July 11, 2007

Once upon a time...

I was still in college when Bob O'Connor died, and while I was sad for the man, the fact that I'm not a Burgh native left me with a lack of perspective on how greatly this would impact the city.

At first I figured, a 26 year old mayor? That's awesome! Not awesome in the sense of keggers in the city-county building, but in the sense that there would be a young voice amongst the power-brokers, someone who could address the very issues that I had with the city, and inspire the kind of committment that would see Pittsburgh reinvent itself after the manufacturing meltdown.

And then I met the Mayor in front of the William Pitt Union, as he handed out cans of some energy drink on behalf of a girl who had worked in his office that was running for Homecoming Queen. Naively, I thought to myself, wow, this guy is really humble, taking some time out of his incredibly busy schedule to do something for a lowly intern (props) who had slaved away over filing and data entry without the slightest appreciation.

And then I learned more about how Pittsburgh was trying to keep the young people here, and develop new industry, and build Southside Works, and, and, ....

You can imagine my disappointment over the recent string of events.

It seems as though Luke doesn't really want to be the Mayor of Pittsburgh. Simple as that. Many outlets have suggested that this could be a launching pad to bigger and better things, and it's hard not to get that vibe. For a city with SO many problems, being mayor is a twenty-four hour a day, seven day a week kind of committment - not just when campaigning. Ask Sophie.

Whether this is the result of unchecked single-party hubris, the mayor's leadership style, or a lack of experience - or all three - something has to give.

To be fair, these aren't life-threatening mistakes:
  • Getting cuffed at a Steelers game +5 awesome points
  • Skipping a city council meeting that you were invited to -20 stupid points
  • The police promotion fiasco -50 stupid points and 2 dunks in the Mon
  • Firing EVERYONE -50 jerk points, especially when you later hire the guy who tapes your ankles
  • Lying to the media, especially when you're golfing thanks to UPMC, causing even the left to be critical of you -100 stupid points and 3 dunks in the Mon
  • Lying to marty griffin = a wash
Which makes me wonder who will come out and support Ravenstahl from the D machine. City Council certainly isn't pleased with him, he fired a Costa and an Onorato, and the previous mayors are bashing him in the media. I bet Peduto wishes he hadn't given up so early. It will be interesting to see what Mr. Desantis can offer, or at least if he will cause Luke to debate questions not authored by high school students.

At least I'm willing to admit that my youth caused me to see things from a skewed perspective, a practice that the mayor may want to try.

Failing trig? Can't read? Here's a laptop!

I'm confused.

I understand that Ed wants to run for national office seeing as his reign as Emperor of Pennsylvania will soon be at an end, but platforms which appeal to the national base are not necessarily in the best interest of our glorious Commonwealth.

Take this for example.

I see the argument for mandatory pre-k, but laptops in all classrooms? What? Apparently we need to teach our children earlier in life how to avoid work. I can still somewhat remember high school after a four year collegiate blitz of alcohol and rapidly infused knowledge, enough to know that my nice new state-funded laptop would be used for:
  • Playing games (see "avoid")
  • Sending instant messages to my high school girlfriend (see "avoid")
  • Looking up inappropriate materials (what, it was 9th grade)
  • Staring longingly at the island desktop scene, wishing I could throw my book at my calculus teacher

But honestly, aren't "young people" already fully inundated with technology? Take our fixation with the iphone - who doesn't get subliminally aroused when that magic hand watches a movie and then orders seafood.

I know Ed Rendell will sure be using that feature ....