Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

Enjoy the game: is this a world-class city?

   Everyone seems happy about the Super Bowl®. We have projected the image of a "world class city." (I don’t know if that phrase is trademarked or copyrighted. One day maybe all words and phrases will be copyrighted and/or trademarked and one will require a license to speak.) The concept expressed by more than one person is that Indianapolis has thrown such a good Super Bowl®, the NFL® will want to return here for another or more.

   First, I doubt—really, truly, honestly doubt—the NFL® wanted to come here at all. They have played their obligatory Super Bowl® here and will be happy to move to the next site. That is New Orleans. People like their Super Bowl® to be played in a warm place, like Florida or New Orleans or Southern California. We had a new stadium, so there was pressure to play here. NYC has a new stadium (in which, unfortunately, Jimmy Hoffa will not have an end zone presence). New York is a big market. NYC hosts the 2014 Super Bowl®. In 2015? Sunny San Diego.

   The happy times of these few days will be offset by years of debt we will pay. Maybe I am a spoilsport, but the money is going to other people’s pockets. Those pockets will be on aircraft headed out of town Sunday night or Monday morning (if not already electronically transferred).

   There was an estimate that one million people would be downtown last evening. I heard a person say, "This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience." Well, every moment is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We can optimize people’s chances of having more such experiences if we have good education here—and good streets and bridges, and proper law enforcement, and a political structure populated by people resistant to corruption.

   What makes a city "world class"? These are my criteria.

   There has to be a threshold of population. Maybe half a million would make it.

   The place has to have adequate mass transit. In Indianapolis the buses run every hour. People cannot plan their work schedules, or any other schedules, around IndyGo. Trains would be nice, but expensive. At least there should be adequate buses.

   The place has to have great public education, available to all. Here we are scrapping a flawed system for vouchers with which our future generations can be taught science by people who do not believe in the efficacy of evolution; foreign languages, like Spanish, by those who are xenophobic; mathematics by people who, a couple of hundred years ago, would have spurned Greek mathematicians as pagan.

   The place should have at least two great museums. Our best museums seem to be the Children’s Museum (love the dinosaurs bursting from the wall) and the Eiteljorg. They are nice but do not strike me as on the scale of the Museum of Science and Industry or the Field Museum. The Indianapolis Art Museum has a Picasso—that one would know is a Picasso only if one had an expertise in Picasso’s work or, lacking that, read the sign.

   I hope everyone enjoys the game—most watching it on their TVs or the TV of a neighbor or in a bar. The people from out of town—from world-class cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago—will be at the game. We will pay he price, in taxes, for their little party. Oh—and I am sure members of the City-County Council will be there, and probably not in the seats for which they paid only face. A few of them at least will be in the suites. There they don’t even have to stand in line to re-cycle whatever it is they have had to drink.

   Today we will rank presidents on the Show.  11 a.m. at Big Hat Books, 6510 Cornell Avenue.



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Comment by Paul K. Ogden on February 4, 2012 at 9:11pm

I think most council members will scalp the tickets they receive at face value as opposed to using them.

Comment by Paul K. Ogden on February 4, 2012 at 9:10pm

"There was an estimate that one million people would be downtown last evening. "

Was this some "estimate" offered by a drunk at BRT?


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