Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Paging Dr. Pangloss

Some people might say that I am too cynical. Actually, many people have said that, but what do they know? I prefer to think of myself as a pragmatist, a realist, who thinks we do the emperor no favor by letting him parade around with his bare ass hanging in the breeze.

But for the sake of argument, let us assume that I am cynical. Much of my cynicism--on this blog, anyway--is directed at Pittsburgh's elected officials and civic leaders who, in my opinion, are trying to revitalize the city by employing the same strategies that have been failing for the past 50 years--the very definition of insanity. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I have found my opposite number in the blogosphere, my antithesis, the Bizarro Jonathan, if you will. Via Pittsblog, I discovered Proud Pittsburgh, a blog overflowing with unconditional love for Pittsburgh, and eager to spread the Good News about a city reborn, brimming with possibilities and potential that finally has been tapped. The third Renaissance has arrived, Proud Pittsburgh tells us; we need only open our eyes to witness it.

So in the interest of seeking out viewpoints that challenge my own--a practice I honor more in the breach than in the observance--I plan to read Proud Pittsburgh regularly, and I hope Proud Pittsburgh will pay me the same courtesy. I look forward to a day when Proud Pittsburgh can say to me "I told you so" because deep within his hard heart, every cynic fervently hopes that someone will prove him wrong.


Blogger Unknown said...


Thank you for reading Proud Pittsburgh and for writing this post. I read your blog regularly, and I enjoy it very much.

I can see how the readers of our two blogs might think that you and I are Bizzaro World opposites. Your blog takes a critical view of the City's political structure and what they have done TO our city over the past several decades.
My blog focuses on the past and current achievements of Pittsburghers, as well as the positive developments popping up around us.

However, you might be surprised to find that my love for Pittsburgh is in no way unconditional. Like you, I am no fan of the way that our city has been governed, and I hope that I have not given the impression that I am pro-city government. To the contrary, I believe that we will succeed despite our government and it’s past failures.
My intent when starting Proud Pittsburgh was never to white-wash the city's major problems, but there are numerous places to find intelligent criticism of the current situation.

One look at my logo, and you can see that I am a Romantic- I view Pittsburghers as heroes. ( I know this is a broad statement, but that’s what romantics do.) My blog is intended to celebrate the individuals that made our city great in the past, and that are working in Oakland, South Side and Downtown today. I believe that Pittsburgh, more than any other city is the symbolic center of American achievement and I attempt to drive that point home in my blog. I believe that the same innovative spirit that drove George Westinghouse, Andrew Carnegie and Jonas Salk is driving people at Bayer, CMU, and UPMC. I am optimistic that some of the world-changing discoveries that will emerge from our universities will be commercialized here in Pittsburgh.
As I have said on Proud Pittsburgh… “Before George Westinghouse, electricity was little more than a science experiment; today, CMU and Pitt are full of science experiments waiting to become light switches”. I am optimistic that with hard work and the right conditions, the commercialization of these technologies will result in Pittsburgh’s real Renaissance.

I think that what Pittsburgh has always needed is a healthy balance of cynicism and romanticism. I will encourage Proud Pittsburgh readers to visit your blog, and I will continue to read it with great interest.
You wrote in your post – “I look forward to a day when Proud Pittsburgh can say to me "I told you so" because deep within his hard heart, every cynic fervently hopes that someone will prove him wrong.”
It is my great hope that some day we will be able to say to each other that our hard work paid off, and that together we made a small contribution to a great city.

10:54 AM


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