Need for Mass Distraction
When I look at the news in Hudson, the closest city to our
country home, the news is about the controversy surrounding
the proposed St. Lawrence Cement Plant.
It's been waging since before we purchased Claverack Cottage.
The very first time we went to the Hudson area we noticed
all the pro and con signs. STOP THE PLANT! SUPPORT THE PLANT!
We wondered what all of it was about. Once we purchased our
home, we discovered all the hooplah was about the St. Lawrence
Cement Company's desire to build a new plant on the banks
of the Hudson to replace its old plant.
Those who have moved to Columbia County for its relative
pristine beauty and its rural, pure nature sport STOP THE
PLANT! signs. Those who have lived there for a long time generally
support the plant because it provides JOBS!
We now have a STOP THE PLANT! sign at the entrance of our
drive. I am not against jobs but I am against what seems to
be a not particularly well thought out plan to replace an
old plant with a new one that won?t replace the old one's
No matter where I am, I regularly check the Hudson Register-Star's
website to get the local news. Claverack Cottage is my home
and touching base is restful.
Particularly when contrasted with the city part of my life.
Leaving a restaurant on lower Broadway, I was startled by
the number of police cars everywhere. At night, I suppose,
they just stand out more than they do during the day. Walking
home from the restaurant I wondered to Tripp why it was that
six or seven police cars, sirens screaming, were racing toward
the Battery Park Tunnel.
He shrugged. It's normal. Haven't you noticed?
No. I guess I haven't.
Probably like so many this week, I have allowed myself to
be swept up into the scandal du jour: the "love Gov."
New York's neighbor, New Jersey, has had its Governor announce
that he has faced himself in the mirror and seen that he is
The supposition early this week was that it would blow over
What? Why? This is WAY TOO juicy.
Sex! Harassment! A handsome Israeli poet! A good looking
Governor! Government patronage!
We have here a twice married man, a rising political star,
a two time father, carrying on with a single man, who was
placed by him in some relatively high paying state jobs for
which he wasn't qualified as he wasn't an American citizen.
The Israeli poet has since fled back to Israel, declared
that he is straight and announced his victimization by New
Jersey's Governor whom he has declared "a predator."
All of this was followed by a wild, rambling, almost bizarre
interview with a male professor in which he declared he had
also been the Israeli poet's lover.
It has been the perfect vehicle of mass distraction for residents
of theTri-State area. It keeps us from thinking about the
parade of police cars racing into the Battery Park Tunnel.
It prevents us from focusing too much on the increasing number
of soldiers we see. It prevents us from thinking about the
upcoming Republican Convention and its possible repercussions
on our body politic.
New Jersey's Governor McGreevy, who has recently outed himself,
has been a perfect vehicle to fog over the brain bending realities
that surround us. God love the New York tabloids! McGreevy
has pushed most other issues out of sight and out of mind.
I can deal with the issues of a cement plant. I can even
deal with a Governor who may or may not have declared himself
gay in order to obscure that he was both sexually unfaithful
and unobservant of his civic duties and responsibilities if
not also actually breaking the laws of his state.
What I have trouble dealing with, though I have uncomfortably
accepted, are the screaming sirens and the presence of camouflaged
soldiers proliferating across my personal landscape.
Like almost everyone, I have welcomed McGreevy as a distraction.
We need them.