Thursday, December 23, 2004

Cubby Hole Eviction

How many sides to the Eisenhower Bridge? About ten days ago, a story surfaced in Chicago about Richard Dorsay who hunkered down in a small space inside the drawbridge near downtown Chicago--inhabiting a hollow in the bridge's architecture.  Dorsay's resourcefulness--from tapping into an electrical outlet to power his TV, microwave, PS2 and heater to watching diligently each time he ducked into the narrow access point--all have been elaborately criminalized, dehumanized by the media.  According to this CBS2 report, he was formally charged with criminal trespassing.   The in-studio anchor frames the story by IDing the city's efforts to "flush out homeless people." Listen carefully to hear on foot reporter Jon Duncanson say, "The question is: how many more of these (portals to the other Chicago underworld) are there around?" The question? For balance, though, they do visit with a "advocate for the homeless" who notes that Chi-town's estimated 166,000 homeless people are "hiding out everywhere."  So as not to keep dumping on the coverage by the local news station, this is all just to note what's most interesting to me about the story: dwelling in the city spaces never conceived as habitable and not meant for occupancy--climbing inside the metroplex and residing there for as long as going unnoticed allows.  

vine: William Gibson's blog and Futurismic

Bookmark and Share Posted by at December 23, 2004 10:34 AM to Rhetorico-Geography

It is pretty amazing to hear just what gets said about those who are deemed dangerous and undesireable. CBS recently ran a story on Prop 200 (the immigration reform passed in Nov by Arizona) and one man actually told the reporter that the illegal immigrants needed to be stopped because they were "raping America." Ouch! By always making it a personal character flaw the system never gets checked, and those of us who are fortunate enough to have been born into a life that allows us to play by the rules just need to remember to watch our back because they are out there. Hmmm . . . with all of these comments on the news who needs CSI?

Posted by: Jen at December 23, 2004 11:44 AM

The character flaw bit creeps as if invisible into so much reporting--until it becomes so cliche, commonplace and taken-for-granted that nobody seems to notice any longer. Becomes a naturalized myth of deficiency re people without homes, immigrants, etc.

Posted by: Derek at December 30, 2004 11:22 AM