Detroit in Ruins

St Christopher House, ex-Public Library
pic credit: Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre

The revolution will not be televised but the fall of America will be well-documented.

I'm addicted to a PS3 game you may have heard of called Fallout 3 (2008's Game of the Year) in which you are a vault-dweller in post-apocalyptic Washington DC ("The Capital Wasteland") slashing mutants and raiders alike on a search for your scientist dad. You cruise through the irradiated wasteland (including Metro stations infested with zombie ghouls... sort of like real life DC Metro stations except our current ghouls are bureaucrats commuting to federal offices) trying to scrounge up enough food and weapons to survive.

Strangely enough (or maybe not at all), the Detroit in Ruins photos from the Guardian look almost exactly like The Capital Wasteland scenery in Fallout 3. Go figure and it didn't even take nuclear war to vaporize America's former glory. Click on over to see the images for yourself.

Jr Deputy Accountant

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.


OldSouth said...

Two things come to mind: The decline has been gradual, and we only noticed in the past few years as it became a collapse.

It's relatively easy to build a grand building. You just need deep pockets and a good architect. The harder job is to build a grand building that can be operated and maintained for the long haul.

In any case, this is shameful.

It should bring the culture to tears of repentance.

It won't.

malus Diaz said...

In Rome, it became impossible to live with the taxes, inflation, and price fixing.

When business just close up shop and go home, then you know its time to GTFO!

Ubu said...

I'm a Fallout junkie as well, and, yes, the images are amazingly similar. Poor, Detroit, my hometown in ruins. They'll blame everyone but the people who live there; isn't that what sociology departments are for, finding large, impersonal forces that are supposed to account for individual responsibility?

The problem with Detroit, and the reason why it cannot be helped, is the citizens of Detroit live there; no matter what you built or restored, or contributed, it will be defaced, robbed, or vandalized in kind. Don't believe me? Go ahead and put your hard-earned money into Detroit and watch it do down the drain. There is money to be made, however, in bringing crews in, at night, to strip all the valuable construction materials, grand fireplaces, old mirrors, and other valuable vestiges of a dead city out of Detroit before they are lost to mold and rain.

I'd like to say you could get junkies (ghouls) to do it for you, and then pay them, but first you would have to locate the Surgeon in the Red Racer factory and enlist him to train the ghouls so they don't wander around aimlessly, destroy the fixtures they are supposed to be removing, or, worse, eat the staff. You may have to use several stealth boys to get near the Surgeon to work out a deal, but if he gives you any shit, cap him.

[SPEECH] When Armageddon hits, what do you say you and me grab some caps and a plasma rifle and get the heck out of here?

Too funny. Here I thought I was the only one. Playing Fallout has actually been an excellent way to acquaint myself with my new surroundings in the Capital Wasteland errr Washington DC. ;)

And I do believe you on Detroit because I come from Milwaukee. What I saw when I left 12 years ago compared to what I saw when I returned this past November blew my mind. The place looks like a war zone. The folks in the northern suburbs are being pushed further and further into the 'burbs and the plague of poverty is basically contained within the city, ignored and left to fester.

When my grandparents bought their house in the 50s, their hood was top of the line suburban living. Now it's infested with "the city" as the plague encroaches on their quiet little village.

It's sad.

Ubu said...

Fallout Detroit: Operation Rescue Valuable Shit.

Long the origin of super-mutant gangs and ghouls, enter the wasteland of Detroit to recover irreplaceable woodwork, fine art, hand-tooled molding, porcelain tubs, exquisite wrought iron, and solid wood furnishings from the high point of Michigan craftsman and furniture manufacture.

A mysterious society of art-restoration mercenaries known as the William Morris Posse are offering big caps and access to high-tech weaponry to anyone who can rescue valuable shit from the wasteland of Detroit before it is used as a toilet by barbarian mutants. Form your team and get in there, and remember "Helping to save and restore 14 foot mahogany bar-tops is of the utmost to the Morris doctrine."

JDA, I lived in Alexandria and Georgetown (used to work at Martin's Tavern), and I, too, love the DC area geography lesson FO3 provides.

chairmanben said...

Detroit Americas First Urban Farm.