Sunday, June 15, 2008

STILL Talking Back To The Star Tribune Article About The Apartment Complex of Anarchy

Photo by Jerry Holt, Star Tribune

I'm still not done telling the Star Tribune how incomplete and wrongheaded their article was, the one called "North Side foreclosure upends lives." I'd include a link, but I refuse to work with links ACTUALLY SCHEDULED TO GO DEAD, so I basically refuse to use any Star Tribune links.

Here's more info I turned up about the resident, pictured above in Jerry Holt's pretty decent photo, (used under "fair comment") who calls herself "A.J."

Her name is apparently...

..."Angie" and she has a reputation for hitting the bottle quite hard. One day Angie was all disheveled, hung over, and apparently quite depressed. A local resident (one of the decent people on the block) saw Angie in that sorry state.

Now keep in mind what I've asserted on this blog, about how it is VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE to live a life on the North Side and not have periodic interactions with your neighbors, even if your neighbors happen to be hoes and crack heads. Sooner or later, you'll have to tell somebody with a pit bull to scoop their poop, or politely ask a junkie to pick up her syringe.

"What's the matter?" this resident asked Angie. "Why so sad?"

"Oh," Angie said. "This is the anniversary of my son's death. That's why I'm so sad and drinking."

It was indeed sad. Her son is in the wooden urn, pictured above, and died at the age of 21. I learned from this same resident it was some kind of "gang- or drug-related shooting."

A couple weeks later, the same resident saw Angie, once again drunk and looking a mess. Wondering what it could be THIS time, she inquired why Angie looked so sad.

"Oh!" Angie said. "This is the anniversary of my son's death."

And so it went. Every few weeks or months the resident would inquire why Angie was looking so sad, and each time Angie would say it was the anniversary of her son's death, apparently oblivious to the fact she had made the same claim only a short while earlier. I'm very surprised Angie didn't claim the eviction itself came on the anniversary of her son's death.

Also, in regard to Angie's claim to the reporter that residents were given "30 minutes notice" during the eviction, and so she grabbed her son's ashes, well, according to this same resident Angie told her "I've had my bags packed for months" and they were just holding out as long as possible.

And Angie also said something to the effect of, "Well, who are we supposed to pay rent to, anyway, if it's not Shirley?" This backs up my assertion that not only did none of the residents lose rent, they were actually living rent-free for a while.

This is why we teach students at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication to use phrases like "said" and "according to." Because, as it turns out, sometimes when people open their mouths a bunch of lies spill out.

Like in this case.

The resident said when she read the Star Tribune article she thought, "Oh, yeah, there Angie goes playing that whole death of her son thing. She's always playing that."

In other news about the Apartment Complex of Anarchy, HACC Chairman Peter Teachout told me his church loaded down one of the residents with food, because their foodstuffs were left in cupboards when they evacuated. After this, the residents kept coming back to Peter's church, even attending a service.

And this pleased Peter, because he is not so hard and cynical as me. I say, "Give a man crack, and he'll be high for a few minutes. But teach a man how to make his own crack, and he'll be high every day."

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