Al . . . I’m not buying it.
In response to “Buyer, Be Quiet” [Al Things Considered, May
29], I just couldn’t seem to keep my mouth shut (or my Dell
QuietKey quiet for that matter). I have to admit that your
specific reflections on the “lumpy, dumbfounded lollygaggers”
at Crossgates Mall were lost on me. Due mostly in part to
the fact that my lumpy, dumfounded self hasn’t frequented
that particular consumer-driven post-Pine Bush bazaar for
near-on a decade. I do, however, understand the fascination
some people have with the whole vibration of consumerism.
I inadvertently experienced it myself, standing too near the
second-floor balcony rail one fateful Black Friday, but that’s
a story for another day.
Your article did strike a chord with me due to my “most recent”
tirade (to quote my friends and coworkers).
The purpose of this letter is to vent the fact that all those
diaper-wearing, faceless, powerless, miserable selfish bastards
you spoke of are (unfortunately) not staying home and “repeatedly
pounding themselves over the head with a Wiffle® bat.” Instead,
they are driving their sorry butts to Consumer Heaven in vehicles
on common byways and they are making me feel like a driver
on the merge of desperation.
To quote Cosmo Kramer, “Good Manners is the glue that holds
Civilization together.” My issue is this: As we grow and consume,
we must remember that the intrinsic values we hope to instill
in future generations do not haphazardly reproduce themselves.
Since the expansion of the Northway and Western Avenue to
accommodate increased traffic (to Consumer Heaven), I have
been a firsthand witness of decreased integrity. Exit ramps
off huge highways must now converge into one forward-progressing
lane. What a study in humanity!
Since a lot of the drivers I experience on this journey are
of “my generation”—the crop born in/of the sixties who have
been through everything from Woodstock I to Woodstock II,
it’s our job to step to the plate and remind people of the
pre-Woodstock II civilized world. I know we didn’t necessarily
“Start the Fire,” but someone’s got to pull out of the rat
race once and for all and exclaim, “Another two minutes on
this road will not necessarily devastate my chance of acquiring
the penultimate brass ring!”
The concept of “merging” (uniting, blending gradually) has
become foreign to most of us on our daily pilgrimage for the
making and spending of the almighty dollar. We follow the
bumper in front of us with righteous dominion regardless of
the you-go-then-they-go concept that the highway architects
originally anticipated. So we either need larger, faster,
more “excess”-able roads (more tar . . . less Pine . . . less
Bush . . . no grass), or we need to remember the simpler concept
of sharing—even if it means we are 30 seconds later to our
Consumer Heaven destination. (In reality, maybe the last guy
will finish first because he’ll hold on to his almighty dollar
that much longer.) For those of you that understand the merge
concept—I salute you! I will smile and wave as we further
civilization by the simple act of you go, then I go (whether
or not you’re going to Crossgates). To the others I will only
have to tolerate your degradation so long—because eventually,
what comes round goes round, so why not merge?
Does He Do It? Mirrors!
describe Michael Joyce as occasionally dabbling in conventional,
“right-to-left” books [Night & Day, May 29]. When working
on “right-to-left” books, does he prefer to write in Hebrew
or in Arabic?
Housing Committee of the Mansion Neighborhood Association
is focusing on abandoned buildings in our downtown Albany
neighborhood. The recent article by Shawn Stone [“Taking Stock,”
June 5] was an excellent summary of the overall situation.
We appreciate your coverage and hope to be able to report
success in our efforts to deal with the problem here in the
a great piece by Tom Nattell, “A Bug by Any Other Name” [The
Simple Life, June 5]! I’m passing it along to friends who
will enjoy it as much as I did. My wife and I greatly appreciate
the many good articles in Metroland.
to see an article on the tricky and complicated subject of
public-access cable [Newsfront, June 5]. Way to go!
My gripe is not with the article, but with any media’s
use of the term “Saratoga” for Saratoga Springs, which the
author did in this article: “. . . and Saratoga’s expires
in 2004.” The author meant to say Saratoga Springs.
OK . . . Saratoga Springs is glitzy and fun and gambling and
parks and shopping and it buys ads in your paper, but everybody
calls it Saratoga.
The problem: It is not Saratoga. It is Saratoga Springs. Founded
as such in 1843.
Saratoga is the Americanization of the native name, about
11,500 years old, which the natives used for a huge land area
that is now mostly Saratoga County, but was also the western
portion of Washington County. The town of Saratoga still covers
a major portion of this original land mass. What shall we
call that place? If you lived there would you call
it Saratoga? The word Saratoga means Land of Great Waters.
It referred to the Hudson River, the Battenkill, and Fish
Creek (which flows from Saratoga Lake to the Hudson), and
maybe even Saratoga Lake. The town of Saratoga is the mother
town of the county. It has blue and yellow cast-iron signs
to prove it. It is not rich and glitzy and gambling and parks
but it deserves to exist and has a very rich history.
How about just saying Saratoga Springs? The city was founded
as that. Why isn’t that its name? Allow the real Saratoga
the right to exist. After all, the Battles of the Millennium
took place there. For that much of American Revolutionary
and world history, you could cut them a little space to exist
in, couldn’t you?
Thank you for listening, and I hope you decide to be accurate
and use the correct name of the city, which is Saratoga Springs.
week’s story on cable contract negotiations between Time Warner
and local governments throughout the Capital Region [Newsfront,
June 5] reported, incorrectly, that Saratoga Springs’ contract
with the cable provider was to expire in 2004. The contract
expired in December 2000, and the locality has been operating
on extension since 2001 as negotiations continue.
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