Monday, December 26, 2016

Column numbers: Top Ten ON THE AVENUES for 2016.

Never forget.

Previously, we considered the column's origin.

From BEER MONEY at the Tribune to ON THE AVENUES at NAC -- how my weekly column came to be.

In ascending order, here are the Top Ten ON THE AVENUES posts of 2016, according to Blogger's page view metric.


555 ... August 25, 2016
ON THE AVENUES: You won't believe what happens next.

Some of you know me as a blogger, a publican, an activist and a candidate. These tidy nouns somewhat cover the waterfront during the past 15 years or so, and yet they’re still an approximation. There’s a whole branch of philosophical study devoted to the proposition that we can’t know anything (or anyone) at all.

It occurs to me every time I attend a Redevelopment Commission meeting.


580 ... July 14, 2016
ON THE AVENUES: Weeds, porch appliances and our civic Gospel of Appearances.

Rather, it always comes back to those Disneyesque exteriors. If only it/they/those looked better. If only miscreants existing at the fringe of shared standards might become better actors, more willing to play their roles, and eager to conform to ephemeral propriety. Can’t they at least try to look a little less unequal?


625 ... May 19, 2016
ON THE AVENUES: Requiem for the bored.

It was another stellar day for auto-centrism in New Albany, and contrary to previous assurances, not a single egg was broken, Larry – just a random walker struck down, and never mentioned, not once, not by anyone in the room. She was probably too poor to afford a car -- right, Warren?

Tell me something. Exactly how does any of this make any of you proud of your jobs?


642 ... May 26, 2016
ON THE AVENUES: On the crass exploitation and politicization of tragedy.

Perhaps then we’re all malcontents, each and every one of us, crassly exploiting tragedy for political purposes, whether it’s Marc Antony, the grieving Armenians pointing fingers at the Kremlin, Dr. King, human rights proponents memorializing Shepard – or a citizen like Lori Kay Sympson, who doesn’t want you to forget that her friend Chloe Allen was killed trying to cross a dangerous street in New Albany, where streets are kept dangerous due to crass exploitation – that’s right, for political purposes.


672 ... June 30, 2016
ON THE AVENUES: Irv Stumler screams, "We don't deserve two-way streets!"

I'll apologize in advance, because it's going to take a while to come to the point. This is necessary, because I don't believe New Albany deserves to be hectored, degraded and held hostage by superannuated fools. Let's jump straight into the deep end.


677 ... June 16, 2016
ON THE AVENUES: When the engineer uttered that scandalous word aloud, it was like Christmas in June.

Jeff Gahan hasn’t referenced “CONGESTION” for attribution. Not one peep from the collective Board of Works. Redevelopment? Mum. But the functionary from Clark Dietz did, and good for him. Now, I’m not sure why this happened. Perhaps Christmas is our Günter Schabowski, the East German media liaison whose confusion over hastily scribbled notes led to an inadvertent announcement that brought down the Berlin Wall in 1989.


683 ... June 23, 2016
ON THE AVENUES: There's no business like no business, and it's none of your business.

Business porn is where good writing goes to die, condemned to sadistic asphyxiation in the service of coded buzz-speak and greasy greenback envy of the sort that only a One Southern Indiana oligarchy fetishist truly can appreciate when curled up in pajamas by the stock market ticker, with an ice-cold Bud Light Lime and a box of handy tissues – doused in aloe, of course.


761 ... June 9, 2016
ON THE AVENUES: High atop Summit Springs with friends (and relatives) in low places.

In March, no one knew that Summit Springs was about to rise from the dead. No one knew that when it did, the city already had executed a deft 180-degree turn, ditched a three-year lawsuit faster than a used condom, and claimed a piece of the action, boastfully deploying that most exhausted of bromides, “public-private partnership,” to explain the turnabout.


762 ... December 8, 2016
ON THE AVENUES: It’s never too late to beer all over again.

Beer was my full-time job for 25 years, and it was part-time for a decade before. In many respects, beer has been my life, and while it is not my life at this precise moment, it remains important to me, enough so that lately I’ve been considering the potential terms of such an employment-based rapprochement, and during the year about to conclude, there have been more green lights than red.


1,062 ... July 28, 2016
ON THE AVENUES: An imaginary exercise tentatively called The Curmudgeon Free House.

While it is true that I’ve often railed against cults of personality in the local political realm, and pined for the seemingly unreachable ideal of teamwork and multiple minds coming together, what I'm imagining here is a small, sustainable specialty beer café, not a multi-million-dollar City Hall filled with obscure departments and shuffling time servers.


1,094 ... December 22, 2016
ON THE AVENUES: For New Albany’s Person of the Year, the timeless words of Mother Jones: “Pray for the dead, and fight like hell for the living.”

A distracted, negligent or otherwise rotten driver hit (Chloe Allen), and she died. Of course the driver wasn’t charged, because the firebrand ideological appendage Keith Henderson evidently saw no potential for a book deal in the wake of her passing, and in the weeks following her death, New Albany City Hall contracted a severe and abiding case of laryngitis.

It remains a telling silence induced by pure, pitiful, bottomless cowardice.

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