To know St. Louis is to love it. . . . . .
Ferguson notwithstanding, a lot of people have this prejudice that St. Louis is an utterly backward town of farm-land dimwits and Mississippi wharf-rats.
Well, it depends “on what side of it” you’re referring, to.
Parts of the city and outlying county are relatively civilized with money and good resources, but then you talk about the ghettos to the North or the rough-shod white working classes to the south, or further in-state from the Illinois border.
We have lots of old Irish lineage and then the Scotch-Irish who came from, say– Ohio and Indiana in waves as its a testy, if not Germanic combination like a tawny, grit-pitted chin dripping tobacco choose and staring off into the stiff wind.
Riff-raff, we are.
Chained to the auto-lot, leased-on borrowed time. . . . . like wild lives, vague attention spans, and the relative march of cell-phones and other technical progress to a Western-styled vantage point, over say “the third world”.
America– the North American continental land-mass still with crude oil to burn and wide-open spaces as “let ’em be”– you can’t reform them, better them. And it’s too awkward to try with man left to descend into levels of squalor; living on luxury or in poverty with equal, opposite ease. Where every man is king with his waddling beer belly, Cardinals baseball cap, and stick-like legs unto greater interstate frontiers.
Yes, we have our share of trailer-parks but some of the real comedy begins with low-rent apartment complexes of every trashy description that would make a pleasant social worker howl.
One time, a low-functioning couple lived in a hoarder’s house of pet animals and ate nothing but Coca-Cola and shells n’ cheese until their toe-nails fell-out, they were so malnourished.
Life was the inertia of broken-down health and the vista of possibilities after nightfall. For every living-room, a VCR of bargain-basement entertainment. Novelty, as opposed to deadening, raw boredom could degrade unto no end so long as you were unemployed and had all the time in the world. Life was a sling-shot orbit around the kitchen to get another soda, use the john, and return back with a sizable carry-out bag of snack food as true to the 99 cent cheeseburger as the night was hot– pocked with fire-flies and passing traffic.
There, on the ground-level– you and the chaos were on even eye-level like cavemen peeking-out through beige drapes. Like camping-out.
So long as you believed in the free market– or presumed you’d strike-up your lucky “nuisance law-suit” the rhetoric was full of odes to American opportunity. Maybe you’d strike-up a new idea and start your own business, someday.
Even as the rich amassed a greater share of the money with vulgar sequined-dress cat-fights, and you watched from afar with dimmer, eroded prospects by the year. Only faith could justify, caught-down in one’s meager position of life where hopeful, open-ended intrigues kept you perked-up in anticipation “for the day that never comes”.
Otherwise, one was left to account for “this” and the nihilism could scare the hell out of you. Nothing was inherent– neither salvation nor gutter politics as all our lives a cosmic joke.
And the punchline, is how well Beetlejuice would fit-in here!
Which is why I can see the plot happening right in our local area, according to the eye of the beholder and creative mastermind busy coming-up with juicy material. This is a cheap city to live-in if you know what you’re doing and keep it humble-pie.
As the Dollar Store as my witness, you’ll like this place as much as everyone claims “to hate-it”. And how it grows on you like a fine, Midwestern overgrowth.
Back again tomorrow with more entertainment.
P.S. And Happy Birthday to Michael Keaton. Stay “cagey”!!