Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Xanadu pt 32: As Gravity Pulls, The Plot Thickens

Its another sounds-too-good-to-be-true story. The ugliest goddamn building in the state and the most notorious promise never kept seemed just a few years and a paltry piece of legislation away from being completed and becoming the "center of the world." But now, as Paul Harvey used to say, the rest of the story.

A headline in from yesterday reads: Builder seeks $1B in public financing and tax breaks to complete 'Dream'. The last we heard, they were only getting $250 million from the State of New Jersey. This would assure them of having American Dream opened by 2013, in plenty of time for the 2014 Superbowl at neighboring MetLife Stadium. 55 million visitors every year would come, the money would be repaid, and a brand new attraction and economic engine would be purring like a kitten.

So what happened?

I used to work as a house painter and did many restoration projects in old homes. I've been burned more than once by relying on the best-case scenario in a job's planning stages. I own a house. I understand the principle of the can of worms. You never know what's behind a wall until you start tearing it down. You never know how rotten something is until you sink your teeth into it. New Jersey residents should feel like fools for allowing this to unfold this way. We voted for these fucknuts and they took us for a ride, all the while telling us that this kind of thing is good for us, that its something we need. By the time this demented and depraved project is finished, we'll be in hock for billions and sitting on a shuttered and boarded-up monument to over-indulgence and wish-thinking.

Xanadu was the original name for the place. The poem from which it gets its name came to Samuel Taylor Coleredge in a dream, and too often people have trouble differentiating dreams from reality. The real narrative is playing out exactly as it should. It started out as a brilliant idea, was overly ambitious, had financial problems, was planned poorly, and is now becoming a public quandary. In short time it will become a nightmare, a blight and a laughing stock, as if New Jersey needs any more of that. The evil presence in The Meadowlands is beginning to rear its ugly head.

The image of the unfinished painting at the end of this article will be the only true representative of what happenes when a society stands by and let its leaders dream off more than they can chew. Soon this painting will be done and it will truly express the errors of a civilization that places corporate profit above the needs of the living. We do not need another commercial orgy of excess, and we will not have one in East Rutherford for long. We will have an empty, functionless, dilapidating, Kafkaesque complex of structures on the horizon, rising out of the foxtails and fighting an un-winnable fight against forces of Nature and culture that are to be reckoned with.

The weeds slowly grow. The cracks begin to form. The swamp gently rises. The earth opens ever so gradually. Meanwhile, there's no sign of shoppers, skiers, diners, swimmers, performers, eyeballs, asses or any of the other fruits of anyone's labor or wonders of it all. There's just a lot of gravity methodically pulling down an empty mall.

Tonight, dear readers, I give you Xandu pt 32…

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