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Old 05-09-2015, 10:37 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
3,958 posts, read 2,090,191 times
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FROM: NPR, Aug 2, 2012

The small far west Texas town of Marfa (pop. 2,000) , not far from Big Bend National Park, is currently an "it" artists' mecca. Yet it does not escape for problems, even if the newcomers save the small isolated town from "drying up and blowing away". Case in point: a post by a certain Kathrine Edminston in the linked page's comments section illustrates grievances typical of long-timers who see their home town swell with outsiders.

Quote:
The most striking thing about Marfa's unique experiment is the hypocrisy of the "artist community". While sitting in the bookstore cafe and discussing national and world events, this ostensibly liberal colony is oblivious or unresponsive to the disparity and injustice in their midst. Little difference truly exists between exploiters: whether they be the conservative, at times racist, ranchers of a bygone era, or today's self-indulgent, amoral, materialistic, only conveniently left-wing developers of a small, dusty West Texas town. Cultural hegemony prevails anywhere a certain class or group holds all the power. I will give you the Chinati marketing plan: it consists of a certain developer raising the rent on any unsightly local business or holding in order to force the tenant to move. In their place, a peculiar aesthetic sensibility takes over. The kicker is, many of those who would like to prosper off the Marfa experience, do not seem to do so. Karma can be a real drag. Whether you are putting profits before safety in a coal mine or art before people in Marfa, you are still exploiting. I will be happy to sign my name,

katherine dobay edmiston

Marfa resident, 2003 and 2007
The story itself is interesting, but this comment strikes me as particularly relevant given the worker exploitation issue is commonly framed as "Evil Right-wing exploiters" versus the "good, humane, socially conscious Progressive Leftists". This is not to deny or otherwise say "The exploiters aren't so bad after all". Rather, the comment in particular is intended to show that the powerful (even inadvertently), regardless of their prevailing ideology, can and often do take more than they give back to a community.
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