The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

15 November 2004

Piston slap

As close as I've ever been to Detroit is Allen Park, which is somewhere east of the airport but not quite in the river. This should tell you right up front that I have no first-hand knowledge of America's answer to Pompeii. Still, so long as there are live reports like this one from Agent Provocateur, I need not feel as though my life were somehow still incomplete.

(Note: The full article should be considered Not Safe for Some Workplaces.)

Detroit is a modern day Roanoke colony, but there isn't a soul around to scrawl "CROATOA" into the dead pieces of wood that stick out of the ground and pass for trees around here.

Once you get downtown, it becomes readily apparent how Detroit now exists as nothing more than a science experiment of post-industrial urban decay. Scattered pockets of settlers have taken up residence in various locations — the ironically named "renaissance center", the "Fox theater district", which is as much a cultural district as the home décor section of your local Wal-Mart is a "Modern Art Gallery", and Greektown — which is so named because it is the location of a diner specializing in ground lamb that somehow survived the apocalyptic riots of 1967. Venture far away from these unlikely areas of human interaction and you step into a wasteland.

When it comes to urban revitalization, Detroit's city planners seem to have adopted a strict policy of "don't do for ourselves what plate-tectonics and wind erosion may somehow do for us." Honestly, not a single building has been leveled in Detroit since an incident in 1783 involving a drunken French settler and a confused plough ox. When these buildings do finally crumble to the ground, new buildings are put in their place, and white suburbanites poke their heads up like frightened hedgehogs to investigate. Curiosity normally dies down within mere hours, projects are abandoned, and Detroit circle of life is free to start anew.

I'm reasonably certain that it wasn't always like that, but for now, I'm thinking "outtakes from RoboCop."

Posted at 7:54 PM to Dyssynergy


Good morning, I woke up in Deroit again. Damn.

Thanks for the link. :)

Posted by: Kathryn at 7:52 AM on 16 November 2004

Somehow I'm thinking the prequel to Kathryn's comment would be the opening line of a certain song. Charles will know the one I mean.

Posted by: McGehee at 8:50 AM on 16 November 2004