Friday, February 15, 2008
The Most Miserable City In America
The news is in and it's not good -- according to Forbes' misery scale (who knew there was such a thing?!), Detroit is the most miserable city in America, beating out Stockton, California and Flint, Michigan for the honor. The index rates things like taxes, pollution, weather, unemployment, crime, and comes up with the "winner." I find this news strangely cheering; we're good at something, by God! When I moved here, my friends warned me how awful it would be and nothing can make a place more seductive. That's my siren song anyway -- the sad and forlorn, the I've seen better days, the sweet spell of an ending when everything seems precious because of its fleetingness.
Whenever something shitty happens, invariably someone says, This too shall pass. Which is true even if you want to pistol-whip the smug dullard who says it. Not that I have ever felt this way, not me, no sir. Nothing stays the same, not for long. And yet even in the briefest of circumstances, we cling to our routines, the rituals that make us feel at home in the world. And the thought of those passing into oblivion is sometimes more than we can stand. For if the bad passes, the good does as well, only nobody repeats the old chesnut in the times of plenty. But taken in the best way, it means that we can look at the streets and see everything that has been and will be. Sometimes I think it could be 1970 or 2008 here in Detroit given the pictures I take on the streets. And for the first time in weeks, the sun is out in the most miserable city in America. But I love it best when it's what I call Detroit gray, that particular hue the sky takes in the winter, when everything except the people are dead and everyone trudges home in the snow with their hearts in their hands, waiting for spring.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life." Arthur Ashes
Drinking memoir suggestion: Love Is A Mixed Tape Rob Sheffield
Benedictions and Maledictions