Foul mouthed “comic” comes to Dayton and Dayton embarrasses itself

I don’t know Mike Epps.

But, it doesn’t take long watching his youtube video “Inappropriate behavior” to realize he’s a walking time bomb.

He’s got a book coming out: “Unsuccessful thug.”

And, last night- there was inappropriate behavior by some unsuccessful thugs in the lobby of the Schuster Center. Go figure.

The two video’s I saw on Facebook this morning made the entire city look bad.

Brawling in the lobby, a woman kicking a guy in the head while he’s being held down on the ground and beaten. And it wasn’t just one fight. It was multiple fights.

At noon, Trotwood Mayor Mary McDonald went on Facebook live to talk about it. She had Faith Daniels from WROU on with her. Faith was involved in organizing the show- which lost money. I respect Mayor McDonald for stepping up- but, it was all Faith doing the talking.

The event didn’t hire extra security. It didn’t have armed guards and metal detectors. And, yet, some people thought that was the problem.

The problem was the behavior of a few- that reflected poorly on the many.

That people were taking video instead of stepping in to stop the inappropriate behavior is the first problem. The second, is that we can’t seem to understand that when you listen to someone run their mouth using the “N” word over and over- it’s degrading to the entire community- never mind the foul mouthed idiot who is trying to profit by it.

I hear “nigga this, nigga that” non-stop in my barber shop (Fresh-2-Def on W. Third). I’m not allowed to use that word, but apparently, there are people who justify it. They let it slide. They don’t say- “you degrade us all when you utter that word.”

The discussion on Mary’s facebook live- was about the added cost of security- making tickets more expensive. The real answer is for those involved- to be identified- and be fined. And forced to pay for security for the next show. And stand there, in front of the community wearing a shirt that say’s “I’m stupid. I’m a menace to society. I’m sorry, I ruined it for Dayton” or something like that.

Public shaming works.

Bad behavior is bad behavior- and it should be universally frowned upon- no matter what the venue. We’ve had brawls and gunshots at funerals. We apparently don’t understand that this is unacceptable- everywhere.

The correct thing to do when seeing things like this is to either step in and stop it, or make sure everyone knows that they will be held accountable.

I’m waiting for all the “Black Leaders” in the community to speak up.

I’m waiting for the campaign against the “n” word.

I’ve said something about it at enough basketball courts in this city to know- we can do better.

It just takes people stepping up to do the right thing.

UPDATE

Is this a preview of what will happen at the Levitt Pavilion?

note: I’m sure I’m going to get crucified for this post. I’m sure I crossed some line. I’ll probably get called racist- even though I know we’ve got dumb white comics and stupid white folks who will fight too. But, the comment “this is why we can’t have nice things in Dayton” was used over and over by people commenting on the fights. I think we can have nice things in Dayton, once we set reasonable standards and expectations.

 

Dayton is number ONE!

actually posted to Facebook.

actually posted to Facebook.

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics” is a quote that’s now listed as unattributable, then there is the reality distortion field around Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley who has the misguided audacity to bandy bullshit as fact: “The Dayton region’s housing market has been named the healthiest and most sustainable in the country!”

First off, the study is reported in the Business Journal- that pinnacle of page click bait, and conducted by Nationwide insurance, which came to this far-fetched conclusion:

“The insurance company studied 400 metropolitan areas in the U.S. and ranked the regions based on indicators such as employment, demographics, the mortgage market and house prices.”

Anywhere you can buy a house routinely for less than you pay for a new car- it will sort of skew the figures- and note, it’s the Dayton region- not Dayton, of which she’s the mayor. The “Dayton region” is made up of 30+ fiefdoms that make no sense (recently working on a client’s business in Washington Township- I had to pick Centerville for Facebook- which doesn’t recognize a place called Washington Township) and add unnecessary overhead to everything in our region- including Mayor Whaley who is paid more than the average family of four makes in our city a year- for her part-time job requiring only a few hours per week by charter.

But, don’t worry- Dayton also comes up tops in other lists, by “Site Selection Magazine” and numbers of heroin induced deaths (I think we just slipped to second) and most definitely number one for the worst public school district in the state with more school districts than anyone would ever recommend if they were drawing this whole gov-r-n-ment thing up from scratch.

The one thing Dayton is number one for is disrespect. Daytonians loathe their city, their government, their leadership and with good reason. Take a drive around, especially in Santa Clara or Jane Reese or Westwood – and look at the “healthiest housing market” examples. When 1 out of 6 homes is vacant – or worse, boarded up- or falling down- talking about being number one is downright disrespectful to our intelligence.

If you want to paint a rosy picture of Dayton there are plenty of amazing things to talk about- but the difference is that they are based on actual facts (the best lies are ones that are based on possible facts- just a bit of marketing genius that I’ll share). However, Nan and the city of Dayton can claim very little actual responsibility for them. We have awesome bike paths, great metroparks, a world-class tourist attraction in the Air Force Museum, Sinclair has really affordable college tuition, super affordable housing, a few great historic neighborhoods, a great school of the Arts, a good indy music scene and immigrants have settled here successfully.

Saying we’ve got the number one healthiest and sustainable housing market in Dayton is what a feckless sycophant would say. Congratulations Mayor Whaley, once again- you’ve blown it.

 

Cheerleaders don’t win football games

An exchange on Facebook, when I commented that I think it’s embarrassing that you can buy a house in Dayton for $20K. One that’s actually habitable.

John Patrick I feel like you should not run for office in Dayton after these and other similar comments.

David Esrati John Patrick- I’m sorry you feel that way. I guess you prefer to continue to watch taxes go up, services go down, schools fail, and people leaving not just Dayton- but Montgomery County. Do you even know who picks the candidates you see on the ballot? Didn’t think so.

Josh Opsahl Wow. Gotta say I pretty much agree with John here. David, while I find you consistently informative and appreciate your knowledge and perspective, your inability to reign in your dickishness pretty much precludes your ever getting my vote. The last thing Dayton needs is more disparaging negativity. While I expect our elected officials to be able to meaningfully critique the problems at hand, and I think you’re fantastic at doing so, I also expect our elected officials to cheerlead our city and to be able to play nicely with others. These do not appear to be your strong suits.

I’m sure you’ll value my opinion not in the slightest, but as part of the voting public, I just want to point out that your tactics undermine your efforts.

David Esrati To John and Josh. Let me explain something to you- cheerleaders don’t win football games, and you don’t want the most popular person in your high school doing brain surgery on you.
Keep voting for the idiots you elect- and watch as your region deteriorates. The collective IQ of those Daytonians elect isn’t enough to make it to triple digits.

An intelligent addition:

Donna MartinDavid Esrati, Not surprising at all …The figures that keep being floated for sales of homes in Dayton by the press are misleading, as they combine the “area” and do not list Dayton alone. For 2014, Dayton had 1540 sales… with the median sale price at $35,000.

John Patrick You’ll find cheap houses in any major city in the Midwest. Inexpensive homes are a direct result of sprawl so it’s tough to battle. Let’s rebuild our struggling neighborhoods instead of bringing them down with negative comments

and this is where I’m just tired of the stupidity-

David Esrati And John- my neighborhood isn’t struggling- except to get adequate service from the city. Go fuck your “negative comments”- I’ve bought 5 houses and fixed them up- wtf have you done? Oh, excuse me- who the fuck are you?
Run for office just once please.

Oh, yeah- did I point out that John Patrick lives in Columbus….

For the record- I bought my first house in Dayton for $14,500 in 1986. I’m pretty sure neither of these armchair leaders were even born then. I bought my office in 1988 for $2,400 and $2,200 in back taxes. I bought the two cottages in 1995 for $19,500 each (I overpaid- but had to get the street under control and was looking forward to when I’d need to take care of my parents). I bought the house behind me in 1999 for $50K (I think) and sold it 2 years later for $138K after extensive rehab.

Historic South Park is one of the few neighborhoods in the city where they raised property taxes. This didn’t happen by accident. Our average home sale is probably 2x the city median. I’d say my brand of “dickishness” helps raise neighborhood expectations and standards better than our “leaders” with their tax breaks for GE, “economic development” scams, buying up empty buildings with no public use, cutting of services, pay increases for part-time jobs and love of keeping their friends and family in government jobs…

No, cheerleaders don’t win football games. Remember that.

 

An outsider’s prescription for Dayton

Infrastructure

The ignored secret behind successful organizations (and nations) is infrastructure. Not the content of what’s happening, but the things that allow that content to turn into something productive.

Here are some elements worth considering:

  • Transportation: Ideas and stuff have to move around. The more quickly, efficiently and safely, the better. This is not just roads, but wifi, community centers and even trade shows. Getting things, people and ideas from one place to another, safely and on time is essential to what we seek to build.
  • Expectation: When people wake up in the morning expecting good things to happen, believing that things are possible, open to new ideas–those beliefs become self-fulfilling. We expect that it’s possible to travel somewhere safely, and we expect that speaking up about a new idea won’t lead us to get fired. People in trauma can’t learn or leap or produce very much.
  • Education: When we are surrounded by people who are skilled, smart and confident, far more gets done. When we learn something new, our productivity goes up.
  • Civility: Not just table manners, but an environment without bullying, without bribery, without coercion. Clean air, not just to breathe, but to speak in.

Infrastructure and culture overlap in a thousand ways.

At the organizational level, then, it’s possible to invest in a workplace where things work, where the tools are at hand, where meetings don’t paralyze progress, where decisions get made when they need to get made (and where they don’t get undone).

It’s possible to build a workplace where people expect good things, from their leaders and their peers and the market. Where we expect to be heard when we have something to say, and expect that with hard work, we can make a difference.

It’s possible to invest in hiring people who are educated (not merely good grades, but good intent) and to keep those people trained and up to speed.

And it’s essential for that workplace to be one where the rule of law prevails, where people are treated with dignity and respect and where short term urgency is never used as a chance to declare martial law and abandon the principles that built the organization in the first place.

Yes, I believe the same is true for nation states. It’s not sexy to talk about building or maintaining an infrastructure, but just try to change the world without one.

Here’s something that’s unavoidably true: Investing in infrastructure always pays off. Always. Not just most of the time, but every single time. Sometimes the payoff takes longer than we’d like, sometimes there may be more efficient ways to get the same result, but every time we spend time and money on the four things, we’re surprised at how much of a difference it makes.It’s also worth noting that for organizations and countries, infrastructure investments are most effective when they are centralized and consistent. Bootstrapping is a great concept, but it works best when we’re in an environment that encourages it.

The biggest difference between 2015 and 1915 aren’t the ideas we have or the humans around us. It’s the technology, the civilization and the expectations in our infrastructure. Where you’re born has more to do with your future than just about anything else, and that’s because of infrastructure.

When we invest (and it’s expensive) in all four of these elements, things get better. It’s easy to take them for granted, which is why visiting an organization or nation that doesn’t have them is such a powerful wake up call.

Source: Seth’s Blog: Infrastructure

As I sat stuck in a traffic jam yesterday reaching from Downtown to Moraine, on I-75 N at 4:30 pm, I thought about who was the idiot who has I75, Main St, Warren Street- all covered with orange barrels at the same time? Who wasn’t working proactively, right then- to not just clear the blockage- but, trying to re-route as much traffic onto alternative roadways, and also- how did we allow the I-75 downtown reconstruction to shut down all the exits to downtown for so long…

But, then I realized the answer is nobody, because we don’t have leadership with the vision to see the implications of our pettiness, because it’s all we know. We have, and have had, leadership for so long that’s arrogant, unresponsive, and hell bent on their political future more than our regions. And then this piece comes out from Seth Godin this morning.

What started me on my political highway of failure at the hands of an uninformed and underinformed voter base, is summed up in Seth’s fourth point- Civility.

After crossing the gods of garage door appropriateness,  I went for help from my elected leaders with the asinine notion that they would listen and help.

Seth: “but an environment without bullying, without bribery, without coercion.”

When I went to the City Commission out of frustration about garbage collectors working 30 hours, getting paid for 56- and got shut down- and then the Commission had a secret, illegal meeting to discuss ways to block citizens from speaking at City Commission meetings- I expected a groundswell of support as I brought this issue to the forefront. Instead, I was arrested, mocked, and locked into a prolonged legal battle when all the resources were stacked in their corner.

Seth: “we expect that speaking up about a new idea won’t lead us to get fired.”

Our City (Dayton – the location on the map, not the one divvied by political fiefdoms that battle constantly) would do well to look at Seth’s list of four simple elements of “infrastructure” to learn how to put things back into order.

It’s not about highways and civil engineering – it’s about civility.

It’s not about big ideas- it’s about being free to express them, without fear.

It’s not about education- it’s about the values we place on it.

And lastly, it’s not really about infrastructure as much as it is about values we hold sacred.

For the benefit of all of us, not just the inner cabal of the  Monarchy of Montgomery County.

Thank you Seth Godin.