Opinions need not be feared nor suppressed.

Monday, August 23, 2010


As I had previously mentioned, there has been a recent explosion of new blogs with one purpose…to oppose the hydro fracturing of our ecosystems.

I visited Kayak Dude’s blogroll just now because it links to every anti-fracking site this side of Europa. And there are only a handful of personal accounts from Gas Stock, the great majority of which were posted by locals.

I just can’t feature that. How could you have such a single-mindedness of purpose, and then go and miss the big anti-fracking get-together?

I do not get it.

I stayed up way too late last night because our fantasy football draft went down. Personally, I could care less what others have to say about fantasy football, because the fact is, I freaking love it.

So, I didn’t exactly leap out of bed this morning. This morning was one of those mornings where I would have been grossly late for work if I wasn’t married.

Anyway, I turned the radio on, turned this here ‘puter gizmo on and headed right to the Times Leader Web site. While I was reading, the radio served as background noise. But all of a sudden I heard, “Mark Cour is as hard-core as it gets,” coming from WILK’s Joe Thomas.

Whoa! What?

Needless to say, my hand lurched to the volume fader.

Here, Joe and Nancy were talking about Gas Stock and the fact that a few crazy people walked all the way from Wilkes-Barre to Lehman for the event.

So, I felt compelled to call in and give them my opinion of the relatively low turnout and all of that. I told them that many of the participants were swapping war stories, methodologies, email addresses, phone numbers and Web site addresses. In other words, regardless of how Gas Stock worked out, I think it was just the beginning of a more galvanized resistance. There will be more to follow.

And I also agreed with Joe’s opinion that people view blogging, calling talk radio or writing letters to the editor as protests, that’s why we’re seeing fewer boots on the ground when the call goes out. Anyway, I called.

Excepting my election day calls to Sue, I haven’t called WILK since Steve Corbett was doing Radio Free Corbett on Saturday mornings. And I truly miss calling Kevin back when he hosted all by his lonesome.

Man, did I ever get close to having him launch an F-bomb over the airwaves. This freaking close!

As far as the “hard-core” quip is concerned, as I have been known to say, I work hard but I play a helluva lot harder. And lately, Kayak Dude has been seeing to that.

A little know fact is that I wanted to name my only son Harding Cour. A name that came with a built-in nickname…Hard Cour. And the fact that his name is Marque and not Harding is proof of Wifey’s sanity.

As for my sanity, well…

Somebody posted the following comments on this site as well as Gort’s site. I want to respond.

Anonymous said...
I think the low turn out says a lot. Those that are interested, read blogs or listened to talk radio are a minority in all of this. People just don't care. Just because a few people scream loud doesn't make them correct nor the majority.

Even those that have been interested in the past have taken less interest in most topics. Mark Cour sometimes goes weeks between postings. Gort may go days without a post and then post a paragraph and Yonki's blog has been more cut and paste features than really any of his thoughts and insights. Over time people just get busy with life and lose interest in things they really have no control.

There are very few comments on blogs anymore. Except for Big Dan who can't seem to put a coherent thought down and posts 15 responses, there are rarely more than a few comments.
As far as talk radio. They may have a few thousand listeners and they have the same callers from day to day, sometimes from show to show.

Exactly! People get busy with life. And that’s exactly why I post when I want to, not when I feel I should. I feel no pressure to post. When I feel the need to, I do.

Thing is, I have a wife and a kid and a car and a house and a teenaged daughter with a see-through blouse who loves to grind and…

Forget that excerpted Zappa.

I have a job and a wife and a life and a pile-load of grandkids, in addition to my personal interests. And writing is way down there on my list of priorities.

But I will say this. The unending chorus of supportive honking horns in the Back Mountain proves that people do in fact care.

Somebody at Gas Stock asked me why I call Kayak Dude what I call him.

These days, practically everybody has their own blog. But back when I started writing on the Internet, that blog word hadn’t been penned just yet.

And when you consider that I was writing about local issues and local politicians in the most acerbic of ways, people were very reluctant to get involved with my creation due to their fears of retribution. And their fears were further fed by my documenting the many times retribution was visited upon me, only to be vigorously rejected by me.

But after a year or so, and with a rapidly growing legion of readers, some started to contribute to the site provided that their names wouldn’t be used. What I wanted to communicate to my readers was that even though they were reading or viewing the contributions from those who chose to remain anonymous, those doing the contributing were not unknown to me. So I gave those contributors nicknames if you will.

I’m not even sure if I can remember them all at this point, but we had Kayak Dude, Kings College Dude, West Side Dude, Private Sector Dude, Times Leader Dude, and the self-named Snake.

A couple of these people did not request anonymity, but I provided it to them as a way of shielding them from any possible retribution. And when you consider that our mayor at the time was called “The VLP (vindictive little prick)” by city employees, you can surely understand why I did so.

And in this corrupt area, political retribution was real. In fact, I don’t think any of the bloggers that followed me into the local electronic arena attached their real names to their sites until 2005, perhaps 2006. And even then they were few and far between. I figure they felt it was safe to do so since I hadn’t been killed or arrested up to that point.

Anyway, Kayak Dude was called what he was so as to protect him from the potential trouble that I alone created, and because he seems happiest when he’s in a kayak.

What I am to bicycling, he is to kayaking.



Anonymous said...

That was just my point. People are busy with life and this no fracking movement isn't going to win. If they do great for them bad for people who need a job. If they don't great for the newly employed, bad for those who suffer from possible contamination, if it happens. The whole point was that these things are only championed and voiced by very few. Sure people were honking horns, but come on you are way too smart to believe that it was all out of support.
But again, you simply reiterated my point.

zorcong said...

Jobs? What jobs?

Go to a fracking site and you’ll see nothing but out-of-state plates. Last time I checked, there were not many people, er, no people in this area who knew how to frack.

The only jobs we might see come our way are the trucking jobs, but those jobs will result in some serious damage being done to our local infrastructure. Collect your pay, but watch your taxes rise. Not exactly a win/win.

Personally, I think the general public became aware of this far too late (by design) to stop it. Case in point: rigs are already operational in this county.

I don’t believe that I reiterated any point. I’m busy too, but I got involved in this as far back as early 2008. And I‘m still involved, despite being busier still.

And if I’m a member of the “very few,” so be it. Being in the minority does not invalidate the argument of said minority.

With that, Reverend M.L. King comes to mind.

New York went the way of a moratorium, at least, until things can be sorted out.

But in PA, ah, fu>k it. We'll sort it all out well after the fact.

It seems our own Anthracite legacy has been lost upon us.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry Steve Corbett is on the case.

Anonymous said...

Inspired post fellow traveler!

Anonymous said...

Steve Corbett? Please. I was just checking out his Facebook site. He doesn't even have 800 people on it. How is someone, in his own mind, so influential, but can't get any interest in the world of new media. Much of the anti-gas company movement is coming from the internet, yet Corbett has no impact.

Anyway the true friends of the environment are Marc and Kayak dude. They have been at this for a while and not just when it was gonna be in their back yard like that Michelle from Harvey's Lake or that Dick from Dallas character.

Keep up the fight!

Anonymous said...

That is what is nice about face book. They can go on the air and talk about how many listeners they have, but if you log onto facebook, you see how many people are actually interested... As a potential advertiser I take facebook into consideration, it helps me get a better handle then these supposed ratings numbers.