BY DAN VALENTI
The Planet loves feedback, especially from people who, for whatever reason, dislike what we do, an occupational hazard of truth telling. We enjoy responses along the lines of “your blog sucks,” since it reveals the limited intellectual capacity of those who assert such claims. “That sucks” is the equivalent of the old polemic we four-year-olds used to fling in the sandbox: “You’re stupid” or “Baby!”
Right, the blog sucks. That’s why they keep reading it and can recite content from memory as good as Richard Burton doing Shakespeare! This fits in with the category of “I don’t read your stuff, but” or “I don’t listen to your radio show, but” and then they tell me everything we covered.
We in fact found out that the Pittsfield Colonials had named Jamie Keefe as the new field manager to succeed Brian Daubach on Friday. We agreed to embargo the news until Wednesday. When The Planet gives our word, we honor it.
We can now let you in on a little media experiment conducted by The Planet. We waited on the news to see if the Berkshire Eagle would post anything. They did. It amounted to this: The Planet forced the Boring Broadsheet to post it sooner — even though we had it first — since, according to one of our newsroom friends, the front office has issued a memo about the embarrassment of having been scooped by The Planet so many times. The memo wasn’t issued in writing for fear we would get a copy (a reasonable precaution, since we WOULD have easily gotten one from one of our newsroom colleagues and spies.
Thus, one of the major goals of this website has been achieved: forcing the Eagle into more responsiveness online. Our source, from the news gathering part of the operation, laughingly told us that The Planet has been a topic at several meetings at the Boring Broadsheet. Monitoring this site for news and views is now, apparently, part of the daily editorial harvesting. Another win for The Little Guy!
The Politics of Snow
The Planet has had great fun ribbing Pittsfield city councilors John “Kringle” Krol and Peter “Snow” White about their dire warnings on Facebook anytime the city declares a “snow emergency.” Both of my downy friends have turned frosty, not taking the needles well. Of course, a primo needler recognizes that as weakness and defensiveness, and often can’t resist the temptation of piling it on even more. If others enjoy it, and they have, what’s the harm?
Their council colleague Peter Marchetti posted today on Snow White’s Facebook page, basically asking what’s wrong with informing people of impending snow? It’s a fair question, and the answer, of course, is “nothing.” In fact, you could make the case for such a warning being the responsible act of a concerned representative. The Planet, however, will not make that case as it involved my thin-skinned right honorable good friends, Krol and White. There’s three overriding reasons why:
Three Reasons for the Flurry on Snow
(*) First, the politicization of weather makes mockery of reasonable precaution. We have fast turned into weather wimps, largely because of 24/7 availability of weather. Three snowflakes hovering over Lake Michigan can induce portents of doom on the shores of Lake Onota. Okay, The Planet recognizes the reality that people can’t handle weather like adults any longer. The city thus issues “snow emergencies.” Citizens know the drill by now. They have been informed of snow, the city has told them of a state of emergency, and they should be and usually are smart enough to need the advice. They don’t need politicians making hay on Facebook.
(*) The Planet contends the Facebook postings of Krol and White, therefore, being redundant, must be done for some other reason. Having eliminated less reasonable alternatives, we arrived at the answer: stinking politics. This is an election year. My two snowy friends are campaigning every time they interrupt regular Facebook programming with their silly announcements. The postings are replete with a pretty mug shot and the name. The snow warnings are a cheap way of “knocking on doors” and leaving a “placard.” Both fellows are mad that I’ve pointed out their true motives. Ain’t politics heck?!
(*) Even if we buy the civic necessity of Krol and White using Facebook to warn constituents, The Planet won’t accept the time, attention, and energy they spend on snow warnings. The reason is that they, along with other council members, have let slide too many important things. It’s easy to post a “snow alert.” It’s difficult to solve the decade-old Pittsfield problem of economic development. Only if Krol and White attended the CEDS meeting Tuesday at the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission will we cut them slack for their snow globes on Facebook. We ask Krol and White directly: Did you attend this meeting? Please let us know. By now, The Planet should have educated both of you on the CEDS process (you showed no evidence of having been aware of it before), how it has been the smoking gun in the city’s economic failure, and how it can be a key to addressing this problem. Have you been attending? Has any other member of the city council attended? Please, our readers want to know.
For these reasons and a few others we won’t bother you with, we will continue to ride John Kringle Krol and Peter Snow White for the white stuff. Tell us we’re wrong. Better yet, we will waive our usual appearance fee and appear on Krol’s “Good Morning, Pittsfield,” and have him tell us we’re wrong. We’ll invite councilor Melissa Mazzeo to make a guest appearance. She can tape our mouth shut with duct tape and let Krol at me (I don’t trust any of the other councilors with duct tape, which is another matter entirely).
Odes from the Spur of Crystal Flakes … or …
HEY JOHN & PETE: IT’s SNOWWWWWWWWWING!
Oh yeah, finally on the topic of snow, we share a couple of ditties The Planet wrote for Facebook specifically in honor of my two right honorable good friends:
FLAKE & BAKE by Dan Valenti
Oh, if my love was an earthly flake
as cold as it is White
I would inside an sauna bake
and leave Krol to put up the fight.
And then there’s this piece:
ODE TO WINTER by Dan Valenti
The next great storm soon begins anew.
The magic White returns.
The snow with its flakes renew
Our winter cares outworn
Heaven smiles. Krol and White scream
Like wrecks of a dissolving dream
Save the Date: Jan. 15 for Education
This will be of interest to those who care about education. From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Jan, 15, at Monument Mountain High School in Great Barrington, students in the Independent Project Pilot Program will present their final projects. The event, which will take place in the Monument auditorium, will include student-produced music, acting, literature, philosophy, food, and lectures. The Planet hopes to make it. Maybe we’ll see you there?
STILL MORE FUN TO COME LATER. KEEP CHECKING IN. ALL GOOD TO ALL~