This is the first time I've been away from my hometown in 5 years. Really, away. Not running to MA or NH for whatever, but away for a period of time. Uninvolved and looking in on things. And I have to say it's not all good there.
It's been a hard year there. And 3 events- the murders and the flood- inadvertently defined who's who in Brattleboro. For all its magnanimous face, for all its touted "community", the truth is that there are 2 Brattleboros. One is the ego-hippies, equal trade buyers, Trustafarians, and plain old weathy type, and the other is the great unwash, the rest of us.
This was apparent to me when there was a bunch of politicos that showed up for the "vigil" for the coop manager (middle class white man) that was shot but nobody even knew about the "vigil" for the pizza parlor worker (poor white young woman) that was shot. And again when the flood came and businesses and downtown had no end of help, while the poor people in the trailer park were and are lucky to have a half-dozen show up to help them, as they try to live with the muck in their homes...
And in the midst of this glaringly obvious class delineation, the most and longest discussions on iBratt are the numerous threads about the proposed skatepark. There's an actual battle line being drawn over- a skatepark.
Bratt is good at rallying behind causes. There are protests all the time; much hooplah about shutting down the local nuke plant, for instance. But those causes are clean and remote and require little of getting one's hands dirty or smelling something bad.
What really made my ass twitch was seeing a story about people planting flowers by the interstate exit. Very nice, but how about the people at the next exit, whose homes have been growing mold and god knows what else since August 27th? Where's the story and pix of smiling happy hippies holding shovels there?
So this break from the norm has been informative. I'd heard from several others about what Bratt is really like and now I see it myself. I'm one of the poor; it's only because I live in public housing that I got the help I did. The poor suckers who owned their own trailer homes, who invested every cent they had in that place, stand alone.
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