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Big Boo-Boo

By Mark Crantz

Old-fashioned Indy readers are like me. They wait until Friday and then go out to their driveways to look for the newspaper. Then we remember…wait we live in Laguna and we don’t have driveways. Frustrated, our eyes go to the one lucky neighbor who does have a driveway and then we steal their Indy. No harm done. A recent Coastal Commission study reveals that 97 percent of coastal driveway owners do not know they have a local newspaper. So here’s a special shout out to all driveway owners. We do have a local newspaper. And your neighbors are thieves. But all is not lost. To catch-up on local news, go to the digital Indy. In fact, the digital Indy will likely give you twice the news than the old-fashioned newsprint version. Several weeks ago bears this out…

The recently retired Indy columnist, Billy Fried, came out of a one-month retirement to apologize to readers for helping Peter Blake get elected to City Council. While heartfelt, my immediate concern was did Billy jeopardize his social security benefits in any way by going back to work? And then I read the digital comment section responses to Billy’s column, “Three More Years of This?” Yikes. Readers’ views erupted. It seems I was worrying about the wrong kind of social security. Federal benefits were not the problem. It was the local kind of social security that was in jeopardy. Ironically, Billy Fried’s favorite annual event “Burning Man” held in Black Rock City, Nevada, was suddenly here and now spontaneously combusting with the event’s 10 main principles of community and art. These principles are radical inclusion, radical self-reliance, radical self-expression, communal effort, civic responsibility, gifting, decommodification, participation, immediacy, and leave no trace. The first nine principles could be argued back and forth, but the last one, “leave no trace” isn’t going to happen. Laguna now has a big boo-boo and it’s going to leave a scar for some time.

Billy Fried believes Peter Blake is unfit for office. Peter Blake believes Billy Fried is unfit as a columnist. Readers are in a fit over both. The match has been lit and Laguna is metaphorically on fire, a “Burning Man,” of sorts. At last count, there were 34 vituperative comments and 2,059 clicks. That’s a lot of fuel. A lot of criticism.

I suggest that everybody put down the pens to think about pens being mightier than the swords. So, let’s leave the pens at home and pick up rubber swords for the next Council meeting. They will do less harm. In the meantime, consider this quote from Anonymous. “Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way when you do criticize him, you’ll be a mile away and have his shoes.”

Crantz tells the Indy that he feels bad about the one time he criticized and would gladly return the shoes, but he can’t find Anonymous. But to be brutally honest, he didn’t look very hard because the shoes fit like a glove.

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