Lawyers love plays on words, and academic lawyers love to tweak the noses of literary post-modernists. So Jim dodges the word "metropolitan," which conjures some Louisville taboos (Kentucky, it appears, self-identifies as rural), and instead coins the word "metrotextual" to describe his view of that city:
The central problems of our time are the problems of cities, of urban conglomerations so potent as to transcend earlier generations' conception of the "metropolis." To paraphrase the popular singer-songwriter, Natalie Merchant, "A woman of beauty / A woman of pain / In France or Jakarta" faces frustrations and harbors dreams every bit as much as "A woman of color / With debts to be paid / In Trenton or Detroit." At home or abroad, "Her shadow's the same."
By the same token, the world's metropolitan research universities hold the key to a brighter future for ourselves and our posterity. In his epochal book, The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life, Richard Florida quotes what he calls an "old German adage": Stadtluft macht frei. City air makes you free. Yes, today's cities generate many of the problems that confront contemporary societies. Led by their universities and their most engaged citizens, those cities offer hope. They offer solutions.
Read the whole thing here.
Here in Pittsburgh, Pitt aspires to prominence as a public research university; its urban identity -- dare I say its metrotextual identity -- is subsumed within that goal. Its metrotextuality, however, is worth pondering.