Way Down in a Hole | Bleader

Monday, October 11, 2010

Way Down in a Hole

Posted By on 10.11.10 at 05:06 PM

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A foreclosure lawsuit has been filed against the Chicago Spire's land owner. Ideas for the hole have been proposed, though I can't think of anything more resonant than a giant, foreclosed-upon hole. We could try throwing virgins down it, but it probably wouldn't help. Maybe Alan Greenspan?

Foreclosures generally may end up being the economic issue of the next few months (or longer). Coincidentally, I just finished reading Lee Sandlin's 1993 essay "The American Scheme," which I highly recommend. It's a poignant family history about fathers and sons, masculinity and the American idea of the Regular Guy, noir fiction, and building subdivisions in the sand. And it will be familiar to anyone who's been following the bursting of the housing bubble, or even just seen what it looks like from space.

And yet if you lost your concentration the whole mirage wavered, and you uneasily became aware of how flimsy the new world really was. The plasterboard walls, the hollow doors, the dissolving concrete in the garage, the disintegrating wiring in the ceiling, the corroded plumbing, the leaking window frames, the cracks in the wall around the medicine cabinet, the loose tiles in the shower, the flooding basement, the defective sump pump, the seepage from the septic tank, the sagging roof, the buckling pavements, the shattered sidewalks, the toxicity of the water table, the defaulted bonds of the utility districts, the subdivisions abandoned because of ruinous assessments—none of that was important only so long as the residents were wrapped in the dream, preparing themselves for the next leap forward, training themselves and their children in the psychology of the isolation tank so the next generation could colonize the stars. Because otherwise, what would it amount to?

Just another hustle.

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