If You Build It…

The other night I watched an old movie from the 80s called Field of Dreams. Somehow I managed to get through an hour and a half of the worst Hollywood schmaltz imaginable. Some guy hears voices and builds a baseball field in the middle of an Iowa cornfield. And guess what? Magic happens! Long dead baseball players show up to knock the old horsehide around.

Today I realized that 90 minutes of my life hadn’t been wasted after all.

“If you build it, he will come…” He did, and he did. I noticed the same blind faith in principalities of the air in those who kept, and keep yammering about the Trail to Nowhere.

These folk believe that simply building something will cause users to show up on their field of dreams. Somehow. Sometime. Even though they never bother to identify who those users are going to be. And I suspect that this one practical effort is dutifully avoided because at some visceral level they don’t even care if the trail is used by anybody.

Field of Dreams is all about the suspension of reality if you really, really, really just wish it hard enough.

As has been pointed out by several FFFF commenters, there is a mindset that cherishes gesture, not effectiveness, good intention over good outcome. And when this is compounded with the old liberal attitude of happily patronizing minorities (ahem, underserved populations) by granting them government largesse, the recipe is complete.

It might work…if you build it…

Anybody who has been along this strip of real estate knows a few things. They can’t figure out who on earth would want to use this as a trail and that the so-called Phase I has been at utter failure in use and design as a recreation facility – even when its terminus, Union Pacific Park, was open. The proposed Phase II runs through desolate industrial buildings, used tire stores, plating and asphalt business; it traverses junk yards parking lots with junk cars. Somehow this bleak, linear experience offers a golden shower of dreams to government employees with too much money and their do-gooding camp followers who seem to think that spending money is more important than spending it well. See, it’s the thought that counts. Just build it. You’ll feel good about yourself.

10 Replies to “If You Build It…”

  1. The Observer crew keeps trying to push this even though it’s completely irrational. Just keep thinking: it’s the gesture that counts, it’s the gesture that counts.

      1. many parts of the Valencia neighborhood feel disfunctional not just the UP trail district.The council plans to request a repurposing of the money. They could use this money to fix problems like overgrown trees at maple elementary. Mowing the grass at UP park and taking the fence down. Mowing and grading the proposed trail area and simply just adding a paved bikeway minus all the fancy extras. All we want is a cleaned up area.lets start with a simple a-path instead of the usual

  2. Getting a bunch of uninformed kids to carry your water is pretty low, even for Zahra. Looks like that Meza guy is a Zahra wannabe.

  3. Zarha doesn’t mind giving the children cancer either if it glorifies him. Oh, but that subject is too ugly for Parks and Rec’s self centered Staff to face. The institutional mind has no knowledge or memory and doesn’t want it. They just want to spend $2 million of the State/fed money and have fun. And how much was the city going to “contribute” (crickets from Staff). Oh that’s just a detail that was never mentioned. There was also no need to estimate annual maintenance costs because once it’s completed they will get to tear it down and fence it off too. In the words of Dubbya “Mission accomplished!”.

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