“Vibrant” joins a long list of empty planning jargon that includes “vitality,” “sustainabiltiy,” “best practices,” and (my doggerel champion) “stakeholder.” Gertrude Stein demonstrated long ago any word repeated enough times reduces to noise, and vibrancy is no exception. The world itself seems specially dumbing — vibrant, vibrant, vibrant — the dull notes of ‘v’ and ‘b’ thudding on the ears like a rubber drainplug.
If midwestern cities like Ackron or St Paul are going to blow huge sums of money on mediocre economic redevelopment schemes -- and believe me, they will -- I'd much rather they spent the money on museums, street festivals, and grassroots arts programs than the typical placebos like sports arenas and casinos. Of all the possible boondoggles, supporting arts are probably one of the better choices you can make. It's not going to bring back the rubber industry, but at least you'll have people collecting old tires and making sculptural crap.
Here's a picture of the escalator to nowhere:
|[Springfield is in Missouri, right?]|