Don’t Get in a Butt-Fight With a Swedish Woman, S-Town Mike

Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike.

Where to start?

Okay, I guess we’ll start with the simple stuff.

1.  I wasn’t offering or withholding sympathy to/from you.  Are you a person who moved into a $500,000 condo downtown?  No you are not.  If you were, you would be called Downtown Mike or D-town Mike, and you are not.  Ipso facto, you don’t live downtown; I was not talking to you specifically.

2.  I was using the term “urban pioneer” in a joking fashion.  People live downtown.  They’ve always lived downtown. Maybe not a shit-ton of folks, but there have always been folks there.  There’s nothing to “pioneer.”  If we wanted to sit around and discuss the racist implications of the phrase “urban pioneer,” that would be fine.  But even using the term with its racist implications in full bloom wouldn’t cover you because, though the areas of Germantown, Salemtown, and Old Buena Vista are predominately black, they have never been completely black.  There have always been some white people there.

3.  It’s disgusting and considered bad form to use rape metaphors for the fact that you just moved to a dangerous part of town when talking with a feminist, or, really, any woman.  You say “I also did not demand your sympathy when I moved into a high crime neighborhood and chose to help start a crime watch rather than roll over and enjoy the violation.”  So, fine, on your end of the see-saw of that metaphor, you’re the brave one able to fight off the attacker, instead of the other option of just rolling over and “enjoying it.”  On the other end of the see-saw of your metaphor, you’ve just insinuated that an actual rape victim has but two choices, fight back or roll over and enjoy it.

I know that’s not what you meant, but if you want to have productive conversations with people whose own history of sexual assault you are unfamiliar with, perhaps you shouldn’t make light of it.

4.  You miss an important distinction–folks littering, stealing things, vomiting on your stoop, providing inadequate schooling–these things are all illegal.  We are talking about something, playing loud music, that is not illegal.

Let me remind you–you’re arguing that it should be grouped in with things like littering, theft, barfing on others, and providing shitty schooling for kids.  I’m arguing that it should not be.  You are, of course, free to act, when making your argument, as if all those things are of a kind, BUT THEY ARE NOT YET.

So, accusing me of being soft on actual crime, because I think it’s silly to lump loud music in as an actual crime is, at best, disingenuous and, at worse, ill-thought-out.

Of course you should rail against actual crime.  Come on.  Please.

That has nothing to do with why and whether one would want to make loud music into a crime.

5.  I have the same mayor as you, so don’t be trying to lump me in with suburbanites.  And even if I didn’t have the same mayor as you, I lived in the city proper until three and a half weeks ago.  I think I can remember what it’s like.

6.  I was not the one who linked stripping and loud music.  If you recall, it was right there in the first paragraph of Tobia’s piece.  I was merely reminded, by that paragraph, of how stupid the stripper rule is and, yes, how much many of these ordinances seem to be about regulating the fun of others.

7.  Foucault?  Ha ha ha ha ha.  Are we having some kind of philosopher show-down?

Listen, arguing that there’s nothing wrong with having a “reasonable” noise ordinance misses the point.  Do we need a reasonable noise ordinance?  What clubs and honky-tonks are too loud?  In what ways have they been unresponsive to residents’ complaints?  How will such an ordinance affect outdoor music downtown?  What about fireworks after games?  Or on the 4th of July?

That appears completely unclear to me.

And it’s on your side to more clearly explain yourself and get people to buy in.  Arguing “Oh, it’s just what Austin does,” is not going to cut it.  You’ve got to make a case for why we need it.

But I save the best for last.

You say

You would probably lose the donut bet that this bill has anything to do with the Adelicia or any other place in Midtown. On the one hand, the old law that governed the noise violations in Midtown (which is not Downtown, although it may seem that way to some surburbanites) restricted amplified music to 50 decibels (unless otherwise zoned). On the other hand, a new law was passed a few weeks ago that now covers neighborhoods like Midtown; that ordinance maintains that any noise that is “plainly audible” from the adjoining property line is prohibited. Sound meters are no longer needed outside of Downtown proper. So, Downtown’s proposed ordinance is exponentially more liberal (as I expect it should be) than Midtown’s and has absolutely nothing to do with the drama over at South Street. [Emphasis mine]

And yet let us look at the wording of the proposed ordinance, shall we?

F. Outdoor entertainment events within the downtown area.
1. No person shall operate an outdoor music and/or entertainment event that produces amplified sound which registers more than eighty-five Db(A), as measured from any point within the boundary line of the nearest residentially occupied property at the street level.
2. The provisions of this subsection shall only apply to (a) properties lying with an area zoned CC district and properties zoned CF district that are contiguous to those zoned CC district; (b) properties lying within an area bounded by properties fronting Music Square West and 17th Avenue South from Division Street to Edgehill Avenue; (c) properties along the north portion of Edgehill Avenue between 17th Avenue South and 16th Avenue South; (d) properties fronting 16th Avenue South and Music Square East between Edgehill Avenue and Division Street; (e) properties lying within an area fronting on the east side of 21st Avenue South from Scarritt Place to Edgehill Avenue; and (f) the properties fronting on the north side Edgehill Avenue to 17th Avenue South.

Hmm.  I wonder what could possibly be within those boundaries…

In case you’re wondering, I prefer my Krispy Kreme glazed.

Best,

Aunt B.

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