David Hoppe's Dec. 7 commentary, "Where Dreams Come True" (Hoppe, Dec. 7-14) is a needed step in the growth of our city.
The problem is we are not aware of the "Babyface syndrome." Indianapolis has a history of talented people leaving town in order to make a name for themselves elsewhere. Knowing Indy was not a place, as Hoppe says, where dreams and "... new ideas take off," and, like Kurt Vonnegut, "Babyface" Edmonds left. This was not the case for Prince and Minneapolis, Kurt Cobain and Seattle or Outkast and Atlanta. Why?
The Babyface syndrome states: Since those with good ideas leave Indy to seek their fortune, if you have an idea and you're still here, it must not be any good, or you'd be gone. Thus, local talent and ideas are either rejected outright or discouraged. And, this leads to thinking that only those from other cities have abilities and creativity.
The problem is Indy is stuck in a late-adolescent period. Like a teen-ager, it's seeking its own identity. Instead of being comfortable with who we are, we doubt, hesitate or apologize. We hire a New York firm to help us create an identity or we attempt to find a slogan that will not only attract tourists, but also finally make us a city in our own right, or as Hoppe notes, "... distinguishing ourselves in ways that emphasize our own story." Hey, after all this time, Indy should not be in this position. The very fact that we continue to discuss this shows how sadly desperate we are to be like other cities we view as having the gravitas we seek.
When will Indy overcome the Babyface syndrome? And why is Indy still having this discussion? Why do we lack confidence in "our own story"? When will we grow up?