties. At one of those cool artist parties Waldek got into a fight with his friend and wanted to come home alone. He walked and walked through miles of deserted factories and ghettos.... Halfway through his walk a huge Black guy crossed his path and looked at him with disbelief "WHAT are you doing here???"
"Walking home," My step dad replied.
"It's not safe for you here!! Why don't you just take a bus??"
"I dont' have money"
The huge thug reached into his pocket and gave him a fist full of change "HERE!!! You shouldn't be walking here alone! Take the damn bus!!"
There are more "Detroit" stories from Waldek - and I've never been there. He talks about the management of the car factories. In the 80s. He drove a Corolla, because it was the only reliable car he could buy and afford that could get him from place to place. They refused to let him park it in the company parking lot. HIs boss finally bought him a Ford. It broke down two weeks later.
After his stories I fear to mention the name of the place. He fled to California as soon as he graduated. He managed to keep both his hands. I was 8 years old then. He still talks about everything "Detroit" with fear and loathing. He says it's because of the hubris of the system. What do you think?
24. Nov 2010 12:03 (UTC)
Since I've never been to the US of A I can't make any serious remarks with an experience backing.
But from these lectures I get the impression that the country has no clue what to do with social disasters of such a dimension nor does it see any sense in taking up with this challenge.
The main political discussions at the moment also seem driven by stupid fights over even more stupid claims, so that from my distant chair I'm quite sure many tea baggers would just hope for some Katerina or godsent plague to do away with Detroit and the likes… Which fortuntely won't happen.
In this oily light the money GM just made with their IPO seems even more like a surreal bubble of nonsense, so that I - although having observed USA for decades - came to believe I now understand more of what China or Russia as countries and cultures do, than what's going on in Michigan and elsewhere in the US.
Once there seem to have been clean beaches, a somehow proper economy, a claim of international leadership that made sense to the whole 'free world', technologically innovative companies *and* universities that were superior to anywhere else, but maybe that was only clever PR and we all fell for it, like Truman? ;) I don't believe so, but still: what happened in the last 2 decades???
Short answer: I think you're dad's rather right.

Unfortunately none of the other economic world giants look any better, so perhaps we just will have to adopt to high standards and fair systems being only bright shadows from an even further past than your dad's memories.
24. Nov 2010 15:42 (UTC)
Of course I don't want to sound too apologetic! But the country can't prosper on Apple and Google alone, doesn't it?
And if people can't read, there's no chance they can participate in IT job perspectives ever.
BTW: can you please explain to me how the state of California can be in financial trouble? Doesn't the aforementioned high tech industry have to pay taxes? Or is the relationship between company success and state wealth just too 'complicated' to comprehend, in a Facebook kind of way? ;)
29. Nov 2010 08:15 (UTC)
hey!! we just found a really cool positive video that you'd LOVE!! http://coolmaterial.com/roundup/detroit-lives/
29. Nov 2010 08:46 (UTC)
Maaan, where's my LIKE button when I need it :-D
Thank you so much! So these people want to tell me how Detroit is more like an American version of Berlin in the 90s instead of Doom Town, is that right? LOL, why not? I nearly forgot the stats about illiteracy and unemployment while watching… :-)
But I especially like the part where this guy curses about journalists from the Netherlands at the beginning and I think I'll have to rewatch this scene with hollandish subtitles on… :-)
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