Last night, I read this blog post by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Tod Robberson. My head exploded everywhere. After I was done scooping up my brains off the kitchen floor and pouring them back into my noggin, I began planning this blog post, the one I’m writing right now. Robberson, without naming us directly, addressed me and Observer editor Joe Tone. We’ve both raised questions about this golf course in southern Dallas. Robberson wrote:
Naysayers are great at explaining why things won’t work, but rarely do they offer realistic alternative solutions. I’ve learned not to take them too seriously.
So you can’t raise questions about the golf course without proposing an alternative development in southern Dallas? “I wonder how much development a golf course will generate, given that golfers will drop in, spend their money at the course, and leave. I propose we instead build a space port in southern Dallas.” Like that? Robberson went on to explain why he thinks the golf course will generate economic development:
Stadiums and sports arenas attract the masses for a single visit. Fans rush to get a good parking spot. They spend their money on concessions inside the venue. When the event is over, they hurry to escape the crowds and get home.
The scene couldn’t be any more different from the atmosphere at a golf course. Everything in golf moves slowly. It is designed to be a peaceful, relaxing, leisurely experience amid beautiful, serene surroundings. These are times when the mind is most open to opportunities and possibilities.
The naysayers comment is what made the pressure in my head begin to build. That last bit about serene surroundings is what made my brains hit the linoleum. Like I said, I began planning this post. I was going to come in here this morning and savage Robberson; remind you that the guy thinks cars need to be defended against bicycles; let you know that I’ve talked to people who’ve worked with him and absolutely detest the fellow; make the observation that he shares his Pulitzer with two people, so the committee that decides the thing had no idea which writing samples were his, meaning the other two people probably won the award for him; and then, just for fun, point out that there’s probably not another Pulitzer winner who has fewer followers on Twitter (he has 123). I was going to go ad hominem and strong mayor all over Tod Robberson.
Then I read Joe Tone’s post about Robberson. So measured. So succinct. So elegant in the way it lays out Robberson’s lazy, flawed thinking. And that’s when I decided that instead of letting my anger get the best of me, I should instead just point you to Tone’s post.