Sunday, April 29, 2007

Tough Times

This post is for my father and others like him.

I grew up in an autoworker culture in Michigan. It permeated my early education, the expectations of what I would be, how life was to be lived. Like all cultures it had its positive and negative points. I left that culture a long time ago, but its roots will always be a part of me. Now it's a culture that is dying. Michigan is in the midst of economic woes that it will take a long time to recover from. The reasons why it has reached this point are complex and many. It would be easy to point a finger of blame at GM, the unions, the management and even the various levels of government, but what it comes back to is the immediate effect that I see now. Families are breaking up due to moves (such is happening to my own siblings) forced by a bad economy and despair seems to be the way of life these days (talking with various people I keep in contact with).

I think eventually there will be recovery, but it's a long and difficult road. I have been back to Michigan a couple of times to work, but I know when I left 4 years ago it was the last time. My life has changed and gone in different directions. There is hope though. Now I see my nieces and nephews who are choosing to stay, pursue education and work there for the time being. I hope that they and others like them, will help usher in a new era.

So here is Bruce Springsteen and Sting, "The River" a ode to a way of life that has and is changing:

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