8-27-2006 Blog vs. Blog

Wifey and I took a slow stroll downtown today, wandered into Wilkes-Barre Movies 14 and bought two tickets to see ďDescent.Ē

My review? What a rush! Trust me, donít take any of the kiddies to see this particular thriller. I havenít had a movie cause me to jump out of my skin that many times since I first watched ďAliensĒ twice on the same day back in 1986. Plus, watching cave-dwelling sub-humans consume kicking and screaming humans is a tad bit gory. Like I said, what a rush!

While I was somewhat saddened to learn that the Gateway Cinema had locked itís doors for the very last time, I am not sad about what caused it to close down. Since before I was old enough to shave, it seems as if Wilkes-Barre took nothing but lump after lump after lump with no foreseeable end to the painful lumps in sight. Iíve driven through this valley for years on end passing by businesses that once prospered in Wilkes-Barre, but at some point felt compelled to relocate out of the cityís confines. To name a few, Deemerís, Keeferís and Sicklerís immediately come to mind.

With that said, when was the last time something new opening in Wilkes-Barre had a negative economic impact on any of itís neighboring communities? Iím sure thereís an example to be cited, but I canít think of it. All I do know is, Iím absolutely thrilled to be able to wander out of the front door and be in a state-of-the-art theater inside of fifteen minutes. And on foot, no less.

We took in the 12:30 showing which was lightly attended. But at our movieís conclusion, the upstairs lobby was crowded and the refreshment stand had some rather long lines forming. And I saw many of which looked like college kids to me. Young, old, college kids, whomever. Something is going on in downtown Wilkes-Barre and it is long overdo. The foot traffic is way up and the vagrants which dominated the landscape for so long are fast becoming scarce. The cops are omnipresent, and the parking lots and garages are near filled on some days.

Which leads me to the following letter published in todayís Times Leader:

Sorry state of downtown wastes Wilkes-Barreís potential

I happened to be in downtown Wilkes-Barre the afternoon of Saturday, Aug. 12, and was distressed to see the state of downtown. While waiting for a bus I decided to pass an hour on a beautiful summer day reading in Public Square.

After about 10 minutes I became uncomfortable with the atmosphere, with what only could be described as a seedy collection of vagrants who populated the square that afternoon. As a New York native who commuted by subway to college in the Bronx in the late 1970s I certainly donít consider myself easily intimidated, but Public Square on this day was certainly no place to be. I finished my wait outside the bus terminal.

The state of Wilkes-Barreís downtown is really a shame, for anyone can see the potential of such a place. One of North Americaís nicest rivers right nearby, historic buildings and a location very convenient to much of the Northeast. With the all the retail development on the hills toward I-81, perhaps itís time for your newspaper to do a comprehensive series of articles on the state of downtown. I cannot believe area residents are happy with its condition. Indeed, Iíd bet many would be appalled if they ventured there at all. Iíve been a periodic visitor to the Wyoming Valley since 1990 and I can honestly say downtown has never appeared in worse shape. Wilkes-Barre is just too nice an area to let this condition continue.

Frank Cavaliere Silver Spring, Md.

Say what you will about me, but my wife chuckled at this letter and called the writer a name that is far less than flattering in a masculine sense. My wife is not frightened by the downtown in the least, but the guy from the Bronx is? Maybe he simply has an unstated agenda at work here. My grandkids love to frolic, feed pigeons, eat lunch and run through the fountain on the Square, but grown men are intimidated by it?

While Wifey and I were on Public Square earlier today, I asked her is she was worried about her safety. Her rapid-fire response was, ďYeah, right.Ē

So, Iím not intimidated. My kids arenít. My grandkids arenít. My wife isnít. But the battle-tested writer from the Bronx is? Thereís more going on there than meets the eye.

Something insidious.

I sent a fellow local blogger, Gort, a video ofÖwell, Gort from the movie ďThe Day the earth Stood StillĒ earlier today. Itís a very weird video wherein Gort, the immortalized robot, comes out of his flying saucer and proceeds to dematerialize hockey players with his death rays. You got me, man. I didnít make the damned video.

Just for the sake of accuracy, Gort is not the real name of that aforementioned local blogger. His real name is Klaatu Schwartz and he hails from the distant planet Blogtune. He claims to have been raised locally, but he is lying to you. He landed on this planet in 1951 and has been using our resources ever since. Simply put, he is an illegal alien and Lou Barletta should get after him pronto.

Gort: Klaatu, barada, nickto.

Translation: Take me to your leaderís trophy wife.

Er, something like that.

Anywho, Gort sent the following link along and I was amazed when I followed it:

Wilkes-Barre Political Scene

First of all, I been called every name in the book ever since I first started writing on the internet way back in December, 2000. What my detractors need to finally understand is that to insult me is to get me to cracking up. Believe it or not, Iíve been called fat, bald and also unemployed, none of which are even remotely accurate. Iíve been called bitter which is comical when you come to understand how little I truly need to have some fun. The only thing that gets me to feeling bitter on occasion is the fact that my saint of a Mom died young, penniless and basically cheated by life.

Iíve been called the mayorís butt-boy, and even he laughed when I told him some months later. What was the very latest? Oh, Iím infatuated with someone called ďJ.J.Ē I drink too much. I curse too much. Iím high on myself. UmÖI bite the heads off of kittens. You know, if you hammerheads only knew how utterly clueless you really are and have been for some time now, youíd stick your mutated members in the imported four-slice toaster and depress the handle. Give it some thought.

Let it be clearly understood forever more that I could care less what anyone thinks of me. Itís really that simple. I do what I do and if you donít like itÖgo fu>k yourself. Thatís fairly easy to follow, no? Fuqez-vous, non?

As far as this new link is concerned, I will follow it and thoroughly enjoy whatever I happen to find at the end of it. But, I must ask the anonymous author (typical cowardly pursuit), how completely lame is it to spend 50% of your blogging time blogging about another blogger?

From what Iím seeing, if both Bob Kadluboski and myself ceased breathing, you wouldnít have a freaking thing to incessantly spew on and on about. Maybe you should change the name of your silly little site to ďI Hate Bob and Mark,Ē because thatís all you seem to be capable of getting across to all 9 of your steady visitors.

Oh, and, scandal? What scandal? Bobís election eve ad published in the Citizensí Voice? Earth to coward: That was, like, 5 months ago. If youíre still waiting for that non-existent scandal to finally boil over, donít hold your baited breath. Get a life!

I think Gort used the perfect word during our e-mail exchange when he mentioned the word ďetiquette.Ē As they pertain to politics, he rarely types a single paragraph that I wholeheartedly agree with. But, that doesnít mean Iím going to attack him, belittle him, or speculate about his lineage. Heís a good guy, he just processes things differently than I do. He doesnít deserve to be beheaded, and neither do I. Or, so I thought. And, I might add, I would never make thinly-veiled references to someoneís sexual preferences as you have clearly been doing all along. ďCupcake?Ē

Can you say libel and slander?

The long and short of it is, say whatever you want about me as I truly do not care. Been there, done that many, many times before--and always anonymously. The fact is, you are wasting your time and efforts.

I write, I drink too much, Iím sometimes childishly simplistic, Iím easily amused, I recognize Tom Leighton as the responsible leader that he is and I guffaw at your direct expense. But, you will never, ever cause me to waste any of my valuable time on some unfulfilling Blog vs. Blog war of words.

Iíve said my piece.

Knock yourself out.

Whatever your name is.

Sorry about ďoutingĒ your true identity Gort. Tell ya what, Iíll buy the beer next time around. Whenís the next local blogger convention scheduled for anyway? And donít get any crazy ideas about vaporizing me. Iíll be carrying a pocket-sized mirror on my person.

You have been warned.

LetĎs guzzle!!!

Later, kiddies.

Fight nice