Tuesday, May 15, 2012

speak to me of universal greed

I met the Queen of the Bondo downtown after work yesterday, where we got Jamaican meat pies and hung out in Tower City watching the last minute preparations and picking out the future gamblers of Clevelandia from the level above the food court, mostly super dressed up senior citizens and suburban crackers in chinos and such. You could pick them out from the working stiffs and The Kids pretty easily because in part they looked like they haven't come downtown in decades. The people who owned the stores in the mall looked universally anxious and stressed out, as did the casino peons, because this is all new and who knows what kind of pressure there is further up the food chain. And there were lots of cops everywhere, and the SWAT team because you know things might get real if too many of The Bus People go crazy and because my paranoid self sees the barricades and big guns that seem to multiply every year as dystopian dress rehearsal.

Everything kind of had that tacky look of ersatz swank that impresses the yokels but isn't terribly special, and the other outgrowths of the casino/convention economy are already making themselves evident too. We were waiting to cross the street to catch our bus back to the west side and there was a trio of lithe Somali girls chainsmoking cigarettes outside the hotel in short shorts and colorful leggings that looked kind of lost before hopping on the trolley that goes to another hotel and the whole sight gave me the shivers, because I know this is going to be happening a lot and it isn't always going to be so out in the open, and because Somali girls have been victims of trafficking in this area before and now with the casino, it will probably be moreso.

It was hard to be snarky eventually, because the human cost will be so high, of broken families and desperate people and exploited girls. There might be some revenue that goes back to the city, but I really don't give a damn about the convention industry and the what happens in said city stays in said city mentality. We're already screwed financially by the system, but do we have to be screwed in every other way too? All of this supposed economic panacea comes at a price far more than its perceived monetary worth, and it just makes me mad. I called one of my friends who works with refugee populations to see if she can get something going, because I don't know what else to do except to watch and then attempt to take some kind of action, because I can't just let this go.


  1. Somehow I don't see the annual golf trip trying Cleveland rather than the usual alternating Vegas or Charleston destinations.

  2. C'mon if, if (if? if) you don't spend your CIA scratch here, how will the local high rollers afford overseas tail flown in with promises of a better life? And I thought Bin Laden hated our great nation.