Two weeks ago, I stood on the red carpet at the Sam Swope Auto Group 60th Anniversary, having just interviewed Mayor Greg Fischer on camera, and watched as Louisville’s leader pulled out his iPhone and updated his Facebook and Twitter accounts with details about the event.
I pulled out my own iPhone, snapped a photo, and laughed: I’d just been scooped by my mayor.
Later that night, I posted several pictures to the Twitter and Facebook accounts I manage and included a photograph of Mayor Fischer with a comment that essentially said: “Want to know who’s manning the mayor’s social networking outlets? He is.”
The feedback that ensued was positive – except for one private Facebook message from a man who doesn’t live in Louisville.
“Great. Your mayor tweets. How is this relevant?” the sender asked. “And who cares!?”
“I do,” I replied, “and judging from the response to my posts, so do many others. Most of us are used to our leaders being shrouded by public relations squads that fire off trite answers and formulated sound bites, or visibly arm them with so-called heartfelt speeches that were clearly written and revised by an arsenal of employees. We’re used to our leaders being untouchable, inaccessible. Mayor Fischer is anything but. While you may not see the relevancy of what he did, many of us here in Louisville do. Our mayor has a solid staff of people who are charged with addressing the issues impacting our city, but he – not his team – took the time to send out a quick message about a great event to connect with the thousands of people who follow him on Facebook and Twitter. I believe this says something incredible about him and his commitment to being truly, fully accessible to the people he serves. And, frankly, I think what he did is proof my mayor is cooler than yours.”
Admittedly, I was quite a bit fiery in my response, so I wasn’t surprised at my critic’s reaction: He defriended me after making a snide comment about the (admittedly obscene) number of photos I post of my dogs.
Speaking Of Cool…
On Jan. 3, LouisvilleKY.com writer Gabe Duverge wrote an intriguing article weighing the “cool factors” of Lexington and the University of Kentucky against those of the University of Louisville and the River City.
By now, most everyone has heard internationally-known rap mogul Jay-Z – also known as Beyonce’s husband – was in Rupp Arena for the big Dec. 31 match-up against the Cards.
Gabe’s take? “A friend helped it sink in at a New Year’s Eve party. ‘Why would Jay-Z spend his New Year’s Eve in Lexington, Kentucky?’ The answer is simple, but the ramifications are boundless. Thanks to John Calipari and his mega-teams of future pros, Lexington is experiencing a rebirth. Suddenly, a town known for horse farms and rolling pastures has become the ‘Hip-Hop Capital of College Hoops.’ … With its newfound cultural prominence, Lexington’s largesse is also inflating.”
I’m certainly not intending to jump into the Cats vs. Cards debate, but what struck me about the article and, even more, the voluminous feedback Gabe received is that many Kentuckians –both Blue and Red fans – are adamant about disproving the stereotypes we see perpetuated far too often about our state.
Despite the fiery rivalry, there is a common ground we seem to be standing on now more than ever: Kentucky is cool, and it’s high time the rest of the country knows it.
Thanks, Jay-Z, for adding strength to our collective foundation. And if you ever want a courtside seat in the Yum! Center, I’m pretty sure that won’t be a problem.
So Not Cool
Last weekend, I posted this Facebook status update after an embarrassing online interaction:
Best FB correspondence I’ve had this week or proof I need to slow down and stop multitasking: Guy I don’t know: “Hi Angie. We never met but do you date brothers?” Me: “I’m not seeing anyone right now but dating brothers seems a little … weird. I prefer to date one person at a time and if I dated your brother, I don’t recall, but dating two people from the same family would be really awkward. :)” Him: “LOL. I meant black guys.” Me: “Oh. Wow. Ha. Sorry.” #mortified
At first, people thought I was joking with the fella. I wasn’t.
When I responded to his message, I was in the middle of several tasks and took his message literally. Brothers, to me at that moment, meant the familial kind, not a friendly racial designation.
I’d like to believe that’s because I don’t think of people in terms of race, and certainly not at all when it comes to whom I date. But, as one Facebook friend pointed out, my response –coupled with the fact that I own a pair of overalls and a fanny pack and wear both regularly – may be nothing more than evidence that my cover has been blown and I have been revealed to be “tragically unhip.” #whatever
Even though January is almost over, it’s not too late to train for the Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon. I am, and I won’t lie, it still hurts, but there have been some seriously rewarding moments. I’m running with Fred’s Team in support of the Olmsted Parks Conservancy and would love to have more people join us, but there are also many other causes you can run for. Find one that motivates you at www.derbyfestivalmarathon.com.