Skip to content

Makeovers Don’t Last

by on November 17, 2009

I’d rather track scarcely talented American Idol contestants, get caught up on Glee’s let’s-relive-high-school plotlines, or endure a fan’s lecture about how Earth-shatteringly wonderful 30 Rock is before hearing another hyped word about  Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.  Many of us have been tempted to head for our zombie shelters just to avoid the local media’s unbounded infatuation with the building program’s visit.

For example, I made the mistake of watching a recent edition of Channel 2 News where it would have been easier to count the number of times anchors and reporters didn’t utter the phrase “Extreme Makeover.”  It’s beyond excessive: everyone likes ample helpings of sugary treats until they notice all their teeth disintegrating.  Worst of all, the alteration pageant has provided self-important busybodies with a chance to dubiously portray themselves as useful:

Buffalo ReUse will begin a green demolition of another property in the same west side neighborhood. Work will get underway at 369 Normal, a house already slated for demolition.

They’re going to prove their value by turning a vacant house into an empty space.  P.S. This is urban progress.  The filmed affair has also offered liberals a chance to see pet projects at work:

The city says the makeover show helped kick-off the creation of future green jobs in the area. The project trained men and women from the Minority Contractors Alliance to track the material of the makeover home to be resold later.

But forget environmental agendas pushed through de facto affirmative action.  You better enjoy the episode when it airs: you’re paying to help produce it, taxpayer.  The government’s brigade of paid volunteers thanks you in The Buffalo News:

“It’s really ‘Extreme Makeover: Neighborhood Edition,'” said Mark Lazzara, chief executive of WNY AmeriCorps, which has 300 members involved and is coordinating the thousands of volunteers – about 800 a day, Lazzara said.

PUSH Buffalo has also weaseled itself into the action; you can guess who helps fund them. And they couldn’t be happier, according to paper’s account:

Community organizer Eric Walker of PUSH Buffalo. . . called it “an amazing week in the West Side.”

“Who would have thought that several thousand people would have come in and gone full blast in rebuilding the fabric of this neighborhood,” Walker said.

For some reason, wholly impartial News reporter Mark Sommer never bothered to follow up by asking why the fabric was torn in the first place.  Failing that, any curious journalist could have found a dissenter, even if they’re tough to hear alongside the rather grating cheerleading.

The grumps must be heard.  Despite the feel-good prime-time narrative being incessantly peddled by every media outlet in town, residents remain unconscionably burdened by taxes and regulations.  The proof is in neighborhoods like the one that sunk to such depths that a construction-themed reality show had to take up temporary residence in order to implement improvement.  The one-time magic wand usage won’t fix the curse’s cause.

Unfortunately, Extreme Makeover can’t modify the circumstances that led to the city’s initial devastation.  And they can’t control what happens after they pack up and leave.  What’s to keep the neighborhood from falling apart again?  The area will revert to more of the gloomy same once the cameras are gone.  Those who vaulted a community organizer into the White House now sadly presume that government-themed initiatives will compensate for government-created messes.

It’s certainly not to knock those who helped.  The quantity of volunteers offered heartening proof of the interest in bettering this area.  But the situation wouldn’t have gotten this dire without the incredible drag on the economy at the state, county, and city levels.

Western New Yorkers are demonstrably willing to help during grave situations.  Now, the goal should be reducing the frequency and severity of those tough times through a drive for economic liberty.  It beats waiting for a television program to swoop in and repair everything.

  1. Buffalo ReUse will begin a green demolition of another property in the same west side neighborhood. Work will get underway at 369 Normal, a house already slated for demolition.

    They’re going to prove their value by turning a vacant house into an empty space. P.S. This is urban progress.

    Buffalo ReUse here. And the alternative is what? Pay a traditional demo contractor $10-15k to crunch it up and throw it away, that’s what. The house at 369 Normal was on its way down. Nobody was prepared to rehabiitate it, even if it was a worthy candidate for rehab.

    So yes, we’re proving our value by turning a vacant house into an empty space. We’re a demolition contractor; that’s what demolition contractors do. I expect the empty lot will eventually be acquired by one of the neighbors, people who are, by the way, taking a stand for and investing in their community.

    Demolition is indeed part of urban progress in a city with over 10,000 empty houses. At least our method of demolition salvages usable material from those houses. Our impact isn’t big, yet, but it’s real. We support our organization through our green demolition work, combined with our salvage and donations of used and surplus materials. You’d think a “conservative” might appreciate not being wasteful, and being self-supporting. But I guess not.

    I invite you to come by our store at 298 Northampton Street and see for yourself the economic activity we’re creating. We’re open every day but Monday, 8-6, Sunday 10-4. 882-2800.

    (Sorry for the erroneous post. Too early, I guess.)

  2. Chris G. permalink


    I don’t understand your invective for Buffalo ReUse. They are one organization that I really love and I wish they had been around years ago. Masiello used to trumpet his success in bulldozing houses, as though it were some kind of progress in revitalizing the city. But now, people are actually moving in to the city and restoring houses… Buffalo ReUse (which I’m not affiliated with) has lots of items that were saved from the landfill.

    Despite the your naming other useless liberal interest groups like AmeriKorp and PUSH(forSocialism), Buffalo ReUse has a pretty straightforward mission that I believe is a good one.

  3. Bill permalink

    I like Buffalo Reuse

  4. Rob M. permalink

    EMHE is one of the few “Reality” shows I will sit down and watch from start to fish. The Premise of the show is admirable and I truly believe it can go a long way in helping out a family in need.

    I think that the week spent to improve the Massachusetts Avenue neighborhood will show thoesd who see the January 24th Episode what a caring people WNY’er are.

    I am indeed disappointed in hearing and reading some rude and outright nasty things about the EMHE and its intentions and the intentions of the Powell Family and anyone involed with the improvement of the Powell Home as well as the neighboorhood around it.

    I would invite the naysayers to watch the two hour special on January 24th, and I ask you to keep an open mind as you watch the triumph of the human spirit.

    Everyone here knows about our generious spirit. Let’s let the rest of country know.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Look! A Parade! Commence Pissing! |
  2. Unemployment’s Bad in Buffalo, Everywhere Else- The Buffalo Bean

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: