January 10, 2017

"On his blog, Mayor Paul Soglin takes on the UW's conservative blogger Ann Althouse for disparaging the city's proposed public market, mocking it as a liberal creation."

"Soglin extols the benefits the public market will begin to deliver and admonishes Althouse to stop portraying everything in Madison as crafted by liberals and reeking of socialism when, in fact, the plans are crafted by liberals reeking in capitalism."

I'm seeing that this morning in the local paper, The Capital Times, with no reporter's name attached to it. It's an embarrassing misreading of my post, but I don't know whether the misreading is by the Cap Times or the Mayor.

Here's the post of mine from a few days ago. It quotes a fundraising consultant who says she discovered that "people got more and more interested in the project" when she told them it was "about inclusiveness, and having a place for a variety of cultures and ethnicities to come together." My mockery was limited to expressing skepticism about whether people really were interested or merely "conscious of the need to look interested... when someone comes at you with talk of 'inclusiveness' and the 'com[ing] together' of 'cultures and ethnicities.'"

Beyond that, I confessed that "I've never been able to understand" the idea of the public market. That's not mocking the market, just admitting I don't get it. And I really don't get the idea that it's a tool for achieving "racial equity and social justice." I didn't say a word about capitalism and socialism. I'm just doing racial critique and suspicious that people are using racial propaganda to grease some project they want.

So let's take a look at Mayor Soglin's blog:
This weekend Ann Althouse mocked — she is good at that — the Madison Public Market....
What did she do? She used mockery...



Soglin says:
There is good reason why the analysis of the Public Market includes a focus on diversity, inclusiveness, and equity.
The bullet-point list that follows gives a visual impression of an argument, but I can't find it. The recent recession "was bad, and is still challenging, for low income families and individuals," these people need "entry-level jobs," entrepreneurship in food business can provide entry level jobs, and "low-income people of all colors and races" can engage in entrepreneurship. What is the argument? We're going to move toward racial equity with some new food service jobs and new potential to start a food-service business?

Speaking of entrepreneurship, you're not doing very well as an idea entrepreneur, Mayor Soglin. I said I didn't understand the idea. I'm open to listening to an argument, but you are not making it. You're just dropping a disjointed list out there as if the points add up. It's a tad underpants-gnomish.

Soglin proceeds to offer information about markets in other cities. The one in Seattle, he tells us, "is expensive and losing its charm as it is now a major tourist destination." Was it sold as helping the poor and minorities?

The one in Philadelphia is said to be good but related to the railway. Here, Soglin reminds us that — because of Scott Walker — we didn't get a train. So no train-related market for us. What that had to do with helping the poor and minorities, I don't know.

Next, Soglin refers to 3 markets in Minneapolis and York, Pennsylvania. The one in York supports vendors who are "almost all white, reflecting the population of the community." Wouldn't that support the prediction that a public market in 78.9% -white Madison would serve the interests of white people? What is the argument for the market as a racial-progress tool?

I don't think Soglin addresses my questions seriously at all. He dings me for mockery, but my mockery is much more serious than his haphazard dumping of factoids with no substance linking them up into a reasonable argument.

Really, he fails to see that I went easy on him by keeping things light with questions, confessions of inability to understand, and invitations to engage. He did not engage.

And check out his last paragraph:
If Althouse can look beyond her own exclusive world, one reeking in privilege, perhaps she will escape the shackles of her rigid assumption that everything in Madison is crafted by liberals, reeking in socialism. At times these plans are crafted by liberals reeking in capitalism.
He said "reeking" three times. I guess he thinks smelliness is funny. Maybe he's into the metaphor that ideology is odor.

Let's take a closer sniff.

The first "reeking" is my exclusive, privileged world. What world is that? Madison, Wisconsin? The University of Wisconsin? The law school?

Next, I'm accused of having a "rigid assumption that everything in Madison is crafted by liberals, reeking in socialism." That doesn't connect to anything in my post. The rigidity must be in his head. He who smelt it dealt it.

He's afraid, I suspect, that he'll be accused of socialism. But I was expressing skepticism about race-based propaganda for things that don't seem to have anything to do with race.

I didn't hit you over the head with this, Mayor Soglin, but your project seems to be offering something white middle-class people like. And one of the things these people like is the feeling that they are not greedily grasping at something they want, but helping the poor and minorities.

And speaking of liberal self-love, why do you think you smell so good when you're trying to do capitalism? Do you think socialism stinks or do you think you stink of socialism and need to douse yourself with capitalism to get something done? I never talked about capitalism and socialism. I talked about race propaganda, who really benefits, and will this thing really work?

Take a metaphorical shower and come back when you're ready to talk substance, sound argument, and reality.

ADDED: Meade points out that Soglin put a link on "reeking in privilege" in that last paragraph, where he's saying I'm in an "exclusive, privileged world." It goes to a post of mine from yesterday, "Did you watch the Golden Globes last night and hear what the entertainment industry people had to say about Trump?" That's a post making fun of the Hollywood elite that partied with Obama on Saturday and celebrated themselves with awards on Sunday. I was saying we weren't watching the Globes but the Packers game. Well, it is a privilege to live in Wisconsin and root for the Packers, but I don't think that's what he could have meant. I do see that my post used the phrase "reeking privilege." I said:
But I find celebrity talk about presidential politics so compulsively avoidable these days. The celebrities all backed Hillary Clinton. They — in their reeking privilege — seemed to have had their hearts set on 8 more years of glamming it up in the White House.
Does that show me in an "exclusive world"? It's a world anyone can enter. All you've got to do is feel sick of celebrities talking about presidential politics. Come on in! Everyone's welcome. Want to watch the Packers game?

216 comments:

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Michael said...

MadasHell

The mayor;s idiotic logic is the logic of the left. Nobody goes to the market in Seattle because people from out of town are there gushing money into the Seattle economy. Can't have that in Madison. If tourists are there then it can't be cool and if it isn't cool it isn't diverse or at least not diverse diverse. This is Joseph Heller stuff, priceless that it is right here in the real world.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...He said "reeking" three times. I guess he thinks smelliness is funny. Maybe he's into the metaphor that ideology is odor.

Alternate theory: the Mayor is a consistent reader/stalker here at your blog and knows you suffer from anosmia--and he's disability-shaming you! Someone should file a complaint. Meryl Streep told me that there's nothing worse than mocking someone's disability. Tsk tsk, Mayor S.

Oshbgosh said...

The mayor wants to put the infrastructure in place to create a year round marketplace along the lines of the Central Market in Florence Italy or Eastern Market in Washington DC. That will allow the city to rental to small businesses who could not afford the capital investment individually. Why he has a hard time explaining this to Madisonians is an interesting dilemma. Having visited both of the mentioned markets I would find one in Madison inviting on my frequent visits there.

tcrosse said...

Althouse is a superlative salonnière
Exactly. The lady hosts an excellent salon. Ever so much nicer term than Blogress.
The French-Canadians ( whom I am honoured to have as ancestors ) use the term 'animatrice' for what she does, as one who animates things.

richard mcenroe said...

Welcome to the Madison souk, ya habibi! Stay away from the beggars, please, they are grabby and quicker than they look...

Rusty said...

Oshbgosh said...
"The mayor wants to put the infrastructure in place to create a year round marketplace along the lines of the Central Market in Florence Italy or Eastern Market in Washington DC. That will allow the city to rental to small businesses who could not afford the capital investment individually. Why he has a hard time explaining this to Madisonians is an interesting dilemma. Having visited both of the mentioned markets I would find one in Madison inviting on my frequent visits there."

Well, by god that settles it. If Oshbgosh wants a market like they have in Florence Italy then we just have got to have one. Nevermind the ubiquitous supermarkets, farmers markets, Stores like Walmart and Target that also sell produce and other stuff. Madison needs a 12 million dollar(initial estimate) market so Madison can Be just like Florence Henderson, I mean Italy. Florence Italy.

isthmus legend said...

Paul Soglin says:

"There is good reason why the analysis of the Public Market includes a focus on diversity, inclusiveness, and equity."

What does he really mean?

- A focus on the diversity of cheese offerings?

- Inclusiveness of vegan themed prepared food for people who aren't big into cooking their own food because servants do it for them? (loose immigration keeps the cost of that servant labor WAY down)

- Do gays and glamorous stay at home wives like the idea of boutique shopping in places with posters of people from Kenya picking coffee beans with the slogan "fair trade"?

What does he really mean?

BN said...

I didn't read any of this but the headlines and shit (TLDR; reading is hard!), but I'd just like to say,

"On his blog, Mayor Paul Soglin takes on the UW's conservative blogger Ann Althouse for... blah blah blah..."

Congratulations!

Have you picked out your Up Against the Wall spot yet?

EMD said...

"If Althouse can look beyond her own exclusive world, one reeking in privilege, perhaps she will escape the shackles of her rigid assumption that everything in Madison is crafted by liberals, reeking in socialism. "

The proper response to this is, and has always been, and ever shall be ... fuck off.

tcrosse said...

Salonnière is a very apt word, and so much nicer than blogress. Another appropriate word is Animatrice.

EMD said...

" diversity, inclusiveness, and equity"

DIE.

EMD said...

"Once it's indoors, how is it not another grocery story/food court? "

I'd imagine it's like North Market in Columbus, Ohio, which is cool, but not essential (and certainly not needing public funding.)

Paco Wové said...

"Why he has a hard time explaining this to Madisonians is an interesting dilemma."

I assume it's because he's letting all that SJW-talk get in the way of making sense.

Krumhorn said...

Only in a commie cell like Madison would cruel neutrality translate into a description of our hostess as a conservative blogger. She's wonderful, but she's no conservative.

- Krumhorn

Paul J said...

Also, am I the only one annoyed by "reeking in"?

Probably meant to be a Steely Dan allusion. After all, "k" is right next to "l". QED

PianoLessons said...

I love this post and thread, A Madison Public Market on the economically explosive East Washington Corridor (everyone wants to buy into the neighborhood - traffic is insane for many folks) must be crafted carefully - and it must not be a bunch of Hmong folks selling produce or it will die. Forget the multicultural "rule" for vendors and it really has the potential for great chefs and craftsmen/artists of all cultures to shine.

Anne is spot on to challenge Mayor Soglin's inference that it will be a place for underrepresented folks to sell. That is a deal breaker in Madison - about 70 folks in old hippie clothes will walk or bike over from Willie Street to spend very few dollars for...you know ....turnips or something.

Invite creators to the space without any rules or "multicultural" litmus tests - it will be amazing. Seriously.

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