Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Woes and Hopes

An eye can threaten like a
loaded and leveled gun,
or it can insult like hissing
or kicking; or, in its
altered moods, by beams
of kindness, it can make
the heart dance for joy.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Many blog posts have been written over the past couple of weeks about "The Day to Day Life of Albert Hastings" by KayLynn Deveney . It has had a mention in the September issue of O also. But it compels me to think about a project I'd like to do, but have no idea on how to achieve it. I would like to travel back to Michigan, go around the state for a few months and see through the eye of my camera what is going on and to record it. Michael Moore began this in his documentary, "Roger and Me", but this time it's beyond that. I think it's because I keep hearing the story from people that it is nothing like it has been. That is they do not have hope this time that the auto industry will recover. They tell me the mood the state is somber and people are leaving rapidly. One older person told me that it reminds him of the events of the depression and the Dust Bowl in Oklahoma. I think I may have unconsciously started recording this last year when I was in Michigan as I drove around taking pictures of barns, of the last dirt roads, and creek bridges etc. in the county where I grew up. Many of the auto workers combined farming with working for the factories. So both things were a familiar sight. The sight of those things is vanishing, hopefully some of us will capture it before it is gone.

I was also watching Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" last night. It was set in Cleveland and carried echoes of Michigan's woes. But it also carried the elements of hope and spunk. It is this that I hope carries my home state to it's recovery eventually, even though I know it will be awhile.

Because of it's similarities to Michigan, Billy Joel's, "Allentown":

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