Image via: Artnet
What better way to usher in 2009 than to address the profoundly stupid mistakes I’ve made in 2008? I removed a post today about the friction between some Marfa locals and the arts community over a hotel development project because it contained a slanderous hate email directed at the Thunderbird Hotel and independent arts space the Ballroom’s founder Virginia Lebermann, and my own post included an array of inaccuracies. Not the least of these was erroneously describing the Thunderbird Hotel as home to the independent arts space the Ballroom when they are located in two entirely different buildings within Marfa, a point that should have been obvious from the picture I posted then and have reposted above.
The email in question had been forwarded to me by a reader who was interested in discussing the idea that art could be used as a cover to transform the town without the consent of the locals, a subject I failed to engage because I did not include some of the story’s basic facts: Namely, that the commercial rezoning needed for a new hotel development — a project the hate emailer supported and feared threatened — was ultimately approved.
While the core economic disparities driving the discontent merit discussion, posting that email was hasty and decidedly ineffective way of doing it. In a perfect world, I would not have made those decisions, and if I had, the post you’re reading right now would have been self prompted. Instead two well thought out comments I received this morning pointed out the severity of these mistakes. I can’t undo what’s already been published, but I’ve removed the post and offer a sincere apology to all those named in the letter.
Full coverage of zoning in the Big Bend Sentinel here.