I think there’s not much more to add to the Crusty Old Curmudgeon-fest that took place in our absence other than this: as we sat on the couch in Boston, laughing at just how sad Feagler’s little rant was, reading the NEO reaction, etc… my former roommate asked what was happening. We explained that there’s a columnist in Cleveland who always writes about what it was like when he was a kid, and that he wrote a column decrying blogs. Like Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer, as someone referenced over at BFD. What can he possibly know about blogs? he’s just an Unfrozen Caveman Journalist! Except he confused blogs and wikis. And now everyone’s worked up about it.

His response?

“You’re kidding, right?”

Too much navelgazing, kids. Too much. I quote Tamas’ comment on BFD:

Feagler is just a symptom of a greater disease.

As I head out tomorrow on the long drive home, I feel my sense of disappointment will grow as I get closer to Cleveland. Having spent the weekend in Boston, New York City and even Portland, Maine, I felt a great sense of energy in each city. Things get done in these places. There’s energy out here. In Cleveland I just feel a greater need to pop some antidepressants. Whenever I even remotely feel that I can bring back some of this energy with me and apply it to my life and my city, I’m reminded why I’m ultimately just beating my head against the wall. And I continue to entertain thoughts about not returning to Cleveland at all.

People like Feagler and the Cleveland media continue to make our city a bigger joke. So what happens when there’s nobody left to laugh?

My point exactly. I moved back to Cleveland because I thought finally…finally things were starting to happen. We were positioned for a renaissance, a revival, hope, vision, dreams…it would be good to return home and take part in the glorious revolution.

Except our revolution wasn’t quite the French kind. No one’s risen up against the aristos. The mainstream media, a la the Plain Dealer and Channel-we-hate-blogs-3, is still in control, as are the old-school power centers. You can’t even count on decent arts listings in the paper! You can, however, count on this city to object strenuously to anything new or innovative. The only way Great Lakes Brewing Company gets away with its environmentally-friendly practices is by promoting them sotto voce.

This city happily chops people down to size, but only rarely nurtures growth. Is it any wonder we’re debating whether we truly want to live here long-term? As Tamas remarked, even Portland, Maine has more going on, and it’s less than 1/5th of Cleveland’s size!

By the way, is there anything better than coming back home to a clean house and an advance copy of your next book? If there is, I haven’t found it yet.

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