This video first premiered on NEPA Scene a couple of days ago.
The documentary begins with an explanation that Scranton has won the ignoble title of being the unhappiest place in America. This is quite the accomplishment considering that there are places in America that are literally swamps but they still find a way to be more optimistic than Scrantonains. The film delves into the reasons as to why the city and its citizens seem to have such a negative view about Scranton. According the film, the malaise in Scranton is due to economic depression, education, drinking and mental attitude. The film also features the Facebook page “Scranton Sucks” and asks one of the admins, “why does Scranton suck?” The administrators answer was insightful and brought home the point that Save Scranton has been championing since it first started- The government is the problem. The film ends with a question about whether the prospects of Scranton are half full or half empty. We at Save Scranton have decided to share our perspective on the ideas explored in this film and provide some commentary. Here we go:
Is Scranton the Unhappiest
It would be difficult to establish this as a matter of fact but it can be assured that Scrantonians are definitely unhappy about living in Scranton. It isn’t hard to understand why someone would be unhappy about living in Scranton. Scranton features a terrain of blighted homes, boarded businesses, crumbling roads and zero prospects toward progressing past its current state. The film appeared to make it seem like the reason for this was the lost of the coal mining, shipping and textile industries but Scranton has not been the only city to face the loss of its key industries. We have said quite clearly that the problem with the city of Scranton is dubious leadership, lack of vision and incompetence of the local government.
The film explored the lack of economic prospects in Scranton and inquired about it like an open-ended question. What we found troubling is that film did not seem to be truly versed in the economic problems of Scranton. As we said in many articles such as “The Failure Of The Scranton Political Elite“,”The Real Story of How Scranton Became Broke“,”The Government Haves and The Working Class Have-Nots“, and “The Kingdom of Scranton” the Economic malaise in Scranton is due to the political machine that has its dirty little mitts tightly wrapped around the city of Scranton. It appears that the film avoided alluding to this fact. It also did not speak about the chamber of commerce purposely keeping good businesses out(here).
With free MIT courses online, Khan Academy, Coursea, Open culture, Open Yale courses, Tufts Open CourseWare, How Stuff Works, TED, EDX.org, Codeacademy, Duke U, etc.. Education is free and available to anyone who wants it. It is often a perspective that is presented to people to have them believe that education is only found within a classroom or university. The response this is “if university makes people educated then who created university in the first place? A bunch of uneducated people?” Read the story of Benjamin Franklin, the guy was self-taught. I argue that the education issue in Scranton has more to do with self-esteem and confidence than anything else.
Oh yes, Scranontians do love to have themselves a drink. In fact, it was one of the first things I witnessed when I first came to Scranton. Being from NYC, the presumption was that drinking was a social affair. Often times, people in Scranton drink as a way of coping with being in Scranton. I can hardly blame them. When you have a political entrench machine in place that functions like a criminal enterprise and manages to ruin the entire city without skipping a beat, it does make you want to take a drink.
Now, the Facebook page Scranton Suck is pretty adamant about Scranton really sucking. The film happened to get one of the administrators on the phone to ask them why they thought Scranton sucked. Without any hesitation the folks at Scranton Suck spoke about the absurd high taxes that drive out businesses and the city council being incompetent. Doesn’t that sound familiar? The film seems to avoid really discussing this. It might be throwback to that tried and true tradition in Scranton of not discussing politics, but this reality concerning the incompetence of the local government and shadowy underworld behind it cannot be avoided. Scranton sucks because of the Scranton government and company period.
The film ends with the question is the glass half full and empty for Scranton. In the film, People began recounting how the glass was half full, or even all the way full, because there was “something” here. Let’s be honest, there is no glass in Scranton as it stands today. It is completely delusional to believe that Scranton has any prospects when you have a political machine, local government and chamber of commerce hell-bent on keeping the city dejected and ruined. The truth that we all must face is that Scranton will never get better until we run these shadowy figures out-of-town, take control of the city, and enact policies that encourage growth, progress and innovation. The glass has been stolen and we all know who the culprits are. Let’s be honest and call a spade a spade. The Scranton government and the political machine behind make Scranton Suck!