Saturday, July 28, 2012

This Is the Best Thing I Have Heard About In Years!

OK, picture it.  The City of Detroit is a cratered wasteland, with people streaming out by the hundreds, taking whatever they can carry, because there is nothing left for them there.  More and more houses stand empty.  More and more factories, welding shops, stores, warehouses, apartment buildings, single-family houses are gutted of everything useful and left to rot.  There are more than a few places in this city where the rats enter only in pairs.

That's not even intended as a scary fantasy -- it's what's been happening to the Motor City for years.  At one point, not that long ago, 100 people a day were leaving the state looking for work.  I think that has slowed down, but maybe that is because there is nobody left who can afford to leave.  I have thought more than once that if you could find a vein and put in an IV that has jobs in it instead of Ringer's solution, we might just be able to save the city.  But it doesn't work that way.

But things are starting to turn around, and it's happening in the oddest ways possible.  People are coming in and buying up the vacant lots at fire-sale prices -- I have heard that $100 will get you a house with a yard, and the empty plots are even cheaper -- and the buyers are plowing it all up to plant vegetables.  Since nobody ever got around to outlawing the keeping of livestock in the downtown area, they may soon be raising Goats and Cassowaries as well.  Maybe even Chinchillas!   I have heard that Deer and Geese are starting to roam the city streets in the most neglected areas.  It is all returning to farmland and forest.  I didn't really know what to expect when the Big Three started circling the drain, but I never pictured this!  Farming, marketing, wholesaling and delivery of the produce means JOBS, JOBS, JOBS.  I have even heard of grocery stores springing up in neighborhoods that used to have none.  You know what that means?  MORE FRIKKIN' JOBS, IS WHAT IT MEANS.

The locally-raised produce is no doubt doing wonders for what you're now served at the local eateries.  One thing Metro Detroit still has plenty of is really good restaurants.  More and more of these have a 'south of the border' theme, as the most entrepreneurial segment of the metro area is Mexican and these people are just peeling rubber, starting up one family eatery after another.  Now, can you ever have too many good Mexican restaurants in a well-ordered metropolitan area?  No, you cannot.

Meanwhile, a small army of artists has invaded the rats-enter-only-in-pairs districts of the city, turning the wreckage into street displays.  Their products range from upscale graffiti to grandiose debris sculptures -- like all artwork, you'll find that some of it is hideous and some of it is stunning.  (Some, of course, is stunningly hideous, but that's all part of the fun.)  And then there's the Heidelberg Project, which transformed an entire street on the East Side into a work of art.  The soot-belching heap of old tires that used to be Detroit, inch by inch, is turning into a thing of beauty.  And I don't mean a chilling, Grosse Pointe Shores, magazine-ad kind of beauty.  I mean a place you would want to hang out in, eat dinner there, stay the night, maybe even own a home there.  Or a Chinchilla farm!!

But I just learned today about something even wilder.  Someone, at some point, took a long, hard squint at a section of the downtown area that is still so gross that if you look at it too long, you might go blind.  But this someone didn't go blind.  This someone spotted an opportunity as big as the neighborhood that used to stand there.  Someone turned to someone else standing there, also squinting into the hideousness, and someone in the group of squinters said those three little words we didn't realize we were waiting to hear:  "ZOMBIE THEME PARK." 

OK, that doesn't really have the same ring to it as "LET THERE BE LIGHT."  But the effect is just the same, honestly.  The idea is to simply put a fence around this whole neighborhood, as is, and inside the fence they will turn loose 2 groups of people.  One group is made up of paying customers, campers equipped with survival gear.  The other group?  Flesh-eating dead folk, putting the munch on the shrieking campers.  CAN YOU IMAGINE A BETTER METAPHOR FOR THE REVIVAL -- or do I mean 'resurrection'? -- OF THE MOST FEARED CITY ON EARTH?

Here is where you click to find out more, and maybe make a pledge.  Can you think of a worthier cause?  What do you mean, "starving children in the rainforest"?  This is about ZOMBIES, you fool!


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