Thursday, May 06, 2021

My Name is Pierre.

My name is Pierre. Don't ask me how I got that name. Ask my mother. You might have a hard time getting an honest answer from her as she's been dead since 1985.  

I have a love/hate relationship with the name Pierre. It's unique (At least in this country. In France, not so much.) It's a conversation starter. It hasn't exactly helped me with girls, although I think that my lack of success in that area is due to more pressing reasons. 

Guaranteed if I were to ask 100 people to spell my name at least half will spell it wrong. The number of permutations I've seen my name written on a Starbucks cup approachs the number of stars in the known universe. 

 I have/had numerous family members refer to me as P, Uncle P, Peezer Weezer. My father called me Soup Head. No idea where that one came from. My mother called me Lovebird. Ask her what possessed her to give me that name. But she has been dead for 36 years. So she might not be interested in answering you.  

For a long time I didn't like being referred to as P because of its resemblance to a certain bodily function having to do with the elimination of waste. But I have grown to embrace that single letter nickname and I actually like being referred to as Uncle P. Especially in that unique way that black folks refer to older men. 

Despite my mixed relationship with the name my sainted mother either blessed or burdened me, depending on your viewpoint,. I have had no interest in changing it legally. Partially because it would cost more than I could afford and do you know how much paperwork I'd have to fill out to change my name on all the stuff I've been involved in over the last 58 years? I'll stick with Pierre.  

At least all the girls in high school that I was scared shitless to talk to and admired from afar because they were clearly out of my league are my friends on teh Facebook and some aren't scared to be seen with me in real life (or IRL, as the cool kids would say.😁😁) High school sucked!!

Sunday, May 02, 2021

Pittsburgh Needs Fresh Blood Downtown.

This year brings a mayoral election to Pittsburgh. And as usual, the slate is nothing but Democrats. The incumbent mayor is a Democrat as are his two challengers. What I'm about to say would probably make most of yinz think that Uncle P has been drinking too many hairy assed imperial stouts.  But I wish that there was a Republican in the field.  

There! I said it. Unfriend away, kids. 

If there was a rational, reasonable Republican (they DO exist!) in the mayoral field that wasn't a batshit Trumper, I would seriously think about voting for them.  Now the day a Republican actually runs for and wins a city office, much less the mayorship of Pittsburgh is the day the Devil does triple axels on a frozen lake of fire.

Democrats outnumber Repubs in Pittsburgh six to one. The last time Pittsburgh elected a Republican mayor was in the '30's.  The Democrats have had a stranglehold on city power for damn near a century. Now the Democrats have had varying degrees of success running Pittsburgh. They were able to clean up Pittsburgh's smoky image and replace the steel industry with a strong medical and technological base.  They did a decent job cleaning up Downtown. They've slowed down the population exodus that plagued Pittsburgh since the steel industry left in the sixties and seventies. Tech companies like Google, Amazon, and Apple have started to make their presence known. Pittsburgh has become known as a cutting edge medical leader.  

But, at the same time, the Democratic Party in Pittsburgh has become fat, bloated and complacent. It hasn't been challenged.  They trot out the same old rhetoric and the same old machine politics and the same old tired politicians. Emphasis on old. 

 And the people keep voting these same calcified donkeys in, year in and year out.  The old saying goes, "Competition Improves the Breed. For a champion thoroughbred to stay fit and fast, it must be exercised. Otherwise, it becomes a tired old nag. And thus is the status of the Democrats in Pittsburgh. Due to lack of true competition, it has become broken down and can't get out of its own way. Destined for the glue factory. 

 If the few Republicans in Pittsburgh could muster up some candidates that could make the Democratic machine sing for its supper for once,  the city could benefit from some fresh thinking. Some new eyes taking a different look at our problems. 

 I know that cities are usually run by Democrats while the GOP run the suburbs. There aren't many cities that are run by Republicans. Yes, I am registered Democrat. But in general elections, I've been known to split the ticket.  In my life, I've registered Republican, Independent, even dabbled in Libertarian. I'd kick the Democrats to the curb if a real sound alternative popped up. I'm not wedded to any political party. I find the full mooners at either extreme equally annoying. 

 But I'm ready to see some new ideas, some new thinking. But I don't see it happening anytime soon.  Republicans aren't moving into the city in large enough numbers to tilt the voter registration more equitably.  And the Democratic message is getting more and more tiring. And less and less effective.