Saturday, May 25, 2013

WXYZ follows up on DIA

In Detroit's Emergency Financial Manager asks for appraisal of DIA's collection, I promised to follow this story.  WXYZ has made it easy for me by summarizing the major points in Can the DIA be protected?

In addition to the DIA, the report mentions Belle Isle, the water system, and Manoogian Mansion.  Of those, the one that would have the greatest impact would be the water system, which I pointed out during the first month of this blog in Water wars, Detroit style, plus a programming note.  Privatization of the water system could lead to a situation much like that I described in Greenfinger.
Suez, a Vivendi affiliate, actually took over the water supply in a city in Bolivia, then lost control as a result of massive protests.
That would affect not just the 700,000+ people of Detroit, but the 4,000,000 people in the service area, which covers nearly all of Metro Detroit and then some, as parts of Washtenaw and Genesee counties get water from Detroit.  It's one of the reasons why I expressed interest in Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner; whoever occupies that position would be on the front lines of dealing with the issue, particularly if the solution is a regional board, not privatization.  Here's to hoping that Jim Nash, the new Commissioner, is up to the task.*

The report concluded by mentioning the millage to support the DIA.  I voted in favor of that and said that I was in favor of it last August.  The millage passed and, as WXYZ reported, it's having the intended effects of secure funding and increased attendance.  Selling off major parts of the collection would be a betrayal of voters like me from all three counties.

I'll conclude by repeating something from the very first post I wrote for this blog, which I quoted in Save the libraries, save civilization,the first fight over saving local cultural institutions I covered, then following up with how that applies to cultural institutions in general.
[S]aving the libraries might strike some people as frivolous, but remember that the way the humans in the book [The Mote in God's Eye] discovered the truth about [M]oties was by stumbling into a museum designed to speed the rise of Motie civilization after the next collapse.  Another example involves Canticle for Leibowitz, the plot of which revolves around a monastery that includes a library the mission of which is to help revive civilization after its collapse.  So, it's not as stupid an idea as it seems.  Thanks to that suggestion, you can expect posts on saving cultural institutions during collapse, not just for how to keep yourself fed and safe.
I continued in that spirit while spreading some Christmas cheer last year, and repeated it while recounting how I warned the Glassmen these times were coming.
I may be wishing you all a happy holiday, but this is still a blog about collapse.  Be prepared for a lot of your favorite things, especially cultural institutions to go away, or to fight very hard to keep them.
Here's to the DIA successfully fighting off Detroit's creditors.

Follow over the jump for the footnote about a future entry.

*Jim Nash's victory is part of a larger story about how attempts to remove Democratic politicians from office by redistricting backfired.  It also fits in with what I wrote in the first post and repeated a week later.
One of the common themes of this blog will be explaining how global, national, and local events and politics are about various factions fighting to maintain their shares of a shrinking pie--one they openly deny is shrinking. Once you recognize that's what's going on, a lot of mystifying events become much more understandable.
Redistricting is one of the prime examples of what I'm talking about, and the most obvious. It's going to be especially true here in Michigan. Expect a lot of posts about redistricting in the near future, some of them as part of my series on the 2010 Census.
I followed up on that promise in It's redistricting time!  That entry also contains a story that needs a follow-up in the same entry covering Jim Nash and Lisa Brown, all of whom survived last year's election by running for different offices than they had before redistricting.  It's a patriotic holiday weekend, so I should observe it by writing up the story.

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