Tuesday, April 17, 2007

In response to criticism from Michael Monti

Monti's: The good ol' days

I have finally discovered why I received a comment in response to something Michael Monti, owner of Monti's La Casa Vieja on Mill Ave., had written in reaction to my piece "What do empty promises look like?". Thankfully, I was emailed the link to Monti's blog, "100 South Mill Avenue", by a reader and was finally able to take a look at his criticism of my article. Needless to say, he wasn't much of a fan. In his article "If You Can't Say Something Nice...", Monti completely fails to address valid points made about his principles that were articulated clearly throughout my piece.

Some gems (Monti in italics, my response in bold):

Reasonable people can disagree.



I have always been available to talk about Downtown Tempe issues and my restaurant for those who contact me and leave a name and number, or send an email. (*)There is room for civil discourse.

I didn't contact you through any of the options you listed, meaning you found me, I did not write the piece with the intention of you specifically reading it. Glad you found it, though. You chose to (not) address my article by disregarding my argument and instead attacking the anonymity of myself, the writer, dodging the criticism. I could be one of your workers, someone who works for the city, an "insider", or just another Tempe resident who is fed up with the developers and their bullshit, so anonymous it is and shall stay.

Well, since you went to the trouble of griping and then linking to my blog, it could've been just as easy to respond to the points raised, specifically you doing business with a developer that has forced the relocation or put out of business a number of shops at the Arches and other shops along University and Forrest Ave. You're dealing with a company that has ruined many lives of small business owners and their workers, and will continue to do this while their properties are constructed and the property value goes through the roof, and the waves of yuppies and wealthy money flaunters fill the condos one by one. Tempe's new future residents won't remember Monti's, or know who you are, or care. Sure, there will be new small businesses (boutiques, upscale eateries, and galleries) which you can happily defend from your role in Chain Reaction, as they service Tempe's new upscale clientèle, (and meet the "independent business" qualifier) and rest assured that Tempe's lower income and working class residents will only be working there, not buying anything.

On the other hand, some people are angry. Born angry. Such people spew envy and spite so copiously that it completely undermines any scintilla of reason that could be gleaned from their argument. And, predictably, they hurl their venom from the safety of anonymity…and with plenty of juvenile profanity just for leavening. These people do not merit a response.

You claim I don't merit a response, but Michael, you sure gave me one hell of an angry response, what about my critique is so upsetting? That there's truth to it? Perhaps you feel bad about compromising your values?

If you wish to be amused by the stylings of a puerile mind, look here. In the end, who could take this seriously?

Um, you sure did.

Michael, I wish I had something nice to say about the development. I wish all the developers were here to offer something to Tempe's working poor, to raise the standard of living for the residents already here, or affordable housing in the new towers. I wish you hadn't sold out to 3W. I wish you could understand the scale of a personal attack, afterall, you just made millions (I'd say you earned it, but we both know that's not true) from a company that had the millions as a direct result of uprooting the same small business you should be defending from your position in AZ Chain Reaction. Greedy developers who shut down mom and pop shops are engaged in economic personal attacks all the time, funny it's me you feel needs to be called out for an attack.

Let me be straight with you, it's not that I have a personal axe to grind, hell, I've eaten at your restaurant (the sirloin steak sandwich is delicious), and I've had friends over the years that have worked at Monti's as well as business owner friends who have joined AZ Chain Reaction and have nothing but praise for it. It's not you. It's your decision.

1 comment:

Kyt Dotson said...

Yeah, I recall seeing that on Monti's blog. I had come over here to ask about it myself—but I didn't supply a link back. I had thought the Internet's myriad resources that network blogs would do that for me...also I didn't feel like stirring the pot.

On the good point, I actually found this blog because Monti had decided to write his critique of thy article on the subject matter.

I suppose the three of us do happen to be bloggers who focus some of our attention on Tempe and the Ave so it's not unlikely we'll stomp into one another's turf time-to-time.

Still. I am glad to be reading.