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October 17, 2011


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"free to mold their own destiny"

Now, trapped in a world they never made.

"terrible commute and traffic of going one block"

Curse you Rogue!

May you get hit by a runaway slab of salmon while slurping a coffee at Pike's Market!

( : - )

I remember watching "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad World" at the Kachina when it came out (1963?). Would make a nice bookend to "How the West Was Won". Selfish greed, and something for nothing, won America. Too bad its not a very funny farce we're living.

We were free to dream. Hence this nightmare. We were free to act. Hence the current paralysis. And we molded our own destiny. Which we understand today to be this slow-motion catastrophe.

Yesterday's triumphalism is like Zsa Zsa. It survives but with a limb or two missing.

My uncle used to transport his cattle from Buckeye to the Grand Canyon during the summer months in the early 60's. A trip there as a young boy was magical beyond belief. It is all gone. Morman Lake had so many rainbow trout...and no people around. Catch as many as you want in 10 minutes! Now there are houses everywhere, moss in the lake with Northern Pike and the trout are gone. Sedona was not the tourist trap for entitled high rolling mystics that you see today. Arizona was a great place. It falls way short of what it once was.

Mr. Talton:

"In Seattle, thanks to the stewardship of Paul Allen, the Cinerama theater downtown was saved and renovated."


In an era of billionaires there are civil billionaires and rogue billionaires. The problem is of course, that a few rogue billionaires can do extraordinary damage. It has always been easier to screw things up. Like Lyndon Johnson said: Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a real man to build one.

The Koch brothers's funding of the anti-global warming movement has probably done more damage to the future of humanity than all the good work of all the good billionaires in the history of humanity.

That the world tolerates these Koch bastards is one of the most mysterious facts of our times. Everyone knows exactly what the Kochs are up to. They are doing there dirty deeds in hard sunshine. If anything they've gotten more agressive in the promulgation of their anti-science agenda.

How strange is it that the Koch's campaign has led to climate scientists being threatened with murder, and not the Koch's themselves. No one holds these rogues to account. They piss on the future of the planet with impunity. Of all the miracles of our times, that the Kochs freely reign and rage and rule, has got to be the most amazing miracle of all...

Absolutely stunning...

What was the pitch again that the developers made about preserving the Cine Capri even though they were knocking it down? A replacement some where?

Yeah, they "replaced" the Cine Capri's in Scottsdale and Tempe and not on Mill or Scottsdale Rd but near the Loop 101 in both cities. The theaters are nice enough and inside the motif is classic, but it is faux history. They should have at least rebuilt the theaters in the Central City or Downtown!


From the above website:

"Although the Cine Capri enjoyed a life span of over 30 years, it was, apparently, in the path of so-called "progress."

Dan Harkins, and his executive vice-president Wayne Kullander, (the inaugural Cine Capri manager), worked with a giant grassroots community effort to save the Cine Capri. And while over 250,000 signature petitions were gathered to that end, their efforts sadly proved to be unsuccessful. The original landowners regained control of the property, and their plans for a high rise office complex did not include keeping the Cine Capri.

The final engagement was Titanic, and like so many of the blockbusters that had played at the Cine Capri before, it played to overflow crowds to the very end.

On January 5, 1998, the very last showing of Titanic at the Cine Capri ended with the curtain lowering at 2:12 am., about the same time the real Titanic slipped beneath the waves of the Atlantic. Then, on February 18, 1998, the wreckers came and the beautiful Cine Capri was raised to the ground.

And with its demolition came the next chapter in the life of the Cine Capri."

The only grassroots movement that I recall being successful in stopping the developers was keeping the golf course in the Biltmore from being developed into condos. The Trump tower deal there also was stopped.

I was riding a bike on a small, secluded public road running just north of, and parallel to, Camelback Road between 20th and 24th streets when a landowner handing out fliers stopped me. His house was a fortress and he exuded a power of some sort I couldn't place. Not corporate or government. We chatted about the movement to block the development. He also gave me permission to continue to ride my bike there which was surprising because it was a public road.

jmav, I just Google mapped that street you mentioned. Those are some impressive homes.

I, too, give you permission to ride down that street. But, not after sundown.

Jmav, that neighborhood is Bartlett Estates, and it's true: they swing some pretty big bats. When Town & Country Shopping Center applied for high-rise condo zoning, they made sure it was kept south of Camelback Rd at least 300 feet. No peering eyes, please, into our private sanctums.

I think this points out a little-known fact about NIMBYs. Most of them are well-to-do and powerful. Yet their popular media image is that of liberals kicking sand into the gears of progress. Probably the best place to view this phenomenon is in north Scottsdale where the swells got a bond issue expanding McDowell Mountain Park while limiting public access to it! You see something similar in Scottsdale's restrictive sign ordinance. The rich make sure, however, that Phoenix is billboarded to the max.

As always, follow the money.

thanks azrebel:) it is a nice biking area with the canals and P Peak views. Watch out for those Phoenician drivers!

The rumor about Town & Country going high-rise has been floating for a while. The real estate collapsed probably slowed the development. Tenants there told me that the Mars Family Trust owned the land and that their ownership also slowed the developers. I can't substantiate the claim.

I am among the unfortunate ones to have never lived in Phoenix prior to 1970. I grew up in the 1980's in the neighborhood east of Camelback High, near 36th street and have great memories walking to school to Squaw Peak elementary, a real public school with large playgrounds multiple baseball fields, a student vegetable garden, windows and a decent sized library staffed by a librarian, and we had 1 hour of recess per day, plus P.E. Much different from the strip-mall charters and campuses resembling medium-security prisons today.

I remember running in my neighborhood for what seemed like hundreds of yards through grass lawns separated only by an irrigation berm (it was even more fun when they were flooded) on streets that were once citrus groves - a few lines of orange and grapefruit trees still standing.

These memories were sparked by reading the commentary about Cine Capri – a building from my childhood I truly mourn for, and helps me relate to other stories of losses from older Phoenicians on this blog. I watched my first movie, Indiana Jones, on that magical, draped screen with the large red-felt chairs that slid back – my dad took me, just me and him, and he passed away a year later. It’s one of the best and only memories I have left of him.

It’s funny thing to have such strong emotional responses to some of the buildings in our lives.

Nice post Kevin!

There's something going on at Town & Country. A third or half of it has been demolished and hauled away.

I'm haunted by the Zsa Zsa comment.

Please remind me to never let soleri know about any of my ailments.

Azrebel, you should be so lucky. Zsa Zsa had extreme unction performed 15 friggin' months ago.

I grew up watching her on Jack Paar. I had never seen her mostly forgettable movies but I knew she was the kind of celebrity famous for merely being famous. It helped that she was European, of indeterminate age, and vaguely bored by the antics of others. Later on, I understood the old-school arrangement in being beautiful for no other reason than it helped secure wealthy husbands. That is, except for the last one who was himself her apt pupil (i.e., someone not particularly talented except for marrying above one's station).

Nothing fails like success. Zsa Zsa's conspicuous if interminable failure is proof. We in Arizona know the gambit. We double down on age-old strategies and when they start breaking down, we look around for scapegoats. How about the Latinos who built those hundred of thousands of stuccoed houses? How dare they come here without permission slips? Or that smart-mouth at the Republic who was so negative about our one-trick-pony economy? Or those universities that soak up so much tax money that could better fund private prisons?

Zsa Zsa's professional secret is also ours: we're over before we're done. That's the scandal we can't interest the tabloids in.

Thanks, phxSUNSfan - major nostalgia rush.

Kevin, I was probably in the gallery with you at "Indiana Jones." Countless movies I viewed at my favorite theatre - "New York, New York," "Star Wars," "Close Encounters," "ET," and my longstanding favorite "Gandhi."

(I believe Cine Capri was the exclusive venue for "Star Wars" in Arizona, certainly for Phoenix. It played for nearly - over? - a year there, people lining up every day. A short-sighted deal that most certainly caused a cash-flow bottleneck.

I was cynical about that popular production, and snobbishly stayed away for many months, but the lines got to me and of course I was blown away when I finally gave in.)

I saw "How the West Was Won," "Mad, Mad World" and "2001" at the Katchina. "Star Wars" at Cine Capri. The effects for "Star Wars" were so groundbreaking that when the Millennium Falcon dropped into light speed, the packed audience let out a collective gasp.

Brief tangent:

Is "A Winter" lurking about? The last time I saw him was in the Peak Oil thread, when I misinterpreted something he wrote and erroneously called him "way off". Then, someone else agreed that he was wrong. After taking a second look, I posted a mea culpa indicating that his comment was reasonable and that I was mistaken in my initial interpretation of it, but haven't seen him since.

I hope he hasn't gone away on that account. If he isn't reading this, can someone with his email address pass this along? Thx.

Now the descendants of the pioneers are going to starve to death on the real estate that their ancestors worked to secure and develop.

We are going to see emaciated corpses lying around the west. And everywhere else. Nurses, engineers, MBAs, salesmen, plumbers -- they are all going to starve because the Republicans don't want to let Americans get paid.

All of the pioneers blood and sweat was for nothing.

The Republicans are going to take care of the overpopulation problem.

Americans are going to die. They are going to be forced to the income level of Chinese (slaves and) serfs. That won't keep Americans alive, so they will die. Then the Republicans can import immigrants to take their places.

The Tea Party, whose members have an average age over 60, need slave labor to support their retirement.

The suburban sprawl of the West is already doomed. Chinese-style slave labor can't support the suburbs and the malls.

The United States is going to be a large plantation where the ruling class wallows in excess while the majority live nasty, short, brutish, miserable, impoverished, bitter lives.

Mick, have you read the Edward Abbey book "Good News". If not, please do so. Is the story as you see our future?
Phoenix plays a starring role in the book, so it is applicable to this blog.

Don't worry Emil, AWinter posts regularly, on an irregular basis. You didn't scare him off.

U liked "Good News" huh az rebel. Theres more like thst.right now i am holed up in the Hotel Encanto de Las Cruses reading Abbeys Orchard Apples

Cinema Capri was the only place to see Star Wars.
I was the paper boy for the Biltmore when there were no condos. My customers were Bob Goldwater, Mrs. Cudahy (think meat), Ole man Gosnell, The Singers (think Nancy Regean) and Jay Rockefeller among others.

I think Awinter has too much class to get upset over the content of this blog.

Teddy Roosevelt was a big fan of the West.

I read biographies and autobiographies because they are interesting and sometimes inspirational.

Reading Teddy's autobiography is just breaking my heart and spirit.

His battles against big, bad corporations and machine politics are inspirational.

Then fast forward to our time and the outlook is dismal. The force and relentless efforts of evil men is astounding. Good men have a tendency to say, "OK, we've set back the evil tide, let's rest for a little." That is always the point where the evil men gain momentum, because they never rest. Never!! Their best strategy is that we will grow weary, and we do. Why doesn't evil ever grow weary? Does it take less calories to be evil than to be good? Does evil always travel downhill, while good always has to climb uphill?

Somebody, throw me a bone.

Azrebel, I'm not a scholar about this subject but let me hazard a guess. The Progressive Era happened because there was still a vibrant civic culture in this country. People were involved not only in government, but social improvement, and various projects from the City Beautiful movement to Prohibition (not a fan, but...) to the extensive service organizations of our cities - the Masons, the Elks, et el. And people went to churches that were visible statements that beauty was an actual spiritual need in our lives. Thought experiment: look at a church that was built around 100 years ago. Now look at any post-war church. Then weep. These buildings enhanced civic life because they told people that life itself was aspirational and important.

What motivates people today is less their own physical community but the electronic communities of the internet and television. It's what you see in the incoherent Tea Party, where people demonstrate not from a sense of real-world concern but vaporous qualms and innuendos stoked by Pavlovian manipulators, such as those at Fox News. The result is something that eventually shows up as nihilism.

You reclaim sanity, beauty, and meaning one social connection at a time. I'm not sure there's enough time left, however, to save this nation. We're paralyzed by isolation and distraction. Our atrophied civic life can't be willed back to life. And political reform is impossible without an engaged citizenry. Tend to your own garden, I suppose. There's not much else we can do although I keep hoping that book clubs, environmental organizations, and athletic groups will fill the breach. Unlikely, unfortunately.

I saw the original Star Wars movie when it first came out, at Cine Capri. What an experience!

I wasn't thrilled years later seeing another sci-fi movie there: the "digital audio" was piercingly sharp and turned up high enough to please a 110 year deaf-as-a-post old man.

Nice Post Jon.

Soleri writes:

"Thought experiment: look at a church that was built around 100 years ago. Now look at any post-war church. Then weep"

Following that, look at a casino built 100 years ago, then walk into the Luxor/Bellagio/Venitian et al.

What are our impressive buildings telling us today?

"What are our impressive buildings telling us today?" -PhxPlanner

That some humans are finally letting go of the old superstitions?

I don't particularly find anything evil about Vegas. I don't remember any leaders from that city starting wars and covering up child molestations, starting polygamists cults devoted to gambling and/or marrying child-brides in their halls.

But that's just my opinion...

Speaking of theatres...


"The Decision Theater enables better decision making through system-science and technology-based collaborative experiences. The Decision Theater and the Global DT Alliance are places where academics, leaders and decision makers come together to address real-world challenges. The Decision Theater and our partners develop new ways to plan and act for a sustainable future."

This facility has been around for nearing a decade. What's been decided?

Indecision Theatre of the Absurd.

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