Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Symbolic Loss

Photo courtesy of Kirthmon F. Dozier/Detroit Free Press

Last night's MSU loss to North Carolina was more than just a game, according to Dave Zirin at The Nation:
Something more substantial than a basketball contest was taking place. It was rooted not in the economic insecurity and hardship of one state, where unemployment is listed conservatively at 12 percent, but an entire country.

Michigan for most of the last two decades, was viewed and discussed as a remnant of this nation's past: high unemployment, an aging infrastructure and an auto industry whose best days had passed. Unless Michael Moore was pointing his camera in the state's direction, few noticed the rust. But now when looking at Michigan we don't see a nation's past but its present and maybe its future. The banks haven't been nationalized, but Flint sure has. We empathize because we sympathize. But as difficult as things are nationally, and as inspired as many have been about Michigan State's run, Detroit, still stands at the vanguard of pain.

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Thanks for commenting. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at www.teardownbook.com.