Monday, October 05, 2009

You Know You've Hit Rock Bottom When...

Your city can't afford to bury its dead people. How much more pain can Detroit take? Thoughts, anyone?

7 Comments:

At 1:03 PM, Blogger Copper said...

Holy Toledo! Maybe Michigan should consider a "humanities" tax of a penny a person. Or before that, maybe making the problem more widely known will initiate a grass-roots campaign to assist these people who can't even bury (or cremate) their deceased loved ones.

I wonder if such a thing could happen here, but I think not. Here's why... I remember years ago there was an article on the fact that some students at Tri C were attending classes but had no money to eat. While the article's authenticity was later questioned, there were people lining up to give money to those students before a fund could be established.

I wonder how a state can continue to turn its back on an area in such need. Perhaps they are tired of giving? Donor fatigue? Or maybe they've forgotten what it's like to be in need? Or maybe they're so strapped themselves they can't "spare a dime" like the old Depression-era song says.

I know much of Michigan's economy is now tourist-based, but as I once heard an old farmer say, "You can't eat beauty."

 
At 1:07 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

I think you're right--I posted this in part because I can't easily imagine it happening here, for a variety of reasons. While the national media often assumes things are as bad in Cleveland as they are in Detroit, that's not true. But of course given the larger trends, it just may happen in lots of places, unless we inject some new urgency in addressing urban issues. Despite high hopes for him on this, Obama has mostly punted on this.

 
At 1:15 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

On the other hand, in fairness, just a few years ago, Cleveland flirted with the idea of not picking up trash downtown, and instead persuading residents and businesses to adopt trash cans and take care of it themselves. That's not exactly a high point.

 
At 12:17 AM, Blogger CJ said...

It is a very sad commentary on a town that deserves better. I am from Detroit, and, as I tell everyone, Detroit is a great place to be from.

 
At 6:19 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Connie, how very cool to learn that you've begun a blog. Congratulations. I'll be adding it to my regular reading diet, and I hope other readers will also click over and give you a look. I don't think I ever knew you were from Detroit. In any event, thanks so much for stopping by and adding to the conversation, and good luck on your new venture.

 
At 7:59 AM, Blogger Kim said...

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112894124

John, I heard this story today and thought of your post. Perhaps there is a cottage industry to be nutured?

 
At 10:24 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Nice, Kim. Thanks for that link. Krulwich is simply brilliant, a genius even. I've said it before (here, I think): he's simply the best storyteller now working in radio, and has been for some time, just as he was when he was in television. I know Ira Glass of NPR's This American Life would get many people's votes, and I do occasionally enjoy that, but I'm afraid Ira's whole approach is a tad too precious for me. Or too consciously indy. Just trying too hard. But Krulwich is captivating on every level.

 

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