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Be you, Birmingham

12.31.2008 by André Natta · → 8 Comments

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As you read this, I’ll be in downtown Philadelphia (arriving yesterday via a really cool bus service), beginning the final chapter of what was supposed to be a four-day trip out of town on business. It started out as a trip out to Colorado and became an unplanned visit home to New York because of my mother’s unexpected triple bypass surgery. For those interested, she’s doing better now and her first follow up is scheduled for early next week. A quick thank you to the folks at New York Presbyterian – you have no idea how much my brother and I appreciate you right now.

This was the second time in the last 11 months that I’ve had to make a detour up to the Big Apple. In January, my father luckily survived a bout with kidney failure. I’ve learned some valuable lessons as a result of these trips. First and foremost is that it’s true about folks in the medical profession being among the most stubborn of patients.

I’ve learned that there are a few folks out there that still may not get why this website exists but will volunteer to let folks know that it’s alive and kicking. I was told earlier this year by a former contributor that I didn’t show enough appreciation; I only hope that the ones that stepped up while I’ve been out of town to help us show signs of life know how I truly feel.

There may be some that may be expecting me to say something about learning to shut it all down and walk away. The weird thing is I’ve known that the entire time the site’s been up. I would say that I would build on that lesson and offer this bit of advice as you enter the New Year – BE YOU. 

That message can be applied to individuals as well as to this great city, once the largest in the Southeast. To paraphrase a phrase I’ve seen floating about town, WE are Birmingham.

Despite the egos, the attitudes, the negativity and the economic downturn, we are a community that can be empowered to do great things. Every once in a while, someone shows their ass for their face and makes me realize just why those local attitudes are what they are – because of outsiders who take pot shots just because they can and they have the platform to do so. BTW – I know that I will always been viewed as an outsider as well, no matter how long I decide to call Birmingham home.

For those waiting for me to take a greater dig at Dashiell‘s “retaliation post” on Deadspin, all I will say is his ignorance is bliss. We are not a perfect city, but I’m from what’s known as the Greatest City in the World and you should hear what we say about it. (we’re pretty hard on ourselves too).

Well maybe one more thing – if people continue to take stances like his without some commentary from those who truly love the city, warts and all, – hint, hint – then it is much easier for many to continue to discredit the importance of blogs to continuing conversations.

I can say that The Terminal is definitely going to be what we need to be in 2009 and not worry about criticism… yet.

So it’s a quiet week here at Birmingham’s hub and for those expecting more, you may be waiting for a while. I hope you will help us ring in the New Year in belated fashion on January 8 as we host a Terminally Happy Hour at The Bottletree (and hope that you hang out for the show afterwards).

If you want to talk to me before then, I’ll be back in town on Friday afternoon – meaning that Saturday morning I’ll be in the corner at okafes! by about 9:30 a.m., catching up on the world that’s always passing us by, so long as my mind remembers that I’m back in Central after spending some time in Eastern and Mountain.

If 2009’s going to be a revolution, this site’s ready to take the lead… are you ready to step up too?

André Natta is the managing editor of The Terminal.

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