Favorite Artists

  • Cake
  • Calexico
  • Chet Baker
  • Craig Finn
  • Dave Alvin
  • Eels
  • Elvis Perkins
  • EmmyLou Harris
  • Gerry Mulligan
  • Jackson Browne
  • JJ Cale
  • Joe Henry
  • John Hiatt
  • Maria Callas
  • Mary Gauthier
  • Morphine
  • Neil Young
  • Robert Earl Keen
  • Roddy Woomble
  • Roger Waters
  • Sam Baker
  • Van Morrison
  • Wilco
  • Wynton Marsailles
  • Yo Yo Ma

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

For A Dancer

"Keep a fire for the human race
  Let your prayers go drifting into space
  You never know what will be coming down
  Perhaps a better world is drawing near
  And just as easily it could all disappear
  Along with whatever meaning you might have found
  Don't let the uncertainty turn you around
  (the world keeps turning around and around)
  Go on and make a joyful sound."            

Into a dancer you have grown
From a seed somebody else has thrown
Go on ahead and throw some seeds of your own
And somewhere between the time you arrive
And the time you go
May lie a reason you were alive
But you'll never know.                                     For A Dancer- Jackson Browne

(Namely American cities with large non-white populations)

Camden, like Detroit and Cleveland, is in the midst of being reduced to third world status. This happens  over a period of years where white flight has led to fewer government services, leading to more flight of all those able to leave and resulting in the remaining citizens consisting primarily of the lowest common culture denominator.

Eventually, when Camden has hit the absolute bottom, if it hasn't already, the sharks will move in to take advantage of its location across the river and in immediate proximity to Philadelphia. If'when that begins to happen, the migration of those people now living in Camden will begin.


I had some experience with this on a very superficial basis. The first house my first wife and I bought was in a "changing neighborhood" in what was considered a semi-suburban area of Philadelphia. We were aware of this when we purchased and as I had attended high school with African Americans, played football with them, and saw them the same way I saw others...separated by class. Bill Cosby attended my HS although he was several years ahead of me. 

Anyway, my observation of events was that as a second and third wave of African Americans moved in to the area, they brought with them a different culture, more of a "hood" culture including gangs which had not been an issue with the earlier folks. This spurred people to leave the neighborhood, including many of the first wave of African Americans. 

As the area included more of the 2nd and 3rd wavers, services like trash pickup by the city noticeably diminished. Schools became more black as whites either moved or put their kids in private schools, and the general nature of the incoming kids brought a different culture into what had been good mixed race classrooms and schoolyards. It's a downward spin cycle with a hollowed out city left for those who cannot escape. 

It is NOT race, it is class. And the only way to lift the lower classes is to have them get exposure to other ways to live and work. The prospects of this occurring are not high. 


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