The Ruins of America

Ruins are the visible symbols and landmarks of our societies and their changes, small pieces of history in suspension. The state of ruin is temporary by nature, the volatile result of the end of an era and the fall of empires. (Sean O’Hagan – The Observer)

America, I love thee dearly, and don’t look now (but maybe you should … ) as your once great and magnificent country has been in serious decline for some time – and not just in Detroit!

Woodward Avenue Presbyterian Church
Woodward Avenue Presbyterian Church
Michigan Central Station
Michigan Central Station
Waiting hall - Michigan Central Station
Waiting hall – Michigan Central Station
George W Ferris School
George W Ferris School
Michigan Theatre
Michigan Theatre
Lee Plaza Hotel
Lee Plaza Hotel
Highland Park Police Station
Highland Park Police Station
East Side Public Library
East Side Public Library
St Christopher House- ex-Public Library
St Christopher House- ex-Public Library
East-Methodist-Church
East-Methodist-Church
William Livingstone House - Brush Park
William Livingstone House – Brush Park

These photos are just one example of what is happening to the USA, ever since you put profit before jobs and people Рby selling off your manufacturing capacity for cheap labour abroad; and since you allowed yourself to be robbed absolutely stinking blind by a handful of bandits on Wall Street and that resulted in the the 2008 financial meltdown.  And none of these financial bloodsuckers went to jail for this!

Yes, I know, there is a lot more to it than that, including allowing your interests being represented by politicians without any integrity whatsoever and who – from the very day that they are elected to public office – begin pimping their position to raise money for their next election campaign because that is the only way you can be in politics in the land of the free and home of the brave, and – above all – the land of the corporate lobbyist and self-interest serving politicians.

Your once thriving country was the product of many years of good strong government, driven by a common vision and the shared belief in what the American dream should be all about. But that vision seems to now have completely disintegrated, certainly in the political arena and aided and abetted by a sickly obsessive and obscenely partisan media that is putting it’s own shallow agenda of promoting hostility and divisiveness ahead of the common cause. And, no, that intellectual lightweight Glenn Beck and his out-to-lunch Tea Party won’t save you, and neither will that belligerent nitwit and school yard-bully-in-training, Russ Limbaugh. Nor – for that matter – will Fox News contribute anything positive to the situation so long as it remains creepy Rupert Murdoch’s favourite¬† sewage outlet with the only mission of creating division by polarizing their audience towards the fanatical right. Boys and Girls: As you sow, so shall you reap!

All photographs by Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre, from their book Detroit in Ruins, a stunning documentary document what remains of a once-great city and hint at the wider story of post-industrial America.