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QRA – Reno Is More Reno on the ‘Net

I recently had an engaging conversation via the Internet.  Sometimes they DO happen.  It had to do with people that I either know or through a friend I know, bringing up this photograph of people in Reno, along with a host of bitchy criticism:

“Steampunk/Victorian Christmas Party”

Reno Folk

The subsequent fun-making was noting how this wasn’t really “steampunk,” or “Victorian.”  I’m somewhat surprised they didn’t note that these people weren’t dressed particularly “Christmassy,” either.  There was talk about this is why people hate this town, and how lame this is, etc etc.   What was interesting, is it came  upon two notions for me to consider.  One is the fact that yes, people can be particularly cruel in criticism, even if it is about someone’s innocent merrymaking.   The other is the strange, huge pedestal people expect Reno to live up to and of course, never does.  The very accepted notion of comparing it to larger cities, or even the world,  as if Reno had the ability to stand on a stage with “greats,” in any realm.  This isn’t to say Reno CAN’T do this, but where and how else are people supposed to try without someone, or should I say, people en masse, quashing their efforts?  And why did it have to come down to Reno, anyway?  Why couldn’t it just be some people that were disliked or criticized?  Personally, at least the dude with the weird arm apparatus pulled out all the stops, and the guy on the far right looks pretty dapper to me.

Someone inevitably is going to decree “bullshit,” toward yours truly, because I have many times exhaled woes about the mediocrity of the efforts of people in Reno regarding art, business, fashion, music, and the like.   Especially when someone has a show and the art/music/performance, quite frankly, sucks.  Reno CAN come up with good things, and sometimes it fails.  This isn’t something to go on and on about, nor broad brush the entire town to the color of “sucks.”

This was a Christmas party someone captured a moment of and put it on the Internet.  Fair game, I suppose, but…if people are expected to bring their best 100% of the time, then Reno is truly set up for 100% disaster.  It deserves some notation of how extreme Reno can be in some instances, if not for ego, expectation, depression, ignorance, etc.

Meanwhile, back in my Internet conversation, I get a few responses:

I think it’s just Reno. The people here, for the most part, don’t have high standards for anything. :( You should see Halloween around here…it’s painful. …says one.

My god, this is like people going to Fallon and complaining about cows. It’s Reno, yes. Yes. It’s obvious. No slack for the weak and pathetic, I reply, hopefully in humorous response.

I think it’s closer to being *stuck* in Fallon and complaining about cows, says another.

This is where, maybe to my embarrassment, I wished to wax philosophical.

More to the point, the most Reno thing of all is to complain about Reno while being in Reno. To hate Reno. No, don’t try to do your best while here, that’s because Reno keeps you from doing your best. Because of people like these picture…d here. Also, talk mad shit. MAD shit. Naysay, browbeat, criticize. Damn, you Reno. I’m always curious about how much of a pedestal Reno has been put upon just so people can throw shit at it. It’s fascinating. People from real cities love it here, people born here can’t wait to leave and come back, the prevalence of unwillingness to realize personal contributions to community (negative or positive) and the thick focus on everyone around rather than on themselves. Now you know why I DO stay here! It’s truly interesting, I retort for consideration.

Kyle, I hear you–you can only make the best of whatever hand you’re dealt. Blame is easy but ultimately counterproductive.

But with respect to the ‘stuck’ bit, that’s not necessarily just some psychological barrier that we can change if we want. There are people with familial obligations, financial obligations, legal obligations or otherwise that can keep you tied down to a particular location. Those of us who are free from such constraints should count ourselves very lucky.

If you love Reno, that’s awesome. You’ll make it a better place for others with that frame of mind. But often people have very valid reasons for disliking a place due to their experiences which are necessarily different from our own. And just because someone doesn’t like a place doesn’t logically imply that he isn’t volunteering in the community or trying to improve their community.

At the end of the day, people can complain about whatever they want, including people complaining, right =)

This was the point where I realized someone was essentially admitting they’re being counterproductive and defeatist but don’t let this fool you,  they do their part.  This may very well be true, if not confusing.   Nice parry and equal-match about the fact I brought this up  by complaining in the first place–see Internet Rulebook.    QRA:  “You’re just like me, no matter what you say.”   Forcing a kind of tribal affiliation?   Interesting.    It’s an all-too-common Reno attitude.   If you mix that with bad manners and uncouth socializing, well… off we go, darkly.   Nice offer, but no thanks.

The rest of the conversation became a facsimile of what was already being said, and me being the idiot I am, figured “Oh, I’m not making myself clear, perhaps I should find a different way of presenting this.”  It was obvious my opinions weren’t being objectively acknowledged (merely politely complimented), nor was I willing to join “The Reno Sucks Tribe.”  I sensed the conversation barely getting personal, expression I may be angry, the other party internalizing wrongdoing,  further categorizing and rationalizing what I’m saying into a box of cast-aside wonders… hey, I knocked, can’t complain about who answers.

That’s the Internet.   Reno is a real city, and one that I have my feelings for, both good and bad.  I think, like most, Reno has LARGE potential.   As evidenced by my conversations, this not being a unique one at all (just a poignant and recent one) there are smart, engaging, talented and motivated people here.   I just find many of them being misguided, and interested in doing what Reno does often, making excuses, complaining, and seemingly not doing what might be necessary to make themselves happy, let alone something for the town.   It confuses me.  I don’t like being unhappy, unsuccessful or bored.  I strive to change that.  If I fail, then I do the least amount of outward damage as  possible.

As a Renoite, people from larger cities respond, “Well, duh,” if I proudly announce my self-initiative.   It’s no big deal in other places.   Obviously, it shouldn’t be here, either.  Unless that’s the hive mind speaking.   I’ve never been good at being in a hive.

While I consider myself somewhat akin to the complaining part at times, it’s where I’m taking it that is key.   At times, I like to present Reno to itself in just the fashion it is familiar with:  criticism…which isn’t all bad, just like Reno.  It’s just how it is used.  My main criticism is probably no better than the original subject:  Reno tries too hard.  Whether or not this is a failing or a feature, something to be encouraged or trashed, is up to the individual.

I’ll close with one thing I said that perhaps sums it up best:

[This] may just be the same template of expectation that Reno does habitually: establishing something grand or with potential in a universal light, blaming the seedling for not simply being a solid tree… perhaps crush it, stamp its efforts, or dilute the power behind it.  When the seedling makes itself known, it’s a hard thing to accept in that case.

(forgive my lack of photo credit to the individuals here, please, feel free to make yourselves known in the comments section below)