Come for the Politics, Stay for the Pathologies

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Reflections on the Ash Heap of Detroit h/t MOTUS.

NOTE: MOTUS has allowed me to re-post An Empty Chair for the Ash Heap of History from her blog, as it’s largely about Detroit. I hope you enjoy it.

An Empty Chair for the Ash Heap of History:

Please, no more tweets about the organic garden at the Giant’s AT&T Park. It was a joke, okay?

“I’m proud to announce that next season they’re planning to turn the centerfield bleachers at AT&T Park into what’s believed to be the first ever edible garden in a major American sports facility. With rows of kale and strawberries and eggplant, the Giants are going to help encourage local youth to eat healthy – even at the ballpark.” 

It is funny though, isn’t it, how people will believe anything that comes out of Big Guy’s mouth.

LGBT's for Obama“Free healthcare? For everybody?! Oh Mr. President, you are soooo cool!”

But seriously; I don’t think this is really such a bad idea. Just because San Francisco is at the top of the “best cities in America” list today doesn’t mean they won’t end up at the bottom tomorrow. Just like Detroit, the city the Giants trounced in last year’s World Series. They started out as one of the “best cities in America” too, the “Paris of the Midwest” no less.

So it’s never too early to begin planning for your municipal bankruptcy, especially if your city is run exclusively by progressive Democrats.

I’ve been doing some research on this situation and from what I can tell, the best path out of bankruptcy for Detroit is going to be urban farming. Interestingly, we’ve been running some trial programs right here in Washington D.C..



It appears that urban farming – crops as well as fish - is the perfect solution for rehabbing an industrial city that’s gone belly up. It’s sort of a “back to the future” recovery. Progressives highly approve of this scheme: it’s very green, has a small carbon footprint and provides jobs for people educated in the local public schools:

In the 19th century in this country, farm-hand work was a traditional trade for the unlettered and semi-skilled. In a way, RecoveryPark brings this neighborhood full circle, to a time before the industrial age transformed Southeast Michigan. “The fish don’t care if you can’t read or write,” he said. “The fish don’t care if you have felonies.”

And apparently the felons don’t care if you have fish either, as Food Field’s shipping container house and upcoming fish farm was robbed last week, before they even went operational.

aquaponics_050813_6015_copy_5215The progressive promised land: mind you, they think conservatives are regressive.

So they need some new equipment to replace what was stolen but there’s no hurry, as they are still awaiting approval from the city for their farms. The city hasn’t quite figured out all the red tape they’re going to need to impose yet:

Though the systems are nearly complete, neither farm is sure when they’ll get individual approval from the city. Exactly how to become a fully permitted, legal aquaponics business is still fishy.

“The city is in the process of coming up with a process,” for approving fish farms, says Kathryn Underwood of the City Planning Commission. “We don't even have all of the forms quite in place yet for all of things that need to happen. We're riding a bike and building it at the same time.”

As I said, I’ve been studying this and I think that there could be a real future for failed cities in farming: getting “back to their roots” so to speak. In fact, I discovered that other countries have been doing urban farming for decades. Here for example, is an established farm in Havana (Cuba, not Florida):

havana cuba urban farmHavana Acres: Forward! comrades.

And let’s face it, growing a few onions in Detroit sure wouldn’t hurt anything.

detroit urban-farm-3.jonions pg

Just like Roosevelt’s New Deal morphed into Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, all our new urban renewal project needs (aside from cash) is a great, historic name: How about “Obama’s Field of Dreams”?


Yes, I like that. And I think we can all appreciate the symbolism of the dreams; 70 years of fighting to end poverty and racial injustice, 70 years of progress. 70 years of “we can’t wait,” 70 years of fundamentally transforming America. And now, finally, we have something  to show for it: corn fields in Detroit where once great industries stood and people lived. That, my friends, is Progress with a capital P.

cornfield in downtown detroitGolden ears of corn growing in the shadows of the Golden Towers of the Fisher Building and the former GM World Headquarters

So I guess Detroit is going to be okay, they shouldn’t be needing another federal handout, maybe just a little gardening advice from our master gardener and a hand at getting the spring plantings in.


And later BO can come drop in for the royal harvest:

Screenshot Studio capture #1262“I told you boys, if I build it they will come.” He didn’t say they’d be rats though.

So I think Detroit’s positioned to make the shift from industry to our new urban renewal farming program. Heaven knows, they’ve certainly made enough compost to last another 40 years. And if the onions and corn thing doesn’t work out, I hear there’s always a big demand for medical marijuana in the city.

What is it about Progressive stewardship that always leads us to the ash heap of history?

Screenshot Studio capture #1263 What idiot left this classic Eames chair out in the field to rot!??

Do you see, now, the danger in leaving the chair empty?

empty chairHope fades, the empty chair continues to rot.