Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Jonesville Secession

Small town propriety dictates that I remain silent on the issues I will present to you in my regular dispatch, but liberties must be exercised, the light must be shed, and a voice must be given to these experiences.

The onerous restrictions forced on small business owners and private citizens in the Jonesville community make quintessential New England tasks daunting and prohibitive. Placing a fence, raising a shed, fixing a sign on an aged and historic store are tasks that invite the unkind hand of local government.

My efforts to re-envision a failed establishment in a long neglected part of the town leads me to feel as if I am the rabbit in a carnival game. Poking my head out into the sun, I am surreptitiously, if not deliberately bopped on the head. My only recourse is to flounder about in anticipation of the next blow.

The largely conditional store opening supposes the notion that little has changed within the town dynamic-morally, ethically or economically. According to the town, we cannot change to meet the needs of our market, but accepting that viewpoint would play lead in the broadcast exercise of planned failure, and perhaps that is their hope. Accepting their chains of condition would force me headlong into competition with my friends and neighbors, whose own enterprises have flourished in the store's absence.

One might consider that in a depressed economy there would be a greater desire to improve the morale and condition of life for all residents, in all parts of Richmond-not just those congregated along the main thoroughfare, where favor is centralized. Efforts to revitalize and renew the communal spirit outside of this beloved scope are met with suspicion and untimely response. While Jonesville languishes in atrophic slumber, Richmond percolates a wicked brew designed to quell, not quench the thirst of an ailing Jonesville.

Richmond is lorded by self-efficacy and vanity, primed in the interests of privilege; show above substance, self-interest above public benefit. This is not the way to a future of prosperity and sustainability. If they are inclined to leech the bitter juice from our thorn trees rather than tap the sweet sap of our ruddy maples, let it be so.

On this day, I say that we are free from their heads of iceberg lettuce. We shall not suffer undue burden. Inequity, no more! Diversion, no more! Jonesville shall rise up from the fertile lands, duty bound and driven to explore our identity and cultivate our potential. I declare our great independence from Richmond!

Welcome to Jonesville.

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