Monday, August 11, 2014

A Note on Gary, Indiana

On the social whatever platform, someone asked a question of how I got to Indiana, and then slipped in a question on Gary, Indiana. Just for reference, Gary, Indiana is an industrial city tucked right into the far northwest corner, acting as a part of the Chicago far east metropolitan area. It is right on Lake Michigan. Gary has a reputation, and not just due to the song in The Music Man, but for being a hell hole. Side note: watch The Music Man for what was lost. Is it really as bad as people say? In short, yes. In long, it is a miniature Detroit.

Think of Detroit. Now shrink it down by a quarter million people. That is Gary. Has it decreased in population by 50% since peak in the mid-20th century? Yes. Did blacks pour in after World War Two? Yes. Did the jobs leave as American manufacturing left our shores? Yes. Did whites flee? Yes. Is it now over 80% black? Yes. Does the city's government engage in corruption? Yes. Is the city desperate for jobs so they worked to bring a casino nearby? Yes. Is there some connection to old black music that cannot be played up enough to build upon for a music industry to thrive? Yes. Is it hopeless, dark and never to return to a decent standard of living? Nuke it from orbit.

Gary is horrible (city-data facts and stats). It is also like Detroit in another manner. It is a company town. Despite being on the coast of Lake Michigan (Gary, not Detroit), it was set up for business. It is not a port city, a city built around the landscape, a city of religious history, a college town or river town. It was built for US Steel. The coast has the industrial corridor taking up space that for other lake cities would be the touristy waterfront. When the jobs left, what held anyone together? The jobs left as the city grew more diverse. No ties that bind. Gary is ao inefficient they cannot keep their municipal payrolls straigt. Gary is useful for the left in tight statewide races though. For the same reasons Gary died like Detroit.

Now walk through a mall in America in an area with diversity. What ties these people together? I cannot think of anything, but it will be interesting once the financial game changes.


Portlander said...

You're not a native Hoosier? How long have you been there? You seem well-versed on the place.

Son of Brock Landers said...

Portlander - No, I'm from Maine originally. I've been here nearly a decade now. This truly is a great place to raise a family.

nikcrit said...

This is O.T.; I really wanted to send it to your personal-anonymous email as a blog suggestion and comment, but I didn't see such a address on your 28sherman home page......


So, when we going to do a post on this latest antiracist cause celebre?? I'm waiting for you and PA to declare that "Michael Brown is Peak Negro!" lolzzz.

I don't think I've ever mentioned it before to you, either here or back at GL Piggy, but I have a close relative who loves going to Indianapolis: he goes for several days at a time about five times a year, including several Colts games. A corner of his home basement is a literal shrine to Peyton Manning. He used to go to the race every Memorial Day weekend. But he basically loves everything about the town, touting it greatly in comparison to Milwaukee. He just loves the place.
I've never really been there, beyond driving straight t hrough on the interstate a dozen or so times, but his reverence struck me as funny; no dissin' whatsoever on my part; I just figured Indy is a similarly sized Midwestern town like mine but without a lakefront, thus just a bit less desirable, etc.; but I constantly here from this relative, and increasingly from others, that the city is great in other ways------ basically, along the lines of how you tout the town.
I'll have to get down there and take in the city, proper; feel free to suggest certain places, events, etc.

Son of Brock Landers said...

Nikcrit - mctutor50 at gmail dot com or mrossi34228 at gmail dot com.

PN was prob initial Trayvon coverage. We're beyond it.

Portlander said...

Cool. My room mate in college was from Maine. He was kind of a d*ck. He only went one year and didn't come back. :)

If you ever have any IN questions, look me up. I don't live there any more, but I have lived or worked in almost every major metro north of I-70 west & I-74 east. I'm out of the loop politically, but the people are much slower to change than the politicians.


I think Obama is peak negro. TM™ was literary flourish: a play inside a play.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, not all of NW Indiana is a Gary-like hellhole.

Whiting, for example, is another industrial / refinery town, but is still largely ethnic Slovak/Pole etc., and has a pretty lovely little downtown and the famous Pierogi fest every year.

Now, you do have to drive through a refinery reminiscent of Mordor to get there . . .

nikcrit said...

I got this sorta weird fascination with Gary; I heard the horror stories early.... Also, my grandfather lived on the s.side of Chicago but commuted to Hammond, Indiana, for his job working in a foundry, and I recall driving through Gary at night, seeing only those humongous infernos blowing atop the foundry chimneys surrounded by the swirling darkness of those freezing winter evenings.
It's sort-of a Absolute-Zero-soul shit test, that place; i.e., if you can find some sort of familial routine and grace there, you likely could do as much anywhere ----- or anywhere else will be a headstart toward contentment.

I knew a few kids from Gary who went to UC, most of them undergrads though; anyhow, more than one of 'em said being born and raised in Gary was there incentive to getting to and through college.

Tusk said...

What part of IN are you in?

I spent the last decade in place but so full of lefties and assorted wierdos it got old.

I'm near shitty-haute now. Which is a shit hole but it's cheap and I can play with cars and guns without doing the "mother may I" routine with the goverment.

PA said...

"I think Obama is peak negro. TM™ was literary flourish: a play inside a play."

Lol! I like that.

If TM is peak-negro, then Jeantel Rachel was the full stop at the end of the sad tale of black uplift.

Like probably everyone else, I had imagined her to be a cute thin black girl, maybe even white. We were all being eased into a tragic-young-lovers narrative... and then we all saw THAT.

That mug, that tude. Not even reptilian, but downright amphibian. A few desperate efforts at spin notwithstanding, it was clear to everyone that THIS is the fulfillment of the blood-soaked, treasury-depleting, culture-wrecking sixty year negro uplift project. There ain't no uplifting that.

The Game concept of social proof scales up into mega-narrative constructs. Overnight, Trayvon's Romantic aura disappeared. Overnight the libs quit their hoodie vigils.

The day after the not-guilty verdict, as I described at GLP, blacks of my chance encounters, male and female, were subdued. Almost serene, in fact.

Portlander said...

I went to school in the Haute. 20 years ago it was awesome. Summers especially were a complete blast. The place was like a time-warp. I think it had to of been about as authentic an Animal House experience as possible to be had circa the 1990's. Best 4 years of my life. I look back at it as fondly as I'm sure war vets look back on their S. Pacific tours, or the GI's lucky enough to be enforcing the peace after VE day.

Nikcrit, the "foundry fires" were from the land-fill just north of the toll-way. It's obvious you're not from around those parts. 1) Only out of town-ers are scared enough of Gary to take the toll-way into Chicago. 2) Only out of town-ers would think the landfill was a foundry. :)

nikcrit said...


Beyond driving through on the hwy, i've been to Gary twice: once wiht my grandfather as young kid, and once as an adult for a story i was writing about the Jackson 5.

I didn't yet absorb the myth and notoriety about the place when visiting as a kid; the adult trip yielded a more well-rounded take of the place, much moreso than those haunting hwy drivebys.

fwiw, i[m not surprised i was wrong re. 'foundry fires'; probably just guessed at the time and it's just turned into a unchecked recollection.

Alcestis Eshtemoa said...

@nikcrit - Please transfer my old blog to me.

See the following instructions:

My username is: alcestiseshtemoa

Transfer the "" blog back to my username please, which is "alcestiseshtemoa".

Many thanks.

nikcrit said...


I don't know how to 'transfer' the blog to you, 'cuz i never read it. In fact, IDK what you ever meant when you said you 'gave' it to me; the only thing i know of your blog is what you've said about it to me here, at Lion of Blogosphere and at GL Piggy.

All of which begs a question: however it was done, WHY did you give it to me?

p.s.------ btw, i am curious: did you ever read that link i submitted to you in the Brazil post that ran in this blog about a month or so back? The profile from New Yorker magazine on Anatole Broyard, the former nytimes book critic who was black but passed himself off as white?
I really think his hard-earned racial insights and attempts at racial erasure offer some useful looks at some of the issues you face and have brought up here and in other forums.
I mean that and submit as much to you without an ounce of ridicule or condescension.

AlcestisEshtemoa said...

@nikcrit - Please transfer the blog to me. I gave you explicit instructions. Just follow them.

nikcrit said...


Listen closely: IDK WTF U R talking about?

How do I access and return something I know nothing about? I don't even know how to access your blog, let alone how to 'return' it----- or is this some kind of antagonistic joke?

If so, then 'ha-ha,' but let's please end the interactions here, 'cuz u r starting to spook me a bit with your deadpan humor.

Alcestis Eshtemoa said...

@nikcrit - The blog is under your Wordpress account.

If you go to your gravatar, you will sooner or later find a blog attached to it.

Please return it. Just follow the link to the instructions I gave you. Many thanks.

nikcrit said...

I'm near shitty-haute now. Which is a shit hole but it's cheap and I can play with cars and guns without doing the "mother may I" routine with the goverment.

O.T. observation: "The Feds (code: any municipal, state or national authoritative body)is to many American white males what 'raycism' is to aggregate rank-n-file black Americans: a catchall scapegoat responsible for any-&-all personal failures, irritations and shortcomings.

Tusk said...

" Portlander said...
I went to school in the Haute. 20 years ago it was awesome. Summers especially were a complete blast.

ISU or Rose?

Anonymous said...

Comrade Gary is a glorious socialist utopia full of vibrant diversity and is the future of Amerikwa.
Yes we can!

Anonymous said...

Take SR37 down to route 56 and see the Hoosiers of southern Indiana where Yankees are hated and everyone north of Bedford is a Yankee.
My dad had some acreage down there with nothing on it. One night I was sitting by a campfire when I heard a sub-machine gun blast off on the next ridge.
I put the fire out and got the hell out of there.
BTW-The term Hoosier orginated in the southern part of the state when some visitors would stop by Jethro's place and he would call out who's here.
There was a fine local punk band in the 80s who called themselves the Hoosier Daddys and there is currently a band in the U.K. called The Hoosiers.