Thursday, March 26, 2009

Event: Sad Change, Scary Change.



I know that week is probably just one among many for the U.S. and for the world, but the news has been rough for me personally on a number of fronts:

Chicago's greatest parade will be shutting down after 50 years. All of those parade scenes you've seen in movies; the march through the Loop in Ferris Bueller's Day Off and the imromptu march on Taylor Street in The Blues Brothers... they've been mostly eroded into soulless PR events. There are occasional exceptions out in the neighborhoods; small ethnic parades full of color and improvisation, and from time-to-time a sports victory brings on that refreshing chaos. But those are rare and fleeting event. For Chicago to shut down this parade is somewhat equivalent to if New Orleans shut down the French Quarter on Mardi Gras.

The closure of Flint Central seems immanent this time... this was the high school I attended in spirit, and many of my best friends are alums. It was also a point of pride and cohesion in a community that in many other ways has deteriorated in the last generation.

The Flint Journal is slashing much of its staff and reducing its print operations to three days a week. Just down the road, the Ann Arbor paper is completely giving up the paper ghost. But the Journal, famous for Pulitzer Prize winning photographers and infamous for editorial lines like "Anorexic Teen should swallow her pride" always seemed sort-of invincible to me.

It is common to say "change is scary but necessary." This statement can be reversed. Sometimes change, however necessary it is, can be paralyzing. And I don't think anyone would deny that change is in the air these days in a way that it hasn't been for a long, long time.

Someone give me some good news, quick!

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