A blog where Charlotte business, politics, and media intersect
Apr 20, 2012
11:14 AMTrade & Tryon
This Week in Charlotte Inanity: Rogue Helicopters! Shatner! John Edwards (still)!
Attention rogue helicopter pilots, the team formerly known as George Shinn’s Charlotte Hornets has a new owner. Tom Benson, who already owns the New Orleans Saints, bought New Orleans’ NBA franchise from the league, a year and a half after Shinn sold the team. That’s given life to several movements that want to bring the Hornets name back to Charlotte, since Benson wants a new name for his new team and the Bobcats are beatable by the Washington Generals at this point.
But I digress. This is all an excuse to show what I consider to be the most legendary Charlotte-centric YouTube video of all time, David Thompson’s fiery rant during the community forum portion of a Charlotte City Council meeting. On Jan 28, 2002, Thompson unleashed an epic presentation on homeland security, where he:
- Complained of a rogue helicopter pilot loose in this airspace with Shinn riding shotgun.
- Described his emotional state by comparing it to Mt. St. Helens.
- Shook the podium violently.
There’s a whole website [EDIT: well, there was, but it got hacked] dedicated to this one video, which provides much-needed context (and a link where you can buy a “My House Was Shakin’” t-shirt). Apparently Thompson had complained in the past about Shinn’s tactics in trying to secure a new arena for the Charlotte Hornets, hence all of that stuff about ice in the arena and competing tenants and so on. Thompson thought Shinn was trying to intimidate him. Personally. By flying a helicopter 25 to 35 feet over his house.
While Thompson’s presentation became the stuff of legend, lest we forget the other drama from that same meeting:
- Councilman Patrick Cannon fainted at 9:15 p.m., and had to be taken to the hospital.
- A woman got up before council, and read a poem.
- Somebody quoted Hitler.
A woman named Martha Brown had to follow Thompson and talked about Community Link, an organization that helped fight homelessness. Poor Martha. I think it’s safe to say her presentation lacked a psychotropic panache of the one that came before her. Nobody remembers Susan Lindsay’s speech either. She got up at the forum before Thompson. She spoke about a variety of neighborhood issues. If Thompson is Lou Gehrig, Lindsay is Wally Pipp.
The video now has more than one million views, which means it’s been consistently watched over the six years it’s been on YouTube. Men from ages 25 to 54 seem to watch it the most. Thompson himself resurfaced in person in 2008 at a Charlotte City Council zoning meeting, where his rezoning request to build a solar powered apartment building was denied. From the plans, it’s hard to see if he had any magnolia trees planted.
But still. Ten years after that night at the Government Center, David Thompson still holds a special place in the hearts of Charlotte’s YouTube generation. City council meetings come and go. Video never goes away. And let us never forget: Those Boy Scouts have a right to be scared.
Ron Paul supporters. Staying dry. Staying retro. Staying the course.
According to this photographic timeline, Bobcats coach Paul Silas leads the NBA in face-palms.
Stay classy, guy from Charlotte who went to Myrtle Beach and shouted a racial slur during a live shot.
Kevin Pollak as Shatner:
The North Carolina Democratic Party imitates Seinfeld. Jay Parmey isn’t a sexual harasser, his boss says. He’s just a “close talker.” ACTUAL WORDS.
CMS stress: Perhaps he was on his way to meat cleaving class.
Proof that John Edwards is Samson. Things were alright when he was getting $500 haircuts. Now he’s going to SuperCuts and about to go on trial.
Heeeeeere’s your sign: You really should’ve been here five months ago, on a Thursady. THURSADY.
No words. Just a monkey riding a dog live on Charlotte television.