CAVE People

Blissfield has them…I’m pretty sure I’m one.

Michigan Main Street seems to have to deal with them in every community they get involved with, in fact, they developed an acronym (Amazingly Creative Remembering Of  Noticeably Yucky Mumbo-jumbo) to explain to the “good guys” who these enemies of the program are, they came up with C.A.V.E. (Citizens Against Virtually Everything).

What I’ve come to understand is CAVE people have negative attitudes, they don’t want anything to change for the better and certainly don’t want anybody to pay for anything good or new in a community. They prefer to wallow in mud instead of being prosperous and progressive.

Apparently Blissfield is so overrun with these undesirables that we are losing our older visionaries, these are the citizens that have banged their head against the wall coming up with really exceptional ideas over and over but have been told “NO” so many times they have retired their efforts along with their brilliantly innovative ideas.

For at least a decade, the F-troop and elites alike have been waging war against us Neanderthals that cling to our caves and our old changeless ways. Along the way, the elites have realized small victories but haven’t won any major battles. Being so outnumbered, they had no other choice but to do something radical and wheel in the big Michigan Main Street guns. They were convinced a government agency would give them an outstanding advantage.

At the Blissfield DDA/MMS Downtown Visioning Session held May 4, 2011. We (the good guys and me – Jane) participated in an exercise to prioritize the most pressing issues facing the Village of Blissfield so the DDA board can develop an actionable plan of attack. At the onset Laura Krizov, Manager of the Michigan Main Street Center had Michael Sessions remind everybody in attendance what the boundaries were for the Main Street district (they keep saying boundaries are important).

Three categories were offered up in succession and everyone raised their hand when they thought of a word or phrase for each. After the lists were complete we all got to vote  according to our priorities with 3 stickers for each list. Red stickers had the highest number/priority worth 3 points, green was median, worth 2 points and yellow was the lowest, worth 1 point. After tabulating the scores they derived 3 highest scorers from each group in their respective priority order.

And the winners were…drum roll please…

From the “Opportunity” category:

  1. Main Street Program
  2. Old Blissfield State Bank Property
  3. River

From the “Strengths” category:

  1. Location
  2. Events
  3. Main Street Designation

From the “Weakness” category:

  1. Vacancies
  2. Negative Attitudes
  3. Run Down Buildings

Now we wait for the DDA/MMS to weave the magic plan and rescue us from CAVE mentality and negativity so we can get us fixed for the “Ten Year Plan”.

Well, of course you know this doesn’t sit well with me (some even yucking it up about putting all their stickers on negative attitudes). I’ve  addressed this issue before in a couple of earlier posts, this time I conferred with some really smart people. Somebody needed to offer up a common sense, honest rebuttal. To be frank, I find the whole thing hypocritical.

I’d have considered the event a success if they managed to gain substantially more interest from non-choir members. A somewhat equal representation of CAVE people participating at the meeting would have produced entirely different results. Probably as different as CAVE is from COOL (Citizens Opposing Organized Liars)? Do you just ignore the TRAGIC (Townsfolk Railing Against Government Interfering Constantly) element and buy a stock of band aids for the CRAMP (Citizens Revolting Against Mainstreet Politics) as it intensifies?

If the band aid’s not infused with transdermal muscle relaxants, it’s not a remedy. By starting with the wrong premise, you’ll inevitably come to the wrong conclusion. The results wouldn’t be any better when starting with the wrong diagnosis.

The truth is, there are very few, if any people who have negative attitudes across the board or are virtually against everything (I’ve never met one). The people who prefer to believe this to be true must be POOPHEADS (People Opposing Other Peoples Honest Educated And Differing Suggestions).

If someone comes up with a brilliant idea and a whole bunch of people don’t buy into it, wouldn’t that really be a failure to sell the idea? Laura Krizov looked like she couldn’t grasp this concept when I brought it up at the Visioning Session in response to CAVE people – unless I actually did grow another head.

If a salesman doesn’t make a sale, would he blame his prospective buyer, call them derogatory names and still retain his credibility and/or job? At the very least, I don’t think it’s too smart to denigrate the very audience you’re trying to convince.

A few other terms and plausible explanations for those people who are preferred to be viewed as “standing in the way” of Blissfield becoming a great Village. The most important of these is “conservative” – people who refuse to have government paying for things the private sector should be taking care of. Another would be “responsible” or how about “cautious” or even freedom loving? there’s a huge difference between being forced into paying for something and voluntarily contributing.

Bullying into submission through faux shame doesn’t work for me, but a convincing sales pitch might. 

Perhaps we should be evaluating who really has the negative attitudes.

Image: twobee /

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6 Responses to CAVE People

  1. sprite says:

    And we COOL (Citizens Opposing Organized Liars) ones have to pull double duty: First wrestling in the political miasma with those that always have a HITCH (Head In The Cloudy Heavens). And Second trying to wake up the HITS (Heads In The Sand).

    • Robin says:

      He, he…that sounds all too familiar. The hope is your workload will be drastically reduced when enough heads are where they ought to be. Good job, you are COOL!

  2. citizen against cave people says:

    The cave people are the F-Troop. They won’t accept change unless they are the ones making the change. People like me have made good suggestions and we are ignored or verbally abused. So, the Main Street Manager better start correcting the negative attitudes these cave people have. Some of the F-Troop owes a lot of people apologies for the way they have treated people over the years.

    • Robin says:

      I’ve heard so many good suggestions that were ignored instead of explored because the wrong person proposed it. Can you imagine how much would be missed when the predominant thoughts are a negative streaming narrative that runs through their heads as the wrong person speaks? This is how I assume the selective hearing process occurs.

      If a functional community is important, apologies should be in order. At the very least, demonstrating a decline of arrogance and picking up some tolerance would also be helpful.

  3. Concerned Taxpayer says:

    Love your comments. Does this Mainstreet Group have any idea how many CAVE people went to the initial meetings hoping that indeed things would change around Blissfield, and then quit when they found it it was the same cooks using the same recipes. When the CAVE people made comments or had ideas, most were ignored. It was clear the only ones having any input were from the old clique pushing their same tired agenda. Let them have it, I’ll stay in my CAVE. At least I paid for it myself!

    • Robin says:

      Surprisingly, that seems to be a minor detail they’ve actually managed to ignore. Meanwhile, after assigning blame, they still remain hopeful the Main Street program will deliver us from…themselves?

      Their number one “opportunity” is a government program. Is not our number one “opportunity” and might I add “strength” our people? Not one of us is as smart as all of us.

      From a Main Street publication, they answer a question right out of the gate about why Main Street Matters: “We believe that a prosperous and sustainable community is only as healthy as its core.” If the answer only applies in the physical sense, they have missed a wealth of opportunity. This glaring inadequacy is grounds for a contractual termination of the program and the elites fired from their positions of power for implementing it.

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