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"Feeding The Monster"

I'm ashamed of Orlando.

This is the day of the terrible plane crash in a New York neighborhood.
260 lives were lost.

We turned on the TV to see about it.
Oprah was on, so we waited for the channel 9 news at five o'clock.

They did all their usual bullets and sound effects before the story.
The coverage of the tragedy was about as long as a bumper sticker.
They went directly to this:
How the plane crash would impact profits
in the central Florida tourist industry.
That was covered in depth...the main focus of their newscast

They had soundbites from business people who said:
You should get on those planes, regardless!
Come on down and spend money!
"It's the American thing to do", they said.
Profit comes first. Your life is on the back burner.

Growth at any cost is all-important in Florida.
Urban sprawl is in high gear.
The construction crane is the state bird.
Wild animals are wandering into neighborhoods
because their habitats have been devoured by heavy machinery.
In another ten years they should have the whole state paved over.

A naval base closed near the airport,
leaving some prime property.
There was talk about using it for low-cost housing,
and other benefits for the little guy.
Orlando's mayor sold it cheap to some billionaire friends,
who are going to use it for a nest of rich people's homes.

We don't have the roads
to accommodate the crowd that's already here,
and still they try their damndest to draw more to the area.
It's all about money. Greed.

When we moved here we loved Orlando.
It didn't need much more.
Now it's a giant strip mall, with no distinct personality at all.

The big shot business people and their politician cohorts,
crave more growth.
What's good for their profit is good for Florida.

They've created a monster,
and now it must be fed.

Courtesy of Joe Sun
Copyright November 12, 2001 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved. "Florida State Bird" courtesy of Joe Sun.


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