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HIWAY AMERICA-BISHOP CASTLE SAN ISABEL NATIONAL FOREST,RY,COLORADO

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Bishop Castle, San Isabel National Forest, Rye, Colorado

Bishop Castle is undoubtedly one of the craziest castles in the world, created by the one-man castle builder Jim Bishop. It’s an incredible place to get married or just to visit for inspiration.

Jim Bishop’s Dream

 

To a great extent, the construction of Bishop Castle has been fueled by creator Jim Bishop’s inveterate hatred of authority and his contempt for anyone willing to submit to that authority. He has spent years battling zoning, health, noise, and sales tax regulations in his ongoing quest to single-handedly expand and modify “the largest one-man construction project in the country, quite possibly the world,” all the while arguing that the government has “pulled a fast one on the americanSHEEPLE” by chiseling away at our constitutional rights through a monolithic global conspiracy. Along the way, certain neighbors have accused Jim of being a satanic presence for allowing rave parties in the castle, and at one point several years ago, he and his son even had to overcome fifteen felony charges in court for dispersing a large group of unruly wedding party guests with a shotgun.

What many people don’t know about Jim is that he has spent much of his life being humble, generous, and affable to friends, family, and strangers alike. He believes that giving to charity is a moral obligation, and the Bishop family applies this principle to real-world scenarios. The castle has functioned as a tax-exempt, non-profit entity since 1984. This means that a visit there is always free and open to the public. Of greater significance, Jim and his wife Phoebe run the Bishop Castle Non-Profit Charitable Foundation for New-Born Heart Surgery, which helps local families with medical expenses for young children who aren’t covered by insurance. Hence, donations and purchases from a gift shop the Bishop family built on castle grounds have paid for construction of the castle and treatment for children in need. In short, Jim is as complex as his creation.

The drive to Bishop Castle is a steadily curving incline along Highway 165, a road just southwest of Pueblo, Colorado that leads through dense stands of Ponderosa pine, broad meadows, and sharp ledges that open below to sweeping vistas of uncultivated ranch land. After several miles of steep road surrounded by thickening forest, visitors finally reach their destination at 9,000 feet above sea level in the thin Colorado air. Dozens of cars line the road, and scores of people stroll toward a thick barricade of trees penetrated by a dirt trail that passes a moat and a bridge Jim has been working on for the last several years. When jokingly asked if he’s planning on filling the moat with alligators when it’s finished, Jim says, “No, I think I’d fill it with lawyers, politicians, and bureaucrats, but that might backfire on me because they would probably promulgate in the sewage.”

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dragonJust a few hundred feet farther up the trail sits Bishop Castle. Jutting above the trees, a dragon’s head of charred silver cranes over the castle’s face, imaginary flames rolling from its forked tongue and flared nostrils. The castle itself, a throwback to the Middle Ages and a testament to human endurance, sprawls in unapologetic splendor across a wide expanse of gradually sloping open ground. Every stone and every inch of mortar seem to have been hurled into a conflation of ordered chaos on a massive scale by a man who has never once used a blueprint or floor plan, only his sheer force of will and self-described “God-given genius.” Close by, a chipmunk scurries from one empty food wrapper to another. Although engrossed in its reconnaissance, the animal seems a study in cautious indifference as it continually dodges tourists who are themselves preoccupied with finding the right camera angle from which to shoot a picture of the dragon.

Flying buttresses on every side of the structure anchor three floors, lending the castle an appearance of stability and Old World elegance. On the southeast corner, a column of 42 outer steps dropping from the third floor to the ground juts out at 60 degrees, so steep and with such short footing that a tow-headed 6-year-old girl brave enough to have dared a solo descent on her own has stalled midway. Sitting on a step and trembling uncontrollably, she shrieks over and over, “Daddy, I’m afraid!” The father climbs the steps cautiously, grabs her in one arm, and carries her down slowly, intently, all the while clutching the wrought-iron balustrade, and although his emotions are far more guarded, clearly, he’s scared, too. This is a moment both father and daughter will never forget. They will be forever bonded by an event inspired by an unforeseen challenge, and one must wonder how their memories will filter and reinterpret this experience over the passage of time.

Thirty feet from the base of the castle, Jim stands in the bed of an old pickup truck. His spine is curved from years of hauling an endless supply of boulders that have built his fame. He wears a faded black t-shirt that sports a logo of the castle. Over his heart, a blue inscription reads, “Jim, the Creator.” This man is a far cry from the sickly little 3rd grade boy he once was, the one with the big ears, big nose, and devastating kidney infection who never seemed to fit in anywhere and suffered perhaps the ultimate adolescent indignity—the indifference of others. Now, he’s the grand designer of his own destiny, the center of attention and the one who chooses sides in an adult schoolyard of his own making, and he sees his castle as a protective barrier that shields him from his most resilient opponent, a hostile government that thrives on assaulting individual liberties.

A screwdriver in his hand, Jim quietly examines the motor of a pulley system rigged firmly into the bed of the truck. At various intervals, small groups wander up to the vehicle as if by accident. Most visitors have heard stories that recount Jim’s eccentric behavior, and indeed, moments like this often inspire Jim to burst into explosive, unorthodox dialectic with anyone willing to endure his incendiary world view. Suddenly, he spins on the crowd with a fierce stare and strikes up a debate with a nervous tourist. He points his screwdriver directly at the man and poses a provocative and unexpected question:

Jim: Do you own your car? Do you actually think that you own your car?

Tourist: Yes.

Jim: No you don’t. You have a certificate of ownership, that’s all. The bank owns your car. Some bank up in Denver holds the title to your car.

Tourist: How do you mean?

Jim: Do you think I own this winch? I bought it with greenbacks. I don’t own it. It’s their money and their winch. They can come and take it any time they want to.

Tourist: So who does own the winch?

Jim: The World Bank owns everything. The Federal Reserve. They own everything. Roosevelt gave it to them in the 1930s. I don’t own that winch. I bought it with certificate of money; they own it. You know, nobody owns anything. They own every individual.

Tourist: But who exactly is “they”?

Jim: The Rothschilds, the rich people in England and Europe. The World Bank. The seven rich families of the world. And a lot of them are Jews. But Hitler handled them the wrong way. He didn’t need to murder them. Take advantage of them. They’re the money-mongers. They’re the money people. Use them. Put them to work.

Jim plunges his hands down toward the crowd. They’re thick with calluses and covered in grease. He shouts,

Shouldn’t our elected officials be competent, patriotic, responsible role models? None of them are. They’re all legal criminals! They’re legal but unlawful. That’s why I call them “legal criminals.” Dictators! But do they have hands like these? Do they? Guess what? This is my kingdom! That road down there’s my highway because of this castle. Isn’t it refreshing to have a dictator of policy by merit of hard work and the help of God? Not warfare, not politicking, not brown-nosing? Isn’t it nice to see a dictator with hands like these? HA HA HA HA HA!

bishop castle low angle

At this point, most of the people standing around the truck begin to disperse and head toward the castle. Jim goes back to work on the winch he claims he doesn’t own because he bought it with greenbacks. Still, legal tender plays a significant role in everyone’s life no matter how we perceive its symbolic import. It certainly helped shape Jim’s destiny. In 1959, when Jim was 15 years old and had just dropped out of high school, he gave his parents $450 he had earned from working odd jobs and convinced them to buy a two-and-a-half acre parcel of land in San Isabel National Forest, which is where the castle now sits. Hence, Jim’s youthful drive and instinctive desire for autonomy evolved into a life-long project that even he did not consider at the time of the purchase. His $450 investment, which probably seemed like a significant sum of money back then, has paid itself forward to every person who has visited the castle since.

stairwellTo explore this monumental construction project in thorough detail, visitors must choose between two available means of access. On the one hand, they can enter the bowels of the castle through a network of circular stairwells that spring from the bedrock of the ground floor. On the other hand, they can scale the outdoor steps. Most decide to first enter through the castle’s interior, probably because of the natural desire to be drawn into and through a labyrinth of shadowy mazes and spiraling ascents that promises danger and uncertainty. The indoor stairwells lead upward through two tall towers thrusting to the sky, one of which juts 160 feet into the air, above even the tallest of the surrounding trees. The higher one climbs in the castle, the fewer people he or she will encounter on the way up. In fact, many visitors refuse to travel beyond the spacious, comparatively safe, and well-lit third floor. The castle becomes a character test for every person who enters inside its walls, and it briefly divides certain families and friends in the process.

The third floor has been the site of more than 160 weddings over the years, and it truly is something to behold. Scores of variously shaped but mostly arched windows dot the length of each wall, their stained glass artwork sometimes dark and foreboding, sometimes brighter and a bit more thought-provoking, like the image of a mysterious sorcerer holding a staff with a crystal ball mounted on the end, or the one of an eagle sailing over a Native American on a horse, with a header above the scene that reads, “I will live once as they once did, wild and free.”

bishop-castle-chapelA terrace surrounds the third floor. The walkways themselves are constructed of expanded metal while both the railings and supports are fashioned from Jim’s signature ornamental ironwork. The same floor has also been the nerve center for a host of all-night raves over the years, which has led to neighbors accusing Jim of harboring satanic forces. Ironically, when asked if he thinks letting ravers party in his castle all night is safe, Jim says, “The reason it’s fairly safe is because people can sense the danger. There’s no deception. Evil and the Devil only have power through deception. If people could see how evil the Devil is, they’d avoid the Devil, and they’d avoid deceivers.” All the same, some neighbors who especially hate the raves got a judge to issue a permanent injunction against them. Jim circumvented this problem by changing the name of the events to “private parties” since private parties aren’t illegal for someone with a 501(c)3 non-profit charter from the IRS.

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walkwayHigher up, above the third floor, is where the real tests of courage take place, in remote corners of the castle designed to puzzle the will. Those who travel this far add compelling new chapters to their anthologies of fear. Most people traverse the walkways cautiously, muttering under their breath. Whether they venture only as far as the relative safety of the third floor or dare to scale a tower’s peak, they’re all afraid to one degree or another, but increased altitude breeds intense anxiety. They clutch the curled iron rails, hoping no one senses their distress, and they can’t help but wonder how something so immense and anomalous could have possibly been built in such a seemingly benign corner of the Colorado wilderness. They know they’re on their own up on these heights, and the uncertainty of the next moment keeps them vigilant. One particular section of the castle best defines this high strangeness. Jutting out into the sunlight, a lone walkway sways uncertainly from powerful wind gusts, and then it dead ends abruptly in midair.

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This forlorn passage to nowhere is probably as representative of Jim’s cynicism as any other location in America, if not more so. Outliers perceive conventional views differently because they don’t live in a conventional world. From an outlier’s vantage point, ritual and tradition appear as meaningless and dangerous distractions, as things to be scorned and avoided at all costs. They are byproducts of mind viruses that have been implanted in the American psyche by people in power who wish to shape and direct group behavior. In an environment like this, self-preservation requires a colder eye. The worst thing one can do is let manipulative control structures define cultural identity based on unwarranted consumer-driven obsessions tethered to the global economy.

Consequently, Jim doesn’t see much hope anymore in the American Dream, and beyond individual acts of decency and ambition, our destiny as a visionary nation of high ideals seems to have run its course. He believes we are being subsumed by a corporate police state that answers to global, not national, interests, and the citizenry is oblivious or indifferent to this sobering reality. He says,

There’s nothing united about the United States. We’re an offshore bankrupt corporation. Geographically, we’re a country. Politically and economically, we’re not. Our soldiers fight for a corporation, not a country. Our leaders are the warmongers. And what’s the big thing now? Football! Basketball! The World Series! Them are just games.

Of course everything’s just a game. This is just a game. But you ask yourself, who benefits? The people who benefit are the people forcing this one-world government. The World Bank. They got these bailouts, where they all got paid because they collect again because you signed the contract. All the mortgages were paid. If they’d have given us the money, we could have paid off our bad sub-prime houses and stuff and had money left over to stimulate the economy.

You ask yourself, who benefits? They got the Patriot Act. There’s nothing patriotic about the Patriot Act. Congress didn’t even read it, let alone write it. Cheney and the banksters wrote it. They got the NDAA, the National Defense Authorization Act. They got the NSA, empowered that even more, where they can surveille everybody. They got multi-jurisdictional cops everywhere now. Any cop can pull you over for any reason. Everybody’s a terrorist because you used to be innocent until proven guilty. Now we’re all guilty until proven innocent because it makes money. See what’s going on?

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Looking down from the castle’s apex is a defining moment for the more ambitious guests. Perhaps only from here, from this sovereign perch, does Jim’s vision come into focus, and this view must have surprised him, too, at times, must have made him rethink who he was, penetrated deep into his wrought-iron and granite world of will and idea and somehow twisted the perception of his own monument into something even more bewildering and transcendent, beyond illness, pain, sorrow, and confusion, something timeless to the touch, sacred to the eye, an offering to the lonely hand of humanity that’s always reaching out for something it can never have, and now, here in the high and windy forest, the arches and walkways and stairways and towers and dragon and unsettled tourists converge in one man who, day and night, year after year, harvested boulders from the hills, carried or hoisted them into place with paternal care and Stone Age aggression, and grouted them tight with cement until he realized that he could never stop — one man built those towers, wrote his own legacy, and nurtured an inner rage that will likely follow him to his grave, pleased as he is with the redemptive art of construction, with the wonder of useful dreams made whole, the ones that should never die.

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Peacock Spider Dances to YMCA-So Very Funny

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!Peacock Spider Dances to YMCA

http://youtu.be/xYIUFEQeh3g

These spiders sure know how to party!

MY COLLAGED COUNTRY GUITAR

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Ana’s GuitarThis is my friend Ana’s Guitar.

Ana is a Poet who, some years ago, went travelling through Nashville, Tennessee collecting and patching memorabilia to this guitar. The arm sticking out from the bottom of the photo is Mr. Howdy Doody’s Puppet!

If you view this in larger size you can read the details on leaflets.

You can view this in Large here;

www.flickr.com/photos/26562546@N02/15929077150/sizes/o/

COOL PEOPLE – ERNEST HEMINGWAY DOCUMENTARY AND IN CUBA 1952

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Documentary on Ernest Hemingway The Writers Block Library

http://youtu.be/mv5ewz4YE1g

 Hemingway in Cuba, 1952: Portrait of a Legend in DeclineBen Cosgrove

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That Ernest Hemingway was, for years, the most celebrated writer in America is hardly surprising. After all, if he had written nothing besides, say, The Sun Also Rises, the early collection, In Our Time, and the superlative“The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber,”he would still be an indispensable American writer. The preposterous literary myth that Hemingway himself created and nurtured, meanwhile—that of the brawling, hard-drinking, thrill-seeking sportsman who is also an uncompromising, soulful artist—ensured that generations of writers would not merely revere him, but (often to their abiding detriment) would also try to emulate him.

So . . . despite what countless acolytes might claim, Hemingway was not the greatest American writer of the 20th century. He was, however—and more than five decades after his death, he remains—the single most influential, most parodied, most prominent, most immenseAmerican author of the past 100 years.

Incredibly, one of Hemingway’s most highly regarded novels, the short masterpiece, The Old Man and the Sea, was first published, in its entirety, in a single issue of LIFE magazine in September 1952.

At the time, Hemingway was—if we might employ an apt metaphor for a man who fairly worshiped machismo—the heavyweight champ of American letters. Even if his productivity had waned, and even if the searing brilliance that defined seemingly every story and novel of his early years had, by 1952, been reduced to an occasional flare of the old genius, “Papa” was still a cultural force to be reckoned with.

(A mere two years before, John O’Hara, in a New York Times review of the novel, Across the River and Into the Trees, had gone a bit overboard, calling Hemingway “the most important author living today, the outstanding author since the death of Shakespeare.” But such was the shadow he cast.)

Warranted or not, the hubbub that attended Hemingway turned any new story or, better yet, new book into a publishing event; the Old Man and the Sea LIFE issue, to absolutely no one’s surprise, was an enormous success, selling millions of newsstand copies in a matter of days. The novel itself earned Hemingway his first and only Pulitzer Prize for fiction, and remains among his most widely read works.

And yet, as anyone who has indulged an even casual interest in his career knows, by the early 1950s Hemingway’ private world was one increasingly defined not by protean artistic achievements, but by rivers of booze; bewilderment at his own diminishing powers as a writer; depression and even rage at his failing, once-indomitable health—in short, by a host of personal, relentless demons. The larger-than-life figure who prized “grace under pressure” above all other attributes was besieged; in less than a decade, his demons would drive him to suicide by shotgun.

 All of this helps explain why, when LIFE’s Alfred Eisensstaedt went to Cuba to photograph Hemingway for the September 1952 issue, he encountered not a gracious, if perhaps prickly, fellow artist and man of letters, but a thoroughly disagreeable, paranoid, booze-sodden lunatic.

Eisenstaedt was able, eventually, to capture a few usable images of the middle-aged man who was soon be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. His cover photo of Hemingway, in fact, is something of a classic: a riveting portrait of a no-longer-young, still-formidable literary lion.

But the experience of trying to photograph the 52-year-old writer, as Eisenstaedt recalled years later in an interview with historian Alex Groner, was a stressful and at times even frightening misadventure.

Hemingway, Eisenstaedt wonderingly noted, drank from the moment he awoke until the time he went to bed, with a lackey constantly plying him with booze; obsessed over his virility (sometimes literally pounding his chest, “like King Kong,” to illustrate that, while perhaps diminished, he was still a man to whom attention must be paid); erupted into violent rages over minor slights, both real and imagined; rarely spoke a sentence, to anyone, that wasn’t peppered with obscenities; and generally behaved like a buffoon.

Words and phrases that crop up repeatedly in Eisenstaedt’s reminiscences include “crazy,” “berserk,” “wild,” “insulting,” “drunk,” and “blue in the face.” Eisenstaedt found very few moments when he could take—or when Hemingway would allow him to take—usable photos. More than once, the gregarious, easy-going Eisie, who by all accounts got along famously with virtually everyone he met, went off by himself to photograph quieter scenes on the island, hoping the writer might calm down enough so that he might make a few worthwhile pictures.

“He was,” Eisenstaedt once said of Hemingway, “the most difficult man I ever photographed.” Coming from a man who was a professional photographer across seven decades—someone who photographed presidents, emperors, socially awkward scientists, testy athletes, egomaniac actors, insecure actresses and once, famously, a scowling and goblin-like Nazi minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels—coming from Eisenstaedt, that bald assertion about Hemingway is striking, and sadly revealing. And it’s especially sad in light of the effort that Eisenstaedt evidently put into trying tolike Hemingway.

Throughout his interview with Groner, for example, Eisenstaedt repeatedly, almost wistfully, refers to the man he went to Cuba to photograph—the man who thwarted his efforts at almost every turn—as “Papa.” It’s almost as if, years later, recounting his tumultuous dealings with the author, Eisenstaedt refers to Hemingway by his famous, companionable nickname in the vain hope of summoning something about the man that he can recall with fondness.

Ernest Hemingway was a major writer. Not everything he wrote was great; but some of what he wrote was as good as anything ever written by an American, and a handful of his works are, by common assent, vital and groundbreaking landmarks in world literature.

This gallery serves as both a tribute to Hemingway’s achievements, and a reminder of the haunting truth that when they fall, great men fall very, very far indeed.

Ben Cosgrove is the Editor of LIFE.com

LIFE MAGAZINE-1936-2000

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LIFE
Cover of the June 19, 1944 issue of LIFE with Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower. The issue contained 10 frames by Robert Capa of the Normandy invasion.
Editor-in-chief Edward Kramer Thompson
Categories News
Frequency Weekly (1936–1972)
Monthly (1978–2000)
Publisher Henry Luce
Total circulation
(1937)
1,000,000
First issue November 23, 1936
Final issue May 2000
Company Time Inc.
Country United States
Based in New York City
Language English
Website http://www.life.com
ISSN 0024-3019

On his 100th birthday, LIFE remembers Joe DiMaggio with photos made in 1939, when the Yankee Clipper was a 24-year-old star

When the first issue of LIFE magazine appeared on the news-stands, the U.S. was in the midst of the Great Depression and the world was headed toward war in Europe.Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Partyhad taken power in Germany. In Spain, General Francisco Franco’s army was at the gates of Madrid to suppress the rebellion; German Luftwaffe pilots and bomber crews, calling themselves the Condor Legion, were honing their skills as Franco’s air arm. Italy under Fascist leader Benito Mussolini annexed Ethiopia.

Luce ignored these tense world affairs when he unveiled the new LIFE: the first issue cover[6] depicted the Fort Peck Dam in Montana, a Works Progress Administration project, photographed by Margaret Bourke-White.

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19 West 31st Street

The format of LIFE in 1936 was an instant classic: the text was condensed into captions for 50 pages of photographs. The magazine was printed on heavily coated paper and cost readers only a dime. The magazine’s circulation sky-rocketed beyond the company’s predictions, going from 380,000 copies of the first issue to more than one million a week four months later.[7]The magazine’s success stimulated many imitators, such as Look, which was founded a year later in 1937 and ran until 1971.

Luce moved LIFE into its own building at 19 West 31st Street, a Beaux-Arts architecture jewel built in 1894. It is considered a building of “outstanding significance” by the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission. Later LIFE moved its editorial offices to 9 Rockefeller Plaza.

(worth $2 today) featured five pages of Alfred Eisenstaedt’s photographs.

JACKSON DAY DINNER

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SEE MORE BELOW

https://www.google.com/search?q=life+magazine&rlz=1CAACAC_enUS602US602&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=wpmYVJujCs_hsAT9jYKIAg&ved=0CFIQ7Ak&biw=683&bih=227

 

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Walter Sanders—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

1941 | Kappa Sigma Epsilon fraternity members toss blankets out the window of their house in preparation for a spring “blanket party” under the stars at Kansas State Teacher’s College. Originally published in the May 26, 1941, issue of LIFE.

Read more: Kappa Sigma Epsilon | LIFE.com http://life.time.com/history/the-best-of-life-37-years-in-pictures/attachment/1941_00816175/#ixzz3MfaM7Xk0

 

Rows of WACS after having put on their g|

Row upon row of WACs (Women’s Army Corps members) don gas masks for a training drill at Iowa’s Fort Des Moines. Originally published in the September 7, 1942, issue of LIFE.

COOL PEOPLE -10 INCREDIBLE ACTORS WHO HAVE NEVER WON AN OSCAR

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10 INCREDIBLE ACTORS WHO HAVE NEVER WON AN OSCAR

Published On December 14, 2014 » 39 Views» By Zachary Rowell » 

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The 87th annual Academy Awards will air live on ABC in just over two months, and for the great actors listed down below, it may be too painful to watch. We understand that there are only so many awards to hand out and not everyone can leave a winner, but we have to wonder why the voters have failed to recognize all the talent you see down below.

Who would you add to this list?

 

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No. 10 – Glenn Close

Glenn Close, but no cigar. The 67-year-old actress has been nominated an impressive six times, but she never has received an Oscar. She was nominated three times for Best Supporting Actress and three times for Best Actress. Her most recent nomination came after her brilliant performance in Albert Nobbs. She lost to three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep.

 

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No. 9 – John Cusack

John Cusack is an intense guy and he takes his job seriously. He believes in putting out a quality product, and for the most part, he has delivered again and again throughout his career. Starring in award-winning movies like,The Grifters and Bullets Over Broadway;however the Academy just doesn’t seem to appreciate his brilliance.

 

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No. 8 – Jim Carrey

When most people think about Jim Carrey, their mind automatically jumps to his role inDumb & Dumber. A classic comedy, but I think we can all agree shouting out the ‘most annoying sound in the world’ isn’t Oscar-worthy. But Jim Carrey is more than just a funny face. Who could forget his performance in The Truman Show? He won the Golden Globe award for Best Actor for his performance, but he wasn’t even nominated for the Oscars. And then the same thing happened the following year with Man on the Moon.

But wait, there’s more! Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was a brilliant film. Critics fell in love with the movie, and Carrey’s co-star Kate Winslet landed a nomination for her role in the film. But again, the Academy looked over Carrey’s wonderful performance.

 

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No. 7 – Ian McKellen

Sir Ian was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1991, but he still hasn’t earned an Oscar. He is adored by millions around the world and has earned more than 50 major international acting awards, so he’s probably not that broken up about it. We certainly are though! This man deserves it! But with McKellen turning 76 next year, it’s more likely he will receive an Honorary Oscar Award.

 

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No. 6 – Samuel L. Jackson

This man is a legend. He’s been in this business for over 40 years and has appeared in over 100 films; however, he has only received one Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the classic,Pulp Fiction. Even though he’s about to turn 66, Jackson is still working his ass off.  You will be seeing him in several films next year, so maybe he still has a fighting chance. We are certainly rooting for him.


 


 

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No. 5 – Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore often gets overlooked when talking about Oscar-less actors, but there is no reason her name shouldn’t be included in this list. After all, she is among a small group of actors who have been nominated twice in the same year. She was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for The Hours and Best Actress for Far From Heaven in 2002. In total, she has received four Oscar nominations. Many people believe she will earn another nomination this year for her performance inStill Alice. Maybe she will actually win this time.

 

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No. 4 – Johnny Depp

Most people just assume Johnny Depp has won an Oscar. He’s one of the most talented actors of his generation, how could he not have an Oscar? Good question. Unfortunately, we don’t have an answer for you. Some people have questioned his range as an actor, but it’s hard to forget about the amount of great films he starred in back in the 1990s and early 2000s. He’s been nominated for Best Actor three times, but lost each time to some stiff competition; Sean Penn, Jamie Foxx and Daniel Day-Lewis.

 

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No. 3 – Amy Adams

Again, you hear someone mention Amy Adams and you just assume she has won an Oscar. And considering she has been nominated five times in the last ten years, it’s not hard to understand why so many people believe that. The good news is that she still has a long career ahead of her, and she is smart when it comes to picking the right movies to star in. I would bet big money on her winning an Oscar before she retires.

 

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No. 2 – Brad Pitt

You all know his name, his wife’s name and the names of his 20 children. You could also probably name at least 10 films he has starred in. That’s just how popular Brad Pitt is. Almost every movie he stars in is a success, simply because his name is attached to it. He’s been nominated three times, most recently for his performance in Moneyball, but he still hasn’t received that special solo award. As one of the producers of 12 Years A Slave, he did receive a win for Best Picture.

 

No. 1 – Leonardo DiCaprio

No words are needed. Just this one GIF…

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HIWAY AMERICA-THE DECAY OF DETROIT

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William Livingstone HouseMichigan Central StationAtrium, Farwell Buildinghttp://blogs.denverpost.com/captured/2011/02/07/captured-the-ruins-of-detroit/2672/

Anatomy of Detroit’s Decline

In a matter of decades, Detroit went from one of America’s most prosperous cities to one of its most distressed. Here is a look at how the collapse of this metropolis – battered by financial missteps, racial tensions and leadership lapses – culminated in insurmountable debt that led the city to file for bankruptcy.

Reliance on a Single Industry

A workman adjusted a Ford Mustang at the final assembly line in a Detroit-area factory on Nov. 6, 1967. Preston Stroup/Associated Press

The expansion of the auto industry nearly a century ago fueled a growth spurt that made Detroit the fourth largest city in the country. By 1950, the population peaked at almost 1.85 million as people moved to Detroit to work at the Big Three auto companies: Ford, General Motors and Chrysler. But it was at the height of this prosperity that the manufacturers began to restructure, and the risks of the city’s reliance on a single industry became apparent, according to Thomas J. Sugrue’s essay “Motor City: The Story of Detroit.

First, there was decentralization. Strikes, inspired by union negotiations and a refusal by blacks and whites to work side by side, were halting progress, according to “Detroit, Race and Uneven Development,” co-written by Joe T. Darden. Factories were built in the suburbs and in neighboring states so that if there was a protest in one factory, work could still continue elsewhere. But as the factories spread out, so too did the job opportunities.

When the industry then experimented with automation, replacing assembly-line jobs with machinery, tens of thousands of jobs were lost. The industry shrank even more during the energy crisis in the 1970s and the economic recession in the 1980s. And foreign competition caused profits to plummet.

As auto jobs moved elsewhere and the region aged, Detroit’s labor costs — retiree health care costs, especially — increased substantially.

Though other cities experienced their own booms and busts, Detroit suffered more because it didn’t diversify, said Kevin Boyle, a Detroit historian who has written extensively about his native city. Places such as Chicago and Pittsburgh relied on other areas – like banking or education – beyond the industries that started their success.

The auto industry “was like Silicon Valley in the 1980s,” Mr. Boyle said. It was doing so well, he said, that Detroit officials didn’t see a need to do anything differently.

 

RELATED

Racial Tensions

A National Guardsman in Detroit during the riots of 1967. Associated Press

Tensions between the races have been high since the 1940s, when Southern blacks began moving to Detroit in search of work at automobile factories, said Mr. Boyle, the historian.

As the migration of blacks who swept into Detroit became especially intense, middle-class whites began moving to the newly built suburbs. But violent 1967 riots turned this stream into a torrent.

“It’s really hard to overstate how deep the fear was, on both sides of the color line,” Mr. Boyle said.

And after the riots, Detroit failed to bounce back, Mr. Boyle said. Businesses followed their customers. Thousands of houses were abandoned as the city’s population plunged.

“In some cities like Chicago, Boston and maybe New York, people say to themselves, ‘I want to be in this neighborhood where I grew up, where my grandparents live or where my synagogue is’ — that really roots people in place,” he said. “Detroit didn’t work that way.”

During the 1950s, the city lost 363,000 white residents while it gained 182,000 black residents. In 1950, the population was 16 percent black, and by the time of the 1967 riot it had grown to a third. Today, about 82 percent of the city’s population is black.

The Rev. Charles Williams II, who leads the Detroit chapter of the National Action Network, said little had been done to ease tensions. Those strained relations have hindered the city’s efforts toward economic progress.

“Race has basically been used as a tool to pit people against each other,” he said. “There’s a sincere, in-depth hate. Folks in the city have been taught to not trust those in the suburbs. Folks in the suburbs don’t trust those in the city.”

 

RELATED

Shortcomings of Leadership

Mayor Coleman A. Young of Detroit at an event in 1980. Richard Sheinwald/Associated Press

The financial crisis facing Detroit was decades in the making, caused in part by a trail of missteps, suspected corruption and inaction. Here is a sampling of some city leaders who trimmed too little, too late and, rather than tackling problems head on, hoped that deep-rooted structural problems would turn out to be cyclical downturns.

Charles E. Bowles, backed by the Ku Klux Klan, was in office for seven months in 1930 before people demanded his removal. His ascension to the mayor’s office was followed by a spike in crime, and he was suspected to be linked to some of Detroit’s underworld figures, according to “Detroit: A Biography” by Scott Martelle. “The stories of gangland feuds and killings were diversions from the deeper agony that spread across Detroit in the 1930s,” Mr. Martelle wrote. “Unemployment was high and deep poverty endemic.”

Edward Jeffries, who served as mayor from 1940 to 1948, developed the Detroit Plan, which involved razing 100 blighted acres and preparing the land for redevelopment. The area sat vacant for several years, and the 7,000 black residents who were displaced moved to neighboring areas where whites, in turn, left. Rather than ending blight, the project simply redistributed it.

Albert Cobo was considered a candidate of the wealthy and of the white during his tenure from 1950 to 1957. He declined federal money for housing projects and facilitated the construction of freeways. Highways were being built across the country that encouraged suburbanization, but while the rest of the nation was expanding, Detroit’s population was shrinking as people used the newly built roadways to leave.

Coleman A. Young was seen as a divisive figure in the 20 years he served as mayor. He won his first mayoral election in 1973, largely on the promise to ease tension between the police and black residents. But while many blacks saw him as a hero who pledged to fight crime, some whites felt he wasn’t looking out for their interests. Mr. Young seemingly breezed to second, third and fourth terms without making the expected bridge-building racial appeals. Isabel Wilkerson, writing in The New York Times in 1989, said the mayor, running in a city in which 70 percent of the voters were black, seemed “to revel in the sort of polarization that other politicians dread.” Though Mr. Young was credited with revitalizing the waterfront, the rest of downtown was often compared to a war zone, with neighborhoods crumbling, businesses boarded up and poverty remaining high.

Kwame M. Kilpatrick, who led Detroit from 2001 to 2008, was nicknamed the “hip-hop mayor” when first elected at 31, in part for his larger-than-life persona, flashy suits and the diamond stud in his ear. He brought new attractions to the city’s riverfront and much-needed business investment downtown, but he also increased the city’s debt obligations to fill budget gaps. After a series of scandals he resigned in 2008 and pleaded guilty later that year to obstruction of justice charges, served four months in jail and was ordered to pay $1 million to the city. He was behind bars two years later for hiding assets from the court, and in October he was sentenced to 28 years in prison after he was found guilty of racketeering, fraud and extortion.

Dave Bing, a former professional basketball star, took office in 2009 pledging to solve Detroit’s fiscal problems, which by then were already overwhelming. During his term, there were numerous announcements of cuts to the city’s work force, efforts to fill annual budget deficits and urgent calls for sacrifices from labor groups. Then in March the state appointed Kevyn D. Orr, a veteran lawyer, as an emergency manager to oversee the city’s operations, rendering Mr. Bing virtually powerless. Mr. Bing announced in May that he would not run for re-election. And in November Mike Duggan, a former hospital executive who campaigned with the backing of Detroit’s business leaders, was elected mayor.

 

RELATED

Lack of an Efficient Transit System

Detroit’s once-glamorous Michigan Theater, which is now used as a parking garage. Sean Doerr/WNET.org

In the hometown of the auto industry, public policies encouraged a car culture, with more money being invested in building highways rather than a public transportation system.

Efforts like

Anatomy of Detroit’s Decline

In a matter of decades, Detroit went from one of America’s most prosperous cities to one of its most distressed. Here is a look at how the collapse of this metropolis – battered by financial missteps, racial tensions and leadership lapses – culminated in insurmountable debt that led the city to file for bankruptcy.

Reliance on a Single Industry

A workman adjusted a Ford Mustang at the final assembly line in a Detroit-area factory on Nov. 6, 1967. Preston Stroup/Associated Press

The expansion of the auto industry nearly a century ago fueled a growth spurt that made Detroit the fourth largest city in the country. By 1950, the population peaked at almost 1.85 million as people moved to Detroit to work at the Big Three auto companies: Ford, General Motors and Chrysler. But it was at the height of this prosperity that the manufacturers began to restructure, and the risks of the city’s reliance on a single industry became apparent, according to Thomas J. Sugrue’s essay “Motor City: The Story of Detroit.

First, there was decentralization. Strikes, inspired by union negotiations and a refusal by blacks and whites to work side by side, were halting progress, according to “Detroit, Race and Uneven Development,” co-written by Joe T. Darden. Factories were built in the suburbs and in neighboring states so that if there was a protest in one factory, work could still continue elsewhere. But as the factories spread out, so too did the job opportunities.

When the industry then experimented with automation, replacing assembly-line jobs with machinery, tens of thousands of jobs were lost. The industry shrank even more during the energy crisis in the 1970s and the economic recession in the 1980s. And foreign competition caused profits to plummet.

As auto jobs moved elsewhere and the region aged, Detroit’s labor costs — retiree health care costs, especially — increased substantially.

Though other cities experienced their own booms and busts, Detroit suffered more because it didn’t diversify, said Kevin Boyle, a Detroit historian who has written extensively about his native city. Places such as Chicago and Pittsburgh relied on other areas – like banking or education – beyond the industries that started their success.

The auto industry “was like Silicon Valley in the 1980s,” Mr. Boyle said. It was doing so well, he said, that Detroit officials didn’t see a need to do anything differently.

 

RELATED

Racial Tensions

A National Guardsman in Detroit during the riots of 1967. Associated Press

Tensions between the races have been high since the 1940s, when Southern blacks began moving to Detroit in search of work at automobile factories, said Mr. Boyle, the historian.

As the migration of blacks who swept into Detroit became especially intense, middle-class whites began moving to the newly built suburbs. But violent 1967 riots turned this stream into a torrent.

“It’s really hard to overstate how deep the fear was, on both sides of the color line,” Mr. Boyle said.

And after the riots, Detroit failed to bounce back, Mr. Boyle said. Businesses followed their customers. Thousands of houses were abandoned as the city’s population plunged.

“In some cities like Chicago, Boston and maybe New York, people say to themselves, ‘I want to be in this neighborhood where I grew up, where my grandparents live or where my synagogue is’ — that really roots people in place,” he said. “Detroit didn’t work that way.”

During the 1950s, the city lost 363,000 white residents while it gained 182,000 black residents. In 1950, the population was 16 percent black, and by the time of the 1967 riot it had grown to a third. Today, about 82 percent of the city’s population is black.

The Rev. Charles Williams II, who leads the Detroit chapter of the National Action Network, said little had been done to ease tensions. Those strained relations have hindered the city’s efforts toward economic progress.

“Race has basically been used as a tool to pit people against each other,” he said. “There’s a sincere, in-depth hate. Folks in the city have been taught to not trust those in the suburbs. Folks in the suburbs don’t trust those in the city.”

 

RELATED

Shortcomings of Leadership

Mayor Coleman A. Young of Detroit at an event in 1980. Richard Sheinwald/Associated Press

The financial crisis facing Detroit was decades in the making, caused in part by a trail of missteps, suspected corruption and inaction. Here is a sampling of some city leaders who trimmed too little, too late and, rather than tackling problems head on, hoped that deep-rooted structural problems would turn out to be cyclical downturns.

Charles E. Bowles, backed by the Ku Klux Klan, was in office for seven months in 1930 before people demanded his removal. His ascension to the mayor’s office was followed by a spike in crime, and he was suspected to be linked to some of Detroit’s underworld figures, according to “Detroit: A Biography” by Scott Martelle. “The stories of gangland feuds and killings were diversions from the deeper agony that spread across Detroit in the 1930s,” Mr. Martelle wrote. “Unemployment was high and deep poverty endemic.”

Edward Jeffries, who served as mayor from 1940 to 1948, developed the Detroit Plan, which involved razing 100 blighted acres and preparing the land for redevelopment. The area sat vacant for several years, and the 7,000 black residents who were displaced moved to neighboring areas where whites, in turn, left. Rather than ending blight, the project simply redistributed it.

Albert Cobo was considered a candidate of the wealthy and of the white during his tenure from 1950 to 1957. He declined federal money for housing projects and facilitated the construction of freeways. Highways were being built across the country that encouraged suburbanization, but while the rest of the nation was expanding, Detroit’s population was shrinking as people used the newly built roadways to leave.

Coleman A. Young was seen as a divisive figure in the 20 years he served as mayor. He won his first mayoral election in 1973, largely on the promise to ease tension between the police and black residents. But while many blacks saw him as a hero who pledged to fight crime, some whites felt he wasn’t looking out for their interests. Mr. Young seemingly breezed to second, third and fourth terms without making the expected bridge-building racial appeals. Isabel Wilkerson, writing in The New York Times in 1989, said the mayor, running in a city in which 70 percent of the voters were black, seemed “to revel in the sort of polarization that other politicians dread.” Though Mr. Young was credited with revitalizing the waterfront, the rest of downtown was often compared to a war zone, with neighborhoods crumbling, businesses boarded up and poverty remaining high.

Kwame M. Kilpatrick, who led Detroit from 2001 to 2008, was nicknamed the “hip-hop mayor” when first elected at 31, in part for his larger-than-life persona, flashy suits and the diamond stud in his ear. He brought new attractions to the city’s riverfront and much-needed business investment downtown, but he also increased the city’s debt obligations to fill budget gaps. After a series of scandals he resigned in 2008 and pleaded guilty later that year to obstruction of justice charges, served four months in jail and was ordered to pay $1 million to the city. He was behind bars two years later for hiding assets from the court, and in October he was sentenced to 28 years in prison after he was found guilty of racketeering, fraud and extortion.

Dave Bing, a former professional basketball star, took office in 2009 pledging to solve Detroit’s fiscal problems, which by then were already overwhelming. During his term, there were numerous announcements of cuts to the city’s work force, efforts to fill annual budget deficits and urgent calls for sacrifices from labor groups. Then in March the state appointed Kevyn D. Orr, a veteran lawyer, as an emergency manager to oversee the city’s operations, rendering Mr. Bing virtually powerless. Mr. Bing announced in May that he would not run for re-election. And in November Mike Duggan, a former hospital executive who campaigned with the backing of Detroit’s business leaders, was elected mayor.

 

RELATED

Lack of an Efficient Transit System

Detroit’s once-glamorous Michigan Theater, which is now used as a parking garage. Sean Doerr/WNET.org

In the hometown of the auto industry, public policies encouraged a car culture, with more money being invested in building highways rather than a public transportation system.

Efforts like Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 helped fuel urban sprawl, and the city’s streetcar system was dismantled the same year. In the 1980s, with federal aid, the city built its People Mover, a monorail that looped around three miles in the downtown area. The project was criticized as not being cost effective, as it primarily serviced visitors to restaurants or the stadium rather than helping the city’s residents get around effectively. Though there is a bus system, it is thought to be unreliable, said Mr. Williams of the National Action Network, a Detroit native. A light-rail system, backed in part by corporate donors, is slated to begin operating in early 2016.

“It’s almost like two Detroits,” Mr. Williams said. “The light rail will go up to West Grand Boulevard, where all the development is taking place. The other side is where the poverty is.”

Without an efficient mode of transportation over the past few decades, blacks and whites didn’t travel side by side as they did in other cities, a missed opportunity to ease racial tensions, said Mr. Boyle, the historian.

“It makes a difference that you have to sit in a subway car or a bus with people who are of different races and different ethnicities, different ages different classes,” he said. “It creates a sense of connection, even if it’s just a superficial one.”

 

RELATED

Impact of Poverty

Shuttered homes and businesses lined a street in downtown Detroit in 2008. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Officials are now faced with trying to shrink the city, a complicated task because dilapidated homes and empty lots are speckled throughout neighborhoods rather than consolidated in convenient chunks.

About 36 percent of the city’s population is below the poverty level, and, by 2010, the residential vacancy rate was 27.8 percent. With fewer people paying taxes, the city has starved financially and has struggled to maintain social services. Swaths of the city are in total darkness because of nonfunctioning street lights. And the average police response time, including top priority calls, is 58 minutes, according to a report by the emergency manager.

The student enrollment at Detroit’s public schools has drastically declined to 52,981 in 2012 from 164,496 in 2002, according to Michelle A. Zdrodowski, a spokeswoman for the district. In response, several school buildings have been shuttered.

Poverty has been exacerbated by middle-class black families’ moving to the suburbs to pursue jobs or better schools, and to escape crime. Meanwhile, the city’s poor have stayed in Detroit. The city’s unemployment rate is about 19 percent, but the lack of a transportation system has prevented residents from commuting to jobs elsewhere. A plan to cut retiree pensions, which some estimate account for $3.5 billion of the city’s $18 billion in debt, could worsen the lives of some.

As the city works to reinvent itself, it has drawn a community of artists and young people with big dreams of a total makeover for Detroit. Mr. Williams said the challenge was to make sure longtime residents were included in the movement.

“The people who are living in the city of Detroit, who have been holding on,” he said, “they should be a part of the progress.”

 

RELATED

Anatomy of Detroit’s Decline
In a matter of decades, Detroit went from one of America’s most prosperous cities to one of its most distressed. Here is a look at how the collapse of this metropolis – battered by financial missteps, racial tensions and leadership lapses – culminated in insurmountable debt that led the city to file for bankruptcy.
Reliance on a Single Industry
Racial Tensions
Shortcomings of Leadership
Lack of an Efficient Transit System
Impact of Poverty
Share
Reliance on a Single Industry

A workman adjusted a Ford Mustang at the final assembly line in a Detroit-area factory on Nov. 6, 1967. Preston Stroup/Associated Press

The expansion of the auto industry nearly a century ago fueled a growth spurt that made Detroit the fourth largest city in the country. By 1950, the population peaked at almost 1.85 million as people moved to Detroit to work at the Big Three auto companies: Ford, General Motors and Chrysler. But it was at the height of this prosperity that the manufacturers began to restructure, and the risks of the city’s reliance on a single industry became apparent, according to Thomas J. Sugrue’s essay “Motor City: The Story of Detroit.”

First, there was decentralization. Strikes, inspired by union negotiations and a refusal by blacks and whites to work side by side, were halting progress, according to “Detroit, Race and Uneven Development,” co-written by Joe T. Darden. Factories were built in the suburbs and in neighboring states so that if there was a protest in one factory, work could still continue elsewhere. But as the factories spread out, so too did the job opportunities.

When the industry then experimented with automation, replacing assembly-line jobs with machinery, tens of thousands of jobs were lost. The industry shrank even more during the energy crisis in the 1970s and the economic recession in the 1980s. And foreign competition caused profits to plummet.

As auto jobs moved elsewhere and the region aged, Detroit’s labor costs — retiree health care costs, especially — increased substantially.

Though other cities experienced their own booms and busts, Detroit suffered more because it didn’t diversify, said Kevin Boyle, a Detroit historian who has written extensively about his native city. Places such as Chicago and Pittsburgh relied on other areas – like banking or education – beyond the industries that started their success.

The auto industry “was like Silicon Valley in the 1980s,” Mr. Boyle said. It was doing so well, he said, that Detroit officials didn’t see a need to do anything differently.

RELATED
Motor City: The Story of Detroit (The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History)
Detroit Census Confirms a Desertion Like No Other
Detroit Is Now a Charity Case for Carmakers
Racial Tensions

A National Guardsman in Detroit during the riots of 1967. Associated Press

Tensions between the races have been high since the 1940s, when Southern blacks began moving to Detroit in search of work at automobile factories, said Mr. Boyle, the historian.

As the migration of blacks who swept into Detroit became especially intense, middle-class whites began moving to the newly built suburbs. But violent 1967 riots turned this stream into a torrent.

“It’s really hard to overstate how deep the fear was, on both sides of the color line,” Mr. Boyle said.

And after the riots, Detroit failed to bounce back, Mr. Boyle said. Businesses followed their customers. Thousands of houses were abandoned as the city’s population plunged.

“In some cities like Chicago, Boston and maybe New York, people say to themselves, ‘I want to be in this neighborhood where I grew up, where my grandparents live or where my synagogue is’ — that really roots people in place,” he said. “Detroit didn’t work that way.”

During the 1950s, the city lost 363,000 white residents while it gained 182,000 black residents. In 1950, the population was 16 percent black, and by the time of the 1967 riot it had grown to a third. Today, about 82 percent of the city’s population is black.

The Rev. Charles Williams II, who leads the Detroit chapter of the National Action Network, said little had been done to ease tensions. Those strained relations have hindered the city’s efforts toward economic progress.

“Race has basically been used as a tool to pit people against each other,” he said. “There’s a sincere, in-depth hate. Folks in the city have been taught to not trust those in the suburbs. Folks in the suburbs don’t trust those in the city.”

RELATED
5 Days in 1967 Still Shake Detroit
Shortcomings of Leadership

Mayor Coleman A. Young of Detroit at an event in 1980. Richard Sheinwald/Associated Press

The financial crisis facing Detroit was decades in the making, caused in part by a trail of missteps, suspected corruption and inaction. Here is a sampling of some city leaders who trimmed too little, too late and, rather than tackling problems head on, hoped that deep-rooted structural problems would turn out to be cyclical downturns.

Charles E. Bowles, backed by the Ku Klux Klan, was in office for seven months in 1930 before people demanded his removal. His ascension to the mayor’s office was followed by a spike in crime, and he was suspected to be linked to some of Detroit’s underworld figures, according to “Detroit: A Biography” by Scott Martelle. “The stories of gangland feuds and killings were diversions from the deeper agony that spread across Detroit in the 1930s,” Mr. Martelle wrote. “Unemployment was high and deep poverty endemic.”

Edward Jeffries, who served as mayor from 1940 to 1948, developed the Detroit Plan, which involved razing 100 blighted acres and preparing the land for redevelopment. The area sat vacant for several years, and the 7,000 black residents who were displaced moved to neighboring areas where whites, in turn, left. Rather than ending blight, the project simply redistributed it.

Albert Cobo was considered a candidate of the wealthy and of the white during his tenure from 1950 to 1957. He declined federal money for housing projects and facilitated the construction of freeways. Highways were being built across the country that encouraged suburbanization, but while the rest of the nation was expanding, Detroit’s population was shrinking as people used the newly built roadways to leave.

Coleman A. Young was seen as a divisive figure in the 20 years he served as mayor. He won his first mayoral election in 1973, largely on the promise to ease tension between the police and black residents. But while many blacks saw him as a hero who pledged to fight crime, some whites felt he wasn’t looking out for their interests. Mr. Young seemingly breezed to second, third and fourth terms without making the expected bridge-building racial appeals. Isabel Wilkerson, writing in The New York Times in 1989, said the mayor, running in a city in which 70 percent of the voters were black, seemed “to revel in the sort of polarization that other politicians dread.” Though Mr. Young was credited with revitalizing the waterfront, the rest of downtown was often compared to a war zone, with neighborhoods crumbling, businesses boarded up and poverty remaining high.

Kwame M. Kilpatrick, who led Detroit from 2001 to 2008, was nicknamed the “hip-hop mayor” when first elected at 31, in part for his larger-than-life persona, flashy suits and the diamond stud in his ear. He brought new attractions to the city’s riverfront and much-needed business investment downtown, but he also increased the city’s debt obligations to fill budget gaps. After a series of scandals he resigned in 2008 and pleaded guilty later that year to obstruction of justice charges, served four months in jail and was ordered to pay $1 million to the city. He was behind bars two years later for hiding assets from the court, and in October he was sentenced to 28 years in prison after he was found guilty of racketeering, fraud and extortion.

Dave Bing, a former professional basketball star, took office in 2009 pledging to solve Detroit’s fiscal problems, which by then were already overwhelming. During his term, there were numerous announcements of cuts to the city’s work force, efforts to fill annual budget deficits and urgent calls for sacrifices from labor groups. Then in March the state appointed Kevyn D. Orr, a veteran lawyer, as an emergency manager to oversee the city’s operations, rendering Mr. Bing virtually powerless. Mr. Bing announced in May that he would not run for re-election. And in November Mike Duggan, a former hospital executive who campaigned with the backing of Detroit’s business leaders, was elected mayor.

RELATED
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Obituary for Edward J. Jeffries
Obituary for Coleman A. Young
Former Mayor of Detroit Guilty in Corruption Case
Detroit Mayor’s Tough Love Poses Risks in Election
For Detroit’s New Mayor, Power, With Conditions
Lack of an Efficient Transit System

Detroit’s once-glamorous Michigan Theater, which is now used as a parking garage. Sean Doerr/WNET.org

In the hometown of the auto industry, public policies encouraged a car culture, with more money being invested in building highways rather than a public transportation system.

Efforts like Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 helped fuel urban sprawl, and the city’s streetcar system was dismantled the same year. In the 1980s, with federal aid, the city built its People Mover, a monorail that looped around three miles in the downtown area. The project was criticized as not being cost effective, as it primarily serviced visitors to restaurants or the stadium rather than helping the city’s residents get around effectively. Though there is a bus system, it is thought to be unreliable, said Mr. Williams of the National Action Network, a Detroit native. A light-rail system, backed in part by corporate donors, is slated to begin operating in early 2016.

“It’s almost like two Detroits,” Mr. Williams said. “The light rail will go up to West Grand Boulevard, where all the development is taking place. The other side is where the poverty is.”

Without an efficient mode of transportation over the past few decades, blacks and whites didn’t travel side by side as they did in other cities, a missed opportunity to ease racial tensions, said Mr. Boyle, the historian.

“It makes a difference that you have to sit in a subway car or a bus with people who are of different races and different ethnicities, different ages different classes,” he said. “It creates a sense of connection, even if it’s just a superficial one.”

RELATED
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Shrinking Detroit Back to Greatness
The Odd Challenge for Detroit Planners
Detroit Insists the Future Will Be Cars, Cars, Cars
Impact of Poverty

Shuttered homes and businesses lined a street in downtown Detroit in 2008. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Officials are now faced with trying to shrink the city, a complicated task because dilapidated homes and empty lots are speckled throughout neighborhoods rather than consolidated in convenient chunks.

About 36 percent of the city’s population is below the poverty level, and, by 2010, the residential vacancy rate was 27.8 percent. With fewer people paying taxes, the city has starved financially and has struggled to maintain social services. Swaths of the city are in total darkness because of nonfunctioning street lights. And the average police response time, including top priority calls, is 58 minutes, according to a report by the emergency manager.

The student enrollment at Detroit’s public schools has drastically declined to 52,981 in 2012 from 164,496 in 2002, according to Michelle A. Zdrodowski, a spokeswoman for the district. In response, several school buildings have been shuttered.

Poverty has been exacerbated by middle-class black families’ moving to the suburbs to pursue jobs or better schools, and to escape crime. Meanwhile, the city’s poor have stayed in Detroit. The city’s unemployment rate is about 19 percent, but the lack of a transportation system has prevented residents from commuting to jobs elsewhere. A plan to cut retiree pensions, which some estimate account for $3.5 billion of the city’s $18 billion in debt, could worsen the lives of some.

As the city works to reinvent itself, it has drawn a community of artists and young people with big dreams of a total makeover for Detroit. Mr. Williams said the challenge was to make sure longtime residents were included in the movement.

“The people who are living in the city of Detroit, who have been holding on,” he said, “they should be a part of the progress.”

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helped fuel urban sprawl, and the city’s streetcar system was dismantled the same year. In the 1980s, with federal aid, the city built its People Mover, a monorail that looped around three miles in the downtown area. The project was criticized as not being cost effective, as it primarily serviced visitors to restaurants or the stadium rather than helping the city’s residents get around effectively. Though there is a bus system, it is thought to be unreliable, said Mr. Williams of the National Action Network, a Detroit native. A light-rail system, backed in part by corporate donors, is slated to begin operating in early 2016.

“It’s almost like two Detroits,” Mr. Williams said. “The light rail will go up to West Grand Boulevard, where all the development is taking place. The other side is where the poverty is.”

Without an efficient mode of transportation over the past few decades, blacks and whites didn’t travel side by side as they did in other cities, a missed opportunity to ease racial tensions, said Mr. Boyle, the historian.

“It makes a difference that you have to sit in a subway car or a bus with people who are of different races and different ethnicities, different ages different classes,” he said. “It creates a sense of connection, even if it’s just a superficial one.”

 

RELATED

Impact of Poverty

Shuttered homes and businesses lined a street in downtown Detroit in 2008. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Officials are now faced with trying to shrink the city, a complicated task because dilapidated homes and empty lots are speckled throughout neighborhoods rather than consolidated in convenient chunks.

About 36 percent of the city’s population is below the poverty level, and, by 2010, the residential vacancy rate was 27.8 percent. With fewer people paying taxes, the city has starved financially and has struggled to maintain social services. Swaths of the city are in total darkness because of nonfunctioning street lights. And the average police response time, including top priority calls, is 58 minutes, according to a report by the emergency manager.

The student enrollment at Detroit’s public schools has drastically declined to 52,981 in 2012 from 164,496 in 2002, according to Michelle A. Zdrodowski, a spokeswoman for the district. In response, several school buildings have been shuttered.

Poverty has been exacerbated by middle-class black families’ moving to the suburbs to pursue jobs or better schools, and to escape crime. Meanwhile, the city’s poor have stayed in Detroit. The city’s unemployment rate is about 19 percent, but the lack of a transportation system has prevented residents from commuting to jobs elsewhere. A plan to cut retiree pensions, which some estimate account for $3.5 billion of the city’s $18 billion in debt, could worsen the lives of some.

As the city works to reinvent itself, it has drawn a community of artists and young people with big dreams of a total makeover for Detroit. Mr. Williams said the challenge was to make sure longtime residents were included in the movement.

“The people who are living in the city of Detroit, who have been holding on,” he said, “they should be a part of the progress.”

 

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counterculture,alternative news,art

euzicasa

Share something you learned everyday!

Under the Counterculture

Where dead fingers talk

Kenny Wilson's Web Site

The home page of musician, songwriter, blogger and photographer Kenny Wilson from Leicester U.K.

John Walters

thoughts on writing, travel, and literature

jsb: Getting Healthy

Holistic Wellness: Your Health, Your Life, Your Choice

Formentera Blues

Back to the island...

Revolutionary Musings

My everyday thoughts as they come to me

The Godly Chic Diaries

BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH

Allegra Sleep Fine Art

Taos, New Mexico

deep fotografie

deep fotografie

Be ▲rtist - Be ▲rt Magazine

GLOB▲L - M▲G▲ZINE

concretebologna

the world of art

Psychedelic Traveler

Your psychedelic travel guide around the globe

SherayxWeblog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Welcome To My World

A World Where Fantasies Are Real And Dreams Do Come True

PT Boat Red

The WWII US Navy career of my father, Red Stahley, PT boat radioman.

All Thoughts Work™ Outdoors 5

Hiking with snark in the beautiful Pacific Northwest 2014 - 2018

In the Zone

Photos, art, and a little bit of lit....

power of h Weblog

I wish I'd been born seven hours earlier

Paint Your Landscape

A Journey of Self-Discovery & Adventure

India Destinations

Exploring Best Indian Destinations for You

Before Sundown

remember what made you smile

Feuersteincomics

Comics und andere Werke des Künstlers Denis Feuerstein

rahulkumar961

Bit of this, bit of that

Rants, Raves and Random Thoughts

Diary of a Shipwrecked Alien

papergong

Music In The Key Of See

THE RUSTY PROJECT

Fe2O3.nH2O photographs

-GET YESTERDAY’S NEWS TODAY-

Jon Wilson’s 1920’s and 1930’s - a unique time in our history.

rabirius

photography and other things

Bohemian Butterfly

Beautiful gardens, garden art and outdoor living spaces

Art by Ken

The works and artistic visions of Ken Knieling.

Canadian Art Junkie

Visual Arts from Canada & Around the World

andrei plimbarici

Calatorind Descoperi

Edward R. Myers Photography

Captured moments of life as I see it

Kathy Waller

~ Telling the Truth, Mainly

TrappersWildWest

Historian. Artist. Gunmaker.

On The Road Again 2018

Touring the USA on a Moto Guzzi Breva 750.

Cavalcade of Awesome

All Pax. All Nude. All the Time.

phototexas

Welcome to My World......

johncoyote

Poetry, story and real life. Once soldier, busnessman, grandfather and Poet.

Gypsy Road Trip

Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

All Thoughts Work™ Outdoors

Hiking with snark in the beautiful Pacific Northwest 2011 - 2013

膜龍工坊

光華商場筆電,手機,翻譯機,遊戲機...等3C產品包膜專門店

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