Thursday, May 29, 2008
The Main Event
I'm not exactly sure what the criteria are that define a city. The place I live is apparently a city. It has a population within "city" limits of about 12,000 frustrated souls.
Today, I accidentally attended a back-patting party for all the big wigs of town. There were free hot dogs and Dilly Bars ™. The president of the university, the mayor, and our local representative for the state council, along with their respective spouses and supporters. All told, there were about fifty people stuffing their faces with meat and milk byproducts. It was a glorious affair.
What were they patting themselves on the back about? This. My "city" is planning on building an event center at incredible expense.
I think it's a great idea.
Why? Because what better time is there to build an event center? Think of it. We're spending millions of dollars during a slumping economy, as gas prices, material costs, and unemployment all skyrocket--I myself am currently unemployed...and apparently unemployable. I think it's great that the city is so willing to throw money into a bonfire for democracy.
What is the center good for? Well, we get to keep our Division 1 hockey team at the University. Huzzah! A dozen semi-retarded, toothless jocks get to keep wasting valuable resources for a sport. I'm for that. For obvious reasons.
The place is also supposed to be a sort of venue for all sorts of other stuff...conventions and the like. Yeah, of course. Ducks Unlimited is going to go apeshit over this. Concerts maybe, too. Only it's not going to happen. They've managed to convince people that this is a good idea because it will bring revenue to the city. This coming from the same people who thought that Wal-Mart would revitalize the downtown area. I am so in awe of the brilliant tactics that our city's officials have used in order to bleed us dry and send us to bankrupt land.
The beautiful part of it all is, the university gets to keep its hockey team and they get to play at the event center, and they are stuck with none of the responsibility for paying for the damned thing when the whole plan falls apart. It's pure genius.
It's going to cost way more than projected (because material costs are not fixed and are only going to go up as gas prices do) and it's going to make way less than projected. It's interesting that this thing is supposed to attract people to come to the city for various events. But as gas prices continue to rise (and they will continue to rise), people will be less and less inclined to come to this facility for anything but the most important events. Maybe a championship game...but that's about it.
The rhetoric about it is really super, too. It's about our "heritage" and "future" and such nonsense. Their whole campaign is not about logic at all, but at getting people to think that we deserve an event center, and therefore ought to build one.
I wonder if they'll follow my advice and paint a huge mural on the roof of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Bird. A big fuck you, visible on Google Earth.