Friday, January 30, 2009

Dead City

As if its miserable football weren't metaphor enough for its overall condition, Detroit is a sad case of a formerly great American city come apart at the seams, in virtually every way imaginable. From their inability to regroup after losing their industrial base (as opposed to, for example, Pittsburgh), to the loss of every citizen who had means to leave and the destitution of those who didn't, to terminal corruption and chronic mismanagement, Detroit seems to be in a death spiral. Do you try to save the patient with the usual means of financial and civic triage, or do you try another, more comprehensive strategy to rebuild or restructure?

And can it serve as a cautionary metaphor for the country?

1 comment:

Marius said...

Were it not for Johns Hopkins, Baltimore would be next.

But it seems to me that only the "urban" city is dead, in Detroit. The middle classes, as always, have taken flight to the outer suburbs. The city may have disintegrated, but a confederation of white satellite villages still orbits at the edges, I suspect.

(I'm just talking out of my ass, really. I've never been to Detroit, in fact. Maybe I should just stfu.)