Thursday, March 04, 2010

From Our Local Rag I

From our local rag's on line edition this AM:

Kansas City police found a young child walking a dog alone early this morning. The child was found near East Eighth Street and Woodland Avenue. The child has been reunited with his family, a dispatcher said. Further information was not available.

This is sad in so many ways, pointing to the further decline in our world:

1) Why is this news?
2) What happened to our society that a kid can not walk his/her dog in the morning?

Well for one thing, our newspaper is gasping like a flounder out of water. The level of "journalism" has dropped noticeably in the last few years. With falling readership and falling revenue from advertising, something common to all newspapers. many of the Star's professional journalists have been laid off or left in disgust. I would assume that in this case someone had to put something up in a space and this was the best they could do. Honestly, I would expect (and even find myself bemused by) this type of headline in the "Bugtussle Weekly Wigwam and Shopping News", but not in a major metropolitan area paper. As one wag put it in the comments section, "..story makes about as much sense as fat guy found eating cupcakes outside of 7-11."

Second, it shows how our neighborhoods have declined from once bustling centers to burnt out, drug and thug infested nightmares. In reality, it is probably not safe for anyone to walk their dog at anytime in this area, or in many areas of Kansas City. Probably at one time he/she could walk the family pooch around without fear. But today, it would only make sense with a pack of pit bulls in armor with an arsenal or guns at the ready. I hesitate to walk HM around my spot unless I have looked around first to see if there are hoodies around. In the neighborhood in question, a combo of light industry, open fields, housing projects and abandoned buildings, the likelihood of danger lurking around the corner or in the door of the old building is real. I guess the news that the kid is back home safe is at least worth a few points.

I don't see it getting better. As the right continues its assault on the poor and middle class, the cities will empty, the tax base slide, services and infrastructure weaken... we will be a Detroit in just a few years, no one will want to live here. And then a newspaper article about a kid walking his dog anywhere in KC will be news.

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