Monthly Archives: October 2014

The Dead Horse That Keeps Getting Beaten

Michael Brown was shot on August 9th, sparking community outrage that turned into protest; that turned into rioting; that turned into looting. It’s all been chronicled. A staggering number of op-eds have been published on the matter, along with a countless pieces speculating on the legality of the shooting itself. Frankly, it’s quite tiresome. It’s November 21st..

In the aftermath we saw protest spring up over a shooting in St. Louis city, where a man had a knife. Also a shooting on Shaw, that sparked the same format of protest.

All culminating to what was called Moral Monday.

Cornell West came to St. Louis and was arrested—it was his only reason for coming to St. Louis. The protest also were at St. Louis city hall, with lots of theatrics. That Monday ended at Webster Groves, where the protest came dangerously close to crossing real lines.

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They surrounded a building with a setting US senator inside. It was a fundraiser for the the campaign of Steve Stenger, who’s running on the Democratic ticket for St. Louis county executive.

Now, the entire Democratic Party seeks to hang this whole fiasco on Gov. Jay Nixon. Now, more protest are expected. The governor has issued an State of Emergency order. Not under normal SOE circumstances, like weather or terrorist attacks, but under Missouri law 44.480. In the order, it mentions 44.010—which is the standard justification for declaring a state of emergency.

The Grove

It’s a neighborhood on the south side of St. Louis. It’s population is probably the most diverse and progressive in the region. I actually love going down to that part of the city, it’s always vibrant and the people are always interesting. Vegans with menacing, thick beards who love hardcore music, but who wouldn’t hurt a fly. Students—studying everything. It’s close to St. Louis University, Webster University, and not far from Washington University. An amazing skate park is hidden inside an overpass. A strong and active LBGT community lives there. Amazing coffee, great food, artists, and culture. It’s a fun place.

MorganFord Skate Park

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Photo via The River Front Times

It’s an area that is often at ideological odds with the deep red republican majority of the state legislation.

The diverse and progressive population of The Grove doesn’t care for the evangelicals and the evangelicals don’t particularly care for them, it’s a pithy back and forth of words, but no one seriously fears a band of evangelicals occupying a gas station to protest same-sex marriage.

Last night after the protest in Ferguson had dwindled down, a tweet was sent out.

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(Photo via screen shot)

@LisaBrownSTL: To clarify, protesters say they will march to West Florissant, then drive to the Shaw neighborhood in St. Louis. Marching now. #shawshooting

Protestors did as they were instructed. They went to “HashTag: Shaw” which is really Tower Grove/The Grove. To continue protesting. Protesting the “killing of innocent black lives”, is a worthy cause, I’d say. Then these types of reports started coming.

@ChiefSLMPD: Protestors now throwing rocks at the police. Arrests have been made for continued illegal behavior.

St. Louis County police made the same statements.

And that’s when people started arriving at another Quick Trip. The question is simple: Why the quick trip? Actually, it’s not so simple. Who chose a QT and why? Symbolism? A symbol of what?

This is where everyone became baffled, I mean everyone. Here are local Tower Grove residents (solid progressives) and St. Louis journalist discussing what happened:

@STL_PJ: Targeting The Grove? Makes absolutely no sense. Try finding a more diverse, open, and welcoming neighborhood.

Reply:

@JeffSmithMO: @STL_PJ @valeriehahn Yep. Ironic to see Shaw, TGS/TGE, & the Grove – perhaps the city’s 4 most progressive, integrated nabes – in spotlight.

The notion of less progressive neighborhoods:

@jrosenbaum: @JeffSmithMO @STL_PJ @valeriehahn yeah, that’s probably true. Not sure protesting at the River Des Peres will get much of a response.

@charlesjaco1: @jrosenbaum @JeffSmithMO @STL_PJ @valeriehahn But protesting in Ladue/St. Chas/Crestwood/et al never considered?

(“St. Chas” is short for St. Charles, which is a in completely different county, it has nothing to do with any of the shootings in The St. Louis Metro area. So, I’m scratching my head on that one.)

@STL_PJ: @charlesjaco1 @jrosenbaum @JeffSmithMO @valeriehahn Right. My point. I made conscious decision to live here. To make things better.

You can see the whole thread, in the link place in the first quoted tweet.

It’s clear, the region doesn’t understand how/why the “vibe” changes when the sun goes down. Some have theories, but no definite answers.

How long will the Ferguson Fall Out last? We’re all just going to have to wait and see.

Again

Again, more protest happened again. I read this amazing piece by Noah Rothman —and when I say amazing, I mean it lit a fuse for me. It frames Ferguson in an honest light, no hype just the facts. I made the statement that this piece should be built into a documentary and I absolutely mean those words. I also said this:

@GrantGambling: “Pre-Ferguson” is a term. “Post-Ferguson” is a term. “Ferguson Fallout” *will* be a term. Mark it dude.. @ohiospud @MangyLover @NoahCRothman

This is the Ferguson Fallout.

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(photo via Adam)

The gritty details of why my good friend Adam was stuck are here at TheBlaze. Jason Howerton, does a good job of chronicling the events. He like Rothman, pretty much sticks to the facts.

This thread ensued on another social media forum, I primarily operate in the twittershpere. It was mostly locals, living, in South St. Louis City, right around a Grand and 44. Where my very good friend lives, a nice quiet life. Here’s the exchanges:

Locals:

Who dies?

Local

No ones dying

-Adam

Just asking

-Local

Outside observers:

I forgot you are on the middle of this at both ends too (Ferguson and Shaw!) Praying for you too.

Dude you live down there? OMG be careful Adam!

I was studying at mokabes (a local coffee shop), and this came right out front.

-Adam

More Locals:

I avoided that area all together. I wont go near Shaw.

-Dustin

I live on the street it happened on

-Adam

Between Anonymous, but confirmed Locals:

They had both the on and off ramp blocked the past two nights. Freakin crazy…

-Devon

Yeah I seen that on my way home tonight.

-Dustin

Or should I say last night. It is 3AM LOL

– Dustin

This is what Adam, a photographer, skater, student and mentor chronicled. Adam is not one given to fits of hysteria or hyperbole. He’s lived in the area for his entire life. And this area, Tower Grover for quite some time. He is well versed in the dark side of St. Louis—trust me. He actually passed no judgement, or wasn’t even aware of what was occurring blocks away. The morbid and desperate moral comparison; to shock and grab attention.

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In reality, it was people burning their Flag. The Flag that insures their right to burn it. It’s an uncomfortable paradox. It’s their words that bother me. Read them here and hear them here:

@GrantGambling: “Y’all talkin bout ISIS, we talkin bout ISIS here”
-Patrick deHahn

.

The process is not given it’s just due. Society’s due process. This protest was to shock and scare the local populous. Dare I say terrorize? I do…

I don’t know what happened, maybe this off-duty officer did exceed his duty, but this is from St Louis’s Francis Slay.

@MayorSlay: It will be the first test of the new Force Investigation Unit. #fgs

We shall see, it’s still unfolding. Burning flags and shutting down interstates is where I tend to stop lending an understanding ear. I’m too shocked by the rhetoric, to hear the content. The tactics terrify me.

So, We’re Rocking the Vote Again

So, this hit the wire Tuesday morning. A video full of the hippest, most culturally elite celebrities telling people to vote based on whatever issue they find super important. The notable highlight was Lena Duhnam. You can see Lil Jon, Whoopi, and some other famous people in that link. Enjoy.

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(Screen frame via John Gabriel)

The single frame is certainly unflattering, but so is the whole campaign. It demeans and belittles the sanctity of voting, while pandering to a stereotype of what they think millennials will “buy”, as the industry jargon goes. David Harsanyi, an editor, pointed out that the most high profile names, Fred Armisen, was older than his curmudgeonly self.

@davidharsanyi: Fred Armisen (47) and Lil Jon (43) speak for the youth.

I’m sure he’ll put together some thoughts on the matter, he usually does have his old finger on the pulse of things.

The most relevant words, demographically speaking, came from Andre Kirell, another editor.

@AndrewKirell: @davidharsanyi …I have lots of issues with voting as it stands, but voting for a candidate over a single issue is even more bizarre to me.

@AndrewKirell: @davidharsanyi Also If I know my fellow “young people,” seeing this vid won’t make em go “Oh, yeah, we should vote.” It’s more like *cringe*

Yes, cringe is precisely what I did.
And no, it had little to do with Lena Dunham’s body image, to be honest she isn’t so shocking a sight compared to some body images openly on display on the internet. It had to do with the pandering. Clear cut pandering. For me my mind was brought back to this image.

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Bill Clinton trying to look cool in the early 1990’s. Seeing how he wasn’t actually all that bad of a saxophone player (for a white boy; more pandering via self deprecating humor) and it worked, I’d say it was a better media campaign than this one.

Then again, the media is very different today. We had a more concentrated source of information in the 90’s. Networks still held heavy sway. The internet was really fringe and had factored very little. Today, it’s juxtaposed. Internet rules the day and the networks are supplementary. The best example would be the dismal interview George Bush, the incumbent in 1992, did on MTV, chronicled here in the Huffington Post.

@AndrewKirell: @GrantGambling @davidharsanyi It baffles me how many admen, etc., think pandering is somehow endearing. We just watch, cringe, and move on.

Yes, some…one, a marketing/political media professional is proud of that PSA. Probably sees it as their civic duty. To be honest, it seemed like a skit that didn’t make the airing of Portladia. It was ridiculous, which maybe was the point. Maybe it’s necessary? With short attention spans and hyper-sensitized political climate, the combination of emotion and misinformation is dangerous and unhealthy. You should vote, you should be informed, but you shouldn’t let famous people define what you, the voter, consider to be informed. One can’t go in voting on one issue, the effort to be informed is owed to the public—it’s each individual’s responsibility. Harping about politicians not doing their duty is heard daily, but each election We fail. The people who have a government: for us, by us, and of us. fail to engage in it’s well being, it’s a sad state of affairs. So, these desperate media scrambles are put forth to mobilize the youth vote, like Vote or Die, Rock the Vote, and the recent campaign is a clever ode to sarcasm #TURNOUTFORWHAT. Yes, it’s in all caps. Hence, the immediate cynicism.

Most aren’t moved in the slightest by those types of hoakie masquerades of civic duty. Perhaps that comes from the years of pandering throughout the 90’s, we’ve become immune to it.

Then again, this could work brilliantly on 19 and 20 year-olds and raise voter registration, I am on the extreme end of the millennial demographic, so I’ve already gone through the optimistic phase of life, boiled off the cynicism left behind from failed hope, and all that’s left is realism. You should really be informed and engaged—at the same time if you are voting based on only one issue important to you, you should really stay home. Harsh words, but it’s the reality of the situation. If it took a hash tag campaign to get you to vote, perhaps you should reconsider voting. It takes a lot of work to actually be informed and most in the youth vote demographic are lazy and self-centered.

I’m not telling you what to do, I’m telling you to choose wisely. Like, Kirell pointed out, it’s watch and most of us will move on unaffected. The person who made that monstrosity has already been paid, you the voter still have a choice to make. Again, choose wisely.

Game 3 and Game 4

It was a good one. No—it was great. Texan John Lackey for the Cardinals against the South Korean Huyn-Jin Ryu, on the mound for the Dodgers. Both pitched well, both pitched really well. Lackey was acquired by the Cardinals specifically for his post-season experience. He gave up one run, after a lead off triple to Yaseal Puig. Who broke his streak of 7 consecutive strike outs.
The hero was Colton Wong, who went yard in the eighth inning, to break up 1-1 the tie, off the LA bullpen. Rosenthal held on for the save and we moved on to game 4.

Where Clayton Kershaw took the mound on short rest against Shelby Miller. Kershaw actually dominated most of the game, but again could not make it out of the seventh. Where his ERA was 135.00—staggering—to say the least. Tonight’s hero was Matt Adams who hit the go ahead home run off of Kershaw in the seventh.

It was a fantastic series, with a worthy, storied foe.

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(photo via twitter)

It’s true, the image is true. The point it tries to convey, that is. The Dodgers out spent the a Cardinals by quite a lot. No matter though…

“Done, done and I’m on to the next one.”
Dave Grohl

We await to see how the Nationals and Giants turn out. Such is the nature of October baseball.. Excitement with long lulls of waiting and seeing.