Now that you mention it

Chad Hermann is a great writer and he's right about so many things, so it's disconcerting to read him so . . . off (Thursday, 3/15, "A REACTION AND ANOTHER SUGGESTION / for all the inveterate whiners."). I didn't like the prospect of public funding for a hockey arena, and I still don't. State or local public funding is still public funding, and if the state has the money to spend, should a hockey arena be at the top of the list? Moreover, much of the pro-Pens crowd has an entitlement sensibility that is offensive regardless of the economics of a new house.

But I for one never threatened to boycott anything if the place gets built; that would be silly. Still, the prospect of never going to an hockey game or a Celine Dion concert or a WWE smackdown or a monster truck rally . . . is appealing. I'll give it a shot. Nine years in Pittsburgh and I've only been to the current arena once, for an Eagles concert that my son really wanted to see, so I'm optimistic that I won't miss anything if I pass on the new venue. I'm sure that the City of Pittsburgh will be fine if I spend my recreation dollars elsewhere. Never say never, but for now, thanks!

[corrected the spelling of Chad's last name!]


5 Responses to "Now that you mention it"

Jefferson Provost said... 3/15/2007 11:52 PM

Your son really wanted to see The Eagles? Seriously? C'mon Mike, you don't need to make excuses...

Mike Madison said... 3/16/2007 7:32 AM

It's the truth (and one small victory for me as a parent: my kids like good 70s guitar rock). I enjoyed the show, but he asked me to buy the tickets!

Chad said... 3/16/2007 9:32 AM

First: thanks for the kind words, Mike.

Now: let's start with some common ground. Far too many Penguins fans do have a sense of entitlement and, at best, a tenuous grip on reality. (I'll be posting about that soon.) No Celene Dion concerts or monster truck rallies in the city -- or, for that matter, the world -- would surely be a good thing. And, yes, public funding is still public funding.

For the record -- and perhaps I should have made this more clear, because several people have already misconstrued that post -- I am NOT painting everyone opposed to the arena deal as whiners. That post attacks people with a few, specific, irrational, and ultimately untenable positions on the issue. The kind of people who've lately been bloviating on talk radio and in letters t the editor. NOT people like you and some other bloggers who have thoughtful, considered, intelligent arguments to make on the subject. I don't happen to agree with you, but I'm surely not referring, much less even alluding, to you or your position in that post.

I've made some points a bit too glibly on my site, and I think you've done the same here, especially on this topic. That's the nature of the blogging beast. If you want to categorize me as being "" simply because I can accept and even support this deal, fine. -- if it was going to get done, and we all know that it was, then it seems to me that it was done about as palatably as it could have been -- so be it. We can agree to disagree.

But, again, for the record: that post was not directed at you or anyone like you. And, though I disagree with you and would be happy to debate some of the points of this issue a bit more closely, I would not even go so far as to declare you "so... off." Hell, I think you're close. Just not -- especially here in Western Pennsylvania political reality -- quite close enough.

Jefferson Provost said... 3/16/2007 12:01 PM

Heh. For years I've been trying to keep current with music, but lamenting the fact that most new music I hear sucks. I had written it off as another sign that I'm not a kid anymore. But now I'm starting to hear that the kids like our generation's music more than their own. Maybe new music really does suck.

(ok... it doesn't all suck, but I'm having a much harder time finding stuff I like than I did before.)

Mike Madison said... 3/16/2007 5:03 PM


Glib the blogosphere can be, as Yoda might have said, the word "off" in my post was meant more quizzically than anything else, like a chord that's slightly off key. Alas, such subtlety plays better over a beer.

Healthy disagreement is a good thing, and we may well have that here. The blogosphere can be a great forum for that, so may it continue. As I continue to observe in my other blogging efforts, healthy disagreement doesn't always come easily.


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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at] Mike also blogs at, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

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