Friday, January 2, 2009

Catabolic Collapse: Detroit, Michigan

this vehicle was "parked" not 10 feet from the roadway and
the picture taken inside my vehicle.........


HELP


As promised, I beginning to start the "Catabolic Collapse: Detroit, Michigan", series. What's happening in this "world class" city, has been at the attention of the main stream media as of late, last night, there was a piece on CBS's "Evening News".

I suppose, this project that I'm ready to embark on, actually started in the spring of last year just shortly after Michael Nystrom, came out with his article, "Second Great Depression in Detroit", found here http://www.depression2.tv/d2/node/118 . At the time, I was deep in the study of John Michael Greer's theory of "Catabolic Collapse" and searching for examples, when it dawned on me, what better an example? In the days and weeks to come, I'll attempt to describe what catabolic collapse might mean and how this might relate to this "once" great city.

In that respect, I want to be ever so mindful and respectful to the people who have, are and will likely have to endure this process, in the future. Most come from proud hard-working backgrounds and I should know, as I was born there, (Wayne, Mi.) in 1959 and have been apart of the city/suburbs, off and on, pretty much my entire life. Having actually worked and lived there over the years, has enabled me a perspective that spans for over 40 years. Up close and personal. I'd like to provide windows of this perspective coming from me, to you.

My posts will likely come fast and furious, as is my style, so be on your toes! In the mean time please enjoy this site, as I find it very complimentary of what I'm pertaining to http://www.detroitblog.org/?p=560 . I'll very likely pick out a story(s) from detroitblog to accompany my own, each time, to better familiar you with this great city and it's people. So, here we go again, down yet another trail of endurance...(Hope your heart can take it....)

31 comments:

FARfetched said...

Yay! This should be interesting.

I read a fair amount of detroitblog.org, working backwards into mid-2005 before giving up. I came away with a sense of the overwhelming problems Detroiters face every day… and that they have to be among the most innovative and creative Americans. The neglect of city services cuts both ways: obviously, you don't wait for the cops to show up; but if you want to do your thing you can do it in Detroit. The art projects, the gardens and farms… none of that would be possible in Atlanta — let alone the burbs! — without some official busybody telling you that you're not allowed to do it. Could any other American city have their own version of "Grown in Detroit"?

If anyone can chart a course through the long emergency, it will be Detroiters. I truly believe that now.

FARfetched said...

If you don't mind, I'm going to post a link at CFN…

yooper said...

Hey Far! Nice of ya to come by to keep an eye on me! Sure, go ahead and post a link at CFN.

Gee, you're through a lot more than me on detroitblog...Heh! heh!I can remember when Detroit was the leader in innovation. heh! Perhaps, they still are? Maybe "Grown in Detroit" http://www.chow.com/grinder/3336
is one of them? I used to enjoy going to the "Farmers Market" there, gee, come to think about, could have this movement spread from there, during the modern times of today. I don't know of any other American city of having a version of this... I'll fit this idea and links to it in a story!

Any suggestions of stories from detroitblog you'd like to see linked, let me know! Ha! just give me an idea of "when" they're at! ha! That also, goes for any thoughts that you might have Far...

I'll likely discuss a little bit about catabolic collapse today. The somewhat staircase effect down, with patial recoveries. I can't agree more about your thoughts of Detroit being like that of "The Long Emergency" coming from Kunstler. Btw Far, I've always thought that Kunstler's view of the future, was a slow but steady decline, with no periods of partial recovery. Am I correct in assuming this? If so, that would be the difference between that and catabolic collapse. Detroit has experienced periods of partial recovery, I'm certain of this and will describe this as we go along.

Thanks, yooper

yooper said...

Oh! A bit about the couple with the dog on detroitblog, this couple has fallen quite a ways. They had mentioned of living at the mothers house on the shore of Belleville lake. This a very prestigous neighborhood inbetween Ann Arbor and Detroit. Done a lot of watersking there, in my earlier years!

I did drive right past where this couple lives (94 and Livernois) during my photoshoot...I did see alot of panhandlers (they were everywhere, including Ann Arbor) during this travel and a few packs of wild dogs..

yooper said...

Ummm, "Eastern Market", as I've been just reminded.....

http://www.detroiteasternmarket.com/

thanks, yooper

ScreamingSardine said...

I saw FARfetched's mention of this blog on CFN. I used to live in Detroit from 1998-2004. I was always struck by how beautiful the architecture was, but then going a block or two, and it was almost like a third world country. There were pockets of decent and sometimes beautiful neighborhoods (like Indian Village), but they're surrounded by slums. It was so sad to see.

I worked in the legal field, and I remember reading a brief wherein a Judge commented in his ruling that Detroit is one of the most fractured societies in America. This was written probably in 2003. I can only imagine what it's turning into now.

Nudge said...

Yooper .. great stuff :) looking forward to seeing more.

Nudge said...

Yooper, thanks for the link to that Michael Nystrom article.

One little part of it set my teeth on edge, though: right after the picture of the FITB Bank Tower, the author wrote:

“But back to the question at hand. Is real estate in Detroit a good investment? The answer to that question is inextricably tied with Detroit's chances of revival. In order for property values to return, people must flow back to the city in droves .. ”

Rest assured than when our ancestors were clearing land, or when they came over on the boat from Europe, thoughts of “property values” and “real estate investments” were the furthest thing from their minds. Likewise, high population densities were probably the sort of thing they left Europe to escape.

The primary, or even secondary value of a home is NOT for financial gain upon resale, duh .. the true value of your home is a place for you and your family to live. It keeps you safe behind its walls, it shelters you from the elements. Everything else about it is minor in comparison.

I think this urban prairie resettlement is Detroit's best chance of a recovery, personally, but what do I know? :)

yooper said...

Screaming Sardine, you bet. Along with you thought, many of the attempted "face lifts" over the years have been made nearest the main routes of travel and further one goes into the neighborhoods, the less this attempt becomes apparent.

Detroit was once, one of the most diverse ethnic centers in the world. Immigrants making neighorhoods that were/are prodominantly, German, Polish, Arab, Mexican, etc.. I'm in agreement with the judge in thinking that Detroit might be one of the most fractured socities in America...

Hello Nudge! Michael Nystrom, in my opinion, is one of the most acute financial "wizards" any where in the world, so at that, maybe we can forgive him, a bit? ha! ha! I can assure you, that your thought of a house being a "home" is not lost upon this man. Check this out,http://www.depression2.tv/d2/node/66 and see what I mean. You might want to check the comments on this story, that will give you perhaps a "sneak preview" of where I'm going with this...

Your thoughts are just excellent about our ancestors having another idea about "home ownership" and how they "valued property". That is, I think, in general, most people do not value their property the same way as our ancestors did, and that these values may be different now than say back then.

I really like your idea,

"The primary, or even secondary value of a home is NOT for financial gain upon resale, duh .. the true value of your home is a place for you and your family to live. It keeps you safe behind its walls, it shelters you from the elements. Everything else about it is minor in comparison."

Isn't this one of the underlying themes of the detroitblog?

"I think this urban prairie resettlement is Detroit's best chance of a recovery, personally, but what do I know?"

I think, Far is also questioning this. To tell you the truth, I don't know, perhaps we'll find out together?

yooper said...

I suppose, I'm not done with Nudge's idea,

""The primary, or even secondary value of a home is NOT for financial gain upon resale, duh .. the true value of your home is a place for you and your family to live. It keeps you safe behind its walls, it shelters you from the elements. Everything else about it is minor in comparison."

Isn't this the underlying theme of "FarFuture"? (just click on Far to take you there) Of all the personalities that I've come across the internet, perhaps Far, has best positioned himself to meet the future? Whether, he likes it or not, is at times, debatable..ha!ha!

Nudge said...

Good morning Yooper & thanks for letting me post here.

Dare I be so bold as to predict that different things may happen in different places? For all that decaying stuff left atop it, Detroit is fundamentally a prairie area that doesn't get an awful lot of rainfall, hasn't got the most robust topsoil available, and so on. Take away the fossil fuel support and the most practical thing left is agriculture and subsistence farming. It is very good to see Nature at work reclaiming the abandoned places.

Before coming to Massachusetts I lived for many years in a place that's almost like a miniature of Detroit: Schenectady, NY. To be more accurate, it is more like a miniature of Buffalo or Rochester or Syracuse, except it's retained some token GE/KAPL business. In all other regards, though (particularly the divisions of racism, poverty, crime, great disparity in wealth, lack of jobs, lack of willpower to get anything done) it seems much like the descriptions of Detroit.

Until just before I left, I never had a car there. Although it is horribly sh*tty, I either used the local bus network or walked everywhere. Had too many dicey times being out alone at night ~ not very safe :( There are whole parts of Schenectady that clear out at sundown and are not safe areas to walk through. The unholy self-reinforcing trinity of drugs, crime, and poverty is very much at work there.

It is fascinating to watch the new becoming forces at work in Detroit.

LisaZ said...

I'm looking forward to these photos and posts...

yooper said...

Good afternoon Nudge!Oh, you bet! you can be that bold! Can I be so bold to predict that different things may happen in different places and at different times?

Maybe it because I'm such a die hard Detroit Lions football fan, but I think, Detroit will continue to be a viable city well into the future. Detroit has a lot going for it and some of this doesn't quite meet the eye.. http://www.detroitsalt.com/home.htm

I can't imagine just how many "little Detroits" might be out there, all having common problems...

"It is fascinating to watch the new becoming forces at work in Detroit."

Sure like the way you worded that. Almost like Oswald Spengler, himself! ha!

LizaZ, you're welcomed!

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