Wednesday, June 6, 2012

How to game a bad editorial board.....

Step one: have interns and staffers show up to a local event wearing t-shirts advocating policy the ed-board is on record approving of.  This works especially well when one Lisa Gray is in attendance.

Summer Fest feels like a local love letter, The Apple Dumpling Gang, ChronBlog.

And among the crowd's wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses was a smattering of T-shirts from HoustonTomorrow, advocating that transit taxes actually be used for mass transit.
Gray (she wrote this, it's pretty obvious) goes on to equate a few Houston Tomorrow staffers in t-shirts to a call for huge mass-transit expenditures by the so-called "creative class." That mythical group of hipsters that is, for one reason or another, now deemed mandatory for a community to appease to if they ever desire to be "world class".  And, as we all know, the Apple Dumpling Gang is dead-set on turning Houston into a hive of World-classiness, even if it means ensuring that the public coffers are emptied in the process.

Yes, Gray's reaching here.  In fact, while I believe that the noise ordinance had an interested audience at a rock concert, "using transit money for mass transit" (at least she got the language right) is probably not very high up on the "oh my gawd I gotta have it" list of concert attendees.  It probably ranks well below a can of PBR, and probably below a tofu salad with seaweed dressing.

The problem is that The Gang (and their friends) WANT Houston to have a fully developed light rail system, built at-grade and at the expense of a robust bus system if necessary.  They want this because they think it will somehow cause the PBR swilling, subway riding, high-cost-of-living possessed New Yorkers that they so admire to stop treating them like second-class citizens.  Let's face it, this is nothing more than a gigantic journalism crush on the Old Gray Lady.

What they don't understand is that New Yorkers treat EVERYONE like a second class citizen. In some cases even other New York residents.  While those in Houston with a perpetual inferiority complex think they're impressing our neighbors up North with our shiny 7-mile train track and plans to build 30 something more miles into the system they're actually accomplishing the opposite.

At the end of it all, New York is going to be laughing it's head off at our broke immobile asses because we've built a toy-train that doesn't move anyone anywhere of importance. What we're currently letting the Houston Tomorrow set talk us into is the transit equivalent of the guy in the engineer's cap and blue overalls sitting on the mini-train blowing the toy whistle as all the kids go "ooooooh".  It's a big kid's toy.  All it's missing are snotty noses and seats sticky with cotton candy residue.  In the meantime we will have allowed our "regional" transit authority to ignore 80% of the region.

None of this matters to the Gang however.  Gray was at the Free Press Summer Fest, and she saw some Houston Tomorrow staffers in T-shirts. Because of that this Houston treasure has now been elevated to Lover status by the same group that doesn't like you anymore for who you are.  If Houston could just go under the knife a little bit:  A nip here, a tuck there, maybe carve off that ugly bit? Yeah, that's it. If we can just copy those other places then maybe you'd be more like the Houston we want you to be.   *sigh*

Can we please shutter the ed board and redeploy the resources to local reporting?  And, for gawd's sake, how 'bout we ignore New York for a while, especially the (increasingly meaningless) Old Gray Lady?

Houston's a great city with or without her approval.

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