moving right along, part 7

wordpress please let me embed videos in the future (if it did embed and you the people can see, please uniform me)

Tagline from enquirer site: “How long does it take one heavy-machine operator to demolish an entire house? With the help of time-lapse it only takes 60…”

we are weird weird fuckers. i think, after viewing this, the entire foreclosure thing should be re-interpreted as a ritual similar to the potlatch


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you are what you…somewhere, part 1

food is on my brain (or in, or in my brain). once, when i was just on-the-verge-pubescent, and i’d gone over to mow my grandma’s lawn, she opened the door and said “boy you are going to be a tall glass of water”. i was thinking about that today (and smiling) (and how i didn’t understand what in the hell she meant) and food symbols,  and somehow it lead me back to my skyline post, long planned. little trumpeted.

skyline is a total metonym, my favorite metonym, for cincinnati-ness. when people ask me why i delve the city, i go back to this moment as a child, sitting in the montgomery parlor, where somehow i became aware that things people do in this city are not the same as in other cities; it wasn’t just unsited-sitcom-forever land. PLACE = DIFFERENCE. it wasn’t that big a moment, and i do believe i’m fabricating the skyline setting, but there was a 60 watt somewhere there.

it's a stand-in, or physical representative, of "cincinnati"-ness

it's a stand-in, or physical representative, of "cincinnati"-ness

anyway. recently i had an idea, as an anthropologist, for a field working (hardworking) site. i feed off of cincinnati [OH I AM GOING TO SLATHER ON THE FOOD IMAGERY — I HAVEN’T WRITTEN IN A WHILE AND MY HEAD FEELS STIFF, SO THIS WILL KICK START ME I HOPE], or more accurately this bubbly cincinnati-ness. so i thought – HEY, what about those skyline restaurants in florida? i bet my bottom dollop i can access that somehow and maybe dig into that ellusive sense of displaced urbanity of midwestern/great lakes/southern (eat all [ this is my best so far: “eat all” for “et al”]) ex-pats. obviously they are leaving the rusting belt, but what do they thinking do? CLEVER ELEGANT DELECTABLE

skyline [dot] com has one of those Leave-Us-Your-Story things,* sadistically called Skyline Nation. well if we are a nation, i wanted to meet our emigrants. TO SKYLINE (i just don’t want to see money here. not because it isn’t there–i know it’s a market ploy for a mail order biz–but i just don’t want to think about it today) ABROAD.

well, obviously i didn’t board a plane. [but that’d of been cool. what an adventure vacation!]. and for a little bit i dropped it – but then i thought – google that shit, immediately [2 searches = CO2 emmissions of an electric kettle boiling water! ooOOOOOOoooo {BBC 2009}].

i planned to look at the restaurant reviews and see a cache of Cinci food ferment, in the vein of what you see on the skyline website, where people cry about how terrible life is in indianapolis, detroit, or iraq, and thank god they can get skyline in cans.

well that was a no-go. in fact what i found was a kind of disconcerting middle-class fleetingness across a suburban post-fordist landscape.

actually, no FL, i’m going to quote some from cleveland area, because it was more, egh, bland:

5706 Mayfield Rd, Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio 44124 <<>>  (by the historic Greens of Lyndhurst)

  • your normal-expected-ho hum-joe-shmoe-hamburger-with-nothing-on-it review:

“small. Not your normal tasting chili. I was disappointed. I didn’t like it at all. Lots of ginger in chili.”

  • but it was more one’s like these:

“I lived in Cincinatti for 3 years and lived on the stuff! You must get the 3-way with pasta, chilli, and cheese. The atmosphere is perfect for kids and the food is extremely cheap! It’s not the healthiest choice but something everyone should indulge in once and a while. Trust me, you will become addicted to this place! Amazing!”

or from 4752 Ridge Rd Cleveland, OH 44144 <<>&gt;

“Ok i lived in Cincinnati for 8 years as a young adult! This was the only place to go after the bars were closed! But seriosly, the chili has such a unique flavor that you will soon be hooked! I go to the store often to buy the cans of the chili also- its almost as good as fresh!!! A five way!!!! I’m reminiscing!! I ate alot of those and now enjoy the chili on spagetti at home.”

in the first one they do that classic no-no, misspelling cincinnnati, but for both of them it’s clear that skyline/cincinnati was a phase, that they’re kind of re-living. it’s like if someone was on Real World Cincinnati (oh god please make), and X amount of years later they pop a video in to relive something.

in general, from these reviews there are surprisingly few ex-pat “Cincinnatians, and many of these transitory figures. “4 years here, 7 years there”. i don’t know why, but it was unexpected. it depressed me when i originally looked into it 2 months or so ago. and the locations of the skylines are in the most far-flung strip mall locales, like above (^), supposedly there’s a skyline back there. i went to a strip mall skyline like this in indianapolis, it was not fun. they had a salad bar. i felt like my “community” ideas were being eaten by anonymity.

i found the same stuff for florida, though i have some additional observations for FL that i will reserve.

well, if the “cincinnatian ex-pat” is a myth is the “cincinnatian” a myth?! is the “cincinnatian” dead?!? OR SMIRKING SMILING let’s reinvent. let’s frankenstein, because that’s always neater. look, the valuable thing i’ve been able to take away from this is that it undermines seriously the conception of CITY <—> CITIZEN (native). which is good, because we can always use more theoretically flexible or processual objects. so, down with the native, up with the shifting and uncertain

*personal disclaimament: my sister won a t-shirt for one of those

let’s write with no blushes


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of/off the record; part 1

school done for a couple weeks so i am reading about cincinnati again. i’d like to share quotes i find interesting. i am patience. here is my first sharing:

Edward Mansfield – Memoirs of the Life and Services of Daniel Drake (more or less the title – it’s on google books) [1855]

FIRST AND INTRO (later a commentary): the Edward Mansfield was the nephew (or something like that?) of daniel drake. he was a lawyer. he was a well known civic booster for cincinnati. daniel drake was the same except he was a doctor, smarter, older, and not born with money.

this section is from mansfield discussing how civic boosters work and shape the public. specifically he is talking about cholera epidemics from 1832-35, and then about drake’s activities from 1836 onwards (lo! onwards!) in promoting certain “internal improvements”.

quotes from 2 pages (i emboldened those bits i like most):


  • It was the era of 1836, when ideas, as well as credit, were excited and expanded. Gigantic schemes were formed, and it is perhaps one of the most remarkable facts in the history of this country, that such has been the rapid, sweeping growth of its power and wealth, that even the greatest and the wildest (if any plan in our country can be called wild) of the plans formed in an era of excited speculation, have, in twenty years, been realized, and that more by far—schemes which were only dreamed of in the flights of imagination—have been reduced to sober realities, and numbered among the common facts of the day. Such has been the history of the last twenty years, and there seems to be as little check or limit to the speculation of commerce, the development of power, or the growth of empire, as at any time since this government was formed.



  • [cholera] cast its fear and shadow upon all things. The consequence was, that Cincinnati has never been, at any period, so dull and apparently lifeless and inert as at the close of the summer of 1834. Property was sold low, and business had barely struggled along. When, however, in 1835, it became evident that the dreaded plague had left the country, a season of extraordinary activity ensued. The mind sprung up elastic from the pressure, and all was accomplished that the mind could do. Enterprize, business, growth, the reality of active energy, and the ideality of a growing and prosperous future sprung up, as the consequence of an elastic and invigorated public mind. The general trade of the country had been safe and profitable—hence there was little timidity to strengthen prudence or restrain extravagance. In the East commenced that series of enormous speculations whose center was at New York, and which, in some respects, has never been surpassed in this country. It spread to the West, but prevailed comparatively little at Cincinnati. The speculations here were on a small scale, and it is doubtful whether they did more than give a necessary and healthy excitement to the business community, which had so long been in a dull, quiescent state. Certain it is, that Cincinnati now owes half her growth and prosperity to plans of public works and usefulness then formed and undertaken.

well. general comments: right now we hate speculation, which probably jumps out at you first.

from 266: the connection between ideation/creativity and speculation/credit (more importantly credit) is fascinating. it’s totally different than the present feeling i have, where everyone is being spurred towards creativity to ‘solve’ the global warming/credit crisis issue. although maybe i posit this division for Today: there is ideation (which is along the line of Affordable Solar Energy [which is worthy of investment {cause that’s a hot idea (ah ha!)}] which obama is promoting and involves the ignition of credit and speculation, and then there is ingenuity, which doesn’t spark credit’s interest, and it more like Finding New Uses for Old Clothes Hangers. so maybe a credit crunch doesn’t provoke ideation, but it does promote creative coping?

[the above is tentative fuzz – like water skimmer bug tentative]

continuing 266: from that second part, i am just shocked by how he’s laying it out there. “the development of power”? “the growth of empire”? i re-viewed the cronon (1991) part on boosters recently and he really digs into how they saw this as kind of munificent empire of commerce. but mansfield makes the link between the commercial empire and power very specific. it’s just odd.

lo! onwards! to 267: i follow what he’s saying here i think but the language is crazy. and i think from the craziness of the language you can tell the section is really exciting for him (“the ideality of a growing and prosperous future sprung up”? [i’m sorry about the quotations with question marks after them but they serve someone]) . there is an interesting use of the “public”/”public mind” and the phases of inertia and activity it passes through. he suggests that the “public mind” is characterized by elasticity, so when it is held “inert” it has to bound back up to frenzied activity. that is odd. i have never seen that metaphor before for an analysis/creation of the public in a capitalist boom/bust cycle. also i just like the connection between cholera an and economic depression. as i’ve been doing stuff on drake i have been thinking about civic boosters as biopoliticians (drake is a doctor! and a statisticians! and a “valetudinarian”!). this quote is definitely an interesting start. also thinking about the conception of the city itself, and how it “grows”. what kind of soil? how much light? how much rain? etc. do cities need (and i think some civic boosters thought in terms of many cities [their’s just being the exemplar]). the answer to these questions (and the conception of the city implied) could have very concrete effects on how a governmentality is formed with the city. and it’s so urban.

just some thought bubbles

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digression, blinking (not blogging), part 1

no, i am not blogging because school and work are happily occupying my time.  but i have plans for big january blogs, a schedule:

  1. continuation of migration series, focusing specifically on skyline chili franchise locations, and related to experiences of modern middle-class migration patterns (this might become its own chain [and behind this one there’s another blog about White Flight {oh but i’m not smart enough yet}])
  2. a roar-shock chain discussion of cincinnati as plural, and the approach to early 20th c pluralism in cincinnati by historians in the past 25-30 yrs
  3. a great big giant series on the street car phenomenon as seen in cinci blogville, part of blogosphere social commentary!

other things may arise, these may sink


oh and i need to draw more.

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queen cinci politickling, part 1

probably worth to point out that OH-1 is no longer the congressional district with the largest african american population to have a republican representative.  that title flittered off somewhere else.  i am glad because that factoid made me very uncomfortable; lots of overtones of false consciousness etc for blacks in cinci that i don’t think was productive or accurate. still, it was a very useful infobyte

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cinci blogosphere social commentary!, part 2

this entry by one of the local realtor bloggers last week was possibly the nadir of the economy crisis in the cinci blogosphere. i like him a lot; he writes well, seems blunt, uses numbers reasonably and well, has a good smile picture to the side, looks like a combo donny osmond + rob low (dayton ohio product, lived down street from my mom’s house).  this particular post is wonderful because it works a lot of ways both Against and For the typical civic booster stereotype.

on the one hand it says “THE FUTURE IS DEAD”, which is an almost impossible statement for civic booster types to make.  the future, especially a rosy one, means everything.  other important and relevant civic-politicos can predict urban decay as a justification for policy decisions, but a realtor can never sell a house based on the fact that it’s value will drop (right? hmmmmmm i think i am buying into a too-rigid salesmanship model) [UPDATE: i realized what my logic failure was here.  the realtor CAN say that the future is glum, sure, because: a) that means that the realtor still knows what the future looks like at least b) and the realtor can “pitch” the house by saying it’s better than everything else (i’m guessing).  our blogger buddy’s particular abdication is so stunning because it’s saying: “i don’t know what the future is going to be like; you should buy this house, but it might fall into a gigantic sink hole filled with carrot-flavored jello tomorrow.”](and to clarify, this digital real estate agent doesn’t say the future is dying, he just says that it might be dying, which is still pretty wacky). that’s why this is the nadir, that statement must be so hopeless and frustrating for a guy whose blog has trend-charts on the regular. i imagine that brow was furrowed and worried while typing about the unpredictability of the future.

on the other hand, the explanation for the entry could also be read: “fuck the predictions, buy a home anyway!” which i like that. only a good realtor can take the over-arching theme of poor housing market and use it as a springboard to sell shit.

a super bright thing he does do though is avoid refering to the cinci specific future.  it is an abstracted idea of the future, which gives more rhetorical leeway for empathy.

anyway, read the last line, now the future is hesitantly back


someday i’ll write about the realtors in the cinci blogsphere and the blogosphere continuum, but i don’t have anything to say write now except trite-isms that you can puzzle out. this is just a mental bookmark.

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roar-shock cinci, part 1

i was looking at cinci today and i realized it looks like a temporal bone:

from my osteology notebook. [temporal]

disclaimer: i drew this, and uh, i don't draw so accurately, so there's that. plus it's possible i may have subconsciously made this look more like cinci than merits

and for comparison:

from wikipedia, attribute to wholtone, and there are some other rules

from wikipedia, attribute to wholtone, and there are some other rules

also i used this map because northside also looks like a cincinnati/temporal bone. boy!, nested metonym potential!

rorschach inferences

  1. cincinnati is the bone that supports the temple. which is vital, so we have that to be proud of.
  2. cincinnati is the bone that houses the ear stuff. which is also vital, so we also have that to be proud of (but i don’t feel like cinci is such a good “listener” [especially hyde park, which would be @ the auditory meatus {just saying}])
  3. temporal as an adjective means basically “of this present world”, either in terms of time or “secular” interests. um. lots of urban inferences we could draw from that one.

maybe other associations are out there. if i get to make a temporal bone/cincinnati pumpkin i would be happy


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