We Need to Issue a Statement on 'Chronicle' Contributor Luke Winkie
By now, you surely should know why
By Chase Hoffberger,
4:37PM, Fri. Jun. 27, 2014
We here at the Chronicle don’t always agree with the thoughts of able-minded content generator Luke Winkie, but it’s no secret that his byline’s shown up in our pages – 172 times since Feb. 2012, in fact. Through 32 years of business we’ve established a rightful reputation as an outlet that claims its kin.
Winkie’s case falls more in line with a family that’ll continue to feed the neighborhood cat so long as it keeps on coming around, but alas: In the case of his most recent rant for Vice – Wednesday’s “Reasons Why Austin Is the Worst Place Ever” – we’re left with no choice but to straighten our collars, step up to the proverbial podium, and issue a simple “That’s just your opinion, man” before getting on with our weekends.
We’d be remiss, however, if we didn’t point out a few inconsistencies and factual inaccuracies: Namely, that the drummer he mentions as currently being in jail for growing and distributing weed – in all likelihood Casual Strangers’ Jake Mitchell, who served as chief banger in the Boxing Lesson before doing five years for violating Texas Penal Code No. 481.120 – has in fact been out of the clink since last summer, and that the Pun Off doubles as a space to “see horribly self-involved white people tell puns at a bar,” when the annual event actually takes place outdoors behind the O. Henry Museum on Fifth Street (not a bar) and dates its winner’s log online all the way back to 1978 (which puts a dent in his argument that it’s some yuppie trend).
We’d also like to correct Winkie’s assertion that 2012 was the hottest year on record, “with more than 69 days with a temperature of 100 degrees of higher,” by pointing out that the Statesman story he linked to is dated Aug. 24, 2011. Moreover, the same writer of that story followed it up four months later by writing another, just-as-easy-to-find-on-Google story about how 2011 actually saw 90 100-degree days, which is more than 69.
Mostly, however, we’d like to note that Luke Winkie hasn’t always been a curmudgeon about Cap City. He penned a piece for us in late 2012 titled “Wish You Were Here: I Luv Austin anew from a tourist point of view.” In it, he references the burgers from Hopdoddy, the sausages from Bangers, and waxes romantically about a struggling musician at Flipnotics: Harrison Anderson, a long-haired singer/songwriter who “writes from the soul.”
He’s also shown a bit of an appreciation in the past for the original outdoor Emo’s, that venue he denounced so flatly in Vice, in this retrospective compilation assembled by a team of Music contributors in 2011. “I remember it the most vividly because it was the moment Austin began to make perfect sense to me,” he wrote of his first appearance at the Red River staple, a Wu-Tang Clan concert in Dec. 2010. “What first appeared so insular started feeling so warm and welcoming. A vast cross-section of Austin’s eccentrics, the well-worn grime on the walls, it all felt earned, respected.”
What happened to that boy?