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Meanwhile We Ignore The Snuffleupagus In The Room
(I added a few things and people / puppets to this image. See if you can spot them all.)
Sometimes the Democrats surpass all understanding – not the politicians themselves, rather their supporters. Republicans, they always make a certain kind of logical sense. If to be a total asshole requires doing A, B and C, you can be pretty sure the Republicans will make it platform and proceed forth with A, B and C to the fullest. But the Dems? They do the exact same thing as the Republicans and get away with it. Why? Their actions do not get resistance from their opposition because they are doing what the Republicans would want. Republican leaders cannot make noise here as they would appear soft to their base and then lose political capital in the fear department. However, if McCain made it to office then liberals would be in the streets protesting and their pundits would be denouncing the attacks on labor, the use of drones, extra-judicial executions of US citizens, escalation of war and the oppressive attack on 1st Amendment rights on the home-front via the NDAA and the Patriot Act. Why then, would there be the noise if roles were reversed and Democrats were not in power? Democrats only demonize crimes against humanity when they are not the ones committing them – if you do not talk about it then it is as if they are not happening! So, instead we talk about Big Bird. Bravo. What a fucking distraction. As much as it is so far from what should be discussed in the public sphere I gotta say it is brilliant in its powerful manipulation of the message. Bernays would be getting an erection right about now. Yes, to be fair it was indeed Romney that started this conversation, but the media and the party PR machines are crafting the public dialog and I am certain that Romney is as much pleased as Obama that we are not focusing on our wars, income gap, drones, oil and military industrial profits. The controlling interests that benefit from those issues are where the real campaign dollars come from.
(Thanks to L.H. on the lifted A, B, C inspiration / plagiarism.)
Meet Greenfield City Councilor Brickett Allis.
On a Facebook discussion here is what Brickett had to say about the Boy Scouts of America members recent protest where Eagle Scouts are returning their badges in response to the BSA stated anti-gay discrimination policy.
Copy / Pasted exactly as it appeared:
“you know what I would say to this! I resent that base on your opinion you woudl ellude to the fact that if we don’t send them back we are somehow homophobic. thats a bunch of shit this makes me pretty mad. look im not a homophobe, but i am a realist, you put gay men in a group of other boys/men there is a higher liklihood that it could lead to any number of things some of which may not be appropriate…….exactly the same point as you put a group of heterosexual men in a room with women and they tend to do things that may or may not be appropriate. the issue is that scouting is not teaching boys its wrong to be gay, they are taking the same stance the millitary did don’t ask dont tell and i know you wont agree but i think its the right stance. secondly scouts is based in part on being reverent to god, and like it or not that god was the christian god the one that that all you libbies out there cant stand. and based on that god and that religion homosexuallity is not okay. do i give a shit about what someone is??? NO!!! but that goes across the board i dont care if you are fucking a horse just shut up about it and there will be no problem. if no one talked we would all be equal. but unfortunately everyone wants to make a “point” about thier sexuality. and the underlying message of this picture is to say that the only “good scouts” are the ones that send back their awards. well good for them feel free to feel better about yourself, i personally dont care how these morons sending them back feel. I just hope that they get enough back that they can send them back out free of charge to the new eagle scouts. this whole fiasco I find disgusting!”
Fucking brilliant! Only a cartoon character could say it better.
This was pretty damn cool.
She had a tattoo on her left wrist…
That she had created from a graffiti she had seen…
Which was created using one of my stencils!
(My friend Damian Cote also made a wood block cut for me.)
This just really made my day.
Full disclosure: I made this stencil and created t-shirts as well as a few graffiti here and there. I also released it into the wild. I handed cut stencils to a few folks that I knew would put them ANYWHERE and they did. I published it on the internet in a few places. I am not sure if it appears outside of Western Mass but it may. I painted it on sidewalks, lampposts, power conduits and telephone poles… never on private property. I say this because I have seen it somewhere I would not have done myself. Not me!
I created this stencil back in 2007. For those that are not aware, those creatures are kodama (tree spirits) and, of course, the date was at the time what I thought would be a hot topic as it approached… or that people would make it a dialog and I was doing my part to make it so? There really is no relevant connection between the image of kodama and the 2012 date when I created the image. It was made solely to have people ask “why”? But now that I look at it today I imagine that there is a sort of man versus nature / our time is up scenario. After I saw the tattoo I arrived home to read some extremely depressing news. We have witnessed the first ever migration due to climate change circumstances. The Micronesian nation of Kiribati (population 100,000) has relocated to Fiji due to rising sea levels. Also, a few weeks ago I read that the rate of extinction on this planet was 1000X what the normal rate was except for an Extinction Level Event (ELE – like an ice age, caldera or asteroid hitting the Earth – something that would kill 20-90% of life). Essentially meaning that the human species’ behavior on this earth is approaching that of a disaster.
I still act as if things can be and are worth saving even though part of me believes that this house of cards will soon fall; that we are on a path to destruction well past any tipping point that we should have been paying heed to for a long time. I don’t know, is it true? Eschatology provides many possibilities from a number of faiths and prophecy. However, I do know one thing; I am not at all afraid. If there is some sort of cataclysm or apocalypse that will bring humanity to its close I want a first class front row seat. I have indeed seen it all. Sure, more experiences are appreciated… but is there a point? Don’t get me wrong, I am not some New Age freak that believes that some Mayan prophecy is our end. I am simply wishing that there was one to prepare for as that would give me comfort that we (all living things) might actually come together, for once… if only for the end.
Many thanks to the Holyoke Fire Department and Police for their hard work last night.
Last night four buildings were taken out by fire in my neighborhood. I awoke to the sounds of police knocking on the door of my neighbor shouting “Get out, get out! FIRE!” Within minutes I could feel the heat from my porch and in less than an hour a two story house was a pile of mud and charred debris only a few feet tall. A change in wind to a more westerly direction would have surely had my home at risk. At 3am my 7yo daughter was literally floating around the room on her tiptoes bug-eyed and chanting “we have got to get out of here” . It was crazy, but thankfully nobody was hurt.
View from my backyard
View from my neighbor’s backyard
From 3am to 10am four hoses blasted this building on Pine St.
This may seem silly in the light of such devastation but HUSH would like to honor the hard work by our public servants so we will be providing them with a supply of tasty treats from the BYOR kitchen.
To the right on the sidebar you will see a poll. Please vote…
So what will it be?
The Halos and Horns edition gives Patti Devine her second (or third?) set of horns; this time for her bullying of CRUSH to censor my work.
Thanks to the Advocate for your continued support of Holyoke and your stand-up defense of free expression.
…and special thanks to Patti. What would we do without a nemesis? I am indeed somewhat sad that you lost. You were inspiration. Most of all, thank you for coining the term ‘pronography‘. That was brilliant. I hope you have a happy New Year.
For those arriving for the first time here is the back story:
Industria Et Copia
H.U.S.H. is opposed to the Charter Change due to its broad reach and numerous undesirable changes. I can agree with only one measure in the proposed charter and that is a 4-year term for mayor. This could happen without the charter proposal being passed.
Read the charter for yourself HERE. (if someone could send me a translated Spanish version in PDF please do)
There exists a Facebook Page called Holyoke Charter Change NO that lays out these reasons to opposition:
VOTE NO on the Proposed Charter Change:
Holyoke cannot afford this risky proposal!
Dear Fellow Voter:
There is going to be a referendum question on this year’s ballot that proposes to change our City Charter and it has lots of fine print you are not being told about. This risky proposal would:
Weaken Voter Power:
- Voters will no longer elect the City Clerk or City Treasurer
- Voters will no longer elect a majority of their City Councilors
- Only vote for the Mayor every 4 years not every 2 years which could be problematic especially if you get someone who is not doing a good job.
Eliminate Checks and Balances:
- We already have a very strong Mayor: we should not consolidate nearly all power in one person!
- Proposes to weaken the City Council and make the Mayor even more powerful
- Mayor would appoint the Assessors, Tax Collector, Auditor and Treasurer instead of the City Council therefore eliminating the independence of their financial oversight roles.
- Abolishes most city commissions including the Public Works and Fire Commissions and gives those powers to the Mayor. Also makes the Mayor a member of most remaining commissions.
- Allows the Mayor to abolish or create any city department without the Council having the opportunity to amend the proposal.
- Terms of office of city department heads are eliminated and they would serve at pleasure of the Mayor.
- Recommends eliminating non-political civil service independence for city employees
- Allows the Mayor to appoint a majority of the future commissions who will review our city charter and our city ordinances.
Make Expensive Changes we cannot afford in these tough economic times:
- Gives the Mayor a 14% pay raise from $85,000 to $97,000 per year.
- Creates a New Chief Financial Officer position appointed by the Mayor that would likely cost over $100,000 per year.
- The proposed new charter is a risky exploration into a new form of government which no one fully knows for sure how it would work and could be the source of expensive future litigation.
Make other foolish changes:
- The War Memorial Commission would no longer be made up exclusively of veterans.
- Makes it harder for citizens to run for office and get on the ballot.
- Eliminates Residency Requirements for city department heads.
Instead of making some simple common sense changes the voters could easily understand, the Charter Commission scrapped our entire charter for a new 53 page confusing and harmful form of government. Their proposal is so complex and confusing that it reads more like mortgage then a referendum. Holyoke’s voters deserve better!
Please Vote NO on the Proposed Charter Change and protect our city!
H.U.S.H. on the streets.
As HUSH readers witnessed in our readers poll we have decided to support Dan Bresnahan. On a chilly October Saturday HUSH members stood out with our Bresnahan banner. It was fun. We did get a lot of smiles, honks and many hand gestures in the forms of waves, devil horns and a few middle fingers. We certainly stuck out from the crowd and unfortunately may have detracted from other campaign efforts held at the Yankee Peddler corner. Just as we were to wrap up our standout HUSH was blessed with a visit from Dan The Man himself (as seen in the image below). He thanked us, offered to buy the banner and invited us to his victory party on election night. Also on the scene were candidates Lisi, Vega and Murpy.
Dan, if you are reading this, the banner is $500. Fair price for an original hand-painted design and almost $100 worth of paint and materials. You can contact me via the contact link if you wish to purchase. It will be available after the election as we do plan on standing out with it a couple more times.
Who on Team Pluta thought that this was a great idea?
H.U.S.H member Krampus Boardway forwarded me this link, Elaine Pluta’s Community Service Page. If this page changes between now and your reading, here is a screen shot. Just click to view full resolution:
Why would you edit out “Lisi” from these signs rather than simply using a different image? There was no historical record of this page at Archive and Google Cache has this as current. I wonder, was the image previously of these signs with the name included? It would be interesting to know if the image changed after Lisi gave support to Morse. Either way, it is an odd move. The page simply lists Pluta’s service history so the image is not really relevant to the content… so, any image could takes its place. Why use an image that is obviously altered and makes a statement about Lisi? Odd, I say.
There is one thing I regret in this election cycle. I saw Pluta standing out on the Beech and Northampton intersections holding her sign BACKWARDS for over a minute displaying a wood stick and staples to the traffic. I took my time to yell at her “your sign is backwards” while she cupped her ear “Huh?”. I yelled three times before a supporter standing with her corrected it. It was beautiful. I wish I snapped a photo rather than heckled her. Oh well.
One Ring To Rule Them All
Everyone looked sharp last night. Both Pluta and Plaisance were sporting new hairdos. Though, it was odd to see that Pluta dyed her hair to match Morse’s color? I was told that this was this was Nelson Roman’s decision. Bad call, dude. Also, Elaine walked in wearing this leopard fur collared coat. She looked fabulous but it was slightly over the top… something that I’d expect to see worn at a five-star resort rather than the sober event that is a political debate. Morse did wear a great tie. I must admit, I lament the fall of Gaddafi for one very good reason… they have returned to the pre-1969 and post-colonization flag. I think most flags to be ugly and too busy. The Libyan flag of recent times was an amazing austere solid field of green, my favorite color… I think that everyone presented themselves very well with their answers. Both Pluta and Morse have run good campaigns with the exception of a few wrinkles on Pluta’s part with the “agenda money”, which was mostly addressed in this debate.
I have got to fault Plaisance on a few of his questions. At first I thought he was biased towards Pluta but then it became clear that he’s biased to sensationalism. First he twists words from Morse’s campaign about what Morse will bring to the office of mayor and that if he is bringing those things does that not imply that she is lacking them? A negative campaign does attack the other player, but he’s really speaking the truth here – and mostly about himself. Let’s be honest here… If you watch Pluta she’s not at all energetic. She shuffles about like zombie, uses almost no body-language and when she tries to speak with emotion she sounds all monotone like Donald Duck. As far as vision, we can all have different opinions about a casino… Pluta has been a strong supporter of Holyoke as a host city, lobbied for us in Boston and received campaign contributions from those involved. Then she praises Taco Bell? If this is part of her vision, then I must say it is indeed lacking. The idea that we must base success, jobs and tax revenue on vice and fast food is absurd. Sure, gambling should be legal, but I’d prefer back room and bar gambling to some billion dollar monument to sickness. Resources can be much better spent. The new legislation that Deval will sign into law is several steps backwards for our great state. Then, this troll hunter goes on to bring up Morse’s age. Has this not already been beaten to death and deemed a non-issue? He’s running a solid professional campaign, he’s serious and obviously he has what it takes. Could we not have asked questions about issues, ideas and leadership rather than this bullshit? Maybe if that were the case those that may have doubts about him would learn more than directly addressing the prejudice. We all know how old he is. Plaisance did take his turn with Pluta, asking her about her claim of having “the fight of her political life” and why does Morse “come out of nowhere” as a serious challenge to her position? It would have been much more useful to those witnessing the debate to get beyond the tabloid nonsense and instead to issues in Holyoke . These questions really did not cover any new ground for most of those in attendance and were a serious waste of time.
I don’t dislike Pluta. I just don’t think the results match her claims. I’ve witnessed much poor communication and bad ideas come from her in a brief two years. I do feel some sort of pity for her, I feel that she wants to do good for the city, but honestly, she does not have what it takes and the whole casino issue is a major flaw. I also think that she did not run an honest campaign at times. Those several different letters that went out concerning “agenda” and “out of town money” were downright sleazy fear-mongering. Sure… if I was watching this campaign from afar and I was not connected to the city or its politics I might actually donate to someone like Alex because it is downright inspiring. Speaking of good ideas and the digital age I do stuff like this all the time with organizations like Kickstarter, Kiva and various activist groups – I give more money out of town and out of the country than I do locally. Good ideas and progress are just that… so it really is no matter where they are happening… but of course, when hits home like we see here it is really wonderful.
I consider this election over. Morse is going to win. I had my doubts at first but there really is no way that the majority of Holyoke is that dim that they would agree that things are on the right path or that Elaine has proven herself thus far. It really has been a long time. We need some real leadership now. (and responsible media in the form of a daily newspaper)
Listen for yourself:
Since I added the contact page on the website here my mailbox has been flooded. While most of the communications are laden with swears, threats and insults, not suitable for printing at a family friendly website like H.U.S.H.; there were two that stood out.
First from Robert Markey:
Read about your Patti Devine censorship in the Advocate. Just wanted to send my total support to you. I’ve dealt with censorship a number of times – most recently in Springfield when they painted over my pole dancer in the Sneaker project. Sounds like you do great work – keep on truckin’.
Thanks Bob. I remember your story when I read about it in the Republican and on Masslive. I actually commented on your plight and in your support here on Masslive. Robert Markey’s work can be seen here.
An anonymous reader sent me this:
There are some who might regard your “harassment” of Councilor Devine as proof of karma. Some still remember how Devine and others harassed former Holyoke police chief, and whistleblower, Robert Wagner which led to Wagner v. Devine III 388.
The case against Devine and the others was dismissed because it was found that they were within their rights. Eventually she had a sandwich named after her, which might still be available at Pat’s. As I never ate a Patti Devine, I couldn’t say if it was any good.
I had heard mention of the case and of course the sandwich but I never thought about the karmic retribution here or for that matter read the actual court of appeals documents. Very interesting. Thanks anonymous. Oh, I love seeing the scare quotes, just like the Advocate. Obviously not harassment, people.
I’d like to welcome all our readers from the Valley Advocate.
On Thursday October 13th the Valley Advocate ran this story.
Tom Vannah wrote the story based on a letter that I sent to him, which is essentially the same text of a previous post here on H.U.S.H. with the exception of the last paragraph which was replaced with this:
Personally, I am offended by CRUSH’s decision to capitulate to her bullying but that is not what is important and it is not why I write. I am writing in hopes that this would make for a story. I think it is indeed a good one something here about the story deserving the attention of a publication like The Advocate to give a well balanced account, something the daily newspapers do not have either the time for or interest in doing. When I talked to Mike Plaisance (the Republican reporter) I was let known that he did see the threatening email that Patti sent to the Chamber of Commerce and the Taxpayers Association. However, the way that the Republican handled the story it only dealt with nuance and some of the drama. It did not go into what I think is the real story which is a government official using threats and bullying to suppress legitimate public speech because it was criticism and satire directed at her.
I am pleased to see the image in print. The story does hit to the heart of the matter but does seem to leave out a bit of detail. We were supposed to speak about the article before it went to press. I was away for the weekend and when Mr Vannah contacted me I was not in an environment that would have allowed discussion. We were not able to connect when I tried to get back to him and then it was past deadline. I did want to discuss my reasons for the image and what I thought of the C.R.U.S.H. admin peeing in their boots in the face of baseless threats, but alas, that did not happen.
I have had a number of dialogs in person, in email and on Facebook about Mr Vannah’s comments over publication and submissions at the Valley Advocate. He says:
That said, the Valley Advocate doesn’t publish every word or image that its staff or freelance correspondents produce or that it receives from outside sources. The material that makes it into the paper each week has survived fairly rigorous scrutiny; in the end, we reject far more —endless press releases; mountains of op-ed pieces; scads of political cartoons; product pitches; a suprising number of unsolicited manuscripts and artworks from fledgling writers; staff-written pieces that need more work before they’ll see the light of day—than we accept.
I have heard people say that this is a parallel to the idea that CRUSH is a publisher or has editorial control over the content. I don’t read it as such. I cannot speak directly to what Mr Vannah’s intent was here but I do think that the next paragraph speaks quite clearly:
So when I heard about the troubles of Holyoke artist James Bickford and the decision by the activist group Citizens for the Revitalization and Urban Success of Holyoke (C.R.U.S.H.) to remove a series of his images from its public forum, claiming that the images constituted a form of “harrassment,” I groaned. I suspected that although Bickford’s images would fall completely under the protection of the First Amendment, they would also be highly offensive, perhaps lewd and probably gratuitous. I braced myself for the disagreeable job of defending something disagreeable.
He’s saying that the images were valid and he puts “scare quotes” around “harassment” (and later “harassing”) because they were indeed not. The Steering Committee had a disclaimer that Libel and Harassment were reasons to delete content. My work was not harassment but the Steering Committee called it so to fit with the disclaimer. They had no reason to censor. Mr Vannah’s comments on the publishing of the story was the result of his finding humor in the images when his expectation was that C.R.U.S.H. deleted something that was offensive.
That is all for now.