June Meme Watch

Flurry of memes this month. Let’s take a look:
Chalmers Project is exactly the same project as 300 Guy Park Ave — aka, how can you support apartments at Chalmers and not apartments at the museum? I’d deconstruct the argument but it would be like trying to convince someone who believes that a rock is exactly the same as a pineapple: it’s a long road with little chance of success; sometimes the Kool-Aid is much too strong to rationally debate.
Impose Tough Regulations on Homeowners, Relax Any and All Regulations on Businesses — in other words, we need to ruthlessly crack down on codes if a property owner is involved; if a code that applies to a business, how dare you question a business? This meme embodies the principle of lemon socialism: channel profits to individuals and corporations and pass the costs to the public, in this case, homeowners via lowered property values.
We Need Code Enforcement — aka The Mayor has Gutted Codes, aka the Corporation Counsel has Gutted Codes, aka Corporation Counsel Guts Codes to Help His Slumlord Clients. Interesting logic here to accuse attorneys of advocating and endorsing activities of which their clients are accused. By this reasoning, an attorney representing a drunken driver or an arsonist, would literally advocate for repeal of DWI laws and arson laws. Of course, the Council’s lack of funding and downsizing the department bears no relevance to the matter.
All Hail Parking Lots — What blasphemy to advocate for green space! Like Homer Simpson to a freshly baked box of donuts, this meme will erupt upon demolition of Chalmers as they gaze upon the razed earth of the Chalmers site to behold a fresh site perfectly suited for … a parking lot.  I daresay it may be one of the largest parking lots in the city, a truly awe inspiring sight that will shame our existing stock of empty lots.
All Hail Shared Services — see, shared services must work, look at the 911 system (here). Shhh,  just don’t mention ‘MOSA’ as that screws up the meme.
Dirty Liberal Hippies — this meme is triggered and propagated upon the mention of any combination of the following words and phrases as a counterargument: history, historical, architecture, green space, parks, quality of life, education, ethnic, repurposing, greening, marketing,restoration, preservation, culture, residential. Cursed hippies…
Reality versus Fantasy –Amsterdam is a dismal pit of a city, we should take whatever comes our way because we are not worthy of anything better. We should reflexively take anything with a dollar sign that comes our way as it will add to the tax base. regardless of economic externalities present and future to said dollar.  To believe Amsterdam can be reshaped and rebuilt is simply fantasy so the faster we accept the reality of our ultimate decline, the better– that’s reality.
We Live in a City and Cities are Noisy, Dirty and Hustle-Bustle; Load Up Your Truck and Move to Beverly or Green Acres is the Place to be if you don’t like it — I’d almost buy this argument if its advocates truly advocated urbanism or city-living as espoused. As best as I can tell, they believe anything but. Apparently city living means it’s cool to have a dump; it’s cool to demolish the very fabric of the city; it’s cool to advocate any development regardless of its impact on the neighborhoods; it’s cool for unfettered commercial development anywhere in the city. Ironically this very same chorus embraces decline as an inevitability for our city meanwhile advocating policies that hasten the decline in a self-fulfilling prophecy. How you create a city through policies intentionally anti-growth beats me. I’m sure any viable city allows development to go unchallenged and unfettered. A simply amazing yet profoundly seductive meme apparently.

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