Downtown Diary [08.07] 

Begging to differ

Begging to differ
My friend Ms. O and I were hanging out at my house the other day before heading to Birdy"s to watch films. "I just read Hector"s latest monograph, "The NASCARization of the American Mind,"" she said. "It"s brilliant. His geomantic-numerological analysis of the numbers three and 24 and their relation to the oval-track configuration is stunning. There"s a section on what he calls the Earnhardt-archetype. And you should see the diagram explaining the relationship between Daytona and the Great Pyramid! What are you working on right now?" "Oh, something called "Geography and Class Bias: Subsidized Downtown Redevelopment Schemes Vs. Panhandlers on Monument Circle,"" I said, taking a sip of coffee. "Ech, you and your politics again!" Ms. O exclaimed, wrinkling her fine Iberian nose in annoyance. "Why are you so bent out of shape over the business with the panhandlers on Monument Circle?" "Undercover anti-panhandling cops! A plan whereby Circle-strollers can call an intervention team to report weird people! I suspect the most popular call will be, "Hello, there"s a black guy within 30 feet of me and I"m uncomfortable." The fact is our culture is dog eat dog, and if you lose, you"re banished. One form of banishment is removal - think of the Native American removals - from desirable real estate. To me the situation downtown is one of control, an attempt to forge a sanitized fairyland that will appeal to gentrifying residents, tourists and conventioneers. To accomplish that, the losers - the homeless and panhandlers - must be removed. The situation is absolutely farcical; it is as if the city were obsessively washing its hands like Lady MacBeth Ö out damned spot indeed! Who"s next - ugly people?" I exclaimed. "Ah, the "economic cleansing" thing again. Where will it all end?" Ms. O asked. "I"m thinking that after the Colts leave," I said, "the homeless will be housed in the RCA Dome, which will then be renamed the Circle City Human Detritus Dome." Like an aunt she pinched me on the cheek and laughed, "Oh, you"re so cute when you"re pissy! Come on, let"s go to the movies."

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