A couple comments by two North Minneapolis residents on a recent MNSpeak post about Johnny Northside kind of irked me. Here they are followed by my own comments:
I don’t think it does a service to any community to exaggerate how awful it is and make it sound like a total cesspool just to make your own boring “story” of having bought a fixer upper more movie worthy.
I don’t see how it’s exaggerating to document open air drug dealing, boarded home break-ins, wandering prostitutes, and slumlords building irresponsible and illegal properties. Shining a light on crap isn’t exaggerating. However, if one gets the impression that the entire North side of Minneapolis is as rough as the stuff Johnny chooses to document on his blog, I can see where one would be miffed.
It may be worth spending time learning more about the topic of the movie before dismissing it based on your assumptions, Kurtis. Having had a chance to see clips, and knowing many of the people involved in the project, I know that John’s actions in North will play a significant role in the film, but the story is not about him.
“I also don’t really know what Johnny Northside’s blog does besides make me want to punch him. Fighting crime in one’s neighborhood and working to improve it great but I don’t think the blog really helps anything.”
I can think of at least a few things Johnny’s blog has achieved:
1. It’s motivated me to spend more time in that part of the city.
2. I’ve spent more money in that part of the city.
3. I’ve attended community meetings about issues important to me in that part of the city.
4. I’ve made friends who I never would have met without being brought together by events John has blogged about.
If you’re going to be a pain in the ass, as John has chosen to be to slumlords, drug dealers, and deadbeat community council members, having a blog is a great way to demonstrate just how much of a pain in the ass you are. It allows John to scale his pain in the assedness beyond community meetings, 311 calls, and other interactions.