Tuesday, January 22, 2008

an open letter to "Anonymous"

Speaking in the editorial "we":

As our unbridled popularity increases, I'm sure we'll see more West Knox readers here at the blog. The infamous "anonymous" posts on Friday ignited a firestorm in the comments on an otherwise whimsical post. So let's talk.

Dear "Anonymous,"

We at the Wig Shop bear nothing but goodwill to our suburban brethren. It's not that we dislike you, we just dislike your unsustainable lifestyle. We don't hold it against you- most people over 40 were raised to believe that natural resources were unlimited, that Americans deserve to live however they want despite the consequences, and that personal happiness (read: convenience) is the best measure of a life well lived. We have our shopping malls and big box retail and cheap flat screen TVs. Everyone can be "middle class" with enough credit cards! That kind of Cold War era mentality gave us Knoxville's urban sprawl and our bad pollution. Again, we don't blame you. And we're not asking you to change if you don't want to.

We're just trying to do our part and get things heading in what we think is the right direction. Living downtown, buying locally, using cars as little as possible: all this has positive impacts on our area. We're not just a bunch of "faux hipsters" creating a subculture. We are the future of mainstream culture. We're trying to prove that normal people can live with less and still live good, fulfilled lives. As the price of suburban lifestyles continues to skyrocket, more and more people may start considering how an urban lifestyle could work for them. And we'll be here to help when gasoline hits $5.00/gallon.

So indulge us our few pretensions of elitism, and don't misinterpret it as hatred. It's not that Downtown is "sad." It's just that we want our city to be a great place, unique and weird, not "the place where America stops for gas." Which, when you get down to it, is what most sensible Knoxvillians want. "I just feel sorry for [downtown], because honestly it's kind of a sad place." We're here to say it's NOT. We feel that way about a place where you have to commute half an hour to see an pseudo-IMAX. So let's agree to mutually feel sorry for each other.

As a side note, I'd like say that I like to imagine "Anonymous" being Bill Haslam. I don't know why- something about "If I left my name, it'd only make you angrier" rang in my mind. Haslam!

Let's keep the dialog going. And let's keep it classy here at the Wig Shop: no name calling!


Faux Hipsters


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

sing it, ck.

and i'll say it again: a lot of people enjoy the community of downtown. i am sure other people have that elsewhere in knox, but we like the one we've got going here. that's a good thing. nothing worth being mocked there.

i know that a blog is a public performance. i am not naive and i can accept that strangers will read this blog. i promote it. i wouldnt write a blog otherwise. we all have the responsibility of figuring out the public performance we want to contribute. we all have the responsibility of only writing the musings, observations, arguments and other exigencies we feel comfortable attaching to our names and identities. as a relatively new public writer, i am still trying to hone my character here and on joe's. the thing is, i get it. it's public. i just (and always will) think that criticism (and likewise praise) should come with a name, even if it's only a performed name. in my mind, that's how we keep free speech real.

if i could figure out a way to disallow anonymous comments on my own blog while still allowing non blogger users to comment (with a label), i would. but i cant.

and i also want to say/ask this: what is a hipster? we little knoxvillians all are responsible, working, contributing adults with passions for music, literature, art, design, politics, math (anyone?), faith and other forms of culture and diversity. i like fashion and good hair too. i like fair trade coffee and good scotch. i like flat shoes and skinny jeans. i live in a loft. so what. i pay the bills, do my due diligence in the community and try to have fun. i have a post graduate degree. i have a 401k and a savings account. i guess what i'm trying to say is that i (we) am (are) a lot of things that cant be labeled. i know this sounds like a dove commercial, but come on. we're not "kids" as anonymous suggested, and i find such labels to be insulting. if i'm gonna be a hipster, i'm gonna sing it proud. not have it thrown at me backhanded by someone who isnt attaching a name.

that is all. viva.

Anonymous said...

also, sorry about the deleted comment. i timed out.

stan said...

it's ironic how a few mean-spirited comments can get a mission-statement out of us. i love it. out of adversity--strength!

but responding to ck's side note, hasn't bill been pumping public funds into downtown knox for several years now?

i think i missed something.

ck said...

no, he's been a pretty good mayor. but he does live a pretty contradictory life: spending his Pilot oil money and living out west in a huge house, yet he's downtown's champion? i guess we should take what we can get. thanks for the cinema, bill.
p.s. it was part of our "pretentiousness" that the mayor would read our blog.

Anonymous said...

Knoxville's pretty lame no matter how you slice it. I just find it hilarious to see Knox on Knox hate. Guess some section of the city has to represent "The MAN".

Maybe one day you'll have children and you'll find owning a lawn, having home equity, being in good school zones more important than internet debates. Yay!

Yes, and I agree the psuedo-IMAX will be lame, but don't kid yourself... you'll go. The bigger question is, why did they stick a lame ass run-of-the-mill theater downtown instead of the
IMAX? I'd love to see downtown become so special that it becomes attractive to more people than the kids that live immediately in it.

Now let the hatred fly!

Mike Ragsdale

Anonymous said...

Hate on hate? Wow ... I never knew. I have been aware, however, of the elitism of those who choose to live downtown against those of us who choose, for whatever reason, to not live downtown. I haven't seen anything of the sort in reverse though.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Pol said...

Wow, what a round of discussion. I have a few things to add.

First, I have no problem with the suburban lifestyle. it has made for a tremendous amount of economic growth and individual living space in this country. I was raised in it and see many virtues. I'm not the anti-suburbia as some of my fellows are but there is a need for a reurbanization in this country and we are simply a part of it. And i'm thankful to the mayor (he really doesn't live that far west just sequoyah) and the city for spurring on out growth.

Second, I love my urban home. I have equity in it (very little since it mostly goes to interest but some none the less).

third, I'm surprised by the animus directed towards us. I know we can be fake elites but why even bother with us if you'll never come downtown? I think the answer is because you secretly want to be a part of this movement. There is money to be made and community to be had and that attracts all red blooded americans. Well come ahead my friend and join us. We shall welcome you into our vast family and by you a turtle at coffee & chocolate. See you at DTGB's.

will cote said...

well whatever's going on i can tell you that the littleknoxvillians love knoxville (east and west) and they get me excited about getting involved in the city.

Anonymous said...

I guess I'll add one more thing, and this is that I, in fact, have seen a lot of reverse hate imposed on downtowners. A lot of this hatred is in the form of naiveté or misunderstanding. How could it possibly be that someone (who is NOT a kid, so get over that right now)would choose not to have children or live in a home with a yard? Could it be that people are different and have free agency to live the lives they see fit for themselves? Could it be that we all choose what is best for ourselves? No, I dont have kids. But a lot of my neighbors do, and they do very well in an urban environment. The children I know down here love living here, and there are those great things called public parks and community centers.

I guess it's frustrating to me to see someone mocking something that maybe that person just refuses to understand. That's fine, I guess, but kind of naive, and also condescension is never really a valid form of argument. I also find it funny that we are being accused of having nothing more "important to do than internet debates." First of all, you don't know us or what we do. You have no idea what's important in our lives. That's fine. Keep on judging us. But realize that you're partaking in this too. Realize that it looks like you, too, having nothing more important to do than judge us and write your little biased quips about our lives or choices right along here with the rest of our text. That's fine.

Lastly, you'll never catch me in an IMAX. I guess I'm just too much of a hipster.

Mickey said...

Dude's trolling.
Well said, ck, and downtown rules.

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