Thanks, City of Jefferson!

The Scene from Whitewater, Wisconsin There’s something funny, and something sad, about the City of Jefferson’s decision to host for five more years a Harry Potter festival with the same mediocre promotional leadership the festival’s had while in Edgerton and (more recently) in Jefferson.


See Attack of the Dirty Dogs (“If vast numbers are disappointed, it matters not at all that [Jefferson City Manager] Freitag thinks the event exceeded his middling hopes. The only benefit in knowing what he thinks is to learn that he doesn’t understand the instrumental role of government and that he’s too undiscerning to know the difference between a good and bad time.” It’s worth noting also that I am not writing from personal disappointment; I found the many accounts of patrons who wasted hundreds traveling to Jefferson and buying tickets for this shabby event truly moving. They deserved better.)

What does this mean for Whitewater? It’s an assurance of years without even the possibility of this dirty-dog-run festival befouling our city. One always hopes for more than merely avoiding the bad, but avoiding the bad is a good start.

For the town blogger, specifically, this means an opportunity for me to concentrate on more important matters (e.g., use of force against peaceful residents, whether immigrants or non-immigrants, matters concerning ongoing assaults on and off campus, defending principles of open government, and digging in as hard as one can against every last aspect of Trumpism).

It’s wrong to continue a shabby festival, but if that shabby festival stays away from Whitewater’s city limits, one can be satisfied. There are better matters to occupy our attention in Whitewater.

Thanks, City of Jefferson —  my best to you all, from the very deepest place in my heart.

For Ramona Flanagan, Edgerton City Administrator? I’ve never met Ms. Flanagan, but from everything I’ve read she’s smart, professional, and capable. Her city hosted the event for two years before wisely passing on more (after which the promoters decamped to Jefferson).

Note to Edgerton: You need to consider a promotion for Flanagan. She’s served you well. I’m not up on all the titles available in your city, but if baroness or duchess are untaken, I’d say that’s a start. Good sense deserves a good reward.

Note to Flanagan: If you’re ever in Whitewater, feel free to drop me a line. Lunch is on me. My pleasure, I’m sure.

For the press? Coverage of the festival is proof of how weak the local press really is. The Daily Union ran a fine investigation into the festival’s bad showing in Edgerton, and gave Jefferson a forewarning of the debacle that was to come. The DU even reported on this year’s mess, until someone apparently got cold feet and coverage shifted into overdrive in support of city officials and promoters who were behind it all.

All of these local papers are afraid of municipal officials (and far more afraid of hyper-cautions advertisers). If an advertiser gets the sniffles, the publisher comes down with double pneumonia.

There are probably many reasons that neither America nor any other country has selected the scaredy cat as a national symbol. That’s just no way to be.