Thursday, August 24, 2006

Hoop Drools

I'm a nerd on so many different levels. Only my relatively large stature prevented me from being "crushed" during my teenage years. But in between avoiding competitive sports and smoking endless cigarettes I still took the odd moment to sneer at athletes.

This came back to me as I watched Vince Carter and top wife-beater Jason Kidd mumble their way through a press conference organised by their boss Bruce Ratner aboout the stadium. Here's the low-down (Realplayer link) from Kidd on why he just loves his boss' project:

""He's doing it not just for the Nets, but for the community, for the youth to have role models to be able to look up to not just for ten years but for longevity."

Carter's statement, which I haven't been able to hunt down, was if anything even less coherent than Kidd's. It's a tribute to Ratner's cynicism that he thinks that merely hauling two athletes onstage to repeat "Youth", "Goal" and "Unity" in an indeterminate order will provide the requisite publicity boost.

Looks like the hack klatch and litigation, though, are the main real hope for the project.

[UPDATE: Whoo-hoo! Two years of posting insulting things about the people promoting the project, and I finally get an ill-informed accusation of racism! I knew they were falling down on the job. See the comments for details. I always suspected that scribbling inflammatory stuff to get the landgrab's attention would get me into trouble. But this bears repeating - if you want a learned and substantial discussion of the project please go to Mr Oder's excellent place.]


At 11:02 AM, Blogger Curious Spectacle said...

Unfortunately the youth and their parents won't be able to afford to live in the neighborhood to "look up to" some athletes who, I bet, wouldn't be caught dead in the neighborhood after a game.

At 9:51 AM, Blogger Robert said...

Really, is there any need to label someone as a wife beater or a dumb athlete necessary in a civil discourse?

The critics of this project are beyond silly...particularly the immature bloggers. Get real.

You will fail in part because you engage in personality assault, turning off everyone...and more importantly permitting proponents to easily dismiss you as immature, hostile and not worth their time.

Real community activists understand the politics of getting things accomplished. Your positions seem to be built around a schoolyard credo of "nah, nah, nah, nah".

PS The undertone of racism is quite evident. You know it. I know it. Anyone with half a brain knows it.

At 1:10 PM, Blogger Gringcorp said...

As if on cue, along comes prong two of the stadium proponents' approach. Prong one is the empty sloganeering ("Jobs", "Hoops", "Housing" - pay no mind to the numbers). Prong two is hurling casual accusations of racism at the opponents. I'll come to this part later.

Yes, prefacing my mention of Jason Kidd with wife beater was a mite intemperate. By all accounts the arrest was a one off, and Kidd's been a solid player and an exemplary citizen since then. But if he goes up onstage with Markowitz - one of the most useless figures that the Brooklyn Democratic party has thrown up in recent years, but I digress - and burbles incoherently about role models, then I'm hardly going to be able to critique his comments on the floor area ratio.

To be honest, Robert, as you should have been able to tell from the start of my post, I don't have much time for athletes in general. But that goes for bobsledders, cricketers, soccer players and NASCAR drivers as much as basketball players. What all these sports have in common is that they provide their top talent with absolutely no insight into the urban planning process.

Don't get me wrong - Kidd and Carter are immensely talented players. Otherwise Ratner would be sitting on much more impressive losses. But unlike the celebrity opponents, they've obviously made no effort to work out what the hell the project is about, beyond the fact that the guy that pays their salary is developing it.

Yeah, it probably does bug me that Ratner can haul out a couple of multi-millionaire basketball players whenever he feels like getting the project some time on TV. As far as I can tell. the opponents basically have to channel their money into lawyers' bills.

And Robert, I don't think I'm very representative of the stadium opponents - for starters I can't vote. I don't have the time or the inclination to pore over the EIS, so I mostly confine myself to examining the crass, divisive, substance-free and mendacious ways that the developer and his paid proxies in the community sell the project. You've provided me with a rather apt example here. Thank you.

At 3:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Robert. Um someone who beats his wife is a little bit more than a personality flaw. But we should pity that man who can't get enough help for himself, (hmm maybe the health center that ACORN thinks they will get) will provide Kidd some counseling so he can stop taking his anger out on his wife.

There is nothing civil about domestic violence, even less civil when you are a "public figure" like Kidd.

Oh and should we take a lesson from the the OVERTONES of racism from Doughtry, Bertha and Build?

Are you so deep in your "activist brain" that you fail to see the connection between a so called spokesperson touting the merits of teaching our youth, and his WIFE beating record? Immature thinking? I think not. Your thinking is irresponsible!

You can't escape the person attacks your self, I do believe the term immature is um a personality attack.
So grow up or get on out and do something!

At 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have at least half a brain and the sad part is that if this robert guy thinks someone like Bertha Lewis is interested in his white do gooder liberal activism...he's got another lesson to soon learn.


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