Guest Editorial : Austin Is A Wonderful Place And Luke Winkie (If That Is His Real Name) Could Not Be More Wrong

Posted in Austin, Free Expression, non-sporting journalism, Norman Wanklord, Tourism at 7:03 pm by

(EDITOR’S NOTE : from time to time, Austin music blogger / fledgling independent label operator Norman Wanklord takes a break from his own unique brand of trenchant analysis and hard-hitting commentary to grace the pages of CSTB with, well, even more trenchant analysis and hard-hitting commentary. Upon Vice’s publication of “REASONS WHY AUSTIN IS THE WORST PLACE EVER” by noted urban planning expert Luke Winkie, Mr. Wanklord politely asked….well, actually, he begged for equal time – GC)

It’s hard for me to understand why some people who have the opportunity to bring the Austin community together, a chance to foster a greater understanding and sense of harmony, instead choose to hurt others with their elitist attitude and “I’m so fucking cool” bullshit. But enough about this blog — I hear the Pavement back catalog sales aren’t what they used to be, so perhaps it will disappear, soon.

(if Austin sucks so bad, why do artists this good looking keep moving here? Answer me that, Mr. Vice Column Person)

Instead, I’d like to turn my attention to local journalist Luke Winkie, who today took to the pages of my very favorite website (after this one) to blast the people of Austin, TX as a group of smug, insincere creeps with no greater purpose beyond novelty-drink guzzling and making fun of people who are trying to make something of themselves. Certainly, I can relate to some of Luke’s claims — no one knows better than me what it is like to sacrifice for the greater good only to be roundly ridiculed. But there’s a number of cruel, destructive arguments of his that I wish to refute. Or repudiate. Or refudiate.

“Nobody Has a Clue What His or Her Job Is”

I’m sorry, but that’s simply not true. When I’m not posting several dozen Soundcloud links a day, I’m teaching kids at one of Austin’s wonderful schools. If it weren’t for people like me, your future leaders would grow up with zero knowledge of the Declaration Of Independence, how many states there are in Canada and which was the best song on Belaire’s “Exploding Impacting”.

“Everyone Hates the Festivals That Pay Their Rent”

WHAAAT? Did Luke not read our comprehensive coverage of the Austin Psych Fest? Were my previews of cutting-edge talent playing SXSW some kind of secret that no one on the UT campus could access? What about the time Best Coast played Chaos In Tejas and I was the first to applaud that particular event finally booking a band I’d heard of? I LOVE FESTIVALS, and when I eventually organize my own, this entire beautiful city is invited. Except for Luke! But you won’t need an invitation because I’m not a fucking elitist!

“Barton Springs Is a Giant Toilet”

I’m sorry, but Luke’s copy-editor at Vice has let him down. I’m pretty sure that was supposed to read, “Beerland Is A Giant Toilet”.

“Emo’s Sucked”

“This awful little club had some of the best shows in the whole city, which means you were at risk of catching hepatitis every weekend.”

I guess even a smug San Diego-transplant looking to make a name for himself can’t be wrong all of the time. But why fixate on the negative, Luke? Emo’s closed years ago. Now we’ve got terrific, clean venues like Holy Mountain, Metal & Lace, the Swan Dive, etc., and like me, they’re totally committed to musical diversity and the highest standards in hygiene. In fact, we co-hosted a terrific show at Holy Mountain just last Friday that featured a number of well-groomed performers strumming guitars no harder than you’d handle a new born kitten. And unlike a new born kitten, the entire event was thoroughly germ free. No hepatitis, not even the slightest hint that sexual congress might’ve occurred anywhere in the entire world, let alone Austin.

But would Luke Winkie know the first thing about this? Of course not. He was too busy writing a hatchet job about the city that’s given him so many great opportunities.

Anyhow, I’d love to go on, but I’ve got a meeting with the parents of a kid who was caught spray-painting “fucktarded” on the side of my car (and that doesn’t even make sense, right?). The bad news is, he’s suspended from school. The good news is, he’s just been offered a column with Vice.


Thanks for your time, and keep on rockin’

8 Responses to “Guest Editorial : Austin Is A Wonderful Place And Luke Winkie (If That Is His Real Name) Could Not Be More Wrong”

  1. Brandon says:

    Nice rebuttal. At the end of the day, VICE’s objective is to crank out shitty content that gets people worked up enough to click on and share links, so that they can serve us advertisements. It’s a vicious cycle. Their “writers” have done the same quasi hit pieces on dozens of other cities, intending to be tongue in cheek, but ultimately falling flat. Yet here we are talking about it while VICE is being approached by corporations like Time Warner with sums of money north of $2 billion. Perhaps they’re better left ignored. As for Winkie, at least we know VICE treats their employees like shit. http://gawker.com/working-at-vice-media-is-not-as-cool-as-it-seems-1579711577

  2. Rob says:

    Fuck Vice. Chumps.

  3. Bib says:

    Luke Winkie, the San Diego pizza boy sharing his wonderful knowledge of the world with us.

    Oh, that’s right, he seemingly has lived in two places his entire 20-years: San Diego and Austin.

  4. blixco says:

    There’s that “don’t feed the trolls” mantra that used to fill the air when things like that Vice article were posted. Back when this whole internet thing was only in its twenties.

    Truthfully, I was excited for Vice to do Austin in the “Worst Place” list of articles. The other “Worst Place” articles are (at least) funny reads, giving a sense of what a local will actually feel about their damned locality. I was really hoping for something like the Los Angeles or San Francisco pieces with a lot of really hard truths couched in ridiculous language coupled with a few “I’m annoyed by scenes I don’t like” paragraphs, but no. We got, instead, a watered down version of what happens in /r/austin on reddit every single day. The folks on the austin subreddit are way better at it. If you post an “I’m moving to Austin” thing in the /r/austin ubreddit, you’ll easily get a few hundred responses telling you why Austin sucks, why You suck, why the World sucks, and all of it in language more exciting and engaging than this limp Vice piece.

    It’s easy to hate on a thing, but it’s also really easy to do a meh job of hating. Vice Article Guy comes off as tired, really. Bored, tired, and not really into the task. Vice could have easily trolled through any of a number of Austin forums and gathered better evidence. It was a good opportunity to laugh at our marketing, wasted.

  5. Sasha Smith says:

    Very well said. And I agree with Brandon!!

  6. justice naczycz says:

    This is not really a rebuttal. It’s a lesson for The Wink on how to write about this and be funny and interesting. Vice is just doing what most everybody else is, writing headlines that get clicks and shares. and that really sucks. So yes, fuck vice. Although they did give me my first chance to see Roky Erickson which has been about the only fun music related experience I’ve had at SXSW outside of house shows and Beerland.

  7. Richard Wiley says:

    This is what he wrote in The Chronicle Aug. 24, 2012.

    I spent a lovely time this summer back in San Diego with my family, but I was always itching to get back home, to get back to the music. My life as a California transfer student in Austin has sprouted out of records, bands, and long conversations. It feels natural, and I couldn’t be happier.

  8. Leo says:

    Emo’s isn’t closed… it moved…

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