A word to the wise

Every December, I take a little time to try to apply the lessons I’ve learned as an observer of local politics over the past 12 years. The goal is to try to give some useful gifts to people who are in the spotlight in our community, to help them reach their full potential in the new year. Here are my offerings for 2008. Take them in the spirit in which they’re presented: with kindness, warmth and sincere humility.

Mayor Terry Bellamy: Teacher, please! For Robin Cape’s sake, change the seating arrangements at City Council. Wait—strike that! Fix a lot more cameras on Carl Mumpower and Robin Cape. Also, get a camera crew to follow them around to committee meetings and public events. (I recommend a team made up of Wally Bowen, Tim Peck, Gordon Smith and, for good measure, Brother Christopher.) Then, set up a pay-per-view channel as part of the next local cable deal, and start raising some serious cash to pay for installing more road signs along the renovated portion of College Street. I’m sure I’ve seen at least four 5-foot stretches with nary a sign posted on them yet.

Buncombe County Sheriff Van Duncan: If the media ever ask if you’re involved in some kind of possible criminal action, never point to how small your apartment is as a way to refute the allegations.

Council member Bill Russell: Bring more balance to the Asheville City Council … by getting Brownie Newman to have occasional meltdowns while he’s sitting next to you. Don’t let Carl steal all the memorable moments. If you’re good enough, you may even get your own fixed camera frame like the ones Robin and Carl have.

Mayor Jerry VeHaun: Continue Woodfin’s silent war to conquer the rest of Buncombe County’s unincorporated territory before the mighty Asheville Empire has time to react. I envision a day when The People’s Republic of Woodfin will surround the city and set up checkpoints at all entrances and exits to make sure none of the “freaks” get out to further pollute the region. (See South Park hippie-infestation/jam-band episode for further insights.) San Franciscans could airdrop crates of patchouli from hot-air balloons whenever the drummers signaled for resupply.

Cecil Bothwell: Start a satire page in your new paper called “The Asheville Inflamer.”

Sen. Martin Nesbitt: For the third straight year, I have the same resolution for you: Speak to us! (By “us,” I mean the people who might not always agree with you.) Or at the very least, return phone calls or answer e-mails. Heck—for starters, just have your staff acknowledge that you’re still in the state Senate. You have a Cal Ripkin Jr.-type record that will never be broken: You’re safely in the “Blow-off Hall of Fame.” Come out of the shadows and engage with the listeners of Take a Stand!.

Chad Nesbitt: Grow back the mullet—or was it a ponytail? You had much more street cred when you were sporting the transplanted-Michigan-hockey-player look; it matched your tactics nicely. Somehow, looking like a character from an early ‘90s street-fighting video game isn’t really speaking to me. PS: Have your stepdad call me.

Council member Brownie Newman: 1) Get back in touch with the “natural side” of what the Earth has to offer—you were more fun in the old days. 2) Rent Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke.

Selina Sullivan: Open a trampoline business. Then you can bounce all day and not get in trouble for it.

Council member Robin Cape: I have a revision to last year’s resolution. Start bringing your standup bass to City Council meetings. Every time Carl tries to speak, start slapping out the riffs to “Another One Bites the Dust.” Music is something you’re very good at, and it might help you deal with the stress a little better. You may never get the last word, but you could always play the final tune.

Rep. Heath Shuler: Open a local fence business. You’re awfully good at walking them.

Darcel Grimes: Create a YouTube channel where you can post rants like the “Leave Britney Alone” guy. We know you have it in you to become a household name across the country, not just in the greater Asheville area. I can see it now: “Leave John Le Alone!!! [cry] He’s a human being!!! [sniffle] Do you know how hard it is to get on TV and make a fool of yourself every day? [cry] You people are lucky he even performs for you! [wipe snot from nose] Leave John Le Alone!!! [sob].” Go nuts: We’ll love you for it.

Don Yelton: Talk less—laugh more.

Carl Mumpower: Here’s a way you can maximize your productivity: Rather than hanging around the housing projects in Asheville looking for drug dealers while constantly pushing for local enforcement of federal immigration laws, why not combine the two? Stake out rural marijuana crops that are being harvested by illegal aliens. Let us know how that works out for you…


If you have any suggested New Year’s resolutions for me, e-mail them to Matt@wwnc.com. Happy Merry New Crist-za Huana-Solst-Year!

[Matt Mittan hosts Take a Stand! on WWNC-AM, Monday through Friday from 3-6 p.m. The show’s Web site is www.mattcave.us]

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38 thoughts on “A word to the wise

  1. “Selina Sullivan: Open a trampoline business. Then you can bounce all day and not get in trouble for it.”

    Truly cold and heartless. I love it.

    Also, I look forward to Brownie’s movie review. Please include the out-takes on YouTube.

    http://snipr.com/1vu5j

    And I would love to work with Wally and Gordon. In fact, Gordon and Cecil Bothwell have started a local political watchdog group called the Vance Policy Institute.

    http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us/?p=4510

    It should prove interesting, if properly implemented.

  2. P-38

    Just who does this guy think he is to critique anyone? Can we say, massive ego?? And why would he think anyone would care about his feeble attempt of disparaging humor, at others expense.

    I find it somewhat hypocritical for someone with such thin skin giving advice, or suggestions to anyone. Any time any criticism or critiquing of his performance, or position on issues comes his way, all he can do is have a pity party and whine fest on his show.

    (Quote)
    <>Rep. Heath Shuler: Open a local fence business. You’re awfully good at walking them.<>

    Oh Brother! I guess it takes one, to know one.

    As for Sen. Martin Nesbitt: He knows the audience is not big enough to affect anything. That’s the reason he refuses to give you the time of day. And for a show that brags how much influence they have with “the people” and on politics. It seems that exaggerated influence is laughable negligible. As the same ones are reelected over, and over again.

  3. Rob Close

    he’s a radio host – it’s his job to critique. if that takes some ego, so be it. good job taking them all on, matt, i enjoyed it.

  4. Ken Hanke

    “Just who does this guy think he is to critique anyone?”

    In which case who do you think you are to critique him? At the very least, Mr. Mittan does his critiquing as Matt Mittan and not from behind the safety of a screen name.

  5. P-38

    Oh ME “employees” now coming to the defense. I must be hitting close to the mark.

    Who do I think I am to critique him? Hey! What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.

    My post was my observations, as the author stated about the subjects of his column. It seems some of the subjects of his column didn’t appreciate his critique any more than some of his unquestioning supporters have mine. Just pointing out some of the similar observed shortcomings of the author to the subjects in his own column.

    And I have to wonder If a glowing post, and praise about the article would have warranted the suggestion of who is behind an ID? I think not. Even the slightest negative feedback, is not to be tolerated it seems. But then it’s not that I do not ever agree with Mr. Mittan. I certainly do on occasion. But this is not one of them. And since your an employee of ME, I’m sure you have the ID information. So please feel free to use it.

    Awww… Lets just use one of the author’s introductory sentiments from the article as my own as well.

    (Quote)
    “Take my observations in the spirit in which they’re presented: with kindness, warmth and sincere humility.” LOL!

  6. Ken Hanke

    “Oh ME “employees” now coming to the defense. I must be hitting close to the mark.”

    I can’t imagine what mark you think you’re coming near. I just find it a little hypocritical to upbraid someone for daring to critique others and then doing it yourself. Or maybe I should call it ironical.

    “Who do I think I am to critique him? Hey! What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.”

    See above. Or are you one of the ganders being goosed?

    “It seems some of the subjects of his column didn’t appreciate his critique any more than some of his unquestioning supporters have mine.”

    I hardly think I qualify as one of Matt’s “unquestioning supporters.” I know him, but not well. I appear on his show once a week, but not in a political capacity — except in as much as my own politics inform whatever movies I’m talking about. I know enough to know that Matt and I are only marginally lined up on the political spectrum, since I’m firmly in the very liberal Democrat column. This isn’t the stuff of unquestioning support.

    “And I have to wonder If a glowing post, and praise about the article would have warranted the suggestion of who is behind an ID?”

    Probably not, because the question wouldn’t arise, but I am invariably skeptical — having managed a message board for seven years — of attacks made by persons under screen names. I don’t in this case even suggest I know who is behind the ID. My point was and remains that Matt’s remarks are under his own name — meaning that he is prepared as himself to take the flak. Unless your name is really P-38, that doesn’t seem to be the case with you.

    “And since your an employee of ME, I’m sure you have the ID information. So please feel free to use it.”

    First of all, I’m technically a free-lancer, even though I’m certainly affiliated with the Xpress and have been for seven years. Second, I do not have the ID information, nor do I have access to it. Third, what possible use could I make of the information if I did have it?

  7. Thunder Pig

    P-38:
    Just ignore Matt like the rest of us are starting to do since has ignored us, or worse, tried to destroy our movement whenever possible.

    These things are not forgotten easily.

  8. Nam Vet

    I like Matt and listen to his show whenever I can. He did the community a great service by pushing the “Let Asheville Vote” issue. He also invites local politicians to his show and stays non-partisan enough that they all feel welcome. But…I wish he would’ve poked fun at himself here to start this off. A good smartass sense of humor should begin as self-deprecating. Hey, I do believe I just did his New year’s resolution! :)

  9. P-38

    -since I’m firmly in the very liberal Democrat column-

    Wow! What a shock! Who would ever of thought a very liberal individual would be associated with the ME? LOL!

    But at least the ME doesn’t try to deny who they are, as the AC-T does. It seems the ME is being pushed heavily on the Matt show for some reason. Could that be the fence walking he accuses Shuler of? Hummm!

    -I appear on his show once a week,-

    Yep! That’s one of the reasons I’ve ceased listening as often. As soon as that segment comes on, it’s way past time to move on.

    -Probably not, because the question wouldn’t arise,-

    Exactly!

    -but I am invariably skeptical—having managed a message board for seven years—of attacks-

    Attacks? My post was no different than Mr Mittan’s column. A little bit of selective outrage going on here. But you can read into it whatever you wish.

    -a little hypocritical to upbraid someone for daring to critique others and then doing it yourself.-

    Oh were all hypocrites to one degree or another. Except for liberals of course. No wait! Were you just judging me concerning my post? I thought liberals “never” judged anyone, or anything. Gee! Guess liberals are hypocrites after all. LOL!

    -Third, what possible use could I make of the information if I did have it?-

    Oh I’m sure you could think of something. (grin)

  10. Chad Nesbitt

    At least he did’nt make fun of my sppelling.
    LOL I thought Matt’s New Year thing was funny.

    Chad Nesbitt

  11. travelah

    p-38 .. it’s ok .. so you inhaled and you shop at Walmart .. so what? it’s not the end of the world for you!

  12. Ken Hanke

    “Attacks? My post was no different than Mr Mittan’s column. A little bit of selective outrage going on here. But you can read into it whatever you wish.”

    When you make your attacks under your real name, then it will be no different. As it stands, it’s very different.

    “I thought liberals “never” judged anyone, or anything.”

    Where’d you get that idea? Certainly not from me.

    “Oh I’m sure you could think of something.”

    What, Mr. 38? Ring your doorbell and run? Can you honestly think you’re interesting enough for even that?

  13. P-38

    robclose
    -What movement is/was that, Thunder Pig?-

    timpeck
    -“What movement is/was that?”
    A bowel movement. –

    Ken Hanke
    -“A bowel movement.”
    Hence the soubriquet “Thunder Pig?”-

    Wow! Some great intellectual insights going on in these posts. Wonder how long it took to come up with these gems? What wit!!
    I swear… you guys could trip over a cordless phone.

    Gee Thunder Pig looks like your easily understood post went right over their head, or straight through it, and right out the other side. (grin)

    Ahhh! Why stoop to the level of rude individuals. But then again, why not? Some drink from the fountain of knowledge, but it looks like you guys just gargled. Sorry! I won’t charge you for that one. It’s been fun!

  14. P-38

    -When you make your attacks under your real name, then it will be no different. As it stands, it’s very different.-

    What my ID is, one way or the other, makes no difference in what I post.

    -What, Mr. 38? Ring your doorbell and run? Can you honestly think you’re interesting enough for even that?-

    Now your just being ugly. (grin)

    As I’ve said, it’s been fun.

  15. P-38

    -At least he did’nt make fun of my sppelling.
    LOL I thought Matt’s New Year thing was funny.

    Chad Nesbitt-

    Well just give em’ time. What fun is it to debate the issues and content of a post, when you can ridicule a persons punctuation, spelling and how they construct a sentence? Debating the issues is much to hard.

    Yes Mr. Mittan’s column “was” pretty good, after second thought. It just struck me the wrong way the first time I read it. So it’s time to move on. I’m sure it was enjoyed by all.

  16. Ken Hanke

    “What my ID is, one way or the other, makes no difference in what I post.”

    Are you being wilfully obtuse or is this natural talent?

  17. P-38

    –“What my ID is, one way or the other, makes no difference in what I post.”
    Are you being wilfully obtuse or is this natural talent?–

    Might want to watch that obsessive tendency you have. I’m just saying. (grin)

  18. Rob Close

    For the record: I still do not know what “movement” is being destroyed by Mr Mittan. I’ll assume “rightwing douche-bag”, until someone speaks up like an adult and clarifies.

    Ask a serious question, get 2 jokes and someone calling you stupid for asking. Jokes I understand, and even appreciate – juvenile replies insulting one’s intelligence – it just shows us that they have nothing reasonable to add. And yes, jokes are reasonable contributions. Make me laugh and I’ll ignore political alignment for the sake of good humor. Call me stupid, and I lose all respect for you & your position.

  19. P-38

    –Make me laugh and I’ll ignore political alignment for the sake of good humor.–

    How even handed you are. But your former comment of –I’ll assume “rightwing douche-bag”– says an entirely different attitude when it comes to certain political affiliations.

    I don’t believe the word stupid was ever used.

    And when it comes to jokes, I guess it depends on whose ox is being gored, whether it’s funny or not. And besides it’s all a joke, and game. Sometimes the game is won, and sometimes it’s lost. Thunder Pig didn’t try to defend himself, or whine about the jokes leveled at him. I didn’t see you being concerned about the jokes at “his” expense. So your reprimand seems a little shallow. I felt he was being ganged up on, and treated badly. So I did a little joking of my own. Not so funny when the jokes come back towards you I guess. Juvenile? And the other two aren’t, right? Hardly!

    But I’ll take you at your word, that you were asking a legit question. And since you were mortally offended by my jokes, I humbly and “sincerely” apologize for my feeble attempt at “juvenile” humor. All joking aside (Grin)

  20. Thunder Pig

    I didn’t try to defend myself because I wasn’t aware of the ad hominem attacks, which is about as good as any of their arguments ever get, and toilet humor isn’t my thing.

    The lefty and lefty loving attacks on the right are almost always aimed at attempting to discredit the message by discrediting the message, and attempting to freeze the target. This doesn’t work for some of us, because we have read Saul Alinksy’s books, and we are networking, training, and experimenting with ways of political activism.

    As to the movement, Bill Russel was the first result of our effort.

    Stay Tuned for more on election day in 2008 across the region.

    The Conservative Counter-Revolution won’t be on your TV, Radio, or Newspaper.

  21. dickyfauge

    I beg to difer but the lefty attacks at the right wingers usally discredit the messenger by pointing out how stupid or superstitus they are. And Im really sick of it! It is rude. I had not heard of them trying to freeze anybody, but I would not put it past them. who do I see about netw3orking training and experimenting? vive la revolution!

  22. Hopefully

    Are you on medication? What does that mean? Who are you calling stupid?

  23. Ken Hanke

    “The lefty and lefty loving attacks on the right are almost always aimed at attempting to discredit the message by discrediting the message”

    Seems pretty reasonable.

  24. dickyfauge:
    send me a message, and we’ll get to work on the vetting process.

    robclose:
    Oops…I am sorry, I meant “discredit the messenger” I was typing too fast for my ability!

    Attacks on the message are okay. Attacks against the person is intellectually lazy, although I admit it is fun at times.

  25. Hopefully

    Yo thunder pig, I think dicky was taking the piss out of you. (that means making fun of you)

  26. lurkymclurkstien

    “The Conservative Counter-Revolution won’t be on your TV, Radio, or Newspaper.”

    Or anywhere outside of your head.

  27. I know you would, because I am doing the grunt work of the conservative movement, rallying the troops, and pressing on!!!

  28. quotequeen

    Hain’t we got all the fools in town on our side? And ain’t that a big enough majority in any town?
    ~ Mark Twain

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