Perhaps you’d be happier not being in public service? | Street Jazz

Monday, February 13, 2012

Perhaps you’d be happier not being in public service?

Posted By on Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 11:12 AM

I trot this story out every so often, just to make a point.

Way, way back in the 20th Century, when most of us were barely alive, I wrote a column in which I had a paragraph or two mildly criticizing someone on Fayetteville’s Board of Directors.

After the column saw print, he left a heart-warming message on my answering machine (yeah, that was stupid) reminding me that that “ . . . we are all on the same fucking side.”


The medical term for someone in his condition is “putz” - as it is for any elected official who believes that everyone should be an automatic sycophant or never, ever write anything that might be construed as less than complimentary.

Honestly, if you want unconditional love, buy a dog. People who write about you are never on “your side” - has an exchange of money taken place? You don’t writers, you want handmaidens.

It’s an interesting thing I have noticed over the years I have been writing about politics, that so many seem so damn thin-skinned once they get into office, or appointed positions. If you are openly critical, than you are an Enemy of the State, and suddenly not worthy even of simple conversation, or more than hurried “hellos” when they pass by you.

Fayetteville alone is full of folks who have experienced that sort of thing over the years - electing folks who aren’t quite ready for prime time.

And, of course, this also applies to their political appointees as well, doesn’t it?

Honestly, if you’re that thin-skinned, if you can’t handle criticism, maybe you’d be happier running a convenience store somewhere. You just can’t be telling yourself that the world is full of haters.

Much to his credit, the elected official who left the message on my answering learned his lesson over the years, and forced himself to even engage folks he held in contempt in conversation. Perhaps he should go around the country giving workshops on how it is done?


Mark Martin’s ball-less Eureka Springs Adventure - and I am just so grateful for the chance to use that line

Oh, Mark Martin! The Secretary State of Arkansas has declared that he will not be attending two balls which are part of the Eureka Springs Mardi Gras celebration this week.

Oh, he’ll still be the Grand Marshal in the big parade, but he won’t be attending the balls, which most Grand Marshals usually do.

Well, the ultra-conservative Marky Mark, who usually surrounds himself only with own kind, might have had to - ugh! - rub shoulders (or worse!) with some of Satan’s brood in Eureka Springs, had he attended the balls, you know.

He might have had to shake hands - oh, my god! - with folks who danced with the devil in the pale moonlight, and who could take a chance on that?

Of course, that is just mean-spirited conjecture on my part, being the liberal jerk that I am.

You know, he had other stuff to keep him busy, stuff to work on. He’d really love to rub shoulders with the gay and straight people up in Eureka Springs, thank you very much.


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The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them. ~ Mark Twain

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