Monday, February 03, 2014

Everlasting municipal dysfunction, bowel movements and political cowardice.

On Sunday, I did not rest. I ranted. It didn't make me feel better. It made me feel worse.

Ranting on John Rosenbarger's fundamental contradictions in the aftermath of an atrocious day in the neighborhood.

... Conversely, while many of the complete street platitudes uttered yesterday make me feel good, the reality that there is no discernible will on anyone's part to implement them induces a very bad feeling. If you really believe the city will wither and die unless something is done, as Rosenbarger actually said aloud -- for heaven's sake, John (and your political bosses over uncounted generations) -- doesn't it mean you're ready to dispense with the idiotic charade and actually DO SOMETHING to change it?

My blogging co-conspirator weighed in at FB, and perfectly encapsulated my feelings.

Jeff Gillenwater: Whenever someone like Rosenbarger claims, as they often do, that New Albany and surrounding areas are just too scared and stupid to take very obvious steps toward improvement, that there's little to no hope, no valid reason to invest any more of one's mind or money here thinking it will get better any time soon, I believe them a little more each time -- as I've learned over the past few years just how dedicated they are to proving it. 

Others believe them, too, and smart, engaged people - many with both the talent and intent to contribute in important ways - end up leaving as it quickly becomes the only reasonable thing to do in response. As it turns out, most people with choices don't actually want to sacrifice their intelligence, their passion, and their overall better selves to a bunch of sadly dysfunctional twits and their senseless, self-imposed limitations. 

Along those lines, a note to political wannabes in New Albany, incumbent and otherwise, starting with the Democratic Party Chair and trickling down just like their 30-year-old, failed economic plan: If your stump speech does not include a rather strident section about the need to and your willingness to immediately and completely revamp the city's planning and development/redevelopment departments from scratch, don't bother calling me, emailing me, sending me paper mail, or attempting to schmooze me at events and, for decency's sake, stay the hell off my porch.

Roger A. Baylor: Obviously, when it comes to everyday business, I can't throw in the towel, and I won't, because I tend to be an ornery and stubborn SOB. But as of yesterday, self-interest increasingly will define what I do. These regressives just aren't worth my time and effort.

JG: New Albany needs your business a lot more than your business needs New Albany. The same is true for others. I sincerely think that should be much more fully explored en masse. I dislike the subsidy/quid pro quo game but, if that's going to be the primary deal for the foreseeable future - if city officials are going to stand by and not only tell people that what they're doing is impossible while they're doing it but also actively work to prove and reinforce impossibility as some sort of self-immolation - then hand them fuel and a match and keep your distance. 

There are any number of towns or neighborhoods in the metro that would be happy to have those business and personal investments and would likely do more to acknowledge the respective contributions with contributions of their own. The desire to feed people is noble. Allowing one's self to be starved in the process so that others can advance their pitiful, "public" careers isn't. This City that so regularly and so openly disrespects the many people and ideas doing the work on the ground every day makes people mean, distrustful, and resentful but those feelings, too, as legitimate as they are in context, can be much better directed.

RAB: Adam Dickey might be interested in this thread, although last time I wrote him back, the conversation ended rather abruptly ... which probably owes to the fact that in this town, talking a good game is all there really is. If accomplishment genuinely mattered ...

I'll stop there. How does one end a post like this?

By scoffing at the usual suspects for the umpteenth time? By beating up on myself for every believing any of their perennial bullshit? By thinking that maybe, some day, a genuine reformer will claw his or her way through the unbearably anti-progressive local political party structures, when the likelihood of it happening is roughly equal to my cat setting up a soapbox in Rent Boy Park and reciting Aristotle in letter-perfect ancient Greek?

I'm not sure why Saturday's vacuous folderol should be any more annoying than the palpable nonsense I've heard repeated for ten uninterrupted years, but it was, and the same old song and dance has become colossally tiresome. It's way past time that they came running to us, rather than the other way around. I'd consider an Occupy The City County Building movement if I wasn't afraid the doltishly endless cowardice would rub off on me.

How about a bowel movement instead?

Now, that's more like it.

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