Note: This article is by new Colonel contributor Contraband Hawkings
LEXINGTON—ProgressLex, a popular satirical organization, passed away without much notice at the end of September. In the tradition of other satirists like Jonathan Swift, writers of The Onion, and the Republican Party, ProgressLex aimed to show the ridiculous side of local politics, often by valorizing unimportant concerns to show how our efforts are often misguided. The organization’s most popular ironic activist push was for an aesthetically pleasing CVS at the gateway to downtown Lexington.
- Spry neoliberals mourn the loss of ProgressLex.
“People often miss the point of real social justice being about the poor and under-represented and think, instead, about some sort of neoliberal agenda,” explained Graham Kohl, board member of ProgressLex. “Therefore, what we wanted to do is show what happens when you pay attention to trivial details.”
In a brilliant campaign, ProgressLex voiced concerns over the proposed CVS store’s architectural style. Thousands of Lexingtonians, unaware that they were part of a satirical plot, signed a petition in favor of a more aesthetically pleasing store.
“When we actually got the store we wanted, we were shocked. The power of our own voice scared us a little,” said Kohl.
By fall of 2010, the infant(ile) organization lost some steam.
“Being ironic is hard,” admitted Kohl. “With the election, water rate hikes, and the World Equestrian Games, and what have you, the opportunities for us to say something… anything, really… were too many. We couldn’t figure out where to latch onto something. We couldn’t find ways to be relevant.”
ProgressLex’s final hurrah came on September 20 with a hilarious guest post by local entertainer Derrick Patrick Farr, founder of the LeXenomics Group.
“The Colonel mourns the loss of a fellow satirical publication, but we’re also glad to be one last two left in Lexington.” Editor Jeremiah Stone said. “It’s sad to see ProgressLex go, but LeXenomics still does some pretty funny work.”
LeXenomics aims to make Lexington a Top-10 Global Economy by attracting a Cheesecake Factory to the city.
“For over a decade,” Farr explained, “the city of Buffalo chained its future hopes for economic revival to luring a Bass Pro store to the city. We can learn a lot from them. They were so close.”
Buffalo, NY courted the outdoor apparel and weaponry retailer as the cornerstone of its downtown, waterfront redevelopment program. Hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars were allocated to sweeten the pot for Bass Pro, but in April 2010, the retailer reneged, citing a dwindling population and cold winters as a determining factor.
Nevertheless, Farr believes that Lexington can succeed where Buffalo has failed by outsourcing economic redevelopment to greedy retail corporations.
“Perseverance pays off. Only big dreams are important. Don’t be limited by reality. Let the Cheesecake Factory be our Moon Landing,” Farr added.