Sunday, April 01, 2007

Fear, Compromise,Capitalism, WDET-Pt . I

My ability to endure is being tested, and though it feels good to reflect here, it seems like a Sisyphian task to contain myself and present a coherent rant even. The sun is bright today, but to leave now is to favor illusion rather than confront the darkness I feel. In the end that only begets a greater unhappiness. There are many
issues that have me feeling so, but most of all in no uncertain terms, I am especially upset at Detroit.

I feel like I am only human and to reveal so much calamity is too much for me to bear.

Backing up a bit. See, I espouse an idea distilled from anarchism which somewhat insists on a "no compromise" notion of how I, and to some degree, others should live. A good example is "you don't bomb the people", period. Personally, I insist on living for a culture of togetherness that actually works for community, ie. the public... and I do not feel this is a radical or even utopian notion, but it is very different than the notion of what our NPR affiliate apparently feels about the P in it's acronym. We'll get to that little jab later on, for they are the true inspiration behind this rant.

Some days I wish to close my eyes and go away, while previously that has not been my disposition.

Even though, to advocate folks be open minded and willing to explore our creative ability to transform our own lives and the institutions (in the face of capitalism) is considered unrealistic, it is a rather sane viewpoint. To me, it appears in the world as a whole-fear is kicking the crap out of love and the dominant capitalist institutions of our times bears the brunt of the blame for this violence. How is it not seen that it is a failure and that the fear that it promotes is no way to go on in life. Perhaps I am wrong, but I think our survival actually depends on fighting this aspect of what is. Though I have issue with his ideas of power, for sure Che said it best when he said "revolution, i act out of love", or something like that.

"Sometimes I dream about reality, sometimes I feel so down" Mr. Bobby by Manu Chao

So, what is all this mean Mr. Upsidedown? It means the changes that have been announced lately in this city have made me question my loyalty to it and all I am involved with. I feel like my ability to survive here is wearing thin and that's not good, because you need a good thick skin to endure the truth of what it means to live here. Not the 'I live in newly developed areas with security or in close proximity to areas where the police protect me' truth, but the truth that it's a desperate place to grow up in and perhaps even harder for some to try to stay here as an adult. Even having said that, how it is now I think is better than how it is going to be.

I have been considering leaving the city I love because of what is going on, and that would indeed be a huge compromise.

This place as of late makes me sick with fear, which is something I usually deal pretty well with. I fear the city will survive and transform itself, but it will be unrecognizable as a a place of potential and hope for something better, and recognizable as another terrible version of a place that converts the energy to believe in change, for the passive acceptance of what products are here for you; the lie that builds off the idea that if you want to go anywhere in life you better get in line. I thought we were better than that, but I am beginning to doubt that is what Detroit spirit is/was about. It feels like capitalism is being reembraced and the once suspicious face of privelege that is by and large white, is fading from our memory. "Embraced", perhaps not, more like we're on our knees and begging to appease the master.

Idealism has it's ups, but when you get depressed at the state of things, look out.

In general, I am involved with people who are engaged and doing and that helps, usually. And right now, while I feel my hope and excitement is being ripped from me, I am on the cusp of realizing that Detroit potential with two projects I have been involved with for years. They are of great inspiration to many, one regarding the intersection of urban land use in education and the other using popular education in creating new media models, both for raising up the voices of our youth, our future. With Detroit Summer, collective members embarked just yesterday on a tour of 5 cities with 10 passionate youth, who seem to have the vision and courage to take on the problems we face. I feel like I am betraying them writing like this, but I am wondering what new problems will we all face and why would we put that on them?

"New York City, maybe you remind me of myself"- Gil Scott Heron

It's madness, destroying green space here to build and building for the sake of building so that the economic imperative is satisfied. It's certainly not helping to keep me here. It's like human sacrifice and I can only bear witness so long before the upsurge in hope I felt just 2 weeks ago is stricken down by the forces that manage our affairs. So, if my hope turns to a callous pessimism and then disregard for my word, and words like "no compromise" for my vision, like working with youth turns to hoping that this place burns finally and for good, please escort me out of this city because I will be of no help any longer.


At 2:02 PM , Blogger just another detroit artist said...

you will find what you are looking for with in. We all love you very much and support you.


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