Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Facts? Pagh! We don't need no facts!

[WARNING: Here I rant.]

How nice. Apparently some blogger visited Buffalo at some recent point, and, having failed to be impressed, decided to write a blog post in which he lies about the city. A lot.

Now, we, the crack young staff of "The Hatemonger’s Quarterly," don’t want to rain on anyone's parade - though you'd be stupid to have a parade in Buffalo - but we happen to think that Buffalo, New York deserves to die. In fact, it possibly begs for a killing.

A few of our editors — let's just call them "Chip" — spent some time in Buffalo recently, and we must say that we wouldn’t spend 38 years in Buffalo without gunfire: Stuck in that dank hellhole, we’d shoot ourselves long before then.

No, fuck you. This post is nothing that anyone else out there who doesn't know Buffalo from any other place doesn't regularly dish out.

"It's miserably cold in Buffalo!"

Well, if you think Buffalo's too cold, then you must not like lots of cities in the US either, like Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, Des Moines, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Portland ME, and so on. None of those cities has an average temperature in January more than two degrees higher than Buffalo's, and a few of them are lower.

If you think Buffalo is "miserably cold", then don't come here. But don't blame Buffalo for the fact that you're a damn wuss.

"It snows quite often!

No shit. But lots of places get more snow than Buffalo; in fact, Buffalo doesn't even crack the top ten cities in the US for snowfall. (We're eleventh, beaten out by the likes of Flagstaff, AZ.) Also, snow isn't the whole story of a winter. Frankly, I'll take more snow and temperatures in the 20s over less snow and winter temperatures in the single digits or colder (without factoring wind chill), which are the norm in the Great Plains cities.

Oh, and guess what! Lots of people -- gasp! -- actually like snow. I know, it's hard to imagine people enjoying winter and stuff, but there's a reason that we have stuff like hockey and the Winter Olympics. It's the snow and the ice.

So put on a scarf and grow the hell up.

"It's horribly windy in Buffalo!"

Hmmmm. Well, yes, we do have wind here. No doubt about that. But our winds don't bring us extremely frigid air from the Canadian plains in winter, nor do our incredibly dry winds fan the flames of our wildfires in summer, nor do our winds carry lots of moisture from the tropics except for a few brief periods in summer when everybody's hot and humid. Our winds mostly come across Lake Erie, which makes Buffalo one of the few places where the temperature in summer has never officially hit 100 degrees in all the time they've been keeping records. Yes, our winds do produce lake-effect snow, but refer back to the point above. (And that's only an issue as long as Lake Erie hasn't frozen over; once that happens during the winter, we're pretty much done with snow.) And our summer winds are good for boating. (Yes, people do outside-type stuff in summer here. It's because our summers are nice, and our autumns are the best on the damn planet.)

Here's food for thought for the Buffalo Wind haters: our average wind speeds are only slightly higher than locations in Hawaii. I hope the Hatemongers aren't vacationing there anytime soon! They might blow away, being so wussy and all.

Then we get this crap:

Further, as a cultural center, Buffalo’s moribund. Sure, it’s home to a good art museum. But that’s about it. It used to be a haven for avant-garde classical music (Lucas Foss, Morton Feldman), but now it’s completely dried up. The Buffalo Symphony plays nothing but standard fare for the blue-haired ladies in the audience.

Yup, we have a good art museum. But which one? This one? This one? This one? This one? This one? I mean, the Hatemonger must be claiming that only one of these is a good museum and the others all suck, because surely he wouldn't be saying something like that without even knowing of the existence of those other museums. Why, that would be dishonest!

Also, Hatemonger must have taken in some of our local theatrical productions and found them wanting? He doesn't mention theater, but Buffalo's vibrant local theater is always cited as one of the city's cultural icons. Too bad they failed to impress Hatemonger. (Surely Hatemonger didn't fail to take in a show! That would be dishonest!)

I also have to thank Hatemonger for alerting me to the existence of the Buffalo Symphony. Here, all this time I've been following the exploits of the Buffalo Philharmonic, not the Buffalo Symphony! (He can't mean they're one and the same, right? Surely someone cognizent enough of Buffalo's cultural wealth wouldn't get the name of the orchestra wrong, would they?)

As to repertoire, no one would dispute that the heyday of new classical music in Buffalo is over. But "standard fare for the blue-haired ladies in the audience"? What twaddle. Yes, there are representative works from the standard repertoire in the offing for the upcoming season, works by Brahms and Schumann and the like. But this season will also see performances of Shining Brow, an opera written in 1991 by Daron Hagen; Miklos Rozsa's Violin Concerto, a work by a prominent film composer of the mid-20th century that isn't exactly an "old warhorse"; "Seven Passages" by contemporary Iranian composer Behzad Ranjbaran; Roberto Sierra's Concerto for Saxophones; "Three Hallucinations" and "Mr. Tambourine Man" by John Corigliano (one of the biggest names in contemporary classical music). And more.

If the blue-haired ladies in the BPO audience enjoy hearing all that, then good for them! That will make them more aware than some asshole blogger.

So let's re-write one of Hatemonger's paragraphs, shall we? The original -- "A few of our editors — let's just call them "Chip" — spent some time in Buffalo recently..." -- should actually read, "A buddy and I spent went to Buffalo on a business trip. We got there on a Tuesday and left on a Thursday, we never left our hotel room except to take a cab to wherever our business meeting was, and we spent the rest of the time sitting in the hotel bar drinking Bud Lite, munching stale Beer Nuts, and alternating between watching the news on Channel seven and listening to some guy named Bauerle who must really hate where he lives. And we figured, hey, that's good enough for us. Fire up the blog!"

You know what? You hated Buffalo? Then don't come back to Buffalo. We don't want you. It'd be one less asshole to export from our once-great and soon-to-be-great-again city.

(Oh, and by the way, Hatemonger: Niagara Falls isn't part of Buffalo. It's a whole different city, thirty miles away. Your mention of it in your post makes about as much sense as if I were to say that Manhattan sucks because Yonkers is ugly. And Timothy McVeigh isn't even from Buffalo, but from some other town that's a distance away. But don't let the facts get between you and the Stupid Well, because when you're thirsty for Stupid, you gotta drink deep and all.)

(Original link via Alan.)


Anonymous said...

Ya gotta love civic pride!

Simon said...

Um, have you ever read the HQ before, Jaq? It's kinda like getting all bent outta shape at an article in the Onion. EVERY post of theirs is a polemic based on spurious arguments and a thinly veiled excuse to use big words. (And far less entertaining / intelligent than the Onion.) Not that I'll condemn a good civic defence and all. Just sayin'.

Kelly Sedinger said...

Nope. Never seen that blog before. If the post was intended as Onion-esque satire, then it fails completely because it's completely unrecognizable as such.

Anonymous said...

Hatemongers is one of my favorite blogs but I never take it very seriously. It's not satire in the same way The Onion is but it's still mainly entertainment, or at least that's the way I take it. You know... an excuse to rant and use big words. Besides, what else would you expect from a blog with a name like that? :-)

Kelly Sedinger said...

I refuse to take that crap post about MY city as "entertainment".

Dragonet2 said...

Given my druthers (and the fact that I love my hometown so much that I live in the urbia of Kansas City, within 10 min of downtown), I'd much rather have cold and snow than the iced streets we often get in the winter. Snow I can drive on, I HATES iceskating in a car.

Maybe someday we can exchange visits, I have a good guest room on the third floor and knowledge of good but inexpensive hotels. And Buffalo is likely a very nice, but not huge, city, like Kansas City. Sounds like a good place to visit.