Baseball91's Weblog

May 5, 2008

In Search of Scapegoats

I live in a town where since last August 1, 2007 there has been a heightened awareness about crossing a bridge.  One day last November, the oldest business in the state of Minnesota had lost its identity, with little note made. There is more awareness this week over the loss of the headquarters of a major airline. And there was awareness over the national convention of one of the major political parties which would be here in less than 5 months.


Most residents of the two cities seem asleep as to whether the Minneapolis StarTribune or the St. Paul Pioneer Press would be around to cover the national convention. 

A pending bankruptcy of the StarTribune Company has been written about on May 4th in The New York Post, though the bankruptcy has currently been denied.


The threat of collapse of either enterprise was not just the loss of a local source of news.  The news could be read elsewhere, without a local taste. Small towns in Minnesota had been going through similar change, with consolidated school districts over most of the last twenty-five years.  And that will be the direction of the churches in the archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, as throughout the country, for the next decade.

What exactly did they teach in MBA programs where consolidations are supposed to be workable when smaller companies could not survive?

I had worked in downtown Chicago 18 years ago when I heard a contemporary, a suburbanite, bemoan the loss of identity of the suburb where he had grown up.  He felt that Arlington Heights was suddenly just like any other suburb in Chicago, in an America with less flavor and probably with less taste. Without any flavor.  Tasteless.   Or had it been Elk Grove?


How soon would Minneapolis–St. Paul be just tasteless, without a flavor?  The loss of ethnic identity was having an effect on this generation of Americans.  As people I saw lost a sense of belonging, a sense of anger seemed to be a substitute, to those of the other party who might be responsible for the current state of affairs. The community already seemed fractured.  But the stress fracture seemed to be getting worse.  A lot like what had happened to those gusset plates in that bridge structure that led to the collapse. 

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1 Comment »

  1. Comment by baseball91 — June 5, 2017 @ 9:28 PM | Reply


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