Behold This Rather Nondescript Photo Taken In Edmonton, Alberta, On June 8, 2011

by Laurence Miall on June 9, 201124 comments

I paused longer than usual over this photo in the Edmonton Journal. In it are pictured Edmonton’s mayor, Stephen Mandel, and Edmonton transportation manager, Bob Boutilier, and the occasion is the opening of a new transit centre that is expected to be a major “hub.” This will be a “booming” part of the big city, soon, we are told.

Boomtown, Alberta. Photo: Greg Southam, Edmonton Journal

Now look at this photo. Look at it closely. Outside of the transit centre itself, can you see a single building in the frame?

Besides the two city officials, a couple of transit officers, plus some suits who are presumably spin doctors or journalists, can you see any other living person?

This will be a bustling hub though – believe it! A bustling hub just like all those other bustling hubs in all those other suburban cities sprawling soullessly across the North American landscape.

In other news, Edmonton IS distinguishing itself as being quite exceptional in one respect. It has among the very highest rental prices in Canada behind, of course, only Calgary! A 2-bedroom apartment will set you back an average of $1,016 in Edmonton (versus $715 in Montreal).

Long live the Alberta advantage! Is any price too high for the privilege of enjoying firsthand the splendours of the geography of nowhere?


Vitruvius on June 9, 2011 at 3:11 pm. #

Perhaps I may be of some slight assistance, sir?

Nick Glossop on June 9, 2011 at 5:07 pm. #

Yes, Laurence, it’s our ugly sprawl and you must love it or leave it!

Oh, you’ve already left it?

Hmmm. Considering the weather also, probably not a bad idea.

Vitruvius on June 9, 2011 at 5:47 pm. #

Not love or leave, yet if one has no positive suggestions to make, no dialectic contribution to a better Edmonton, then at least for one’s own health, if not for the good of the city, wouldn’t the responsible behaviour be to absquatulate? Canadian passport: the world’s your oyster. Edmonton is barely 100 years old, yet you demand to judge her by the standards of Prague and Budapest? I think not, lovely though they are. We remain at the frontier (look at the Earth lights image). We toil these lands to bring Earth’s good things to you. And perhaps we like a bit of yard, not simply a condo balcony. I don’t find it ugly. I like the weather. We are in the middle of one of the most dynamic corridors in the world, you’ve got no plan that could possibly succeed in the eyes of the electorate, and all you can do is whine? Get out, for your own good! This is your life. Don’t worry about us, we’ll be ok.

Andrew on June 9, 2011 at 6:12 pm. #

That’s right, Laurence, if you’re not a partisan booster, then STFU. Alberta Advantage or scram.

Laurence Miall on June 9, 2011 at 9:22 pm. #

I am not sure of your point, Vitruvius. If you’re talking about Edmonton’s relative geographical isolation, I suggest you compare to this city:,21.09375&sspn=15.368055,272.109375&gl=ca&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=St+Petersburg,+Russia&ll=59.938504,30.311279&spn=2.653096,9.876709&z=7

Or if you’re talking about Edmonton’s newness, how about this city?,_Oregon

And if you’re simply reiterating the tiresome “love it or leave it theme,” don’t worry! After 18 years, I did leave it!

I guess that leaves you with Edmonton as provider of the world’s resources. Well thanks goodness for that! Because the fossil fuel economy is an eternal and sacred good, surely!

I will admit that my post perhaps singled out Edmonton unfairly; my final allusion to the “geography of nowhere” was an attempt to link the suburban soullessness of that city to similar developments all over the entire continent. This is not an Alberta issue; it’s an issue of development left unchecked with no regard to what fosters genuine human thriving in a communal environment.

Vitruvius on June 10, 2011 at 5:29 am. #

I see: so you don’t live here, yet you feel it appropriate to get on the Internet and shit on our town? My, aren’t you the charming gentleman, here to save us all, er, wait, there to save us all from our ungodly sub-urban sprawl, to rescue us to genuinely thrive according to your definition of a proper communal environment? Nonsense. Here in Edmonton we allow our citizens to freely choose to live in our urban, our trans-urban, our sub-urban, even in our rural contexts, each according to their own sensibilities. I, for example, have spent many years living in each of them, and have enjoyed each in its own way. In other words, we neither need nor appreciate your sanctimonious totalitarianism, sir.

Mikey on June 10, 2011 at 7:15 pm. #

You are wrong, Vitruvius. If you want to build Beverly Hills in Edmonton, I don’t object. Pay for it yourself. Build your own estate homes, pave your private roads, send children to private schools, hire private security and firemen. This is the free market at work.

But do not expect your fellow Edmontonians (like me) to pay for these luxuries. Do not burden the taxpayer with your traffic collisions, adolescent delinquency, or obesity treatments (all of which corollate positively with suburban sprawl, by the way, as a result of an inefficient sedentary lifestyle).

I will make this more clear. Cities are PUBLIC institutions. They exist or the following essential reasons:
– cities produce things
– cities provide services to the greatest number of people (they are efficient)
– cities foster the competition necessary for capitalism

Suburbs produce nothing. (They’re not rural. They actually destroy previously-productive agricultural fields. Suburbs do not produce the syntheic fossil fuels and resources that you speak of). Suburbs only consume. They overstretch service delivery to reach sporadic people. And worse of all, they offer no incentive to compete or to struggle for individual potential.

In other words, suburbs exist merely to provide comfort. Sorry. Nature has no concern for comfort. Neither should the state.

To digress, you speak of totalitaianism, Vitruvius. Did you know that during the Cultural Revolution, Mao Tze-Tung forced the urban middle-class of China to “return to the countryside.”

History explains the rest. (No efficiency. No productivity. Or very little at least. Not even the “pastoral comfort” so desired by those who are insecure).

But to return to my point, progress does not occur out of “comfort.” No one invents steam engines or steel gunships because of they were driven to do so by comfort. We do so for the reasons I listed (productivity, efficiency, competition).

Our modern environment must necessarily reflect this reality. Just like our primitive environment necessarily reflected previous realities (nomadism, hunting and gathering, small-scale agriculture and animal husbandry…).

Sure, some people are more comfortable with rocks and sticks than with bronze or iron. That’s just eccentric. But to use public funds to accommodate collective primitivity, to encourage inefficiency, and to subsidize feeble psychological premises like “comfort”, this is no less a grotesque crime against humanity.

Andrew on June 11, 2011 at 7:18 am. #

Vitruvius: “we”

Ha ha. You don’t strike me as one who contains multitudes.

Meanwhile, 18 years is plenty enough time in a town to license comment and critique.

With smug, parochial “champions” like you, E-Ville hardly needs critics. The thing is, however, Edmonton’s greatest asset is its fabulous people and its arts communities–the very people priced out by Alberta’s ecologically catastrophic tar boom and aesthetically assaulted by its big box sprawl.

I spent my first 25 years in Edmonton and I will always be, at some essential level, an Alberta boy. Attempts (such as yours) at policing criticism of my hometown, or province, tend to be as enlivening as an afternoon at South Edmonton Common.

Vitruvius on June 11, 2011 at 9:00 am. #

What a beautiful morning. Looks like it’s shaping up to be a lovely day for comfortable consumption. I think I’ll go enjoy some ambling ’round my private suburban estate this morning. Then maybe I’ll put in a few hours work this afternoon in my home office; work’s good for the soul too, you know. Our plant thermodynamics software is used by some of the global multinational engineering corporations that are helping us Albertans clean up that massive natural oil spill in the Cretaceous formations around Fort McMurray, and I think they would appreciate my deploying a new feature they asked for, before Monday. They’re Edmonton’s greatest asset you know: engineers. And this evening, well, there’s a thirty year old bottle of Port softly whispering my name down in the wine cellar. Yes, a lovely day indeed. Catch y’all later!

Laurence Miall on June 11, 2011 at 11:07 am. #

It’s really unfortunate that people invest considerable time and talent (Mikey in particular in this post) in articulating valid and credible arguments, only for more of the same defensive and cynical snarkiness from Vitrivius. I would argue that Vitrivius doesn’t really come here to engage in debate because at no point did I really get the impression that he wanted to do anything except blow off steam and insult a few lefties. Well, enjoy that port. Glad to know you’ll enjoy a few of the trappings of civilization in your suburban outpost!

And again, excellent points, Mikey. I am not entirely in agreement that our built environment must or should reflect the reality of productivity and competition, etc., but you really did put the boots to any supposed superiority of suburban living.

Cyrus Lewis on June 11, 2011 at 11:52 am. #

Ah, it’s hardly surprising. Thus far Vitrivius always decamps when his provocations elicit challenging responses. Every time someone has offered Vitrivius a difficult rejoinder, if memory serves, he has always exited “stage right” to indulge in what he passes off as well-deserved repose (a self-endowed ataraxis seemingly warranted by his own cleverness and cagey expostulations).

It would be nice if he responded to both Andrew and Mikey’s points. That having been said, I feel that I should mention that Mikey’s proposition, that one of the “essential reasons” that cities exist is to “foster the competition necessary for capitalism,” strikes me as highly dubious.

Vitruvius on June 11, 2011 at 1:57 pm. #

Actually, I agree with many of Mikey’s conjectures, such as that our built environment must reflect the reality of productivity, and that cities exist to foster the competition necessary for capitalism, and it’s easy enough to disregard the silly parts of his rant, so I didn’t see the need to get into a big argument over it. I just think that cities do & should include both more- and less-urban components. What I don’t understand though, Laurence, is where you got the idea that I said anything about superiority. I wrote:

“Here in Edmonton we allow our citizens to freely choose to live in our urban, our trans-urban, our sub-urban, even in our rural contexts, each according to their own sensibilities. I, for example, have spent many years living in each of them, and have enjoyed each in its own way.”

“Each in its own way” does not imply the superiority of any of them. That’s my point: different strokes for different folks, at different times in their lives ~ a pluralistic society. When I lived on the rural edge of town as a young boy fifty years ago, across a transitable ravine from a dairy farm, I enjoyed that. When I lived just off Jasper Avenue on 108 Street as a man- about- town twenty-five years ago, a short walk to the best private nightclubs, I enjoyed that too. My dog and I are currently enjoying where we live now (she needs a bit of turf, don’cha know). In ten years, maybe I’ll move to the country-side, maybe I’ll move back downtown, maybe I’ll stay where I am now. But that’s up to me, not you.

No, it is you, sir, who are proclaiming the superiority of the uber-urban. It is you who must, therefore, prove your claim for its superiority, and you have not.

Other than that, a $10 to $15 taxi fare from Jasper Avenue & 101 Street to the palatial La Casa Chez Vitruvius hardly signifies an outpost, darling, and incorrectly labeling me as cynical, when in fact I’m a student of Zeno of Citium and of Seneca the Younger, simply exposes you as a purveyor of gratuitous ad hominem.

Laurence Miall on June 11, 2011 at 4:36 pm. #

You are starting to read other people a little more closely, Vitruvius — progress of sorts! You are right, you never asserted the superiority of suburban living. I stand corrected. What I should have said is that Mikey’s argument put the boots to the supposed viability of suburban living.

Yes, it is viable for now. But at an enormous social and environmental cost. I agree with James Howard Kunstler when he says that the development of the suburbs in the 20th century stands as one of the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of mankind. You are reaping many of the benefits of this right now and I am glad you and your pet have lots of breathing space. This is wonderful. It won’t last. If you’ve got any children, I’d imagine before they reach your age, suburban living will be very a precarious kind of existence indeed, and probably for their children in turn it might be an impossibility.

I also really suggest rethinking what you mean by freedom when you say “here in Edmonton w e allow our citizens to freely choose to live in our urban, our trans-urban, our sub-urban and our rural contexts…”
this is a very odd sort of statement, as if such freedoms don’t exist elsewhere? As if I’m not free to live where I want in Montreal (my current home)? As if somehow the more densely populated conditions that prevail here were somehow imposed on us by government diktat?
–it also conveniently sidesteps the fact the suburban living is all that is on offer in 90% of Edmonton’s environs.
–it also sidesteps the issue of transportation; do people have a choice about how they get around town, or are many compelled to buy a car whether they like it or not?
I’d suggest to you that Edmonton’s built environment greatly favours car transportation, and this was not because a groundswell of citizens demanded it to be thus, but primarily because — as in most of North America — this very much suited both the oil and the auto industry.

Matthew on June 11, 2011 at 5:43 pm. #

Won’t feed the troll, but you guys have to know that living in Atlanta, I have seen sprawl gone wild. It is unsustainable for the same reason Edmonton is enjoying a boom–rising fossil fuel prices. I know people who commute from Chattanooga. Chattanooga! (very lovely town, by the way). About 120 miles away. This sort of thing is only possible with really low fuel prices and Georgia was hit really hard in ’08 by price hikes. (The real, inflation-adusted price fell from 1945-1973, spiked to mid-30s levels from ’74-81 and fell back below oil embarago prices from ’84-2005–it has spiked to mid-30s levels twice since). After northern Alberta is scraped clean looking for oil tar sands, Edmonton won’t be the only ghost town.

Mikey on June 11, 2011 at 6:24 pm. #

Vitruvius, I am glad that you are enjoying the summer day and the lifestyle that your home affords. You earned it. And since I paid for no part of your dog, cellar, or port, they are yours to enjoy.

But my points stand. You have not demonstrated why public infrastucture should go towards developing suburbs. It is incumbent upon you to do so.

And to do this, you must identify essential public goods that suburbs produce (other than comfortable feelings) that cities cannot produce more effectively, cheaply, and for greater numbers of people.

Vice versa, cities produce countless public goods that suburbs require just to exist. These include roads, infrastructure, utilities, opportunities for education, medical services… yes, even engineering.

In most cities, all of this is financed through public funds. Or worse, through business taxes (which hampers productivity) and through borrowing (which hampers future productivity).

I also work from home sometimes. When I’m not there I work with numerous people (including engineers) who went to school in cities, who work and live in cities, and who create reclamation technologies that render things like the Suncor Pond 1 possible. The mere fact that we work from home sometimes does not justify public investment in sprawl, especially if available space already exists within the city. To suggest otherwise is lunacy.

Concerning “choice” and “pluralism”, Vituvius fails to realize that suburbs are means of achieving conformity, not difference. Each home and yard are as unique as the next. Each family is as familial as the next. Individual diversity is reduced to the lowest common denominator: procreation by convenience. This is a diseased notion of “pluralism”.

Consider that in the 1950s, during the golden age of suburbia, American banks actively refused to give mortgages to black people, IF the home they desired was located in a suburb. (This, regardless of their income, credit, or equity). Of course, this kind of discrimination no longer happens. But make no mistake: suburbs originate from singularity, not plurality.

Mikey on June 11, 2011 at 10:01 pm. #

Cyrus Lewis, I should explain my attitudes toward competition and capitalism more clearly.

Cities are sites of concentrated labour. A concentrated labour supply is inherently more competitive (and cheaper per labourer) than a sparse one, or a shortage of one.

So cities may not directly “foster” competition. (Dubious claim indeed, especially for bastions of welfariam like Montreal 😉

But urban densification – over time, with a rising population – does (encourage competition). They demand workers. Workers move there. Workers who moved there live longer. So invariably, competition arises (and at times, so does exploitation).

I am not asserting the morality of such. (Though I think that my stance has been sufficiently clear.) I am only suggesting that competition is a necessary precondition for capitalism, and that it is most effectively achieved in cities.

Vitruvius on June 12, 2011 at 6:00 am. #

I love your 4:36 opening, Laurence: I am starting to read a little more closely, thus you stand corrected based on your previous misreading in this discussion. Brilliant newspeak, sir! And Matthew must of course jump in with his learned commentary: Vitruvius does not agree with y’all, ergo Vitruvius is a troll. With scholarship like that it’s no wonder our university humanities departments are in trouble.

Nevertheless, it remains the case that you gentlemen are all making variations of the same arguments: that less than uber-urban living is not city living (which is semiotically nonsense), that it is a misallocation of resources (which is not for you to decide), that it is not sustainable in the long term (which is a prediction, not a fact), that comfort is not a valid good in its own right (which is, ahhh, incorrect), and that therefore it should all be disallowed, by your edict, now. Alas, the good citizens of Edmonton do not agree with you, therefore, as we live in a well-functioning democracy, you lose.

In a well-functioning democracy, public funding of public infrastructure goes to what the public votes for; it is not incumbent on me to demonstrate otherwise. And our electorate apparently realizes that cheap is not the measure of all, in fact, even that inexpensive is not the measure of all. I must admit though that I am at a loss to understand how the lending practices of American banks sixty years ago are relevant to today’s democratic living choices for the citizens of Edmonton.

It is not the case that excessive motorized transport is a priori required for less than uber-urban living. I, for example, get to most of the places I want to go on foot (er, actually, on feet); typically I travel only ca. 100 kilometers per month under motorized conveyance of any form. I agree that people who spend hours and hours a day commuting hither and yon are being silly, in my opinion ~ you’ll have to take that up with them though, not with me. You’ll have to convince them that they must be prevented from allocating their after-tax resources as they see fit, instead to be ruled over by you. Good luck, m’lord.

I also agree that people should pay their fair share, one should pay for what one consumes. Be that as it may, if one adds up all the federal, provincial, and municipal taxes I contribute to and for forty years have been contributing to the better living of all our citizens, and compare that to my tiny consumption rate, one sees that it is ludicrous to argue that I am one who is contributing less than I am consuming. So, again, you must take that up with specific overconsumers, and not mindlessly attribute such behaviour to all citizens who are simply living greater than a certain distance from Center and Main.

I have, if you “read a little more closely” (as Laurence so quaintly put it) not spoken herein negatively in any way towards uber-urban living. Quite the contrary: I have noted that I have enjoyed it in the past, and that I may choose to enjoy it again in the future. I fully support your enjoying it now, should you so choose, it’s just that unlike you, I think that our other citizens should also be freely able to enjoy their own legal after-tax choices, as they see fit, without your pharisaical interference.

So it is that we can see, then, that your authoritarian urban planning demands are at best premature; at worse you are just another jackboot thug. If you want to convince the electorate that uber-urban living is where it’s at and that they should all be there, then you must do so per se. Make an appealing argument in support of your case. Put on your marketing hat. But don’t just go around dumping on people’s ways of life. You won’t win any converts that way. You’ll just be singing to the choir at The Paltry Sapien.

Matthew Payne on June 12, 2011 at 11:00 am. #

Vitruvius, I know you are our resident troll and all but can you please make your arguments without statements like “m’lord” or accuse the people whom you disagree with of “whining.” The implication that people who are trying to persuade people to change public policy are elitist snobs while you are a staunch man of the people crusading against “welfare” (whatever that’s supposed to mean) is hardly helpful. I will try to tone down the snark if you do.
Your faith in market forces and democratic processes seem misplaced to me since I find both to be highly constrained in practice but it is an intellectually defensible position. Telling the folks who write here (and who do get plenty of hits from outside the “choir”) that they are jackboot thugs for proposing different sets of zoning laws is absurd on the face of it. Trust me, jackbooted thugs don’t argue their positions from an internet blog. Your entire approach smacks of punching the DFH’s and it is tiresome. By all means make your pro-market, sunny, libertarian arguments but tone down the snark. Why don’t you graduate from troll to gadfly, like Jack? Probably suits your personality better.

Mikey on June 12, 2011 at 3:57 pm. #

Vitruvius, I do not suggest that your freedom to vote and to live wherever you see fit should be taken away. This is beyond debate.

To be frank, your freedom has no value to me in the first place. (I would not take it even if you surrendered it willingly.) So stop flattering yourself.

But freedom for freedom’s sake does not make any action moral or defensible. If you wish to defend suburbs, defend with reason. Produce credible arguments for why they are good. (Good for the individual, for the economy, for productivity, for public service delivery, or for the environment.)

I have produced several reasons for why they are not good. Debatable, yes. But if you wish to debate me, match reason with reason. (Not with freedom.)

Secondly, do not claim that the majority has “voted” for suburbs. Citizens, for the most part, do not get to vote for urban structure plans, or zoning assessments, or development permits (unless there is some kind of major outcry with political implications). We don’t, for example, even get to vote on increasing annual property taxes. City bureaucrats do. And bureaucrats are (at times) inept and (often) unaccountable. This is not the will of the majority.

Vitruvius, you seem to lump everyone here as uber-urban, as people who have never lived in suburbs, as elites, as urban planners. Can you back this claim with fact? (There are suburbs in Montreal, too. No?). It sounds like you adhere not to democracy but to generalizations by grouping. In other words, to collectivism.

By your logic, the largest collective group can simply impose its will on smaller groups, or on individuals, merely on the merit of it being large. (And, by your own admission, of being old. 😉 I agree that it can, but only after producing defensible reasons. And only by respecting inalienable individual rights.

Private property is one such right. Individuals should not be coerced to pay for property that they do not want to own or use. If my neighbor wants to live in an underground cavern be cause she is most comfortable there (and because she is entirely free to want this), she must pay the entire cost herself, from construction to upkeep. She should also pay for the costs of her private transportation in and out of hiding, plus any other needs that may arise from her living situation. (Be it elevator shafts, chimney sweeping, or manholes). Those are her individual prerogatives. Just don’t make my city responsible for them.

You are aware that Edmonton is cold in the winter? I’m sure that the same neighbor can also use an escape to Puerto Vallarta in January. (And after 40 plus years of tax contributions, she’s the first to deserve it.) So why not let the public return the favour? Let’s borrow money to pay for her trip, and pass the debt down to our children. Better yet, just build a suburb there. Vote the locals away. In fact, don’t even vote. Let city bureaucrats decide.

Vitruvius, if this is your reasoning ability at its highest, plant thermodynamics is in trouble.

Vitruvius on June 12, 2011 at 7:00 pm. #

I have participated in 7 discussions at The Paltry Sapien and have mentioned welfare exactly zero times, Matthew. Perhaps, like Laurence, you have a reading problem. Indeed, I am not opposed to welfare. I am only opposed to welfare abuse.

Moreover, Laurence’s article did not propose different zoning bylaws, Matthew, those we could have discussed. I can make a completely reasonable argument that we should start to begin the long process of gradually toning down Edmonton’s expansion at its periphery, to the degree that we can persuade the electorate to agree. But Laurence didn’t propose different zoning bylaws, and no one else here has either. Instead he just posted a snarky rant against Edmonton, suits, and people who don’t want to live downtown. Combined with your endless snark, I naturally concluded that snarky was de rigueur ’round these parts.

Furthermore, I did not say that anyone is jackboot thug, Matthew, I said that at worse that labeled one end of an axis of discourse, the other end being at best premature. Once again you ignore what I write and instead accuse me of saying something else entirely, and then demand that I change my brilliant rhetorical style and dashing wit to suit your Eeyore. I think not.

As you have on multiple occasions found my comments to be of the order of those that classify one as a troll, Matthew, even though you obviously don’t know what the word “troll” means, I can fix this whole problem for us, and at the same time save myself from the stress and cost of trying to interact politely with nasties like you. I’ll go back to my library books and my complete collections of Perry Mason, Man From U.N.C.L.E., and The Avengers DVDs, and y’all can go back to your big circle , um, your big circular singing choir.

I’ve been discussing politics with reasonable people via email since 1974 (sic). I’ve moderated UseNET newsgroups in the ’80s. I wrote my first blog software in 1998. In one week it will be the ten-year anniversary of my first post at my first public blog (it was a positive review of and link to Steven den Beste’s Beige is Beautiful essay). Over the years I saw the blogosphere become a beautiful thing. And then I saw it starting to get nastier and nastier, like Citizens Band radio did in the late ’70s. The technological barrier to entry was lowered, and the rush to the bottom ensued.

It was in the summer of 2008, in the run-up to the 2008 U.S. federal election, that I saw the nastiness take over. Then, at the moment President Obama was officially inaugurated, it was like a switch was thrown. The left started behaving exactly like the right had been and the left had been complaining about, and the right started behaving exactly like the left had been and the right had been complaining about. I was flabbergasted ~ they’re all hypocrites ~ my illusions where shattered.

Oh, I’ve kept gamely trying, I thought maybe The Paltry Sapien would be different, but it isn’t. I’ve had enough of Rush Limbaugh, of Cornel West, of Ann Coulter, of Ward Churchill. I’ve had enough nasty ideological absolutism. I’ve had enough whiny bellyachin’. Good bye; sorry I bothered y’all.

Mikey on June 12, 2011 at 8:21 pm. #

No, don’t leave. I was just beginning to enjoy the debate. (And was looking forward to your comeback response!) This is only my first discussion on Paltry Sapien. How is it that I’ve already driven someone away 🙁

Just like what Twiggy did to Diana Rigg…

Matthew on June 12, 2011 at 9:03 pm. #

Yeah, you mentioned Montreal as a bastion of welfare, with the clear implication that arguments from that address were suspect. And you’re being mean. I asked you not to call me Eeyore. Sigh. I tried.

Mikey on June 12, 2011 at 9:12 pm. #

But I did not call you Eeyore. And calling Montreal a bastion of welfarism is not saying that it’s good or bad. Was I being mean?

Matthew on June 12, 2011 at 9:58 pm. #

Vitruvius, Mikey, not you. I misread your comment about welfare in Montreal and assigned it to Vitruvius by mistake (I’m old–I have bifocals). For that, I apologize to you and Vitruvius, both. I have not found your contributions to be snarky, but did think his were heading towards the ad hominem. Perhaps he’s right to see others as being snarky as well. (although, for the record, I just don’t really see myself as that snarky. I lack the wit for it)