Crappy 2014 Retrospective Post

For some reason, not all of my posts transferred neatly from Artvoice to here. Nevertheless, even though I already wrote that year-end retrospective posts suck, here is my sucky 2014 retrospective.

Tom Bauerle’s episode. Geoff Kelly and I didn’t think the story was newsworthy enough to run with, even though we had enough information to publish something. The Buffalo News ran it, and I questioned why it might be something for public consumption. Its abrupt relegation to “life and arts” seemed like vindication.

Dennis Gabryszak’s toilet video. Ew.

We had to vet a former Buffalo chef’s bullshit.  By way of reminder, his dad’s credentials to tell you the weather are “has looked out the window before”.

Here are some thoughts about how the country has moved away from its roots in the Enlightenment.

Eat chicken wings however the fuck you please, and call them whatever you want.

The NYS Thruway Authority is the worst. It is emblematic of what’s wrong with all NYS Authorities; mired in 50s groupthink, resistant to change, wasteful.

I posted this. It’s still accurate. Today is “elevated”.

WBEN is, generally, the voice of horrible things and people. Not Buffalo. Its operations director went so far as to fantasize about committing acts of physical violence against Hillary Clinton, and cheering street thugs harassing a peaceful protester. It came down to Tim Wenger’s WBEN basically being fascist.

Donn Esmonde is still an ass. Also, horrible.

Clarence resisted an effort to ban or otherwise restrict books on the ELA curriculum. Here’s the list, followed by my interpretation of it.

Clarence School Curriculum Letter March 2014 by Alan Bedenko

The Clarence List by Alan Bedenko

In an astonishing display of self-parody, certain people were offended that Mark Poloncarz ceremoniously “pardoned” a butter lamb.

The dad of my best friend from grade school and college passed away this year, and this was my effort to pay homage to him.

Mark Grisanti so angered the gun-hugging right that they opted instead to elect a pro-union liberal Democrat. Thanks, dummies!

In the meantime, it was time to shame all those slutty sluts with their sex and whatnot.

Carl Paladino – a guy whom I got to meet in person for the first time this year – is also still horrible.

Kathy Weppner on ISIS and Ebola and Islam by Alan Bedenko

Did we ban the Ebola flights yet? We had a horrible outbreak of Obola, for real.

Horrible people made up lies about the local League of Women Voters in order to try desperately to score a political point.

I don’t think building some apartments and other buildings on the Outer Harbor is such an awful idea. Neither would a customs and immigration union / statutory harmonization with Canada.

Local Republicans practically salivated over the prospect of Donald Trump running for governor. Boy, that would have been awesome. Bob McCarthy got to fly in Trump’s jet and likely sharted from excitement. 

Electoral fusion is still corrupting everyone. (Again and again). Demand better from Albany. We deserve it.

Don’t let lunatics define you.

Correcting Weppner by Alan Bedenko

We might be getting some sort of justice, as it seems that AwfulPAC is under state and federal investigation.

What would a 2014 retrospective be without invoking Kathy Weppner, who kept us entertained all season long? Thanks for running, Kathy.

Happy New Year! Nice skating rink and stuff!

Kathy Weppner: Why Are American Troops Fighting for Shirtless Chris Lee?

Kathy from Williamsville calls in to Rush Limbaugh in February 2011 to urge people to attend Tea Party Rallies because Chris Lee

Hi, Rush! You know, I want the average American to listen to me. I have my most beloved son, and he’s sitting over in Afghanistan right now while everybody else here is going about their daily business. And we have elected officials getting on a bus so they don’t have to cast a difficult vote. We have president who just submitted a budget that 42 cents on every dollar will be borrowed from a foreign country so that there’s nothing left if he does make it back for his children and his future. We had a congressman here in the 26th District who put his picture — topless, shirtless — on Craigslist. There’s all of this nonsense, and is this what my son is willing to die for? Is this what our sons are doing really difficult things to die for? We’ve gotta rise up. The average American who disengaged a long time ago because they were disgusted, we had better get off of our couches. We had better show up at these Tea Party rallies. We had better reengage. Because there will be nothing left.

RUSH: The second woman in two days who could fill the job of spokesman for the Republican National Committee!…Well said, Kathy. Trust me, don’t doubt me, your passion is shared equally by millions of Americans that you don’t know. You just had ’em sitting up out of their chairs and applauding. I’m glad you called.

I can confirm in March 2014 that we have something left. 

Congressional Races of 2014

It’s shaping up to be an interesting Congressional election season. 

Republican incumbent Chris Collins will likely cruise to re-election in the sprawling 27th. He has name recognition, bases his every word and deed on Obama-hatred, and a bottomless pit of money with which to purchase perpetual re-election. 

Democrats endorsed a young police officer and attorney, Jim O’Donnell (no relation), to run against Collins. In addition to his J.D., O’Donnell has a Master’s in Economics, which would certainly come in handy against the throwback voodoo economics that Collins espouses. O’Donnell is running because of Congressional dysfunction

My dream is the same dream that people across the district share for their children. The problem is that Congress lately has been doing a better job of getting in the way of that dream than helping it come true. As a Congressman, I would work every single day to make sure that those very simple dreams, those simple ideals, become a reality.

Hopefully, Collins’ childishly nonsensical  “I was against the federal shutdown that I voted fornihilism will take center stage.  O’Donnell’s Facebook page is here

In the 26th, incumbent Democrat Brian Higgins is likely to coast to re-election, as well. This is especially true thanks to the fact that his opponent is not only going to be a tea partier, but is – quite literally – a low-information WBEN caller. “Kathy from Williamsville” is going to take her fact-free jingoism on the campaign trail. She is a walking, talking anti-Obama chain email, and anyone reporting on her should be sure to have Snopes queued up on their mobile browsers. Seriously – there will be no point covering her campaign if you’re not able immediately to vet her pronouncements and cross-examine her on the inevitable fabrications and fantasies she’ll discuss. After all, she has a list of known communists, doesn’t seem to be ready or willing to represent Muslim residents of the 26th (hint: it’s the primitive blood lust), has declared “white guilt” to be “dead”, warned against a hyperinflation that never came, and – like Ronald Reagan – opposes Medicare

That one will be fun. 

Best of 2013

http://www.flickr.com/photos/masinka/11498001503/in/pool-buffalominute/player/

For me, the best thing of 2013 was, hands down, a good result from a horrible health scare in the family. Everything else pales in comparison. 

So, I asked people on Twitter to give me their best of 2013. Here’s what they said. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A protected user suggested: “BCAT opened, Start-UP NY announced, Harbor Center development, Riverbend project, and BNE made a Buffalo video people liked!”

 

 

 

Last – minute entries: 

– Bills stay (for a time).  Yeah, they lose, but we’d miss them if they were gone.

– Sabres change leadership.  No place to go but up

– Dinosaur Barbeque comes to Buffalo.  2014 will taste better than 2013

– Trader Joes comes to Amherst.  Ditto

– Unemployment rate in WNY dropping.  Good.  “nuff said.

– The Stock Market is UP.  Not bad for a Kenya – born socialist. 

– The Tea Party is DOWN.  Only took the near-bankruptcy of the US Government to do this, but hey – count your blessings.

And: 

Long Live TOY – Defending Children’s Theatre in the Nickel City is one of the most positive stories to come out of this region in years- which is why we decided to try and tell it in Documentary form.

Meg Quinn, TOY’s Creative Director and Co-founder along with others from the arts community fight the Collin’s 2010-2011 Cultural funding cuts in the midst of their 40th season.  The community rallied against Collins to help remove him from office and restore the funding.

Through the prism of a unique non-profit children’s theatre we see the impact and importance of cultural assets.

The film won two audience awards at Buffalo International Film Festival, and many were moved to tears at Sunday’s screening at the Dipson Market Arcade.

A positive story that few will probably see because it’s “just children’s theatre”.

Austin McLoughlin
Mary Beth Murray
Long Live TOY Producers

Long Live TOY – Defending Children’s Theatre in the Nickel City – (Preview Trailer) from AP McLoughlin on Vimeo.

I wish you all a happy, healthy, peaceful, and prosperous 2014. If you’re going to be outside tonight for the festivities, please stay warm and safe. 

(The slideshow above displays photographs that talented WNYers have added to the AV Daily Flickr Group.)