It’s looking less like comedy and more like prophecy.

Speaking of prophecy, Ayn Rand was on to something. Tell me, does this sound familiar?

A few houses still stood within the skeleton of what had once been an industrial town. Everything that could move, had moved away; but some human beings had remained. The empty structures were vertical rubble; they had been eaten, not by time, but by men: boards torn out at random, missing patches of roofs, holes left in gutted cellars. It looked as if blind hands had seized whatever fitted the need of the moment, with no concept of remaining in existence the next morning. The inhabited houses were scattered at random among the ruins; the smoke of their chimneys was the only movement visible in town. A shell of concrete, which had been a schoolhouse, stood on the outskirts; it looked like a skull, with the empty sockets of glassless windows, with a few strands of hair still clinging to it, in the shape of broken wires.

Beyond the town, on a distant hill, stood the factory of the Twentieth Century Motor Company. Its walls, roof lines and smokestacks looked trim, impregnable like a fortress. It would have seemed intact but for a silver water tank: the water tank was tipped sidewise.

If you’re less inclined to read her otherwise turgid prose, there’s always RoboCop. Better Half and I lived briefly (very briefly) outside Detroit back in the ’90s when it was already a well-known $#!+hole, pretty much the big-city hell this Southern boy imagined it would be. We were quite happy to leave it in our rear-view mirror one snowy morning.

So is this an isolated incident? Doubtful. Despite the insane blatherings of certain MSNBC hosts (whom I refuse to link), this was not a result of Republican meanies. This is what happens when unsustainable policies are left to run their course in the hopes that they can keep squeezing blood from a stone.

“Bin Laden is dead, and Detroit is alive.” It was a laughable line then to anyone who was paying attention. Now it’s just sad.

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