Dec 14, 2009

Now that was a big mistake!

Political theater, rejecting reality and poor scheduling

Just another morning at the Spa'aaaaaa

Does blogging make you a Member of the Press?

If so, where's my press pass for SPAC and track?

Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed in the morning…especially a frigid Saturday morning in December.

But that I did this past weekend, rising out from the sheets without the benefit of an alarm clock and hustling down to the Saratoga Public Library without the benefit of a cup of coffee. Why? To exercise my civic duty and hometown pride, that’s why!

I’m not a morning person to begin with, but I was willing to mess up my weekend to attend a pow wow of the city’s local Democratic party. Given the animosity and interesting personalities that have been involved in the Great Divide which has doomed this organization from electoral success, I figured it would at least be an amusing passion play or maybe even something productive.

The scorecard: amusing=slightly; productive=not even close. Without going into the well-known troubles plaguing this group, let me just quote two popular phrases that apply to the Saratoga Democratic party, to a tee:

“The definition of insanity is repeating the same mistake over & over again and expecting a different result”

“Don’t piss on my leg and then tell me it’s raining.”

But again: it’s shouldn't (and didn’t) surprise me that the group of people currently in charge are hell bent on continuing their relentless drive to making this party politically irrelevant.

No, it was the additional baggage that I seem to have gained from that meeting with that leaves me in this “why did I even bother?” state of mind. For I also am now the proud owner of the following:
· Accusations of being “behind” some of the politically - oriented blogs in the city; which are generally critical of the party’s current leadership. The truth? I am not.

· Accusations of “having an agenda” designed to create a divide within the party that doesn’t really exist. The truth? I don’t need to create a divide; it’s already there in black & white. If someone can’t see it, they need a level of help that I surely can’t deliver.

· At least six phone calls from people that I have never engaged in a previous conversation with, letting me know their opinions of my opinions, as expressed in that public assembly. The pro/con split on that subject is roughly 50/50. My bigger concern is "where the hell did these people get my phone number?"

· At least 10 emails, mostly related to my eyewitness account of a temper-flared encounter between a current city commissioner and a gentleman who apparently has some sort of grudge against him. My take? I’m suddenly told not to comment on this because I might be called into a court of law to officially offer that account, for the public record and under oath. Now isn’t that just wonderful?

· At least 20 emails from various individuals (again: mostly strangers) offering suggestions, advice or pleas on “how to rid the party” of its current leadership; deemed by that group as being the proper course of action. My take? Pick up your swords and get ‘er going.

But, all of this is not my main reason for starting this particular entry. Rather, it is a single incoming email that poses a most interesting question. Here is a partial transcript:

“…As a member of the press, it is your obligation to identify yourself as such. An open floor inviting comments from enrolled voters that are registered Democrats to their party’s chair and executive committee is not the place for a member of the press to rise and speak…”

Now wait a minute here. But first, to be fair: this incoming message did not originate with the party chairman or any member of the executive committee. I don’t believe this is an issue with any of them. But is does create a dilemma for someone, does it not?

This person’s connecting-of-the-dots logic is based on the fact that I publish a blog, the very one you are now reading. It is the only blog that I publish. The reasoning then, is because I publish a blog, well, I am therefore a publisher -- a member of that gosh darn press! And that fact overrides the fact that I am also a registered Democrat with enough concern about the party’s direction that I got out of that warm bed I mentioned and drove downtown to talk things over with a bunch of equally concerned and motivated folks on a wintry Saturday morning. Without any coffee!

I was about to offer up to this person the proper response; you know:

“With today’s communication and internet technologies, with blogs, online ‘zines, Twitter Tweets, social networks and so forth, the truth is …… EVERYONE is a publisher! Blah, blah, blah...

But after thinking about what this person would do with such an explanation, I instead wrote back with the following:

“I would recommend that you bring it up to your party chair at the next meeting.

It’s now Mr Turkheimer’s task of explaining to his constituent how the world works in the new century. I’m told I need to do more of this thing called ‘delegating.’ Poor Al just caught the first whiff of that personal initiative of mine! Sorry, man.


Ben lives on said...

Let me know about those free passes.

All I get out of this is threats, insults and the occasional death threats to break up the monotony but whose keeping tract.

Anonymous said...

Wow ! Must be nice to be so loved - Not !

I am so clueless when it comes to reading about the Dem. Party--could someone please creat a chart showing the groupings ?

Lone Ranger said...

So will our esteemed Kommisar be seeing a coutroom as a reult of his hissy fit?

The TechValleyTimes Group: said...

I hope not. Because if that were to happen, it pre-supposes that I got dragged into the circus to testify. Screw that.

Hey: what we need is HUMOR! You know, a little chuckle here and there? Everyone needs to get off their high horses and enjoy life and get to know their neighbors a little bit better. One doesn't accomplish that by insults, taunts or screaming matches.

Besides, I've been in the middle of tense corporate boardroom battles that were a MUCH more intense and loud than what (allegedly) happened here. But guess what: we'd usually all go out drinking TOGETHER afterwords! Then do it all over again the next month.

Everyone should take a deep breath, realize that emotional gatherings and debate will sometimes result in regrettable actions -- and then get on with daily life.

A Final Point:

A wise man once offered this advice during one such board room screaming exhibition:

"The reason you people all look so f'ing stupid is that you actually agree on 80% of what we're talking about here."

Take that to the bank.

Anonymous said...

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Fuggetaboutit said...

It is funny shit, but it alsp highlights why people like myself don't want to get involved. Althopugh I myself am a Democrat (and have been since I first registered), the childish behavior of the individuals in charge here in Saratoga offers know appeal to me. Nor do the candidates they offer. I mean, it seems like this year's Democrat option for mayor was nothing but a mole for labor unions. Labor unions? This is 2009, for chrissakes! How many labor union members live in this city nowadays? Talk about out of touch. Who represents me and the new breed of Democrats that helped elect President Obama?

Anyways I enjoy your observations on this matter and on other topics even more so. Your Bruno Paypal thing is the schitz.

Stocking up on ammo, peanut butter and Utica Club said...

The Revolution is here.

Wyatt will bring a camera, so

The Revolution WILL be televised!

He just won't like the results.

But fiorst, a short poem:

I'm so tired
Of All the Darkness in Our Lives
We are Young
But Getting Old Before Our Time
We are Stepping Out
Into the Night
(Joe Jackson)

I think we should just fight it out. These idiots obviously will not get out of the way. We know that they are incapable of lucid thoughts and that their being in charge just locks in the Republicans for years to come. Let's declare all out war and see how the dust settles.

Now time for another poem

We're gonna cause talk & suspicion
We're gonna have an exhibition
We're gonna find out
What it is all about
After midnight
We're gonna let it all hang out
(JJ Cale)

So, let's send the kids out of town for a couple weeks. Place some ads in all the Albany papers, saying that Saratoga is closed for business. Tell the troopers to put up barricades around the city line. This is our own battle, we don't need outside casualties.

Roving gangs. Guns. Firebombs. Guerilla warfare. Neighborhood warlords. Assasinations. Back alley murders. It's all on the table, there are no rules of engagement. As you so eloquently put it, let's get it going.

Law & order is suspended as of midnight Jan 4. Choose your sides, Saratogians.

To all of you sane democrats: join us in stopping these Forces of Evil.

Yes, the Revolution is here.

Born Here said...

doesn't tom durken hold a copyright on the use of 'the spaaaaaaaaaaa'?

hopefully this pounding in november will convince the majority democrats that the small band of loonies who are running the show are totally out of touch with the mainstream and they are finally willing to do something about it.

the truth is there are only about 20 of them, so it can be done rather easily.

one good sign is that it does appear that some people are actually rising up to take the lead in that effort.

we know they do so at great personal risk, for those that are drunk with power won't easily give up the intoxicating high that come with it.

this group has shown that they will pull all stops to keep it. personal atatcks? check. lies? check. unfounded suggestions? check. threat in the night? check.

this will be very, very interesting.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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Beer Me! said...

The schitz? Or the Schlitz? I used to drink Schlitz. But then I got a job.

Speaking of which, I wouldn't go into the same room with these assholes if they were giving away Schlitz. Or Heineken or Jagermeister or happy massages for that matter.

If either party miraculously comes to its senses and decides to actually improve daily life in this city, ring me up will you?

Meanwhile, I'll hang in the real world.