(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY JULY 16, 2018) — The events may be a cuppla-three weeks old, with Wifegate deserving of more attention on THE PLANET, but duty bids comment on an annual duo of delight that its perpetuators insist on continuing.

Recently, the Dalton Lions Club hosted another circus.

How in the name of the 21st century can people still “enjoy” a jejune, almost barbaric spectacle that best belongs in the 19th? With countless other entertainment opportunities for families, why do we still need an anachronistic spectacle associated with hucksterism, fraud, freaks, drifters, and, worst of all, animal cruelty? The tawdry spectacle of a circus, especially the 3rd rate minor league squads that play the hick towns like Dalton, hides a dark core — you know, like Pittsfield’s Fourth of July Parade.

With Beloit-Jones, Sprague Electric, and GE history, Dalton has turned into a “have/have not” bedroom enclave with many new $400,000-$600,000 housing options. The little town doesn’t have enough of the bottom feeders to populate a circus on its own. For that, it dips into the talent pool of Pittsfield.

A weekend circus is rather is like a three-day flu. It arrives suddenly, makes the healthy sick, then departs. As for the sick, they evidently require the stimulation of chained and abused animals to provide a bit of relief from the daily rut. Circuses, you see, have not been immune to the debasing societal changes that have brought Pittsfield and other like towns and cities to their knees. What was even back in the day of THE PLANET‘s “Leave It to Beaver” childhood a shady proposition has seen its low standards plummet to abysmal levels. Circuses, along with the carnivals that prey on the gullible among the stupid and ignorant, do not elevate anyone. Rather, they degrade.

That did not stop the Dalton Lions from making a fast buck at the expense of so much suffering. Yes, Daniel of their den would devour all of them after they rejected our preaching. The same holds true of the Pittsfield 4th parade.

The parade has long outlived its usefulness or need — at least, the nearly $100,000 wasted on this embarrassing event. Fine excuse it is to blow a hundred grand by defending that it only happens once a year (the Parade Committee advertises “$85,000”). Each year, The Committee comes in for plaudits and laudits — from its own members for themselves only, the “Aren’t we great?” people with low self esteem.

Anyone the least bit familiar with the PC (an appropriately acronym) will tell you of its insularity, open and welcoming only of a political, sexual, intellectual, and gender profile that is an acquired taste. The folks who populate the PC, though, have one good quality: Their denominating influence on Peter Marchetti prevented him from becoming mayor, proving the silver lining can be found gilding any cloud, even as one as dark as the PC.

One question that comes up, too, once a year, relates to finances. Why does the parade cost so much? Has their ever been an independent accounting of the monies raised, spent, and given? THE PLANET doesn’t suggest anything untoward or shady. We only know the nature of small-city politics, Barney Fife power, and big-league temptation.


“She’s a four-eyed cartoon monster on a TV screen. She thinks red is green. She’s a tangerine” — Stevie Wonder, “Too High,” from his Innervisions album.



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  1. Thomas More
    July 15, 2018 at 5:19 pm #

    parade needs to be longer and have more fire trucks

    • danvalenti
      July 16, 2018 at 7:37 am #


      • Ghost Rider
        July 17, 2018 at 1:15 am #

        How many times can you parade the same things and the same (remaining) people down North Street?
        Fire trucks are fire trucks; Pierces, E-Ones, LaFrances; who knows the diff ‘cept for the guys that deck the flowers and children on board.
        The General Dynamics float this year was a joke! It looked like “Bruce” from the movie “JAWS!”
        The PHS band was a disgrace to the City, period!
        The PPD float was just a target for anyone with a hard on against the PD. Should a’ neva’ happened! Exposing Police families names and faces is a no-no. And Larry is gone! RIP, get over it! Remember P/O Cadet Timmy Shepard, Det Donnelly, Capt Leonard & Leo Sullivan.
        The Command unit should be in place for what it is meant for, a Mobile Command unit, not a parade artifact!
        Face it, it was a rag tag parade with no theme nor flow.
        For the bang for the buck that the City pays for this nonsense is money that could be spent on crime control and/ or fire prevention awareness at appropriate times of the year.
        Time for another parade hiatus like the ’70’s only longer. Only the trailer park trash will miss it, an excuse to get drunk in the AM. After all, the Police are deployed for the drunken few! Orange cones and yellow tape can take care of the sheeple!
        And as an aside, I cried back in the ’60’s when I couldn’t go to the parade or the carnival or the muster or the fireworks because I had the measles; I could hear the bands and the sirens and at night, the fireworks going off.
        It doesn’t mean dick to me now!

        • danvalenti
          July 17, 2018 at 6:15 am #

          A superb, spot-on set of observations.

        • Two Cents
          July 17, 2018 at 11:56 am #

          Couldn’t agree more!!!

  2. Mike Ward
    July 15, 2018 at 8:44 pm #

    Great song. Innervisions has been in my music rotation since that piece you wrote on best albums.

    • danvalenti
      July 16, 2018 at 7:37 am #

      Glad to have turned you on to Stevie’s greatest work. My favorite song from same is “ Higher Ground,” which I took as as personal anthem from the first time I heard it.

  3. Jonathan Melle
    July 15, 2018 at 9:19 pm #

    If the Pittsfield area still had living wage, full-time jobs for the average workers, there would not be severe economic inequality! Pittsfield is a post-industrial community that still blames GE and the like former employers for its decreasing population, job loss, and ever-increasing municipal taxes. I know that I, Jonathan Melle, has and will never find a living wage, full-time job in Pittsfield! I believe I had and still have better odds winning the state lottery jackpot than earning an equitable living in Pittsfield. Those are terrible odds! Jimmy Ruberto said he had a “rolodex”. The lovely Linda Tyer said young people are more interested in living in Pittsfield than earning a living where there are a scarcity of jobs. Gregory Crewdson has been exhibiting his large photographs of Pittsfield to the people of London, Manhattan, and L.A. This summer, he is doing another photo shoot of G.E.’s decaying buildings as a symbol of blight. Here is his recent quote: “GE stands as this blight,” Crewdson said. “It motored this city and now stands as this monument in the background.” Crewdson is not complimenting Pittsfield, but rather, he is showing the city in a Dickensian light. Blogger Dan Valenti bitches and moans about the low-life appeal of Pittsfield, such as the Pittsfield parade on Independence Day and the Dalton Circus. Myself, I dislike the China-like one political party rule of a rigged city government ran by the Good Old Boys club, who are made up of interrelated, multi-generational, inbred families, such as Luciforo, who is selling pot on Dalton Ave.

  4. dusty
    July 16, 2018 at 12:32 am #

    I remember when a past mayor named Gerry gave $50,000 of taxpayer money to the parade committee. Back then the person in charge and perhaps a helper or two were compensated for their time. May happen still but not public info. It is not like just anyone can see Pittsfield books on anything.

    • danvalenti
      July 16, 2018 at 7:38 am #

      The accounting for the parade is, to the best of our extensive knowledge, non-existent.

      • dusty
        July 16, 2018 at 10:17 am #

        Police OT is probably a good chunk and I hope that comes out of the parade money not taxpayers. But it doesn’t does it?

        • Ghost Rider
          July 17, 2018 at 12:17 am #

          Duster, Last I knew it was included in the OT budget, as is OT for elections & the Halloween Parade, despite it being the Sheriff’s thing via our Parks Dept concept!

  5. u
    July 16, 2018 at 7:51 am #

    If we do put up a wall at the border don’t let the people who put the fence up at Pontoosic lake have anything to do with it……just saying.

  6. Roberto Del Halitoso's Rolodex
    July 16, 2018 at 7:53 am #

    Pittsfield’s firetrucks probably have reject stickers. Wouldn’t look good at the parade.

    • Ghost Rider
      July 17, 2018 at 12:08 am #

      Notwithstanding, I don’t believe Ch 90 et al covers vehicles en parade. E.G. Smokey Stover over the past 50 years? Definately not street legal; Shriners? Them, too. U R attacking PFD unjustly AND in the wrong venue.

    • Ghost Rider
      July 17, 2018 at 12:12 am #

      Bob Bad Breath Expensive Watch: You got a hahd on for PFD? & WHY? Speak up, we’d love to hear it!!!

  7. Spider
    July 16, 2018 at 8:12 am #

    There is a disturbing letter in today’s Eagle from a volunteer member of Pittsfield Beautiful.

    In past years, volunteers attached a placard to their license plates and not receive a parking ticket.

    It seems this practice has stopped….mayor’s orders (?).

    Is this just one more mistake on the part of the mayor, or does she have a good reason. Anyone know?

  8. The school committee
    July 16, 2018 at 8:40 am #

    Trump standing with Puttin and started press conference talking about beating Clinton fair and square…..Clearly they colluded on this press conference saying they both did nothing and cant believe there is an investigation

    • Still Wondering
      July 16, 2018 at 11:39 am #

      You go ahead and dream up anything you want. It don’t mean squat. See you after the election when your trail of tears continues.

      • 12 Gauge
        July 16, 2018 at 6:50 pm #

        I guess that Trump should have pulled out a .45 and pistol whipped Putin. Then the left wing lunatics might be happy.

  9. u
    July 16, 2018 at 11:30 am #

    The Russians, including trump-putin,have that I can’t believe they’re buying it look. trump is no good.

  10. H
    July 16, 2018 at 12:32 pm #

    With trump it’s the rich first, remeMber that. And this includes trump.

    • Still Wondering
      July 17, 2018 at 5:21 am #

      And you think O or Bubba was any different?

  11. Cos
    July 16, 2018 at 12:52 pm #

    S W and those like you, are the ones responsible for this piece of trash I the Oval Office.

    Well saw trump sell us out with pUtin today and yet you take the time to blog your unshakeable support for this ball of orange tainted lard.

    This is a day that will go down as a tradgedy for the U S.. A blue landslide in Novemeber and an impeachment score or after November. We the American people cannot continue to look withablind eye at this assholes follies.

  12. Dave
    July 16, 2018 at 1:49 pm #

    Where was the Fatherhood coalition with Rinaldo and the puppet guy this 4th? Man, every year we lose a little more.

    • Roberto Del Halitoso's Rolodex
      July 16, 2018 at 4:29 pm #

      They couldn’t get stickers either.

  13. Paul
    July 16, 2018 at 2:05 pm #

    The Mayor can’t afford to let the volunteers that take care of the flowers get free parking. She needs the money to pay for our new pianos.

  14. The school committee
    July 16, 2018 at 2:06 pm #

    Trump is anti American and he is aligning himself with Russia….something very big is happening and the republican party is now aligned with Russia and Trump will win as we have been taken over and nobody in power saw it…..Puttin in charge of America

    • Trump Derangement Syndrome
      July 16, 2018 at 2:18 pm #

      What a delusional dimwit.

      • danvalenti
        July 16, 2018 at 5:41 pm #

        Please. You’re way better than this sort of metronomic putdown.

        • Trump Derangement Syndrome
          July 16, 2018 at 6:44 pm #

          The only way to counteract silly baseless delusions is by identifying them as such.

      • The school committee
        July 16, 2018 at 5:43 pm #

        Puttin is America’s daddy

  15. Paul
    July 16, 2018 at 2:58 pm #

    I agree with your take on circuses. There is no need for animal cruelty in the 21st century. That being said I do wonder how the circuses can be considered so evil while horse racing is an event to be celebrated.
    Locally we have good old Saratoga. From 2009 to 2016 between 9 and 16 horses were put down and last year a whopping 18 gave their lives for human entertainment.
    My take on the difference between the two is simple. I believe that the circus is considered low brow entertainment while horse racing is a higher end form of animal entertainment with millionaire horse owners, fancy hats and dress all while drinking mint julips. It appears to me the abuse is overlooked.

    • danvalenti
      July 16, 2018 at 5:40 pm #

      I agree with you. Horseracing should be banned. It’s as inhumane as circuses.
      Let the Saratoga poofs suck on the brie they get from Guidos.

      • SHakey Shakey
        July 17, 2018 at 5:57 am #

        Shockingly I agree with Pat. Good news though, horse tracks are struggling and closing around the country. Don’t fool yourself that the horse racing crowd is a bunch of liberal elites. They are 90% Trump supporters.

        • Bill DeWahl
          July 17, 2018 at 11:14 am #

          Go to OTB and you’ll see a bunch of dime store democrats and probably a few Pittsfield city vehicles.

  16. The school committee
    July 16, 2018 at 3:01 pm #

    Trump derangement syndrome was repeated by Sean Hannity enough to have a dopey follower of Fox propaganda repeat this dopey phrase over and over

  17. The school committee
    July 16, 2018 at 3:07 pm #

    The most disgusting president America has ever had.He backs the Russian murderer over American inteligence over American patriots

  18. The school committee
    July 16, 2018 at 3:55 pm #

    He is now the media point man for Puttin s murdering of media, He just colluded with the Russians

    • 12 Gauge
      July 16, 2018 at 6:53 pm #

      You pull so much nonsense out of your backside. You must be very sore.

  19. Pat
    July 16, 2018 at 6:27 pm #

    When Obama was talking with Putin in what he thought was not being captured by the cameras about having more flexibility after the elections were over, you didn’t have this kind of meltdown School Committee. In fact Obama’s coziness with Putin was barely mentioned in the media or by liberals.

  20. Pat
    July 16, 2018 at 6:29 pm #

    If President Trump had been really tough on Putin, liberals would be saying he was going to get us all killed in a war.

    • dusty
      July 17, 2018 at 12:42 am #

      Pat, as usual you are the only one making any sense around here. Any sane president would have trashed his own intelligence people and taken the side of a communist dictator. Putin has far more credibility than our FBI or CIA and cares more about American than stupid selfish career intelligence people.

      • The school committee
        July 17, 2018 at 3:07 am #

        Trump is so nice around Puttin.I believe Puttin has compromised Trump.Puttin looks like Trump is his asset and Puttin has Don on a short leash.Trumps face was red the whole fake news conference

  21. Jonathan Melle
    July 16, 2018 at 6:32 pm #

    Putin is a conspiratorial politician who manipulates and controls institutions. Putin will murder or jail his opponents, meddle in other countries’ political affairs, and bald face lie to and steal money from both his friends and foes. Putin has held onto political power for decades. Putin is worth tens of billions of dollars. Many people fear him because Putin is a ruthless dictator! Despite all of these facts, Donald Trump meets with Putin despite the objections of many important people in the U.S. government.

  22. C. Trzcinka
    July 16, 2018 at 7:17 pm #

    Trump denied the findings given to him by Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence when he was face to face with Putin. I’ve met Coats when he was an Indiana Senator (Republican) and he is a real patriot. Coats released this statement which was not cleared by the White House ” We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy, and we will continue to provide unvarnished and objective intelligence in support of our national security,”

    Trump is a coward.

    • Mr. Fritz
      July 17, 2018 at 5:28 am #

      Another sheep of the mainstream media’s shepherds!

    • Mr. Fritz
      July 17, 2018 at 5:46 am #

      It is the fear of every globalist that the U.S. & Russia will unite to destroy their “global order” & restore nationalism throughout the West.

      “Anytime there’s a consensus among our parasite ruling class, you know it’s bad for America.” Chris Menahan, Information Liberation, July 17, 2018

      “I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace, than to risk peace in pursuit of politics.” Donald Trump, July 16, 2018

      • C. Trzcinka
        July 19, 2018 at 2:13 pm #

        What does the word “globalist” mean? How exactly does a unification of US and Russia restore nationalism? How is there a parasite ruling class in a democracy? Finally, my comment was about Russian interference with our democracy which they have been doing since the 1950’s. (see Philbrick’s autobiography). It had nothing to do globalism, however defined.

        It might help you if you took the Planet’s writing class at BMC or even a history class.

    • Trump Derangement Syndrome
      July 17, 2018 at 11:17 am #

      Was he in with the bunch that assured us that Iraq had all those WMDs?

  23. Paul
    July 17, 2018 at 1:48 am #

    It’s funny, the US has been messing with other countries elections and governments for years and years. All of a sudden we act surprised that another country would do such a thing to us. Doesn’t that just make us a bit hypocritical?
    One of the real problems in the US is to many people have quit thinking for themselves and have became sheep.

    • Mr. Fritz
      July 17, 2018 at 5:18 am #

      I agree, Paul. They’ve become sheep to the mainstream media shepherds.
      I’m grateful that Trump has made the effort to smooth over foreign relationships that took a beating under former presidents. He diffused the nuclear crisis in North Korea, walloped ISIS, and has a working relationship with the leaders of China and other nations. He’s called out the members of NATO for not providing the agreed upon financial support for the defense of Europe – an issue that has been going on for a long time. The negative press coverage of his meeting with Putin is outrageous – I think it’s great that they met in person to iron out issues like the German pipeline.
      Trump will go down in history as one of our greatest presidents!

    • danvalenti
      July 17, 2018 at 6:14 am #

      Great observation. I immediately thought of Salvador Allende in Chile. President Diem in Vietnam. Too many countries to name in South America. The US has been or has sought to be a puppetmaster all over the globe, especially since the end of WWII. And now we are shocked — shocked! — to learn that others might wish to do the same thing. PLANET to all earthlings: Since the end of WWII, virtually every election in every first-world country has been tainted with — or subject to, if you will — to foreign influence.

      • dusty
        July 17, 2018 at 7:51 am #

        So Dan are you suggesting that it is better to BE the puppet than to be the puppeteer?

        • Shakes his Booty
          July 17, 2018 at 9:51 am #

          I think that’s exactly what Dan suggests. The Russians stole the elections for the minority of voters yet again and we should complacently follow along.

  24. The school committee
    July 17, 2018 at 3:14 am #

    Trump voters can not redirect what he did today by his disloyalty.The equivolent of standing with your rumored girlfriend and telling the world with your wife in the audience that you love your girlfriend.Your wife would file for divorce.This is the most disloyal person in history.He needs to be removed

  25. The school committee
    July 17, 2018 at 4:18 am #

    Puttin is undermining democracy and splitting America from Europe.Undermining media and Pat sees fascism as a good excuse me great Thing.

  26. Spagirl
    July 17, 2018 at 5:14 am #

    David Capeless is now lashing out at another person who wrote a column of opinion. It seems to me that he, his wife, and current DA’s wife have a big agenda. Black Eye!!!

    • Mr. Fritz
      July 17, 2018 at 5:23 am #

      Capeless has a right to challenge a smear job by Chartock, a progressive leftist of the highest magnitude. Chartock is a jerk. Good for Capeless for stating the facts! Caccaviello for D.A.!

      • Voytek Gobsigski
        July 17, 2018 at 8:10 am #

        Chartock is a worm. Around the Great Barrington restaurants he’s known to solicit gift cards for dinners. He says they are prizes for WAMC fundraisers but he keeps them for himself. Great guy.

    • Liza
      July 17, 2018 at 9:08 am #

      Chartock will never ever admit he’s wrong. What a petty old woman, “I only said I liked him when his boss promised to protect me.” The idea that Chartock and his elitist neighbors only need worry about who is DA should they run afoul of the law tells us everything we need to know about the self-titled progressives in south county and their approach to law enforcement. What about protecting the public? Voting Caccaviello.

      • dusty
        July 17, 2018 at 1:09 pm #

        Looks like another nasty Pittsfield election, at least coming from one side. Win at all costs

        • Liza
          July 17, 2018 at 1:58 pm #

          You mean when Krol sent private phone and Facebook messages titilate media pals? Imagine a slimeball like him in a communications job with the DA’s office. How soon before he would get a serious case tossed?

          • John
            July 17, 2018 at 4:15 pm #

            He’s a gossip. Not at all suited to that job.

  27. The school committee
    July 17, 2018 at 7:13 am #

    Great Barrington probably has not painted the road lines in that town for years,cant see one line.In Stockbridge no one person looks when they back out of parking spaces….still have no idea why people walk in a circle around main street except that they are looking for something to look at.

  28. The school committee
    July 17, 2018 at 7:16 am #

    Why was Trump blushing as he told Puttin that he loved him.Trump is really just a weird pervert and Puttin owns him.We are in big trouble because Fox news will be back on board today with attacks on people not loyal to this Fascist

    • Pat
      July 17, 2018 at 7:43 am #

      You have no idea what fascism is and it definitely is NOT President Trump. You must want war with Russia. You say you want peace, but you put down every effort made by President Trump toward peace.

      • 12 Gauge
        July 17, 2018 at 8:18 am #

        TSC is just an uneducated person with a big mouth.

  29. h
    July 17, 2018 at 9:04 am #

    Even Paul (snake) Ryan is against the liar Don’s latest episode.

  30. Wonkru
    July 17, 2018 at 9:08 am #

    One of the most disgraceful performances in Presidential History…..Senator John McCain.

  31. Thomas More
    July 17, 2018 at 10:17 am #

    In today’s paper there was a photo of the democratic candidate for governor with John Krol and Helen Moon meeting voters at Dottie’s. There was a time when no state dem worth his salt would leave Pittsfield without a visit to DelGallo’s.

  32. CosbiesLadiesI
    July 17, 2018 at 10:50 am #

    DelGallo is closed, you dope.

    • Thomas More
      July 17, 2018 at 12:00 pm #

      It wasn’t closed then but I am happy for you that you had a chance to call a name. I’m sure you feel better for it.

  33. Unwanted Carl
    July 17, 2018 at 11:05 am #

    Liar Don can’t retract what he said, can’t state he will be Vigil on Putin’s words. Trump is now in No Mans Land.

  34. H
    July 17, 2018 at 11:09 am #

    Even dopey McConnell repudiated yesterday’s nonsense. Trump Is finished.

  35. h
    July 17, 2018 at 11:25 am #

    I don’t want McConnell now saying it better not happen again,McConnell should have told liar Con that before he went to meet with Pukin.

    • dusty
      July 17, 2018 at 11:32 am #

      I am surprised McConnell did not call Putin a brat or little stinker. He really came down on the guy huh?

  36. The school committee
    July 17, 2018 at 2:20 pm #

    Don Trump took a knee on America all because Puttin owns this guy.He was blushing,look at the tape blushing.Trump took a knee on everything American

    • Vladimir
      July 17, 2018 at 2:35 pm #

      Newspapers around the world are mocking Trump. Can’t blame Hillary or Obama for that Pat. The whole goddamn world cannot be wrong and Trump right.

      But you can'”t sell that to the followers. They are going to walk right off that cliff behind him