Friday, August 21, 2009

Some essential reading

I've been preoccupied with other projects in the past few weeks, so I haven't been updating nearly as often as I'd like. I likely won't get back to blogging full-time until the start of September, but in the meantime, here's some informative and/or provocative reading:

  • Conservative writer David Frum published an editorial recently analyzing Detroit's decline. He makes a few good points (especially about the city's tragic disregard for historic preservation) and a few points that are so far off as to be offensive (i.e., "The second factor in Detroit’s decline is the city’s defiant rejection of education and the arts." What city is he talking about? Yes, DPS is in shambles now, but it was once a model district, and we've always championed the arts.)
  • The Detroit News counted 48 vacant buildings in a useful, well-researched inventory of downtown  Detroit. I just wish they hadn't maligned many of our best skyscrapers as "blight" and "eyesores." They may be empty, but they're still beautiful.
  • Vice Magazine notes (hypocritically, and with insufferable smugness) the media fatigue many are feeling around town as one journalist after another comes to town to do a snapshot portrayel of the city's struggles. But one media outfit seems prepared to go in-depth: Time Inc. will embed a group of journalists in Detroit for a year.

1 comment:

motorless said...

I have to disagree with your view about Detroit and the arts. David Frum is pretty spot on with his analysis of arts and education, in my opinion.

Yes many of us do support arts and education, but if you get out to other major (and successful) cities, you'll realize Detroit, and the entire metro area is way behind in both arts and education.

You said it pretty well yourself when you wrote, "Yes, DPS is in shambles now, but it was once a model district..." "Once" is the key word in that sentence.

I do believe that many metro Detroiters love the arts, but with a declining median household income, and fleeing young, educated professionals, it's hard to support much that relies on discretionary funding.