We're glad he's the one who said it.
Turns out, it's revealed in the interview that the Medici, fabled local business and graffiti backdrop, is about to become -- *GASP* -- a chain! (Actually, it was a chain for a while already, before it closed its location on Surf between Sheridan and Broadway a few years ago). Hyde Park's most prominent local businessman is replicating his success and perpetuating the global spread of corporate monoculture.
The Medici's new space will be a veritable beer hall for the more festive student body of Illinois State University in downstate Normal, where Morsbach hopes to propagate the elevated values that make Hyde Park distinct: "The main reason is economics. We can have liquor, and it is in a good location close to Illinois State University."
Helping undergrads get sloshed close to their dorms so they don't have to drive is truly admirable, but even better is being able to cash in on coed inebriation. "It's in a community where they appreciate me."
Everyone likes to be appreciated, especially when "the main reason is economics." Too bad that reason rarely applies in Hyde Park, at least outside of the Medici.
The interview ranges widely, and explains how the Medici became a retail outlet for various politically-branded forestry products from somewhere up north. But for the true Hyde Park political junkie, the blurb on Morsbach's involvement in the Save the Point Campaign is not to be missed. We'll quote it in full.
I am a troublemaker. I think some issues are just important to me, like Save the Point. I was very emotional about it. I was shocked that the University would side with destroying the limestone ambiance of the point; I still don't understand why they did it. I was also shocked that the city, the University, and a lot of the conservative Hyde Parkers were fighting the issue, which has tremendous popularity with many people. And I think we won the battle.
This statement is truly worthy of a Medici garbage pizza. It's a little bit of everything all messed up.
Take, for example, the idea that the "Hyde Parkers ... fighting the issue" were conservative. Now, being conservative by definition means not wanting change. So, wanting to keep the original (dangerous and decrepit) limestone, as Morsbach did, is the true conservative position. In contrast, wanting to change the revetments is not conservative. Wanting to change the revetments in accordance with modern standards of accessibility, safety, and durability, is a progressive position, and that was not Morsbach's position.
But businessmen can't be expected to be semantically fastidious, nor particularly astute analysts of local politics. Nor should we expect them to be historians, it turns out. Looking back on the outcome of the Point battle, Morsbach states "I think we won the battle." However, this comment seems to resemble a number of other rather satisfied remarks made in the interview -- "I'm proud to say my book is the bestselling one on forestry on Amazon"*(see below for fact-check) -- leading one to wonder if it's not a bit exaggerated.
And just what does it mean in Morsbach-speak to "win a battle?" It's clear that, on this Point, Hans is emotional about the issue; and that may in fact have been the problem. It's also clear that if any victories were had, they were Pyrhhic, on the order of the "strategic hamlet" strategy of pacifying the Viet Cong. To "save" the Point, we had to let it fall apart and watch funding disappear, which is how it remains. Some victory.
One garbage pizza, please!
*[On Morsbach's allegedly top-selling lumberjack tome, we'll quote one attentive reader: "As of noon today [Thurs. Oct. 25, 2007], it looks like Morsbach's "Commonsense Forestry" is actually #26 in the Forests & Forestry category for Amazon sales. Hmmm, that puts 25 other forestry books ahead of Mr. Morsbach's." (See comment section.) Feel free to check for yourself.]