12/31/2006

OTBL v. HSO: Are you sure that's peanut butter you're eating?

Admin's note: Occasionally we get requests from readers to post various things from the blogosphere. The following posting comes from the ontheborderline.net blog oozing out of Hudson. It deals with a debate raging in the minds of three or four bloggers at the site (which means it's probably one or two people debating and discussing among themselves). This will use up precious space on this blog and we usually don't publish such frivolous drivel. However, our editorial board has met and agreed to stoop to this level of belligerence just once, i.e., we are making an exception from our high journalistic standards.

I would like to preface this OTBL post with a parable that I think is appropriate. I hope you agree with me, after reading it. If you don't agree, too bad. -- cancel your subscription to this blog...

The efficiency expert stopped several mornings in a row on his commute into the city, pulling his car onto the shoulder of the road alongside the farm with the small apple orchard. He watched in amazement, even getting out his binoculars to be sure, as the farmer carefully lifted a full-grown pig out of the pig pen, carried him down the path to the orchard, and then climbed the small step-ladder, lifting the pig over his head and waiting patiently while the pig ate a few apples from the tree. The farmer then returned the pig to the pen, picked up another sow and schlepped her down to the orchard to feed. The spectacle continued for over an hour until all the pigs had been fed and the farmer was obviously exhausted.

Professional curiosity eventually won out, and the efficiency expert decided to confront the farmer about his process. One morning he put down his binoculars, climbed through the fence, and met the farmer as he finished his feeding ritual. “Don’t you see how much time you’re wasting, and how much faster it would be if you picked the apples and brought them to the pigs in the pen?” The farmer shrugged and stared at the stranger with slight suspicion. Finally, he responded with a question of his own: “What’s time to a pig?”



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(The following is lifted from the ontheborderline.net blog and is used without permission. It is a rant by members of a St. Croix Valley blog against an editorial in the current edition of the Hudson Star Observer newspaper. Here's a link to the editorial. )

Dzubay and Irony
Filed under: Politics Local, About On The BorderLine --- Our View @ 10:00 am

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Irony comes in three basic flavors: Socratic, sordonic and dramatic. Steve Dzubay, writing for the Hudson Star Observer in a recent editorial states: “I find it ironic that shortly after Kilber rested from penning us his call for accountability, he’d already abandoned the possibility his letter would be published as “they censor and will not print this…” and placed it on his Web site.”

(Admin's note: Of course, Kilber was wrong. The HSO printed his letter in full. The HSO didn't censor his letter. Those of us who send letters to the editor don't use conspiratorial terms like "censor," when we don't get our way. We use words like "edit." Kilber rides high on his hobbyhorse of hypocrisy, when he calls for "accountability" at the HSO. Viewers of the soagy diaper Kilber confuses for a blog know that "accountability" isn't required on his Internet slander fest.)

Dzubay is being too cute by half on this one; although there may have been some irony in this sordid matter it was not the type Dzubay implies. Nor was there anything in his editorial view resembling journalistic savoir faire…head scratcher comes readily to mind. Dzubay’s attempt to address Kilber makes note in its opening paragraph an admonition by a former county board member to be careful in making an enemy of one who has barrels of ink at their disposal. Well, Dzubay clearly learned from that experience as todays ink wells are filled not with a mixture of soot, turpentine, and walnut oil but rather with electrons -and the well of electrons is deep indeed.

(Admin's note: Wowzer! Imagine a phrase like "journalistic savior faire" coming from a blog site that kisses the ideological backside of laizze-faire and whines about everything not being fair. I believe the phrase Dzubay was implying is "C'est la vie." In this instance, Latin would be more apropos than French would. Of course, I'm thinking the phrase that Dzubay should have used was "minutus cantorum, minutus balorum, minutus carborata descendum pantorum." I find it confusing that blog slugs like the OTBL'ers would waste their seemingly bottomless pit of punctuated pabulum on the local newspaper. Apparently, they are having trouble reaching their target market -- all six people.)

Was Dzubay making a Socratic reference? Or perhaps he was attempting a sardonic expression in his editorial by referring to something other than, and especially the opposite of, the literal meaning? Then again, he could have been attempting to illustrate an incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result… Frankly, the facts bely the rhetoric of Dzubay as the printing of Mr. Kilber’s letter occurred AFTER it was posted right here on this web log. Moreover, there were some comments, I believe, addressing the probability of the Star Observer (in this case, Dzubay himself) printing Mr. Kilber’s letter.

(Admin's note: I not sure the Lord Himself could figure out what the hell is being babbled about in the above paragraph. It seems to pass a spelling test, but I'd like to subject the author to a pee test.)

The mere fact then that after the letter was posted here the Star Observer went and printed it tells us much more about electrons, the speed of light, and Steve Dzubay’s full understanding of the popularity and reach of this blog than it does the implied fairness and journalistic equity preposterously proposed by Dzubay - as if he would have printed the letter had it not first appeared here. Once he read it here the challenge was thrown down and for him not to print it at that point would have once again, proven the case. Furthermore, by printing the letter and then drawing attention to it in an editorial, he was engaging in a self-serving scheme of rehabilitation by taking an unwarranted, inaccurate and incredibly oversimplistic pot shot at this blog.

(Admin's note: It appears Mr. Dzubay is damn if he does or doesn't print the said letter in question. This paragraph remains me of a conversation I overheard at McDonald's the other morning. A grandpa, who happens to be my neighbor, was in charge of his three grandkids -- between 2-4 -- and they were getting breakfast. The kids wanted a toy -- this is two days after Christmas -- and they were told they don't give toys away with breakfast. The kids started crying and saying they wanted a toy. When Grandpa told them, if they got a toy, they'd only lose them in the mess of toys they just got for Christmas. One kid gave his best tearful, last-gasp whine and said "But Grandpa, I want another toy..." We are setting up a fund to collect money to buy the OTBL'ers a Happy Meal and get them a toy.

On the charge of the HSO taking a "pot shot" at that blog, we wholly agree with the OTBL'ers on that point. Shame on the HSO for such cheap shots! Those OTBL idiots will never see that underhandedness coming from this journalistic institution.)

One can read Dzubay’s editorial and no where in it is there any reference to the name of Mr. Kilber’s website. Moreover, there is no reference in Dzubay’s writing to note the numerous, compelling, well-written and intellectually challenging posts that have been published on this blog over the last several years. There was nothing fair minded or balanced in his editorial, rather he was blogging (poorly, I might add) in his own paper. Just as some very narrow-minded people can only see what they want to see, or are told to see, so too has Dzubay attempted to characterize this blog. The omission by Dzubay of an acknowledgment of the many compelling postings out here is very telling indeed. Are there some odd postings out here that are, for lack of a better description, rough around the edges? Of course, this is a personal web log owned by an individual and trafficked by numerous independent-minded persons.

(Admin's note: If they OTBL'ers haven't noticed, the HSO sells advertising and you are free to take out a small ad with your website address on it. I think the writer meant "intellectually challenged posts," in the above paragraph. Once again, the writer climbs the peak of hypocrisy when he says "There was nothing fair minded or balanced in his editorial, rather he was blogging (poorly, I might add) in his own paper." Or are we to interpret that the newspaper gets held to a higher standard than an Internet blog site populated by a couple anonymous, disgruntled Tom Paine wannabees? Its one thing to kiss someone else's ass or to have someone kiss your ass. The OTBL'ers have taken their pretzel logic to a new convoluted twist and are kissing their own ass: "The omission by Dzubay of an acknowledgment of the many compelling postings out here is very telling indeed." Indeed, gag me with a spoon of peanut butter!)

The eclectic nature of this and many other blogs are what create interest. On the other hand, the incredibly predictable and biased approach of a weekly newspaper such as the Hudson Star Observer should and does create a high degree of suspicion by many in the Hudson community. The mere fact that Dzubay counted the number of “for” and “against” referendum letters and draws a conclusion that they engaged in a fair representation leaves one utterly clueless as regards the total number of letters submitted that were edited or not printed (for one reason or another). Then there was the accusation of copyright infringement with zero details to support the claim. Knowing that some letters did not get printed is self-evidence of Dzubay and company changing or suppressing speech or writing that is considered subversive of the common good.

(Admin's note: The OTBL blog has three chords in its "eclectic" arsenal: anti-education, anti-community and anti-union. If the OTBL'ers truly believed in "free speech," their blog would be open to comments from all readers -- like this blog. They are into controlling the message and signing their three-chord song. In their case, "free speech" doesn't apply, but "cheap talk" does.)

Irony? Not the Socratic type Dzubay implies and certainly not from his perspective. To be sure there is some tragedy here, as those who are most familiar with what is written out here, on balance, can attest. The fact is that there was incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events (the printing of Kilbers letter in the HSO) and the normal or expected result - the true irony was that Dzubay allowed the letter to be printed because the normal or expected result (from past experience) was clearly suppression of writing - Mr. Kilber’s, in this case. Dzubay, in a twist of editorial nonsense, admits as much in what can only be described as parapraxia.

(Admin's note: Obviously, the above writer was using his dictionary. "Parapraxia" refers to a "slip of the tongue or of the pen, momentary amnesia regarding names, and other errors which, according to Freud (1901), demonstrate the intrusion of -unconscious- mental processes into the -conscious- world of the normal individual. Freud suggested that -censorship- operates in some of these situations to repress material which is unacceptable to the ego and thus brings about the 'mistake.'" Obviously, communicating one's ideas is not the goal at OTBL. Impressing your reading clanship with big words is...)

The editorial by Dzubay was a malicious use of the Star Observer to attempt to discredit Mr. Kilber and this blog as well as two other concerned citizens who just happen to be vocal opponents of matters to which Dzubay is a supporter. His statement that “As expected, both Weese and Shaw took the absence of their letters as a personal affront and proceeded to rant and call us names from the safety of Kilber’s blog” was nothing more than a veiled assertion that writers out here lack intestinal fortitude, which, in this particular case, is laughable. Mr. Dzubay ought to get copies of school board meetings over the last 4 years for review to see just how lacking both of those individuals he mentioned are in intestinal fortitude. Dzubay simply sees this blog as a competitive threat to both his paper and his world view of the “common good.” He merely made a weak attempt at discrediting OTBL in the hopes that readers will sumarily reject anything posted here. If his core readership takes that position, it is to their detriment. The readership of this blog and its opinions is far wider than the narrow-minded, gullible, lowest common denominator to whom Dzubay was addressing.

(Admin's note: In the above concluding paragraph, OTBL rides its hobby horse of hypocrisy to the bottom of the valley and tells us Dzubay's editorial was "a malicious use of the Star Observer to attempt to discredit Mr. Kilber” and his blog. Do they mean Dzubay is learning a few tricks for the OTBL playbook? In the final sentence, the OTBL'ers tell us that their shit don't stink and, if you aren't on their band wagon, yours does. The last sentence verifies my "bullshit theory of life." My theory states that, if all you have to eat is bullshit, you’ll reach a point where you get use to the taste and smell of bullshit. The OTBL'ers have obviously reached that point and acquired the taste of their own bullshit.)

6 comments:

cub said...

Irony comes in the fact that the BorderNutz are in a hissy over Dzubay's column in the HSO? It's amazing to me that the NUTZ can attack all they want but when someone (HSO) puts up a defense they cry!

Oh and by the way, my taxes went down 8 %...bring on the high school referendum!

CANRAC said...

I found the whole deal very set-up to make a point, problem is the audience intended for the point is a very small one. It's also nice that the OTBL paranoia crew can scream about censorship all they want, yet differing opinions are not allowed on their blog. Opinions that agree with their philosophy can be made with no solid evidence or fact, just the mindless allegations and dribble we are accustomed to reading. And somebody may ask, why do I read OTBL if I don't like it? Well first of all its free, its entertaining, and it's a source of humor and wonderment for me in thinking "what will these morons come up with next?".

Getting back to the editorial and the OTBL "Our View" the whole thing is flawed. First of all Dzubay was not forced to answer, he chose too and I think it did it very well. He admitted the process if flawed, mistakes are made, and that as a newspaper they have options on how they go about things. What you never heard from the OTBL bunch is how the HSO fought for the files and info on the recent case with the police officer. There was no cover up, they covered the hearing, and I felt the reporting was factual and objective. Meanwhile, the OTBL bunch can make claims about how the PD is corrupt but never give an example as to why. Not getting things they want investigated is not corruption, not getting the answers they want is not corruption, and simply put there is no plot.

The deal is simply and plainly sour grapes on a successful referendum. Those who read my posts know that I was a "no" vote, however it passed, let's get on with it. I'm not mad, I'm not disappointed, high taxes will not force me out of Hudson.

The HSO and Rivertowns publishing is a media corporation. They don't have to provide anything unless ordered to do so by the courts, and in many ways they will be protected. They took the side of a "yes" vote. Whenever they pick a side I'm sure they are risking loss of advertising revenues, loss of readership, etc. The revenues are not in newspaper sales, they are in advertising. The past dog track and casino battle was a much more serious thing. The HSO was much more careful, I guess they felt in the school referendum there was nothing to lose by endorsing.

And....it was good to see Dzubay get a little personal and mention names. After the smears the "no bunch" have attempted in the past it was warranted. And even if you can agree on some things Weese and Shaw bring up, their conduct in public meetings makes most want to run and hide and if would be considered on the same side. Anybody remember Shaw ripping up papers at a township board meeting and throwing them on the floor. Used the hand that wasn't holding the videocamera and I beleive this was in a discussion over off road utility vehicles. Weese's performance, everybody has seen.

What the OTBL people need to ask themselves is whether or not "personal attacks" are their last resort? They've been around long enough to determine they've got little or no support in the community, quite honestly nobody cares what they think. They've gotten no support on the school district meeting ejection, the threat letter case, or school questioning. I think its foolish for them to say the "no" vote is people who agree with them. And they used to make claims they'd put the HSO out of business. Hasn't happened. I dare OTBL to start their own newspaper or radio station and run it in a way which avoids libel or violation of other laws. If your message is so strong and great, and you've got followers, go for it in making a change. BTW, the absence of the big red truck in this one was interesting, maybe another person doesn't want to be associated with this bunch. And this person certainly won't stand up for their bullshit either. Agree or disagree, the truck owner is good at thinking for himself.

Maybe Dzubay should have answered, maybe he shouldn't have, but what he said was not really bullshit, just his opinion. I didn't agree with all of it, but he had the right and ability.

I think the OTBL gang is desparate, it will be interesting to follow the next moves from the very few who post there. I'm sure we'll see more personal attacks, more record requests, more intimidation tactics, and probably efforts to discredit those who supported the referendum. I'm no big fan of some of the supporters either, but they have their right.

So anyways, life goes on, lets get the school built, but if we're going to accuse or bitch lets have a little more proof.

And, overall, I truly am worried about the direction Hudson is taking. I'm not against progress but I have the perception of no "big picture plan". The city just bonded a boat load of money and I look at the projects asking if it is bandaids, really necessary things, or how much better things will really be in the city's economic picture. And I worry about the school district, I think passing a high school in the near future will be a very monumental task and winning a majority vote will be difficult. The OTBL bunch will NOT factor into this, people are just getting overall concerns with things.

BTW, heard the story about some lunatic yelling at Freedom over having a "yes" sign and how their business would be boycotted. Can anybody verify? If so, are the Freedom stations still open?

Kowboy Kurtass said...

Has anybody read anything on OTBL about taxes going down? I seem to have missing any mention of it.

Thomas Pain in the Arse said...

Canrac, You're gonna use up all our internet ink with more posts that long.

It's just amazing how childish the OTBL brain trust is. This whole free speech issue was at the forefront when 2 of there crew got kicked out of the school board meeting. When OTBL was criticized for limiting free speech on their blog, their reply was that their blog was private and had no need or reason to allow speech it considered subversive (which is defined by any post that may start with "I disagree or I beg to differ").
Now when a PRIVATE newspaper doesn't print a couple of letters to the editor(mine included), they cry foul.
Oh no!!! HSO is violating my right to free speech. These fools can't even keep their on hypocricies straight.

CANRAC said...

I think I'm OK, plus "Lil Bills" back so ink will be plentiful again.

little people said...

Hey! Li'l Bil got elevator shoes for Christmas! Now he's gonna be Normal Sized Bil. No more Short Man's Syndrome on OTBL!