I found a real-estate blog focused on Charlottesville for a friend of mine who lives there, and sent it off to him without thinking. And then I looked at it again and it’s one of those ones done by a Realtor who thinks they’re smart because they understand that the National Association Of Realtors is sleazy. It’s not a terrible blog, but nothing special, really. (Update: The blogger saw this post and sent back a really polite comment and now I feel guilty for insulting him. I’m not going to deny doing it, but… two blogging-without-thinking moments today. Ouch.)
My friend wrote back: “Cville/Albemarle is owned lock/stock/barrel by the realtors. How come? Why is it that the stockbroker’s back was broken by the on-line brokers — saving consumers 90% or so on commissions — but Cville/Albemarle is still owned by the commission-heavy Realtors? … It’s a cartel. Some smart people have got to figure a way to break this system….”
I replied that, sadly, there are quite a few smart people dedicated to perpetuating it as well. But I suppose that could be said about more than just real estate markets. Sure, there’s potential for reform and transparency, but I’m not optimistic.
I’m not optimistic about the prospects for a lot of things. Mechanics and politicians and veterinarians are going to keep being sleazy bastards. Massport and the MBTA will never be reformed. It’s not so much The System as the fact that any system is only as good as human nature, and human nature just isn’t that good.
Maybe I’m particularly gloomy today because I’ve watched too much of A+E’s “Intervention,” a show I’d call the sleaziest reality show ever if I hadn’t already used that phrase to describe “A Shot At Love With Tila Tequila.” Every episode is the story of two different addicts and how their parents got them to go to rehab. It’s mostly white women, possibly to make the suburban audiences more comfortable, possibly because that’s who gets intervened on the most. I don’t know. It’s riveting, and although I know it’s shameful emotional pornography I can’t stop watching.
Then again, I could be permanently damaged by the video I saw today over at Ectomo. I won’t even describe it, but you should definitely watch it. With headphones. The screaming is the best part. Well, that and the fact that someone kept filming the whole thing. Can you say “older brother?”