By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 2012) — “Lenoxology.”
Have we put you off your toast? Sorry, then, but it can’t be helped. This word is the vomit comet of slogans. It makes men want to leave and heave. Women want to give it chicken soup … laced with arsenic. It reduces boys and girls to — the horror! — video games.
It is a word to induce skin-eating bacteria. It has been known to put zombies back in the grave, for good.
It’s hard to imagine heaping additional scorn on a moth-eaten marketing concept as derelict as this one. People high and low, near and far, sinner and saint, poo-bah and commoner, have dumped all over this monstrosity — except, of course, the Lenox town officials who pissed their pants while pissing away $56,000 for the word.
We shall, nonetheless, attempt to chaffe “Lenoxology” a bit more — like dipping the two stumps into a vat of salt after a man has had his legs run over by a freight train. We speak literally, of course.
First, Though, a Little Politics
Lenox has five candidates vying for two open seats on the Board of Selectmen. Two into five won’t go, unless three lose, and three will. There’s a simple way to decide this election: Anyone who defends “Lenoxology” automatically loses. If all five hate the term and the concept, it’s a tie. In that case, the winners shall be the first two to superglue the locks of every public official who approved of the linguistic, rhetorical, and verbal atrocity.
Also at issue is the performance of town manager Greg Federspiel, who came under fire in a Scanlon & Associates audit released about three weeks ago. The audit found “certain … significant deficiencies” in Lenox’s finances, a domain under the control of Federspielology. Interestingly, the contracts for both Federspiel and the PR geniuses who soaked taxpayers for $56K to come up with “Lenoxology” expire in June.
Candidates include Carolyn Barry, Dave Berkel, Ed Lane, Jedd Hall, and Channing Gibson. Barry, who works for Kimball Farms, said she would fire Federspiel. She’s the only woman in the race and the one who has made the most sense thus far.
Hall, who once worked as a prosecutor in the DA’s office, gave Federspiel the dreaded vote of confidence. Check out his comment to Jim Russell in this week’s Berkshire Record: “I think Greg is a tremendous asset to the town of Lenox. I have seen him at his office at 7 a.m. He works his tail off. [TRANSLATION: The guy spins his tires a lot but gets nowhere].
The other candidates also spoke about Federspiel:
GIBSON: “I think Greg cares a lot about the job [He isn’t sure, though]. I don’t have a reason right now to give him my support [Here’s one: “Lenoxology” … we heard Federspeil supports the term and the marketing concept]. It is clear there are problems in town. Based on what I see right now, I can’t put my finger on what is the root cause.” [Uh, isn’t that what voters are looking for in a candidate, or are we being naive again?]
BERKEL: “I can’t comment on whether or not I would reappoint him as I have not been involved in his evaluation” [I’m too wishy-washy-woo to take a stand].
LANE: “I have a lot of confidence in Greg. He has a great mind and is very well qualified for the job” [I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him. He’s not the sharpest knife in the set, and he would be better off keeping bees].
‘Lenoxology’ = Proctology Performed on the Millionaires’ Sphincter Muscle
Lenox, the town whose teams are nicknamed the Millionaires, saw town officials blow $56,000 to a NYC PR firm to come up with the Lost Chord now derided everywhere. Perhaps its karma visiting the stuffy town that mistook being classy for snootiness. Is there any worse combination that what you find in Lenox: snobbery trying to update itself into chic. If Stockbridge is a blue blazer, white shirt, and chinos, Lenox has become sharkskin slacks, a fringe jacket, and a banded collar.
Think of “Lenoxology” as proctology performed on the Millionaire sphincter muscles. Lenox is so poorly led at the moment that is apparently can’t flatly throw “Lenoxology” back in the face of Bodden Hamilton, the PR agency, and demand a full refund. The town has had endless meetings among the select board, the marketing and events committee, the town manager, and other consultants, everyone apparently afraid of saying what people know: “Lenoxology” stinks like a steaming pile left by Fido in a sub-zero snow pile.
At one meeting, Federspeil defended the contract with the PR flacks, resorting to BureaucratSpeak, saying the pact is “based on deliverables.” Deliverables. You won’t find that word wrapped in an orange Dreikorn’s wrapper anytime soon.
“Lenoxology” has “deliverables.” That certainly explains the matter.
Bodder Hamilton created the “Lenoxology” website using taxpayer money. The Lenox Chamber of Commerce promptly declared war on the site, saying it was “redundant” to the Chamber’s efforts. The Lenox Civil War pits brother against brother, an apt fate, one would think, for a town that has Sold Out big time.
Ah for the Love of Lenox
Great Barrington (recently voted the top small town in America by Smithsonian Magazine) and Stockbridge love Lenox for the job of siphoning off a good deal of the undesirably wealthy. Lenox now takes the bulk of the tourist-trap restaurants, rice-paper condos, overpriced hotel rooms, and veneered venues, this being the inevitable result of have lacquered over its heritage and putting shag carpets over the hardwood floors.
Come to think of it, that’s probably the true meaning of “Lenoxology” = the process and practice of attracting the most repugnant of tourists requiring the least amount of authenticity for the most amount of money. Ask yourself: What kind of person would, on the basis of “Lenoxology,” want to visit?
I can see you get our drift.
“Lenoxology,” we love you!
AND IF SOME TOURISTS COME FROM AFAR // SALLIED TO LENOX’S LACQUERED PORT // FOR SOME DIVERSION, WOULD THE COURT // NOT WANT TO TURN ON THE LORD, INVOKING THE MARS OF WAR.
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.