This story/link has been making the rounds on my FB feed for the past few days from my fellow Flint-stone family and friends.
Some have expressed faux-outrage that only the negative has been accentuated, thereby putting our fair city in a bad light (40% of the streetlights not working may have something to do with the bad lighting). Others have expressed Flint pride in our hometown's "down and dirty" reputation, which I blogged about a few years ago in:
Lessons From a Flintstone
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "You can say you are from Detroit and you can say you are from Flint. When you say you from Flint even the guy from Detroit gives you respect." - Isiah Thomas
Actually, Forbes has the city of Flint number 2 on their list of "most miserable cities". But number 2 is bad enough, which is the reason why I took my family and FLED this dangerous, APOCALYPTIC and VIOLENT CITY to the relative safety and serenity a FULL 9 miles away!
HEY! My sarcasm blog button is back!
I guess what I'm trying to say is that if I were a fish, I would be a Remora. I wouldn't be a big, juicy Tuna who ends up in the sharks belly (inner city). Rather, I would attach myself next to the shark's under-belly (suburbs) and feed on either leftover food chunks the shark neglected to consume (the rare job) or (urk!) feces (city services).
I have lived in and around Flint town for all of my life (except for that short newspaper stint in Wisconsin in 2010) and I can honestly say that I've NEVER been stabbed or shot at (as far as I know) and have only felt my life threatened on a couple of occasions (of course, it's still early). My father couldn't say the same thing, but I guess that wouldn't be expected from a City of Flint Homicide Detective.
This picture appeared in The Flint Journal when I was maybe 9 or 10 years old. One of these gentleman is a serial rapist and murderer. The other is my father. I'll let you figure out which is which, as we here at the Chattering Teeth Studios frown upon profiling (and will suspend anyone from this blog engaged in same... unless they can make me lots of money).
I miss my dad, who has been gone now for many years. I wish I could remember even half of the cops and robber stories he used to tell, and I often wonder about the ones he never did tell.
MY POINT, however, is that Flint, like all cities, has always had a violent under-belly. There were plenty of violent criminals for my father to apprehend back in the 60s and 70s when GM still employed 80,000 or so folks here. I remember waking up to a ringing telephone in the middle of the night on many occasions in my youth, each call announcing yet another murder requiring my father's 38 and trench coat. The premise that the violence was born from GM leaving is false.
PICTURED: My dad arresting my brother Donnie for not cleaning his room, or something.
As for Flint, I'm here for better or for worse. Most of my family and friends live in and around it. My roots are here, and it DOES have some fantastic sights and ammenities. Some say the very BEST Trauma centers too.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that if cities were amusement park rides, you can keep your carousel. Give me the exhilarating experience of the roller coaster, as it crests the apex moments before a hair-raising plunge. Or the unexpected twists and turns and gravity-defying loops. Oh sure, it will make you vomit occasionally, but you can't make an omelette without cracking some eggs. And with that, I'll leave you to your breakfast, as I think I hear my crack dealer at the door.