Detroit has been the convenient butt of jokes for a number of years. Crime rates. Corrupt government. Corrupt unions. Greedy, irresponsible industry. We can argue until we've lost our voices over what Detroit has fallen into ruin, but one fact remains undeniable: This is one of the great tragedies in our country's history.
As Marchand and Meffre state on their website, "Nowadays, (Detroit's) splendid decaying monuments are, no less than the Pyramids of Egypt, the Coliseum of Rome, or the Acropolis in Athens, remnants of the passing of a great civilization."
I admit I am not an objective observer. I'm from Michigan, and grew up going to Detroit to Tigers games, the Henry Ford Museum, Greek Town and the Fox Theater. I have family who live(d) there and work(ed) there. I'm from a family of automotive workers. There was once great pride in that, by the way.
The Detroit of the early 1900s was, in large part, responsible for the creation of this country's middle class. We were manufacturing actual things. Things people wanted to buy and use. No more. What do we manufacture in this country now? Electronic transactions. Fake money. Intellectual property. That's just about it. So bye bye Detroit.
Again, I'm not here to argue about who or what is at fault. Anyone who thinks there's a simple answer to that is a simple person. I care about the people. Lost homes, lost jobs, lost families, lost lives. No matter who you are or what your political beliefs, these are fellow Americans. Not to be confused with a bunch of book-cooking crooks who were bailed out by our inglorious government to the tune of 700-something BILLION dollars, mind you. These are my relatives.
Go click the link above and look at the pictures. The one of United Artists Theater literally made me cry. Cry for what has been permanently lost.