Tag Archives: urban renewal

Remember when New York had book stores?

There was a shitty Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks movie with a title I won’t even repeat here that had to do with big chain bookstores pushing out little independent ones. Well, now the big chains are closing, too. $40K a month rent in Manhattan will do that, as well as that whole deal where people don’t read anymore, and buy their 50 Shades books online.

The saddest part of this article is the laundry list of book stores I used to go to in the 00s when I lived out in the big smear.  I really miss Coliseum, but also did a lot of damage to Borders, and even that flagship B&N that got shuttered last year.  How long will The Strand hang in?  Depressing stuff.

Surging Rents Force Booksellers From Manhattan – NYTimes.com.

What does the future of these here United States of ‘Merica look like?

Let us travel to the Happy Dystopia… to the Great Steaming Heart of our Nation… to the city of Detroit. It’s a delightful place, mostly empty now. For kicks, some of the residents like to burn down big portions of what was once the car capital of the world. What is Detroit now? It is our future. Take sequestration, the solution that is now the law of the land, and go forward in time to about ten years from now, when the Federal government no longer has money to maintain any Federal property (that includes the Interstate system, by the way, and all the ships in the Navy, and all the airplanes in the Air Force, and our national parks and… you get the idea), and has no one employee left to turn out the lights (no money for that either), and what you will have is a National Detroit.

But don’t worry. Robocop will be here by then to save us all. There’s a documentary that follows a Detroit Fire Engine company called, appropriately enough, Burn. It’s on Netflix instant. Go watch it.

Our future, and Detroit's present.

This is a holiday I can get behind

How were your holidays?  I personally got stuck in this 19th century hellhole with cold temperatures and inbred rednecks pumping out babies like a yeast infection in a sugar factory.  I know some people love Christmas, but some people loved the Vietnam war, too.

While cruising around on my WikiReader and praying for an airline to fall out of the sky and hit my poorly constructed economy hotel, I stumbled across the holiday of Takanakuy, which sounds goddamn genius.

Listen to this: Takanakuy is a Quechua holiday that loosely translates to “when the blood is boiling.”  It conveniently takes place on December 25th, so that’s easy to remember.  Basically, people get completely loaded up on alcohol, dress up as slave masters and spirit animals, and then march into town and beat the shit out of each other.  Dig:

The procession to the fighting site starts with a high pitched falsetto through the streets. The procession is family oriented as a preparation for the young children who will see the violent fights later on in the day. Children also dress up for the occasion, usually resembling their father’s character. The purpose of the fighting is to settle conflicts with an individual, friend, family member or to settle territorial conflicts that have come up throughout the year.

I know that American culture already practices similar rituals involving Wal-Mart employees and people wanting a good deal on an XBox, but it seems like something more similar to this Andean custom would be big here in the US.  People pay insane amounts of money on MMA pay-per-views, and the movie Fight Club is a goddamned sacrament to an entire generation.  Maybe next year, instead of dressing up as an obese man from the Arctic circle, we could all march down to the city square and beat the fuck out of each other.  Any takers?