Friday, January 08, 2010

Novelist pegged cities' future

Gather round for a blast from the past, via the typewriter of John D. MacDonald. Does he seem to describe a city you know?
". . . .they are ramming the monster highways through it, and one day soon it will become merely a momentary dinginess. ... In some remote year the historians will record that Twentieth Century America attempted the astonishing blunder of changing its culture to fit automobiles instead of people, putting a skin of concrete and asphalt over millions of acres of arable land, rotting the hearts of their cities, so encouraging the proliferation of murderous, high-speed junk that when finally the invention of the Transporton rendered the auto obsolete, it took twenty years and half a trillion dollars to obliterate the ugliness of all the years of madness, and rebuild the supercities in a manner to dignify the human instead of his toys."
The author of the Travis McGee mysteries back in the 1960s was lamenting what had happened to Tampa's historic Ybor City neighborhood. The quote's from MacDonald's Bright Orange for the Shroud. Thanks to Darla leTourneau for passing it around.

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