Wednesday, November 18, 2009

#891. The Demise of the Pontiac Silverdome

Black people love sports. Years of watching sports have helped people from across the United States develop favorable images of Black people, through vast consumption of sports, which is explained with the process of "Mainstreaming":
"A corollary of cultivation theory, the concept of “mainstreaming” implies that heavy television viewing contributes to an erosion of differences in people's perspectives that stem from other factors and influences.

It is based on the argument that television serves as the primary common storyteller for an otherwise heterogeneous population. As the source of the most broadly shared images and messages in history, television represents the mainstream of the common symbolic environment into which children are born and in which we all live out our lives."
We have documented the amount of time people spend watching the National Football League (NFL), college football and other professional sports, and with this repeated viewing of 13 percent of the population dominating the airwaves on Saturday and Sunday, the concept of 'mainstreaming' has created a false dichotomy of the world.

Fall Saturday's and Sunday's both serve as Holy Days in America and the worshiping of the new Gods from Olympus occurs. The only sacrifice made in 21st America comes from the pocketbooks of taxpayers, for they must fit the bill for erecting these massive structures that will play host to the religious gatherings, as the book Field of Schemes outlines:
"Field of Schemes is a play-by-play account of how the drive for new sports stadiums and arenas drains $2 billion a year from public treasuries for the sake of private profit. While the millionaires who own sports franchises have seen the value of their assets soar under this scheme, taxpayers, urban residents, and sports fans have all come out losers, forced to pay both higher taxes and higher ticket prices for seats that, thanks to the layers of luxury seating that typify new stadiums, usually offer a worse view of the action."
A fantastic blog detailing this pervasive technique that rivals Scientology in its excesses can be found here, as the authors of the book work prodigiously to document continued abuses of stadium erection at the tax payer expense.

It is in these Holy sites that occupy hundreds of acres in every major city that Black people have temporarily utilized the power of 'mainstreaming' to garner a hypnotic effect over the entire country, for their exploits are fodder for ESPN junkies and account for countless hours of wasted productivity from these citizens.

Perhaps this is why the sudden demise of the Silverdome is such a shocking blow to the continued 'mainstreaming' of a new social order:
"The town of Pontiac, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, sold the 80,300-seat Silverdome on Monday, along with 127 acres of nearby land. The massive stadium complex, which once hosted the Detroit Lions, the Detroit Pistons, and the Michigan Panthers, cost more than $55 million to build in 1975.
Its selling price in 2009? $583,000.

Of course, Detroit's decay extends beyond its residential areas. As upsetting as it is to see once-beloved Victorian homes and beautiful apartment buildings sinking into disrepair, the loss of industrial space is even more significant. The hulking ruins of auto buildings like Fisher Body 21, the Packard Plant and the Piquette Plant (where Ford's (F) Model T was first built) seem to suggest not only a local loss of population but a larger loss of purpose."
Yes, the Detroit Silverdome was sold for a mere $583,000, less than 1 percent of what it was built for in 1975:
"It cost more than $55 million to build the Silverdome football stadium in Pontiac, Michigan. Yesterday, it sold for the price of a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan.

The former home of the U.S. National Football League’s Detroit Lions sold at auction for $583,000, or about $7.25 per seat, as the debt-ridden city of Pontiac sought to raise cash.

The area’s unemployment rate is 35 percent and emergency financial manager Fred Leeb was hired in March as Pontiac faced a $6.5 million deficit on a $100 million general fund budget, plus $103 million in bond debt, Leeb said."

Let's take a quick look at the census of Pontiac, Michigan's population:
"As of the census of 2000, there were 66,337 people, 24,234 households, and 15,267 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,318.2 per square mile (1,281.3/km²). There were 26,336 housing units at an average density of 1,317.3/sq mi (508.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 39.09% White, 47.92% African American, 0.58% Native American, 2.40% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 6.47% from other races, and 3.50% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.76% of the population."
SBPDL has friends with houses worth 4 or 5 times the amount of what the Pontiac Silverdome went for, and is shocked that the stadium even fetched $500,000.

In a town where raccoons are now seen as a delicacy, Detroit can be proud to know the stadium that once hosted the Lions is now worth less than a studio apartment in Manhattan.

The Silverdome played host to Superbowl's, Wrestlemania's, major concerts and even an episode of Home Improvement in the 1990s. Now, the ghost of these events haunt the empty building and the 20 acres the massive structure sits upon.

Detroit has seen better days. The fall of the Pontiac Silverdome has a distinct correlation with the collapse of that city and what it portends for the rest of America, as Pre-Obama America is eradicated throughout the land:
"By any quantifiable standard, the city is on life support. Detroit's treasury is $300 million short of the funds needed to provide the barest municipal services. The school system, which six years ago was compelled by the teachers' union to reject a philanthropist's offer of $200 million to build 15 small, independent charter high schools, is in receivership. The murder rate is soaring, and 7 out of 10 remain unsolved. Three years after Katrina devastated New Orleans, unemployment in that city hit a peak of 11%. In Detroit, the unemployment rate is 28.9%. That's worth spelling out: twenty-eight point nine percent.

That's because the story of Detroit is not simply one of a great city's collapse. It's also about the erosion of the industries that helped build the country we know today. The ultimate fate of Detroit will reveal much about the character of America in the 21st century. If what was once the most prosperous manufacturing city in the nation has been brought to its knees, what does that say about our recent past? And if it can't find a way to get up, what does that say about our future?"


Anonymous said...

In my high-school days I remember when my school won the Michigan state championship in a game played at the Silverdome. Ah, the good old days...

Of course, that was in Pre-Obama America. Today, I live far from Michigan and those memories. The loss of memorable places like this is a required trade-off for one that wants to live a peaceful life among civilized people (in Whitopia).

The tyranny of 'diversity' that has forced us into a diaspora is our struggle. Just remember that Nation is not government. Our Nation is people. When will everyone else figure that out?


Anonymous said...

I'm from Detroit and went to Minnesota for college. Whenever a crusading white liberal tried to teach me about white privilege I wanted to drop her on the corner of Joy and Dexter and see if she can make it to the suburbs before nightfall. It's really easy to be a morally superior smug white liberal when you live in Minnesota and your only contact with black people is through diversity training seminars.

Detroit is the least civilized 140 square miles in the country. If you've never been there, you really have to see it to believe it. Mile after mile of total decay and dysfunction. Most cities have a ghetto area, but in all my travels I have never seen ANYTHING that comes close to the clusterfuck that is Detroit. The city literally looks like a dump because people just throw their trash anywhere. Somehow, we are to believe that this is all the White Man's fault. Yeah, White Man makes you throw trash out your car window, makes you drop out of school, stops you from mowing your lawn.

I have no hope for this city and I want to get the hell out!

Anonymous said...

I can remember watching Monday Night Football in high school,back when that dome had just opened. It was one hack of an achievement.

Tragic that the whole thing got sold for less money than a house in an upscale subdivision costs.