Wednesday, May 25, 2005

There's trouble... right here in River City.

Okay, I suppose as a newspaper columnist, one of the things that I shouldn't do is make fun of the front page of my newspaper. Tough, it's gonna happen today.

Our headline on A-1 today reads: MAKING THE Q-C "COOL". First off, if you live in a town that's SO uncool that it requires study, concentration, and articles on how to make it cool, you've got a problem. Second of all, I really love how the headline reads: Making the Q-C "cool". Note the hip usage of the quotation marks around "cool," as though the paper was being soooo rebellious for using such a hip colloquialism as 'cool.' Ya know, cool's not a slang term any more. Look it up in the dictionary. It's meshed with our vocabulary at this point. Using the quotation marks just isn't "hip," or "gnarly," or "bitchin'."

Anyways, so some bright light bulb has decided that the Quad Cities needs to be "cool," so they need to bring in a consulting economist to explore the notion of "cool." Next Generation Consulting conducted a seminar called "Building a Cool Community" last night at the Mark apparantly. Because, that's right kids, whenever I think of the word "cool," what IMMEDIATELY pops into mind is, you guessed it, Next Generation Consulting.

Their coolness study apparantly revealed that the city needs to retain or bring in ages 25-44 to the community. Well, DUH. What the study DOESN'T mention, though, is the fact that 25-44's are usually the motivators to bring others here.

You can't have a 60 year old guy going, "Okay, let's get "hip," people!" You need young movers and shakers in order to attract other movers and shakers.

According to Next Generation, the Quad Cities "rates high in social activities." Umm... WHAT?! If this is high, I'd hate to live in a town that ranks LOW in social activities then... I'm thinkin' that's a town where even the cow patties are boring. I am PERPETUALLY bored in the Quad Cities, as are most of my friends. The Quad Cities has very little to do for someone my age other than eat, drink, and watch a movie. Young people like the hustle and bustle of big cities... and we are simply NEVER going to compare to Chicago. Why try? The Huck Finn lifestyle of living on the Mississippi doesn't really appeal to ANYBODY my age, does it?

That said, I wouldn't mind things a bit "cool"-er around these parts, so good luck to 'em... though, if I know my economist consultants, their end presentation will basically be, "We need more affordable housing and that will bring in more youth-oriented business to town" (read: ugly condos and another stinkin' bar. Yay.)

Sigh. Oh, wait, I'm sorry. "Sigh."


Alivia said...

hey i just clicked "next blog" and yours appeared. i was amused cos the old white suits here are also working on a formula to make my boring city a creative hotbed/hipster magnet. the approach is pretty hilarious:)

Anonymous said...

I agree bringing in consultants to tell us what is "cool" is silly. A big part of the problem is how areas like the Quad Cities are perceived. Perception is reality. For example, I'm amazed how much more proud of their state people from Wisconsin are than people from this area. I'm not talking Madison or Milwaukee, either. I'm talking places like LaCrosse and Wausau.

I guess my point is, places like the QC's don't necessarily have to try be a "cooler" place to live than Chicago. They just have to comfortably beat out places like Wausau, or, better yet, Chicago's far away, cookie-cutter, mind-numbing suburbs like Aurora.