"all things schwag"? North coast Journal coverage

“all things schwag”?

The North Coast Urinal’s scimpy coverage of theplazoid.blogspot.com has me wondering if Hank actually took anytime to look at the blog that he was writing about.
Tad has very few postings on the blog, but is mentioned right away, after the “schwag” comment. It seems that some people would like to believe (and lead others to believe) that Tad is the only one who holds these opinions. What a spin-job.
Then there’s the thing about the chamber of commerce – is the chamber of commerce ever even mentioned on this blog?
Totally absent from Hank’s article is any mention of the documentation of police misconduct on the blog. Remember the “taser incident”? The Plazoid covered it before the Arcata LEye, the North Coast Urinal, or any other media that I am aware of.
Other documented incidents of abuse by the police that are recorded on the blog aren’t even covered at all anywhere else.
Also missing was the coverage of the Homeless Task Force meetings. Without The Plazoid, the Arcata public had only Kevin Hoover’s extremely biased coverage to rely on.
And TOTALLY absent was any mention of the PRINT version of the Plazoid! The zine started in print and only went online as an afterthought – to make the documentation more widely available.
Also, the Plazoid is not only about homelessness issues. Jeez. Thanks for the pigeon-holing, dude. What about the tasers? Or the HSU issues? Or the pharmacueticals information? Anyhow, it was nice to see the blogspot mentioned in print.


12 Responses to “"all things schwag"? North coast Journal coverage”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Just a few questions: you mention that Tad had very few posts on this blog, but since you never identify any of the writers who actually post then how is it possible to know WHO wrote a given post. Tad must have some affiliation with the Plazoid if Hank mentions him. So I’m very curious, who are you people? Although I currently do not live in Arcata, I moved away recently and I still spend about a month and a half there each year, and I’ve never met anyone who knows of the Plazoid (except perhaps now they know of the blog, given the Journal articale).

  2. the PLAZOID Says:

    tad usually signs his name, maybe even always.
    I personally believe in anonymity. The reader then must focus on the CONTENT of the writing, and not on the author.
    SOME people are very interested in finding out who the other contributors/editors/writers are, but it seems like they probably just want to “attack the messenger.”
    Sorry, I don’t play that game.

  3. F. Kilkenny Says:

    Hmmm… I had no intent of attacking the messenger, but I am interested in the attitudes and expertise behind the messenger’s message.

    I’m especially interested in this because you put forth many opinions and assertions in your posts. Usually opinions and assertions come from a contextual base, and I am interested in what that context is for you (all?). When some “mom and pop” group gets air time and states that global warming doesn’t exist you might want to check if there is an oil company paying their bill, am I not right?

    In any case, I am not asking for “names” but rather some description of your context. Are you one? Many? Students? Activists? Houseless? Are you long time residents of Humboldt County? Recent arrivals?

    I believe these are fair questions, and if you read most respectable newspapers you will find some sort of identification of the writer’s context. This can be as simple as: X has written for Y journal for Z years, works at A as a day job and has resided in B for C years.

    Your creation of a context need not be as specific as this, but you should want to put forth SOME sort of representation of your self (selves?). If you do not put forth a representation, because “you don’t play that game” then you actually tell us quite a bit about how far readers should trust your opinions and assertions.

    What it tells me is that you are A)afraid of criticism, especially of your possible expertise or B) (and I certainly hope this is not the case) you have something to hide from your readership.

    Lastly, speaking to your point that the content should be all that matters, I have only this to say: there is no content without a content-maker.

  4. the PLAZOID Says:

    hmmm…what are these “respectable” newspapers that you write about? and who respects them? and why?

    and what kind of “expertise” are you looking for? What kind of “expert” is necessary to have a firm grasp and full understanding of common sense?

  5. F. Kilkenny Says:

    You obviously don’t take criticisms or suggestions well.

    What you talk about on this site is not “common” sense; many people disagree with some or many of your assertions and opinions or are put off by the manner in which you present them, as is plainly evidenced by many of the comments.

    Yet you make little attempt to convince people of your views. You may have good points, but 1) you are very selective in what you report, 2) are extremely evasive when asked questions (very similar to the recent Supreme Court nominees) and 3) many of your reports are couched in language that detracts heavily from your credibility.

    For example, on this site the Arcata City Council is the “Arcata Silly Council,” the Arcata Eye is “the Arcata LEye,” and the Northcoast Journal is the “Northcoast Urinal.” Do you have evidence that the City Council has been taking nitrous? That might make them silly. What exactly has the Eye lied about? Direct refution of its articles would be more effective than your constant assertions. And I have never noticed anyone pissing on the North Coast Journal.

    Expertise might be anything: are you houseless? Do you hang out with houseless? That might add to your credibility to talk about their point of view. Have you lived in the community long? Do you have connections with the families that live in Arcata? That might add to your credibility when talking about the views of the “housed” community. Do you study psychology or neuroscience? That might add to your credibility when talking about psychiatirc drugs. But you claim no expertise.

    You can, of course, gain credibility by demonstrating your ability to carefully analyze facts in a logical and reasonable manner. But, that takes more than the ability to google a few websites, or speak in assertions. There are many good journalists, essayists and writers out there, read them and take some lessons.

    When I say “respectable” I mean almost every newspaper and magazine that is written in this country, including even the most radical (both “left” and “right”) periodicals. They give themselves a context and make themselves respectable by their conduct.

    Anyway, after looking carefully at the way you respond to comments I realize that my writing this is pretty useless, since you’re probably just going to give another evasive answer. I do hope, however, that you take this as hint that you are not reaching an audience that may even agree with you on many points, if you would only actually use that common sense you so often speak of.

  6. the PLAZOID Says:

    response to kilkenny:
    you may call my REFUSAL to play name-games “evasive,” so be it. I disagree with your basic assumptions about what “respectable” media is.

    I agree that I am selective in what I “report,” I have to be. So is everyone else.

    I write and speak in my natural language. If faking language would be more credible to you, then so be it. I speak to those who understand, not to the critics.

    Your appeals to “expertise” are demonstrative of your degree of disempowerment. I can read a newspaper. I can read the WARNING labels for psychiatric drugs as well as anyone else.

    I don’t ever claim to know or represent the views of the “housed” community in general. Generalization is a tactic used by the bigots. By the way, where did you get the idea that I do generalize in that way?

    I disagree strongly that “almost every newspaper and magazine that is written in this country, including even the most radical (both “left” and “right”) periodicals” are “respectable.” I’m assuming you meant this only in jest.

    Haven’t read the Eye lately, will point out a lie next time I pick one up. Look for post soon.

  7. tad Says:

    Kilkenney is bastardization from a cartoon I believe. Does that tell me something about you? Yes, though admittedly not much. I am a houseless person and interact daily with unhoused persons, but truth is the truth regardless. I have lived, witnessed or researched everything I wrote. I don’t use the internet to find this information, though I sometimes have documents downloaded off it. I read! Reading seems a little utilized research tool today, but it is far superior to relying on any journalist or “expert.” The Rand think-tank claims that reliance on “experts” and “authorities” is one of the causes of faulty logic. If you don’t believe what I write then please feel free to point out your counter-opinion and then a dialog can begin. As far as the anonymity of others goes perhaps the death threats, the blatant discrimination, and the character assassination I have gone through are motivation to remain incognito. Peace be with you.

    Love eternal

  8. F. Kilkenny Says:

    Kilkenny is an Irish surname, and is my real name. But thanks anyway for the insult to my family Tad. In any case, Tad, I actually find your writing to be the most authentic on this site, as well as the most enjoyable to read. And I actually have no comments on how you present yourself or your authenticity, I believe it’s genuine. I would note, however, that put yourself in a context that makes sense to readers and adds to your authenticity.

    Rather, I am referring mostly to the Other (whomever that may be). I think I made clear in my previous comment that expertise is what you make of it, and can come from many sources. When you speak in language that is off-putting to many people, especially when you speak moslty in assertions that are left wanting of citation or evidence, then you lose members of your audience. This is a simple fact. But since this is your natural speech, then I suppose it’s unalterable. Even so, I would point you toward Democracy Now! for a lesson in how to be a good journalist, and an “exception to the rulers,” and actually get yourself heard. Just a few years ago, few conservatives, or members of the government, or corporate representatives, would talk to Amy Goodman, even when invited. However, the show, through very hard work and a clear use of facts, is much harder to ignore these days. Many of those who disagree with the aim of the show now HAVE to talk, or else it makes them look bad to the growing group of listeners. (Note: I did not mean “respectable” newspapers as a jest, they make themselves respectable to the communities they serve. It is foolish to dismiss this, regardless of you view of the news they print).

    I’ll tell you what I read in this site: the words of a young or youngish (not you Tad) idealist who believes that the conspiracy is so deep that it sits right at your front door. In an abstract way that may be the case, but what doesn’t seem to be apparent is any understanding or empathy that HSU, the Arcata City Council, the Arcata Police, Humboldt County papers, and the citizens of Arcata are just as mixed up in this system as the houseless. Those institutions are made up of people who are trying to make their way through the world and deal with all the pressures that life throws at them. A good example: the fact that Arcata used much of its Federal grant money to fund the HSU study. If you think about the pressures and logics that the City of Arcata opperates under doing this makes a lot of sense. First, the Homeless Task Force was created as an advisory commitee of individuals and it wasn’t within its purvue to fund “helpful” activities or even studies (no matter how much certain people would have liked it to be). Second, HSU is “reputable” (I assume that you will dispute this) and so is perceived by granting agencies as a responsible party. Therefore, Arcata can proffer a study that shows that the Feds got “results” for their money (not to mention the fact that HSU is considered “respectable” within the minds of many Arcatans, despite their stupid ideas about architecture). It would be more risky if Arcata took that money and spent it, in your words, “to help those in need.” That’s beauracracy, and it may not have been the best use of the funds, but that’s not conspiracy.

    If you want to actually get yourself heard beyond your specific circle in Arcata, then you might consider thinking about how other members of the community actually think and feel. For example, when you make comments suggesting that the Arcata Police are “secret” or you obliquely compare mental health workers to Nazis or suggest an atmosphere of McCarthyism, then you lose all those people in the community who are connected to police officers and mental health workers, and those who realize that Arcata institutions are made up of a collection of human beings. You also fail to realize that most people believe, and some know intimately, that McCarthyism and especially Nazism were far more evil than anything that the Arcata Police, City Council or HSU has done (I don’t see six million graves). Now, that DOES NOT mean you shouldn’t report police brutality, documentation of incidents is quite helpful. However, claiming deeper conspiracy takes much more proof than what you’ve offered on this site. On the topic of police brutality, I would suggest another theory about misconduct by police in this community: they are under pressure to enforce the laws of the City (whether or not those laws are just), they work long hours and regularly encounter the darkest aspects of the commuity (I make no comments on what or who these aspects are), and are likely to see anyone who is perceived to be violating a law (whether or not the law is just) as one of the darker aspects. This DOES NOT excuse brutality, but neither does it suggest conspiracy.

    If you see a fascist behind every corner and regularly say so as a knee-jerk reaction then it’s a lot like crying wolf. People stop listening. There are other ways of getting your point across. I would also point out that if you want things changed, then you need to be heard by the voting public. They are the ones who will decide whether or not the City Council stays or goes. Whether there will be real change in City policies or not. Many people who vote also have a very different view of history and place than you may appreciate. For example, many remember a time before Arcata had such a visible population of unhoused people. Some members of the voting public are also connected, through work, friends, family and colleagues, to institutions like the Arcata Chamber of Commerce and HSU that you have actively criticized on this site. Some may find your words offensive, some may not, but they likely have a very different view of what these institutions mean for the community. Some of the people I speak of, who you may never have met because few of them participate directly in the theatre that is the City Council, have a great amount of influence on City affairs (there’s your conspiracy. As an aside, Arkely sr. may not be as important to decisions in Arcata as you might believe him to be). So, you might want to consider how the voting public thinks, you might think about crafting messages that convinces people outside the circle you exist within.

    Lastly, I want to say that I am not in complete disagreement with your views. I actually support some of the ideas you champion. So I will leave you with some encouragment by telling a story. Sometime in the 1960s a group of youth, activists and students came to Arcata, which was still a conservative logging community. They aggitated, they were antagonised, they were joined by some citizens and ridiculed by others, but eventually they both started convincing people of their views and taking over the establishment from the old guard. Now these people ARE the establisment of Arcata. They are the ones who made Arcata what it is today: one of the most liberal and progressive communities in the country. You seem to believe that the revolution they initiated was imperfect. Good, that means you have the energy to attempt to make things better. But the question remains, HOW did this group accomplish what they did? They did it by being smart, but most importantly they LEARNED.

  9. Mo Says:

    Sounds like we got a true believer at the church of Alex Stillman. Did they really learn, or just learn how to sell out?

  10. F. Kilkenny Says:

    Or have y’all just forgotten how to do anything but preach to the choir?

  11. F. Kilkenny Says:

    In booming voice: O GREAT ALEX STILLMAN! I PRAY TO THEE! Oh wait! Aren’t Meserve and Patino card carrying members of this church? In that case I ain’t gonna have anything to do with it!

    Seriously though, y’all have no understanding of the town you live in do you? Especially since your view of history is MAYBE five years old.

    Oh well, I tried. Have fun with the site. I’ll shut up now.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    “Now these people ARE the establisment of Arcata.”

    Well can’t you see? That’s the problem.

    When people become The Establishment within a corrupt system, they no longer represent anything good. They have something to lose: money, power and social position. They’re more about defending that now. They defend the status quo, no matter how rotten it is.

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