EMERGENCY REPORT by Steve Siddle
December 2, 2011 § 4 Comments
**** Emergency Report. (This is not test.)******
By Steve Siddle
Truth be told I’m sick of writing about Worcester. It’s hard not feel like a broken record. Also, as you might imagine, there ain’t a lot of money to be made in the “bitching about your home town” business.
I am always tempted to believe that nothing ever changes in Worcester. As if this city lay in some sort of Bermuda Triangle where in time gets tangled up in its feet and, too tired to move forward, lies down and naps. A town frozen in time, too stubborn and out of shape to change. The world goes on without us.
But change is coming to Worcester whether we are ready or not. I was sitting in a coffee shop on Tremont St. when I overheard the conversation between a young married couple sitting beside me. They were flipping through a real estate magazine and trying decided where they were going to move to. Many young people in and around Boston are in similar situations. As young professionals get married and begin families they find that they can’t afford to live in Boston. They are being pushed father and farther west.
“I refuse to live in Worcester,” I heard the young woman say to her husband. “Oh totally!” he quickly agreed.Worcestermay as well be Beirut they way most people in Boston feel about it. This is the last place in the world they want to live.
Massachusetts is one of the most dynamic states of the Union. People from all over the world are being drawn toBoston.Massachusettsis eventually going to be divided up into bedroom communities, small towns, and shit cities.Bostonwill flourish but other cities will forced to define themselves or slowly die.Lawrence,Southbridge,Brockton,Dorchester and other mid-sized cities could become where the State dumps their drug addicts, drunks, sex offenders and poor immigrants. They will die.
Any town that can be salvaged because of proximity to Boston will begin to get better.Lowell,Fitchburg, even New Bedford with its new train into Boston will begin to thrive.Fall Riveris probably fucked.Springfieldis definitely fucked.
Worcester could go either way. Either the city will become a desirable place to live because of its affordability and proximity to Boston, or it will become a dumping ground. We will either attract young professionals who want to buy a house and start a family, or we will continue to attract bums looking for a bed and a corner to score on.
There was always a fantasy that Worcester could survive on its own, indifferent to the wants and needs of Boston. It’s an old and deep-rooted Village mentality. Some people attribute this Village Mentality to a good-natured Yankee Humility, but I don’t see it that way.
In a way, it’s as if the city has been heartbroken.Worcesterhas been lazy and depressed ever since we were abandoned by the factories that once made this town powerful. We really have not been the same since the Industrial Revolution ended. The time has come to wake up and look in the mirror. Time to re-asses and reassure ourselves.
It’s either going to get a lot better or a lot worse, and sooner than you think. Gunshots ringing out on City hall are not a good omen. But there are some signs of life. I wouldn’t still be here if I didn’t have hope. But we need help.
Our politicians are completely unprepared and unqualified for the job. Each and every single local politician, yes everyone, has proven themselves to be short minded, apathetic, parochial, and dull. We have no leader, no spokesperson, or agent. Our cheerleaders are ugly and our mascot is missing. We don’t just need a new team, we need to change the game we have been playing.
I’m only writing this because nobody else is. The T& G has one foot out the door and Worcester Mag is run by hipsters and college interns. If you are sick of reading about beards and roller derby girls, ride with me. If you don’t know who won the last election and don’t really care, ride with me. If you are worried by what you see on the streets where you live, load up with me.
I’ve been working on a five point plan to improve this city and I will be unveiling and explaining each idea as I publish them here on Blankcanvasmagazine.com. Jonnie’s got my back as always, and I hope you do too. I plan to make some enemies and will not hesitate to take out who ever stands in our way. The time has come to fight for our city. Let’s ride.