What will it take for someone to fix Detroit? No, I don’t mean fix like when you fix your cat; I don’t mean just cut it off and end it now in the Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. Buck v. Bell “Three generations of imbeciles is enough” sense.
A digression into the merits of negative eugenics is not the topic au courant, as we say, having been proved inhumane far before Justice Holmes so eloquently stated its case in the majority opinion those 81 years ago. More timely is the discussion about the filthy quagmire of negative publicity and humiliating events that has mucked up the good name of the still proud city of Detroit. What further well-documented indignities must shame the Motor City and its citizens before someone steps up and starts fixing some problems?
A colleague of mine who often pontificates frantically and angrily about the merits of Midwest-based media outlets recently pointed my attention to one Charlie LeDuff, the aggressive reporter for the Detroit Free Press. His tip encouraged me to undertake a lengthy online perusal of the paper, which I had never read before. Impressed by the Freep’s variety of local stories, I reflected non-chronologically upon what I, not a Detroiter, had heard about the city recently:
-the final loss of the Detroit Lions pitiful 0-16 season,
-the even more pitiful news that Ford’s response to the auto bailout is to make sure the Lincoln MKT can park itself, apparently an effort to boost our nation’s skill-lessness,
-the mayor Kwame Kilpatrick who sent 14,000 philandering text messages to his chief of staff,
-the dance hit “Put Your Hands Up For Detroit,” which was a big hit in UK nightclubs in December 2006,
-learned tonight, my neighbor Anna’s gossip that her friend’s ex-boyfriend who she met on the internet is now in prison in Detroit for stealing a lawnmower,
-and so much more.
Judging from the fact that the 8 of the 10 most read articles today at the Freep.com are about the Lions, Sunday’s loss to the Packers must have felt to Detroiters something like the final straw.
There has been too much bad news in Detroit for too long. Maybe we should all just keep an eye over there, make sure the money that just got there helps peoples’ lives a little.