Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Swinging For The Fences
As long as Xanadu keeps popping up in the news I'm gonna milk it. Its what I call a grab iron issue. Grab irons are the metal bars on trains that workers and hobos use to climb on board. Like a hobo grabbing the iron to hop a passing train, I am using the Xanadu issue to hop that train and use it to propel my Five Miles From Times Square project forward. I'm also not going to stop using the name Xanadu, and I'm discovering that neither is anyone in the press refraining from using it instead of the sparkling new name, American Dream. Xanadu is becoming part of the New Jersey culture and part of the Meadowlands folklore.
Each day lately there is a new story in the news with new commentary and details, like this one from today in RetailTrafficMag.com. It's becoming clear that Triple Five is going for broke with their American Dream. In the face of insurmountable odds, they're pulling out all of the stops and hoping that an over-the-top entertainment complex is going to be a huge success. It has to be, because anything less than perfection would be a catastrophe and would be a huge kick in the nuts of every resident of New Jersey who are going to be responsible for $400 million in state funds.
Practically everyone who knows about this is predicting that it will be an abject failure. Everyone, that is, except Triple Five and the Chris Christie administration. Many are hoping that it will at least succeed enough so that it won't close and leave New Jersey a legacy of corporate failure.
But mostly, the thing is so reviled that in spite of the damage already done to the environment, the state economy and the state's reputation, people want to see the huge fat cats involved fall on their faces because of what Xanadu represents: corporate greed, political short-sightedness and utter disregard for the real well-being of the public. We want to wag our fingers in the faces of those who thought a mega-mall-greed-plex was a good idea for a state overrun with such excesses. We want to say "we told you so."
Unfortunately for Triple Five, this is an all-or-nothing situation. There will be no middle ground.