Asks a baby: “Does it bother anybody
else that the mime is talking?” The State Farm TV ad is staged at a
sidewalk café not unlike those on
Springfield’s Public Square. Our
downtown has long been the Lego-Tinker-Toy-Lincoln-Log-Erector set
for municipal governmenteers and
those who occupy some quasi-government
or not-for-profit function
Worried of traffic jams in the late ‘60s, traffic planners created a series of downtown
one-ways in a “tuning fork” design. Their
descendants likely are the designers of pretzel
interfaces used at major highway intersections
throughout our city.
Start with that “son, you can’t get there from
here,” tuning-fork traffic snarl, add the then
newly-opened Battlefield Mall and convert the
square’s parking to a hobo recreation center and
the demise of our center city was a certainty.
Ozarks cultural logic fascinates The Edge.
Local merchants were jilted in favor of the ability
to shop indoors. Yet, the same locals gleefully
trudge six blocks through uphill snow (both
ways) from a parking spot to a venue where
they can down a shot of Jaeger, attend a basketball
game or pay a few shekels for a sample
Subsidize and regulate as we might, we have
little to show downtown save the schizoid-distinction
of creating a tax incentive improvement
district, replete with a public library
branch smack-dab in the middle of (it’s more
upscale than Commercial Street) skid row.
School Spirits? In its role as alcoholic playpen to MSU’s student
bodies, downtown will, peradventure,
experiment with distance learning. In addition
to horseshoes and hand grenades, the city of
Springfield likes to count the concept of “close” when regulating evening entertainment.
Exotic dancers (the current PC euphemism
for strippers) are required to be separated
from their customers by at least 18 inches. The local “bar” can’t wait to defend
one of these cases based on the “body of evidence.” Here’s a whole
new legal defense specialty: bareister.