Mr. Clingman is a Racine original - a renaissance man. He is a filmmaker of hilarious D-movies, the latest being "Go-Go Girls vs. the Nazis" with the story-line given fully away in the title.
Clingman is also the auteur of his own public access TV show permanently on hiatus in Racine due to channel re-organization and the show's subject matter.
Called "Racine in Ruins," it's opening credits show a montage of vacant city buildings intermixed with photos of WWII era bombed-out cities - with a soundtrack playing "Taps." Super subtle.
Again, the story-line is revealed by the title.
Clingman doesn't care much for how Racine is run - specifically by Racine mayor, John Dickert. He doesn't like the members of the Common Council and he cannot figure out why his show is no longer on the air.
Not to worry - Clingman has a companion blog that expands on his perspective which is basically: Racine is going to the dogs and becoming the Detroit of Wisconsin. Clingman sites city foreclosure rates - which is high, but lays the blame for this on the Mayor and Common Council - as if foreclosures aren't record high across the country.
Anyway, that's Clingman's schtick: boobs, Nazis and John Dickert sucks. Fair enough. Clingman does love the Root River - as in the river. So we can't fault him there.
However, something interesting about Clingman has popped up on our radar that deserves a little
On June 11th, Clingman posted to his blog the need for city-wide gentrification - where poor and minority people are moved out of urban areas through "urban planning" projects and yuppie types move in. This, Clingman feels will keep Racine from going the way of Detroit.
"Gentrification... generally results in the displacement of the poorer, pre-gentrification residents, who are unable to pay increased rents and property taxes or afford real estate. Often old industrial buildings are converted to residences and shops. New businesses, which can afford increased commercial rent, cater to a more affluent base of consumers—further increasing the appeal to higher income migrants and decreasing the accessibility to the poor.
Or in other words Blacks and Hispanics get the fuck out of Downtown Racine.
IMHO this is what must happen here in Downtown Racine if we are not going to go the way of Detroit. Something must happen to get a middle class in the Downtown area that can pay a tax base to keep funding the City of Racine’s operations and move along the poor who only suck up services and the keep RUSD down and suck ass...If this does not happen or the City fucks this up well lets say we are just fucked. I am no fool. As I see this yes pals of the Mayor will make bank Hey at least my home might have better resell value."Got it? Clingman believes poor people who can't afford the rent or property taxes should move out to make way for a more affluent base. Hey, it's not a new concept - we're just not sure Clingman's new and uneasy friends over at the Racine Tea Party would agree with an expensive urban renewal program in Downtown Racine. Just sayin.
One week after his 'Blacks and Hispanics get the fuck out" monologue, Clingman pens a post about his own house in Downtown Racine.
"Hi, My name is Wayne Clingman and I need your help. In fact I am begging for it...Our Roof needs repair and sadly we do not have the funds to do so...Waiting will only cause more damage to the Roof and inside our home. Soon The Roof will collapse. This could not have been predicted not insured for. Should we go over the amount need will be given to the Wisconsin Humain (sic) (Pet Shelter in Racine WI) Any amount given will help . Should we fall short I a pray not that will help do what the contractor can with that amount. Please help I trust in your genarasty (sic), and your kindness."At the end of the post is a link to Clingman's Indiegogo page in which you can make a donation to pay to fix his roof. Seriously, this is true.
My man is crowd-funding his roof! If you aren't familiar with the term "crowd-funding" it's basically high-tech panhandling.
Okay, let's break this down:
A guy who has spent the last year producing a TV show and blog saying that Racine sucks the big one; who just two weeks ago said that "Blacks and Hispanics get the fuck out" (and not poor ones - all of of them); who cast aspersions on people who can't pay the rent or their property taxes; is asking the public in said town to contribute money to help him pay for a new roof on his own personal house.
Balls. Great big hairy tea-bagging balls.
So, listen up Common Council and John Dickert. You know how this guy has been a royal pain in your asses for the last few years? Go directly, immediately and contribute to his roof right now! That's you Jim Kaplan and Greg Helding - do it today!
It will be the best campaign contribution you will ever make.