Thursday, January 07, 2010

Why Dan is Wrong

My foray to 1200 Myrtle Avenue Tuesday began with a chilly 20-minute wait for a taxi, which had detoured to pick up another person bound for the West End. The 6:30 p.m. Board of Education policy meeting was already underway when I got there.

The presenter was very authoritative, but some of the board comments were not audible due to the ambient noise from a clanging radiator, which recalled the winter sound track of my childhood home in the 1940s. The harsh light, the hard chair and the struggle to hear, plus the length of the agenda, made me think I should have just stayed home.

Dan strolled in a little after 7 p.m. and schmoozed with the councilwomen briefly before they left. I still didn't have the name of the presenter and was wondering how late I would have to stay to get it. Mark Spivey arrived, and looking around, I could see a couple other bloggers.

It wasn't until about 8:30 p.m. that board president Lenny Cathcart went to the stage and picked up a microphone, which he brought to the table for speakers to use. By then, I was convinced that I was not going to get a story. I decided to leave it up to the others to report on the policy committee meeting.

Dan, the aggregating man, apparently stayed long enough to take attendance and assign homework: "Bernice Paglia can be expected to put up her report ..."

Well, this aggregatee bailed, but was able to get a scoop on the way home when Mayor SRB returned my call about the status of a cabinet member. So there.

Readers know all too well what I think of aggregators who make cameo appearances at meetings, then opine on the work of those who stayed the course. Sorry it didn't work out Tuesday, Dan.

The genesis of my surly attitude can be seen in the long right-hand teaser column on Dan's blog. All six entries for January, and many more in the archives, start out with "Bernice: ..." Over the years since June 2005, some people formed the impression that I work for Dan, due to his heavy reliance on my content. No, I do not take orders from Dan.

My experience Tuesday sort of reconfirms why I decided that school board meetings are just out of reach for me. Dan can probably still assume that if he sees me at a council meeting, he will have content the next day to aggregate. Those sessions meet my "walkability" requirements. So do Planning Board, Zoning Board of Adjustment and Historic Preservation Commission meetings that take place in City Hall Library. But unless I take up driving again, you won't see me at 1200 Myrtle Avenue.

Meanwhile, are Dan and Bernice the Fred Allen and Jack Benny of the Plainfield blogosphere?

Could be.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read between the lines:

Walkability really means Safeability methinks. [for me too] what a shame that areas of our town are no-go zones for so many of us. The one night national out campaigns should be ceased and safe riding program setup for all the would-be goer outers at night residents.

3:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever you chose to write about, Bernice, I will eat with pleasure. Your blog is the ONLY blog that I feel is unbiased (unless you note otherwise) and well written.

Dan's blog is great entertainment, but I don't quote Dan Damon - I do quote you.

Thank you for all your hard work.

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I know you are agitated by Dan providing laundry lists of articles he didn't produce. And I know that you call him out when he gets things wrong. Still, he does provide a service in aggregating broad-ranging web links that may be of interest to Plainfield residents. This is something you don't do. And all of that is okay.

You two have different roles and provide different information to readers. Personally, I prefer the Plaintalker as my daily read. But I frequently check out what Dan is saying. More info is good, especially in Plainfield where the power-brokers generally try to keep everything hushed up.

My unsolicited advice is to chill. Dan citing you so often only points out the fact that you are the "most trusted voice in Plainfield new media." Try to enjoy it.

9:48 AM  
Blogger Rob said...

LOL....I needed this chuckle !

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well one of the basic ways to get increased eyeballs on your reportage is through referrals.

For this you should be THANKING DAN.

Of course Dan ASSUMING you would write a report says more about Dan than you. ASSUMING??? REALLY???

No one thinks for a minute that you work for Dan. Your styles are so wildly different. You're much more subtle and collegial and less histrionic.

Dan is probably going through the change by the number of hot flashes he shares with us via his tone.

I just made myself laugh.

1:26 PM  
Blogger Randy Schaeffer said...


As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

I enjoy and value you both.


5:38 PM  
Blogger Randy Schaeffer said...

Or maybe its "aggregating" that's the sincerest form of flattery?

6:49 PM  
Blogger Bernice said...

I must agree with Olddoc that there are other blogs in Plainfield that provide factual, unbiased information about the city and what those in power are doing. And sometimes I do have a point of view, a luxury allowed to bloggers, but not reporters.

1:12 AM  

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