Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Towers Part I

Over a week ago I awoke to my brother’s request that I venture across the lake and take a photo for his radio station.  He mentioned something about a news story, and I mentioned something about hardly being conscious at such an early hour in the day (it wasn't even noon). 

My brother Mike works for a public radio station out of Detroit and in waking up I was confused why his station might want a photo for the airwaves.  Mike continued on to say something about their station’s website and that if I took this photo, I’d receive credit for my photo journalism efforts.  I told him I wasn’t feeling all that well at the moment (true story), but perhaps later in the day I could get a few photos to him.

Across the lake from my parents' place are two towers people use to climb to gain a better view and perspective of the area.  First opened in 1924, for decades tourists and travelers would stop at the towers en route from Detroit to Chicago.  Long before the 94 freeway was built, horse drawn carriages and model-Ts would pass through the Irish Hills area on US-12.  But at the end of the millennium, the towers were deemed unsafe, and this summer, after failed attempts to raise funds to restore the towers, these twin towers are in the process of being demolished.

Towers in the back behind my former student Zach

These towers have been my half way point when I go for my longer, 10 K runs around the lake.  Before I flew out to New York the tops of the Towers had been removed, and I suspect by the time I return, they’ll be gone.  To be honest, it’s odd to me that something that has been a landmark for years could so quickly disappear from the skyline. 

This past week I’ve been staying near where the twin towers of Manhattan, New York once stood.  I’m reminded that in this world, no structure or empire stands forever.  I’m convinced the US will continue to crumble in the century ahead.  On a micro level, student loan debt acquired by graduates (at a corrupt 6.8% interest rate) WILL forfeit the disposable income the economy needs to keep businesses up and running.  Meanwhile, cities like Detroit are paying $1,000 an hour to lawyers to declare bankruptcy.  (This is even more than what Teresa’s law firm bills an hour in NYC, and double the amount Cher’s dad in the movie Clueless charges.)  In the US, balancing budgets seems to be more like to be an idealistic idea, rather than a necessary goal we MUST achieve.  Those in DC are our nation’s worst example - those in office appear to have few qualms in increasing the national debt each year.  As long as they retain their positions in office, and maintain their upper middle class status, why fret?

I shouldn’t be writing on politics. 

But as I learned from one of my Prof’s in grad school, whether we want to acknowledge it or not, everything is political.  From clean drinking water to electricity to education to health care – everything comes with political strings attached.  And just like everything is political, everything is also spiritual and I believe there are forces in our universe actively seeking to destroy what is good.

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