Thursday, April 3, 2008

Bomb the Bully?



So the buzz on the (privately owned by Mother Mary) Amherst Town Meeting listserve the past couple of days has been about the good ship Amherst Bulletin hitting an iceberg on their maiden voyage into political endorsements.
Amherst Town Meeting Buzz

One former Select Man suggested a boycott. Naturally Leo Maley the campaign manager of top vote getter and editorially supported candidate Diana Stein suggests everybody get over it and move on because, after all (and I can envision a Cheshire Cat smile as he typed this) “It is better to be a winner than a whiner.”

And talk about serendipity. Just after I point out it’s hard to “boycott” a free publication, I receive in my mailbox a plea from the Bully to send in this postage return paid postcard saying I want to receive the publication. This allows them significant reduced rates with their bulk mailing costs. Hmmm….

So even if only Hwei-Ling Greeney’s 1,393 supporters withhold that postcard it could tip the balance. Worse yet, they could check off the “No I do not wish to continue receiving the Bulletin” then wrap up a heavy brick in brown paper and tape the post card to it (with the “all postage is paid for by the Amherst Bulletin” showing).

Personally I liked my Abby Hoffman idea from a few days ago about wrapping a dead fish in the Bulletin let it ferment a few days and then mail it to them. Of course, now you could attach the post card and let them pay for it.

BUT, BUT, BUT: I’ve been there all too many times over the past 26 years in business. Last year after the Override failed a bitter woman sent me a snotty, condescending email saying she was forbidding her husband from renewing his relatively long-time membership to my club.

Fair enough…I guess. It’s one thing to suddenly decide you don’t like something a business owner has done (even though it has nothing to do with the business itself) and decide not to continue patronage.

But it’s another thing altogether to wage psychological warfare as punishment over daring to invoke my First Amendment rights.

Yeah, the Bulletin screwed up. And the good old boys in the ailing Bricks and Mortar newsprint industry never explain and never apologize.

As Freud once (hopefully) observed, however: “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”

2 comments:

Keith said...

"Fair enough…I guess. It’s one thing to suddenly decide you don’t like something a business owner has done (even though it has nothing to do with the business itself) and decide not to continue patronage.

But it’s another thing altogether to wage psychological warfare as punishment over daring to invoke my First Amendment rights."

Now you're just confusing me, Larry. Which one is you -- and which one is the editor of the Bulletin?

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, I guess maybe I gotta stop doing those little turnarounds in the last paragraph (habit I picked up from Rod Serling). Got an email last night from a Sensible Center type (who politically benefited by the Bully endorsements but also let his wife bully him into boycotting my club) who sarcastically suggested, “People who live in glass houses should dress in the basement. “

I’m certain there was no conspiracy on the part of the editors for last week’s Amherst Bulletin fiasco. Remember six months ago on the anniversary of THAT awful day and the Gazette runs with a banner headline about a Umass professor (brilliant in her field) who thinks 9/11 was an inside job?

Editor Foudy actually in that instance came close to apologizing and explaining.

I’m actually trying to have it both ways of course. Suggesting things I would never do or even now condone others do (at least in this particular instance anyway) but at the same time sending the message that if they ever do engage in outright conspiracy the Dogs of War will be on their butts.

Ask any NTSB investigator and they will verify it’s almost never just one major malfunction that brings down a commercial jet (non-hijacked of course) it is a confluence of screw ups, and malfunctions usually involving human error, that occur and combine at precisely the worst possible moment.

So to answer your question, let me serenade the editors in question: “I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together"

He Ping.