Monday, April 18, 2011

In my humble opinion...

The L-Dub vs. Lula vs. any other name for the CRA arts program is not our most pressing issue.  I do not agree with the CRA decision to go with the L-Dub moniker and, had I been on the board, my vote would be different than that of the prevailing side.  However, there is a pattern here that I think is worth looking at and perhaps there is a teachable moment here.

No doubt there is a street and gang reference associated with the slang Dub and L-Dub.  One wonders if a board charged with the redevelopment of Lake Worth chooses this term as the name for its arts program, you have to ask the question - what exactly is that they want to redevelop and grow?  Strangely, this issue seems to fall along "party" lines - eh hem.  It seems that those that are happy with the Sheriff department and the level of service they provide the city and the gains we have experienced in crime control do not like the choice, generally speaking.  And it seems that those who think we could do with less law enforcement like the term, generally speaking.

And what's happened to this Marketing Committee that Commissioner Mulvehill established by decree?  Did they weigh in on the recommendation?  Will they come up with a competing message?  Are we just creating more static and less of a digestible message?

The program will have printed materials, media attention, signs - it is part of a promotional campaign to attract artists here.  Has the CRA picked a name that is purposefully designed not to be successful?  If you don't like the prospect of gentrification and fear that this program may promote that, you'd like to throw a wrench in the works.  Let's keep the "L-Dub" down or hard-to the curb, like it is.  We don't want change.  We don't want new people.  We don't want money.  We don't want you - period, seems to be the message here.

Take for example the t-shirt, available at one of our beach tenant merchants and displayed on one of the other blogger's posts, which says "L-Dub" and the script below says "For locals only."  This is the type of welcome this group has to anyone that is either not from Lake Worth - or even if they fit certain stereotypes of conformity, consumerism or conservatism - whether or not these people really have these traits, there are those in our community that judge people in this manner.  If people outside this "inner circle" involve themselves in politics - watch out!  You are in for an attack on every part of your being.  So much for a welcoming and democratic attitude to civic involvement.  If you've noticed, those in power seem to have issues with unregulated public discourse and like to control the debate - regardless of their bohemian appearance or associations.

So, beyond the drug connotation, I think the L-Dub moniker reinforces the idea that those in power really are more xenophobic than actually open to new people and new ideas.  I could expand further on this - to the preference for local tenants, the closed GulfStream hotel, record decreases in property values compared with other municipalities, etc.  I'd be interested to know if you follow my point here.

We do have more important issues to address, by the way.