Sunday, April 15, 2007

Looking a One Horse in the Mouth

A truncated "You Said It"; two days of note and a remaining three rehashing one interesting topic.


"I see Hagerstown is having a spring cleanup. Williamsport has no cleanup. I guess we will have to put milk on our leaves and eat them."

"Mmm..milky leaves...gaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh."

"If it's not made in America, do you really need it?"--HAGERSTOWN

Collectivism is the new black!

Finally, an opinion on homerun king Hank Aaron, due to have Barry "I Did Not Inject Steroids With That Woman" Bonds break his hallowed record sometime this season.

"He got hate mail, called all kinds of racial names, and people threatened to kill him, and he was doing it legally. He had more bats than Babe Ruth, but he was doing it legally."--HAGERSTOWN

Aaron had more than one bat at the plate? Why have I never seen this when they show the legendary footage of homer 715? I saw the two dingbats that leaped from the crowd to follow him around the basepaths, but not an extra Slugger. Jesus, was Nolan Ryan throwing more than one ball at a time? Bill James, help!


"We can't change the weather. God takes care of the weather and climate changes....God is in control of the universe."--HAGERSTOWN

Yeah, I still got beef with Big Man over just letting astronomers fuck off Pluto like that. Further, here is an awesome link.

Why no, Beav, religion doesn't discourage personal responsibility whatsoever. Finish your Frosted Mini-Wheats.

Now...the big topic. The expansion of Hagerstown.

40,000 folks on a good day. Drunk with people from Pennsylvania splurging at Wal-Mart. A Best Buy is being constructed across from Sam's Beast at Garland Groh Boulevard, and the clamor has arisen for a Costco. (Y'all...there's a Sams Club in town. Any of you bother with that? Fucking place sells vending machines, and food in bulk packaging that is so ginormous Henry the VIII would have balked.) Condos are popping up in the unlikeliest locales. All in the name of expansion. Economy. Opportunity.

Expansion: I support this. I've always wanted to live in Montgomery County, but I didn't want to make as much money. With more stores, more jobs, and thus more people working at/buying from said establishments, I can have all the congestion of Rockville with half of the median household income. This all sounds more delightful than a barrelful of strychnine.

Economy: See above. Washington County ranks 17th of Maryland's 23 counties in per capita and household incomes. Jobs at places like Wal-Mart and Best Buy don't pay shit, and they're shit jobs besides. Financial and emotional decay will prosper. (But we only rank 2nd on the list in those categories...holla back, Prince Georges County.)

Opportunity: Working in Hagerstown is by and large thankless. I am fortunate to have a non-salaried job where I can make as much as 50 bucks an hour, when the calculations are made. But lots of folk here are feeling the brunt of the housing bust, with foreclosures at an unfortunate peak and apartment rents rising, forcing paycheck-squeezing to a degree where juice is about to come out. I myself am seeking housing outside of the city limits through a Home Store program for people needing a helping hand to become homeowners.

These condos...they don't beautify the city. Not in these new places, anyway. South Potomac Street is still going to be cramped and bland, save two or three establishments. It's not going to scare away derelicts, or solve the homeless issue, or improve race relations, or make women feel any safer, or (and I hate to break the city's heart!) make people spend more at Hagerstown's fine stores downtown than they already do...THEY WON'T HAVE ENOUGH CASH AFTER RENT, BILLS, AND GROCERIES. It's like snatching the eyeglasses off of someone's face and then wondering why they profess not to be able to see.

Hagerstown is one horse. I like it that way. Despite all the other shit...I just don't want that to change. We are destined to be what we are. The intangibles of the city need work. The people need to grow. Sorry to say you don't get moral improvement via lattes at Starbucks. Your children won't break the cycle of isolation and resentment just because you can go to a store and smother them with the latest in technology and fashion, or because more than once a week the whole family decides to try the latest artery-buster that's opened up on Wesel Boulevard.

I like Borders...I love Wonder Book...El Paso is some of the best Mexican food to bless point? I can get my fixes here, and when I can't, I can go to Frederick or Silver Spring. I am not so tethered to my hometown that I don't see the value in travelling to other cities or states and enjoying them for awhile. How many people in Hagerstown do that? How much better would we be, and how much less would we desire the trappings of the "big city", if we did some exploring and gained new perspective on what makes us the city we are? Would we realize how unneccessary coveting a new coffee conglomo is?

Don't worry about what the city doesn't have on its streets. Stores close. Minds should not.

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