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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by ntenny View Post
    ...which are less naturally photogenic than the ruins of grand public spaces. The aesthetics of those abandoned buildings in Detroit are kind of low-hanging fruit---past glories still visible through the advance of decay and all that---whereas it's harder to turn a modern subdivision that happens to be empty into a compelling visual "storyline".
    This is to some degree true. The old Packard plant has a "story," whereas a house no one lived in has no story. You can try to capture the lack of story, the potential story that was missed, but it's harder, because it hasn't been physically etched into the fabric. Or to put it another way, the story of the empty house is beyond the house itself.

    Moose: at least for a current recession, there are people walking around who had an active role in creating the mess. People like Dick Fuld, Hank Paulson, Angelo Mozilo, Chuck Prince. Larry Summers, Robert Rubin. The list goes on and on, down to the brokers falsifying mortgage papers. You can say it's "market forces" or history or whatever, but these things are not forces unto themselves, but the results of decisions made by actual people. Lots of people, sure, with small parts or large. But still people, and not supernatural forces.

  2. #22

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    I grew up in a couple suburbs of Detroit. That was back in the 70's and 80's. I remember going downtown sometimes as a kid with my mother who went to Wayne State then worked in the city. Even back then there was a lot of urban decay. You could sometimes find houses for sale by the city for a few hundred dollars, but they weren't worth it. A friend of mine was interviewed in High School because there was a freeway sniper and her car matched a description. There were parts of the city where it was dangerous to make eye contact when driving through, some people were shot for that according to the TV newscasters. But parts of the city were ok too, it wasn't all ruin and decay. The suburbs mostly did ok.

    Recently I went back, just to a few suburbs, to visit family. I was shocked, outer suburban areas that flourished even during the 80's recession were in dire straits. Unemployment was extremely high and moral low among those who had good jobs. No one was very secure in their job, not even government workers.

    A lot of American manufacturing used to be based in and around Detroit, but now we don't make that much except "financial products". Detroit and industrial decay in America are symptoms of that.

  3. #23
    Ross Chambers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lns View Post
    This is the part I don't understand. I'm not sure what you mean by "maligned"? I don't think anyone in America thinks Detroit is bad or did something wrong.

    -Laura
    Yes, bad choice of word. I probably meant misrepresented, along with many other places where decaying architecture may be found by photographers who like that genre, and that's almost every city in the world (except maybe Dubai?)

    I also didn't make clear that the contradiction re books was that of the scholarly folk tale publication from what is portrayed as a blasted landscape; it just didn't make sense.

    Regards - Ross

  4. #24
    Tony Egan's Avatar
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    The Albert King song lyrics don't quite have the same magic anymore either!

    Goin' to Detroit Michigan,
    Girl I can't take you.
    Hey I'm goin' to Detroit Michigan,
    Girl, you got to stay here behind.
    Goin' to get me a job,
    On the cadillac Assembly Line.
    http://www.tonyeganphotography.com/index.html
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." Groucho Marx

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