Rod Dreher Finds Nothing Romantic About Decay. Or Jim Schutze, For that Matter.
Yesterday it was "Schutzesque"; today, it's "Schutzism." Seriously, who ya gotta screw around here to get your name turned into an adjective? Anyway, I see the Crunchy Con himself has taken Jim to task for his cover story about the death of Funky East Dallas.
Turns out Rod Dreher lives in Jim's neighborhood, and the former Points-man doesn't see things quite the same as Jim -- which is to say, Dreher doesn't want his 'hood too funky. (Or too liberal, but that goes without saying.) Dreher especially takes exception to Jim's unhappiness with how clean -- how "nice" -- the neighborhood's gotten of late. "In the old days we took pride in how crappy our part of town was," Jim writes. "It took guts to live here. But that's all gone now."
To which Dreher responds: Oh, Jim, shut up. More or less.
Actually, this is what Crunchy really wrote:
I'm afraid I've got little patience for this sort of thing. Schutzism was alive and well in New York City in the Giuliani years. It came from the sort of liberals who loathed Giuliani for cleaning up the porn theaters and making Manhattan a place you might actually want to live. There is a certain kind of Romantic who finds decay and disintegration somehow more ... authentic, and in any case preferable to regeneration. What's interesting about Schutze's piece is that he went to talk to his longtime neighbors, and found that they don't really share his silly idealism.
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Oh, Jim, Rod Dreher called you silly. What do you have to say for yourself now, pal?
Never mind. I found it, right in the comments section:
I think you unwittingly tell the story on yourself and on your people when you mention that, soon after your kind start moving in, we begin to see the baby carriages all over the streets. We wouldn't mind the young couples so much if they didn't have to breed like rabbits. And then they're all running up and down the town, not walking their babies sedately like decent people but running with them in those big three-wheeled golf carts, jouncing them over the pot-holes as if the poor little things were canned hams. We have to assume the whole family's high on Ritalin most of the time. It's not easy for us to sit back and keep our silence when we see this sort of culture invading our turf.
Love it. --Robert Wilonsky
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