The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
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by Jesse Walker

Tuesday, November 12, 2002
JUGGLE NO MORE: For out-of-towners, the most famous part of Baltimore may be Harborplace, a rather bland stretch of waterfront chain stores not far from the finest in generic hotels. There are tourists who never venture out of that part of town. Most of the natives, in turn, rarely visit it. It's sort of a social contract.

The zone was built by one of those public-private partnerships that increasingly litter the American municipal landscape, and is managed by the private side of the partnership, the Rouse corporation. Last month,
according to the Baltimore City Paper, Harborplace informed a juggler who had worked the waterfront that he was no longer welcome there. Apparently, he had offended some cops with a joke he'd told about the sniper investigation. "I was driving downtown this morning," he had said, "and on the radio I heard that they've finally come out with a composite of the sniper, so there should be an arrest forthcoming. Apparently, he's a white guy that speaks Spanish and looks like he's Arab."

According to the performer's dismissal letter, such comments "are not in keeping with our very clear standards for a first-class oriented environment." In academic economics, the technical term for this is corporate prissiness. I only hope we can keep it from infecting the rest of the city, lest we find ourselves living in some ugly combination of Canada and Singapore.


posted by Jesse 11:21 AM
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