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Having Fun Making Fun of Artvoice

by on November 16, 2009

The Artvoice Dilemma comes down to whether it’s worth pointing out any random article’s problems.  It’s usually best to avoid the chore of reading an issue, much less critiquing its contents.  But sometimes they churn out something so egregious that it deserves a shredding.  For example, a puff interview with a local congressman who adores Obamacare, Pelosicare, or any other form of Democraticare is just calling for a proper response to point out the banal madness.

Similarly, being told that we need high taxes is bad enough.  But to be harangued in the most patronizing, insulting manner possible shouldn’t go unchecked.  Specifically, a contributor named Bruce Fisher has delivered a printed manifesto that is hopefully a rather sharp parody of a pompous leftist. But it’s sadly probably authentic.

Intriguingly, he first seems to call for fiscal restraint:

That’s because the same fiscal circumstances that faced Erie County under Regan and Giambra are returning for 2011 under Collins-a huge growth in the cost of unfunded mandates, insufficient local revenue to cover those costs, and the unavoidable, distasteful task of telling taxpayers that the same choice that faced us before faces us again, a choice between gutting services and raising taxes.

So, should we reduce unfunded mandates?  Nah.  We just have to ensure that our county’s administration becomes the first to ever spend money efficiently:

Item: A review by the Buffalo State College Center for Economic and Policy Studies shows that public employment in Erie County contributes $3.5 billion of the $18.1 billion in wages paid here, about 19% of the total in 2008. Public employment is paid for with tax dollars, but not all those tax dollars that pay those public salaries are from here. Federal, state and most county workers are paid with imported money-so their wages are a net contribution to the economy here from someplace else!

Sure.  Or, maybe it’s bad in the first place to have such a huge portion of wages doled out to public workers.  We could discuss how to reduce government’s role in the economy; that would lower same alarming percentage directly at first and indirectly once the ensuing freed funds returned to private commerce.  And we could counter that gathering tax receipts from elsewhere to pay our workers is ultimately harmful.  But there’s no time for that: we have to move on to the redneck stereotypes!

Country music, dog-fighting, big-box churches, anti-intellectualism and anti-tax politics with thinly-veiled anti-Semitic code words all feel like imports from the “red” states, like our current County Executive, but sadly, they are well established in our northern cultural landscape.

Yee-haw!  If this is an attempt to be sharp and colorful, please confiscate his scissors and crayons.  It’s fun to debate who is worse: the writer who typed out such trite ramblings to begin with or the editor who let it pass.  Apparently, people who want to keep more of what they earn and be less reliant on government are simply malevolent zombies.  And they hate the Joos!

It’s also nice of Fisher to associate people who go to big churches and watch the CMAs with dog-fighting: faith, twangy music, and animal cruelty apparently go together like gin, vermouth, and an olive in certain people’s minds.  It does seem like a curious charge from someone who undoubtedly thinks those on the right are intolerantly close-minded.  Regardless, we dummies don’t even realize how lucky we are to be next to a nationalized health nation:

We could have equally effective but much, much more efficient healthcare were it organized the way healthcare is organized in Ontario.

It’s apparently organized so our provincial friends can hop the border to patronize Tim Hortons locations that sell Buffalo Bills Tim Cards and have MRIs while they’re at it.  They undoubtedly also enjoy driving leisurely through Western New York’s ample open spaces.  Of course, Fisher despises it:

Our per-capita infrastructure costs would be more manageable, too, were we to stop the expensive sprawl that our lack of county-wide planning dooms us to.

How dare you live where you want!  Also, how dare local officials spend the money that was thrown their way:

As we await the inevitable tax increases from our anti-tax County leaders, who are just about finished spending Barack Obama’s stimulus funds, we should at least shush the “red” rhetoric and get clear about where public money comes from, where it goes and how it works for us.

There’s nothing classier than telling opponents to “shush.”  It’s tempting to reply in the same style, only more forcefully.  Namely, a responder could use a phrase that includes the words “shut,” “(redacted),” and “up.”  But the proper approach is to eschew what would be easy and instead feel sad for someone who dismissively thinks he’s better than you.  He does so despite both his obvious logical flaws and revolting attitude toward those don’t subscribe to his aforementioned shady reasoning.

It’s all because you think the government should do less and at a fraction of the cost.  Respectfully, how dare you: Mr. Bruce Fisher would like you to know you’re a rube who isn’t sophisticated enough to know how to spend your money properly.  Why can’t you be more like him, you anti-intellectual canine murderer?  By the way, “canine” is a fancy word for “dog,” just in case anyone is as dim as a particular Artvoice contributor thinks you are.

The other option is to stop reading altogether and wait for an alternative to the alternative.  What’s the point of a rag teeming with nasty shots at regular people and virtual ads for someone like Brian Higgins?  As for the other content, we can find concert listings online. Similarly, those seeking “escorts” or “massages” should realize they undoubtedly have the numbers memorized.

It’s a way to avoid the aggravation of picking up an issue.  In fact, I was repulsed enough that I decided my free copy wasn’t worth it: I didn’t want to carry it around, so I returned it to the dispenser.  It seemed rude.  But Fisher started it.

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One Comment
  1. Buffalo ReUse will begin a green demolition of another property in the same west side neighborhood. Work will get underway at 369 Normal, a house already slated for demolition.

    They’re going to prove their value by turning a vacant house into an empty space. P.S. This is urban progress.

    Buffalo ReUse here. And the alternative is what? Pay a traditional demo contractor $10-15k to crunch it up and throw it away, that’s what. The house at 369 Normal was on its way down. Nobody was prepared to rehabiitate it, even if it was a worthy candidate for rehab.

    So yes, we’re proving our value by turning a vacant house into an empty space. We’re a demolition contractor; that’s what demolition contractors do. I expect the empty lot will eventually be acquired by one of the neighbors, people who are, by the way, taking a stand for and investing in their community.

    Demolition is indeed part of urban progress in a city with over 10,000 empty houses. At least our method of demolition salvages usable material from those houses. Our impact isn’t big, yet, but it’s real. We support our organization through our green demolition work, combined with our salvage and donations of used and surplus materials. You’d think a “conservative” might appreciate not being wasteful, and being self-supporting. But I guess not.

    I invite you to come by our store at 298 Northampton Street and see for yourself the economic activity we’re creating. We’re open every day but Monday, 8-6, Sunday 10-4. 882-2800.

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