Friday, September 6, 2013

Boosters and Complainers

There has been a bit of a discussion on booster and complainers in the city of Winnipeg. The word angst has been described a few times. I think it should be pointed out that we are not the only place like this. This same navel gazing takes place in Toronto as well.

They were so determined to land a big sports event that they bid on and got the Pan American Games for 2015. Two previous times to get the Olympics failed.

Many cities all indicate they want to do something world-class. The suggestion is they don't want to appear ordinary. Toronto uses the term frequently. And to be fair they often do have amazing events, attractions and people.

I have travelled to a few countries and it has always been a mix of boosterism and complaining. The truth always lies somewhere in between.

The Weakerthans in their song One Great City celebrated the complainers of Winnipeg.

Venetian Snares had an even more negative view.

Not surprisingly, there are not as many moment where people stand up and say how proud they are publicly.

Even when there is a Winnipeg song, it seems like faint praise such as what you find on Randy Bachman and Neil Young's Prairie Town.

In the last little while, I have detected renewed irritation in Winnipeg often manifested in snark. I suppose it is a bit better and more clever than some in the west who with a certain smugness call where they live "God's country." The inference being that the people there are also God's favoured.

No matter. As I mentioned, the truth lies somewhere in between.

Bloggers have come in for scrutiny a bit, especially by the main media. I have no problem with that.  Truth be told, there are lot of fewer Winnipeg bloggers than a few years back. Many people have migrated to Twitter or other social media.

I don't really see myself as a booster or a complainer. I feel I can write about the attraction of IKEA while still pointing out about the traffic chaos in the area. I speculated long ago what sort police cars Winnipeg might get when Crown Victorias were retired while gagging at the paint jobs they were getting. I have mused about commercial and retail developments, wrote about educational and institutional construction, talked about cultural, sport, recreational activities and politics.

I'd like to think I have not been anything but myself. I'm not a journalist. I rely heavily on mainstream media for information. I don't have that type of access or the resources or the time to cover stories. I respect TV, radio and newspapers. It is an endless mouth that needs to be fed and I am sure it is like any job out there that you might love and hate at the same time.

I often think some bloggers just eventually quit as it is fatiguing thinking of what to write. Or they just have said all the want to say. For a journalist, the work continues, assignments are given, deadlines set. Not easy.

I write mostly about Winnipeg. My blog usually gets between 14,000 and 25,000 hits for the year 2013. I hope people find what I write or what I find interesting. Sometimes it is just a song or a website I have liked. Mostly I have taken the time to write something about the city.

I think I am like a lot of people in Winnipeg. I know what our problems are but I also know what a great place it is to live here as well.

So Booster or Complainer? I am neither and both. So stick that feather in your cap.

By the way, I wish I was joined by more long form writers in blogs who write about where they live. I can't tell you how much I enjoy it.

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