Wednesday, October 03, 2007

An Open Letter to Luke Ravenstahl (or The Importance of 1 Corinthians 13:11)

Dear Mr. Ravenstahl,

If you pick up this week's Entertainment Weekly, you'll find a special feature on TV's top cringe worthy moments. Topping the list is ADB favorite Ricky Gervais as David Brent in the BBC comedy The Office. Gervais, as always, plays Brent with a seeming disregard for any sense of normal social construct and a complete obliviousness to his own situation, which leads to endless awkward encounters between him and the rest of the world.

Unfortunately, because Mr. Gervais is so good at his performace, yours truly is only able to sit through one or two episodes at a time without feeling overwhelmingly awkward.

You'll understand, therefore, why your comments today may force me to take a break from you for awhile.

At first, I appreciated that you did sort of take responsibility for taking the City SUV out for fun. I know that have, in the past, encouraged you to take responsibility for the stupid shit that you've done. At first I was pleased, however...

Well, my Aunt Mildred had an old saying: "don't poke the bear with a stick." She told me that one at my Uncle Dan's funeral, who had been mauled by a bear he had poked with a stick. I'm sure that she was speaking about the recent ursine incident, but really that advice can be applied more universally. In essence, you should never needlessly exacerbate a problem needlessly.

Today, Mr. Mayor, you poked the bear with the stick:

"I understand I'm being held to a higher standard but at the same time I'm going to continue to be who I am, because that's the only way I know to be. Have I learned? Absolutely. Will I carefully consider decisions that I make? Absolutely," he said.

"But at the end of the day, I'm still going to continue to be who I'm going to be, and go to concerts like I always have, and go to have a drink with my wife in bars. That's what 27-year-olds do and I shouldn't be any different . . . I'm not going to change my life to appease the media or appease somebody who wants me to be somebody I'm not. I think the fact that I'm 27 is something the city should embrace and it's something that I've embraced."
I'm cringing hard here; I may need to walk away unexpectedly.

Look, back years ago I was once your age and, yes, I did act like a 27 year old... which, for me involved going out to bars, drinking large amounts of alcohol, and dancing on tables as people threw money at me.

I was not, however, mayor of Pittsburgh at the time.

Now, I realize that being mayor of Pittsburgh isn't as high profile as, say, mayor of New York or mayor of Chicago, but still, you now represent a major metropolitan area. The sad part of public life is that you are now no longer entitled to a private life in the same way that other civilians are. You are not just a 27 year old; you are the Mayor. You cannot expect people to treat you as a seasoned politician on one hand and expect them to forgive your "youthful indiscretions" on the other.

It's your choice: you can act like a 27 year old, or act like a Mayor, but not both. To make your choice a little easier, you should remember that you don't have to be elected to the illustrious position of 27 year old.

You have to choose soon, however. Otherwise, I'm afraid I'm going to be fidgeting awkwardly throughout the rest of your term.


The Angry Drunk Bureaucrat


EdHeath said...

From Early Returns:
"...I think the fact that I'm 27 is something the city should embrace and it's something that I've embraced. And if you look at the issues that are of importance and what we've done as an administration over 13 months I'm very proud of where we're at," Mr. Ravenstahl said." The Mayor is actually linking his nightlife with his accomplishments. This particular news cycle is a target rich environment for foolish quotes from the Mayor. He has, literally, learned nothing from last month or last spring.

I am beginning to think your connection between the British Office and this Mayor is really spot on. And that's not a good thing.

Bram Reichbaum said...

Honestly, I think you're way off topic. I don't care if he goes to concerts or bars or whatever. Have fun! I just don't want him to do it in city-owned vehicles earmarked for Homeland Security. And *especially* don't do that then turn around and say there's no appearance of impropriety.

If there is no appearance of impropriety, how come he said he stopped doing it as soon as he found out?

Sherry said...

i don't care if he parties. i do care if he has trouble bringing a sense of maturity to his job.

me, i was married and had a daughter in grade school at his age.

i still enjoyed myself but i knew i had responsiblities.

sometimes you just have to suck it up and admit that if you don't do it, no one will. it stops and starts with him.

what, he doesn't own a car?
he should drive his own.