Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Deconstructing Downtown

If you really tried to make a diagram of all the competing rivalries and infighting that have all come to a simultaneous head down on Grant Street, I don’t think you could do it on two dimensional paper. It’s not just a collision of the many political factions that coexist in what we call city government, but you have the collision new pols and old, of the traditional media and the internet, of mainstream journalists and bloggers and even of competing media organizations. Then throw in competing business interests, money of course, and let’s not forget the legal actors. It all defies description. I think there must be some allegory to the story of Flatland in all of this. If you were to cast the characters, who would be the squares? the circles? the isosceles triangles? or the Chief Circle. Oh, never mind.

If Flatland isn’t the right tool to understand all of this, is it all a simple example of the butterfly effect, chaos theory or just plain old entropy?

So much for my attempt at metaphysics…. How about this? Things are just messed up. This is all going to be very painful.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha! I just watched a relevant episode of the Sopranos last night (Season 6, "The Fleshy Part of the Thigh"). Bottom line: Everything is connected.

From a fan website: "Tony's conversation with his fellow-patient John Schwinn [played by Hal Holbrook!]. The ailing scientist (throat cancer; clearly this guy has some unpopular truth to tell!) shares his ideas that, on some molecular level, any perceived divisions between individuals and events are illusory: The wind in the tall trees that wave and whisper over Tony as he finally relaxes back at home after his ordeal is the same wind in the trees that wave and whisper over Jason Barone as he is viciously knee-capped by Paulie before getting his kayak in the water."

Stick that in your metaphysical pipe and smoke it!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 10:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Nat said...

you say entropy, i say The Rapture.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 10:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Nat said...

Actually, you know how on SNL they have the recurring "X-Presidents" skit?

I foresee the second coming of the "X-Mayors" - Caliguiri, O'Connor, Flaherty, and Lawrence - swooping in to save the day.

I'd love to see that in an op-ed cartoon. :P

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 2:02:00 PM  
Blogger EdHeath said...

No room for Tom Murphy in the X-Mayors? Or is he a villain?

My take on what is happening is that the Mayor waited until after the election to become more aggressive about rewarding his friends. But he has not done it with much grace. I take the Mayor at face value, I assume his embracing the City County merger is genuine, even if the part he might be most happy about is the demise of City Council. But I think the Mayor was not experienced enough to know that you need to watch someone like Pat Ford very closely, you need to ask questions and make sure you know his plans and his justifications for his plans. That way you can step in, as Mayor, and instruct him that he actually needs to hold hearings for the LED billboard.

One commenter on a local blog suggested that Pat Ford would be totally cleared by the State Ethics Board, and Mayor Ravenstahl would be obliged to reinstate him at his old position. I think the Ethics Board is going to express annoyance at Mr. Ford not listing the gifts from Jim Vlasach, but I think there is a real chance the Ethics Board will agree the gifts are de minimis. I think Ravenstahl would still ask Ford to resign at that point. Meanwhile, there will still be an audit at the Housing Authority, and I expect Fulton Meachem to be asked to resign at some point. But maybe that will be an end to it. It all depends on whether the Mayor asks other people to engage in questionable behaviors.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 9:46:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

for the record... I predict ugly all around.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008 12:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Nat said...

"No room for Tom Murphy in the X-Mayors? Or is he a villain?"

Alas, he's still alive. Although I suppose in the Super X-Presidents skit, Carter and Bush get their say. So sure, let's get Murphy in there too, then. :P

Wednesday, April 16, 2008 4:26:00 PM  

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