Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett: Thank You, Sir

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Can you please proselytize that far & wide, so this miscreant anarchist can just be content & shut the fuck up? Thanks again.

As always, it’s short—6 minutes—and is another must.

Yep, I could quibble; nit & pic all over the place. Thing is, nothing’s perfect. Second, city government is getting awfully close to the anarchistic way of life I envision. What if there were just thousands of cities, all running their own ways and all you have to do is pick your favorite to live, work, play and socialize in?

…It’s just taking the founder’s idea of state competition a couple of levels deeper.

Pretty uplifting video, for me. He even had his city employees bid against six private contractors for who was going to run City Hall. Sold off tons of vehicles, repurposed buildings. Told 150 police officers to get the fuck out of the building (my characterization).

Shit, it’s almost like he knows how to run a mom & pop business, because in any business, the bottom line is always the essential thing. …I could go on and on, but feel free in comments if you like.

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  1. Ash Simmonds says:

    “What if there were just thousands of cities, all running their own ways and all you have to do is pick your favorite to live, work, play and socialize in?”


    Here in Oz we have a couple reasonably big cities – Melbourne/Sydney (pop ~4M) – and getting around them is a freakin’ nightmare, it takes the best part of an hour just to get somewhere that’s convenient to you and someone else to catch up.

    Want to go to the beach? Unless you live on the coast ($$$$$$$) it’s a huge trek.

    What about a nice drive through the hills in wine country? Set aside an hour just to get to the foothills.

    Here in Adelaide (~1M) most of the simple social things are within 5-10 mins for a majority of people, the both the beach and wine country are 15 mins from the CBD, and it’s easy to navigate stuff.

    Adelaide is known as a big country town, but for some reason some people think it should be more … something … and offer more … stuff … like the big smokes. Why?

    Why can’t a place be “finished”? Why can’t you just have a place that is what it is? Sure, upgrade things as you go, but everyone seems hell bent on “progress”.

    I say stop building shit, if you want to live in an ultra-modern megalith city then they already exist, but don’t ruin the quaintness of existing societies in order to keep up.

    Having said that, I live in the CBD and soon I’m movin’ to the country, gon’ eat a lotta peaches. Not sure which country yet, and by peaches I mean steak and fish.

    • absolutely, well put. Here in what was once a small sussex village we have endless buildings and new housing estates popping up. No one who lives here wants them and our “local councillors” all live in the surrounding countryside in lovely converted barns and are unaffected largely by the new homes. The problem is we still have the infrastructure of a charcoal burning forest village.
      Rather brilliantly all the public toilets have been closed while the council are spending tens of thousands building a windmill to generate electricity for a cricket club. I think if people were asked they would rather not have this kind of “progress”.

  2. Word

  3. gabriella kadar says:

    Intriguing that the city workers underbid the other. Here in Toronto a.) city workers would get outraged even at the concept. b.) if they actually did underbid, they’d eventually go overbudget, ask for a top-up and get it.

    Gotta really love the penny trick. Awesome.

  4. Five or six years ago you among others introduced me to the concept of anarchy as something other than a scare word. I asked something like “how would it work?” not feeling sure how it would “work better” than how we live now. Your answer was something on the lines of calling it a pointless question… which I get now. But in imagining how an anarchic human world would function, something on the lines of city-states is my bet.

    There is an interesting parallel with ecology – you get the most biodiversity and resilience (to epidemics, disasters etc) in an island cluster “metapopulation” with limited connection between groups. The same happens with cultures. Back in the day every part of even a small country like England had a recognizable accent, foods, costumes etc. Too much over-ruling hierarchy, standardization and connectivity takes that away.

  5. TempestTcup says:

    Tulsa was in pretty bad disrepair when he took office, and is now finishing up a major building boom downtown. There’s a new TV studio, a new hotel, a bunch of lofts, a new high-tech park, etc. About 6 or 7 buildings I can think of right off the top of my head. The inner-dispersal loop around downtown was completely rebuilt recently, a new baseball park, a new arena, the list goes on and on.

    It’s a nice-sized town; everyone knows everyone, but you can move a few miles and be in a completely different environment. The only problem that I can see with the expansion is that there are more restaurants, bars, and entertainment facilities opening up than there are people to fill them. The new ones siphon off customers from the old ones right now, so now instead of 20 full restaurants there are 60 mostly empty ones.

    If Tulsa can attract more people to live downtown this problem will resolve itself, but the neighborhoods around downtown are in very poor condition. I have not seen any efforts to revive the neighborhoods. Also, most of the homeless shelters and a lot of prisons are between the neighborhoods and downtown, so that is depressing the area. Basically Tulsa is blocking off access to downtown from the neighborhoods surrounding it (because they don’t want the riffraff? LOL, I live in one of those hoods!) instead of restoring the older neighborhoods.

    To enter parts of downtown, I have to drive through Hooker Holler, past a couple prisons, and past about 5 homeless shelters. There is no walking or bicycling through those areas.

  6. “What if there were just thousands of cities, all running their own ways and all you have to do is pick your favorite to live, work, play and socialize in?”

    If you picked wrong, you could be arrested, tortured or beaten under god knows what legal whim du jour. Sounds great. Who needs broadly sweeping civil liberties, when you can trade them in for millions of petty local tyrants?

  7. [URL redacted] says:

    Okay I choose New Jersey….oops….how was I supposed to know there was a huge storm coming and would need Federal assistnace. Oh wait….okay so what city will come to NJ’s rescue? Maybe the one you choose to live in but now that they are going to have to rebuild NJ your city will go down the tubes as well. Have to move? No problem. I am sure you would be smart enought to pick the perfect city along with all the other smart people and your city would take over the world. You are quite original!!!!!

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