Town Mottoes in the Rust Belt

The American Rust Belt is spectacular decline, but surely there needs to be some optimism about at least some of fortunes. Not according to Herkimer Falls, NY, which has changed its town motto from “Herkimer Falls, NY: A Great Place to Live” to:

“Herkimer Falls NY: A Great Place to Leave.” 

That seems almost too sad a statement on the current affairs of town fortunes after the neoliberal anti-jobs supersystem has left the one-proud farming/manufacturing town without a source of regular employment outside of the school and the one remaining, soon-to-be-evacuated factory, but the town’s population decline from its 1950s heyday to today has been accompanied by a the usual signs of a starved, discarded backwater – opioid epidemics, shuttered bowling lanes, barely open libraries, indifferent town politics, Dollar Generals moving in, post-HS youth drain.  The town motto had become too much of a mockery to continue, and so 3 of the 5 remaining town elected officials voted for “disruptive signage planning” , a slight alteration to the last word that will  be all that is needed to make the town motto and misfortune be in proper alignment.

This was not the first signage to reflect the obvious signs of social eradication of function in Herkimer Falls, NY . The once-popular “Bob’s Cafe & Truck Stop ” had tried several new  sign to attract  its now-few customers: “Bob’s Cafe:  Food, Barely.” That was March. Then June: “Bob’s Cafe Food, For those Who Really Don’t Care Too Much About Their Food.” August saw another attempt to be consonant with their clientele: “Bob’s Cafe: Food That is Good for Your Wallet But Hell on Your GI Tract.”

This new malaise is not a sign of the trendoid phrase “disruption.” The only times that that hideous word is used in social contexts in Herkimer Falls, NY is “Yo, How About I Disrupt Your FACE!”

Of course, there is no Herkimer FAlls, NY. Town mottoes in the Rust Belt, though, especially its rural half-continent, have got to go.

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