Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Weighty Matters

Ken O’Brien

Well shame on me!

With tears welling up behind porcine cheeks and multiple chins aquiver the chair of the Southbridge School Committee closed last night’s meeting with a performance that rivaled Vivien Leigh at the denouement of Gone With The Wind.

At issue was the reference to her as a morbidly obese blueberry by a reader’s comment on this blog in a post that parodied her for reasons other than her weight.

Granted that the remark was in questionable taste, but then parody is, of its nature, sometimes in questionable taste.

Nevertheless, as the moderator of this blog and in the interests of accuracy, I should apologize. She clearly is not a blueberry.

As regards any other matter, I lack the necessary data to be able to distinguish between obese and morbidly obese in her particular case.

Never mind that those to the west of her at sunrise could be forgiven for thinking that they are witnessing a solar eclipse.

Disregard the fact that she has her own climate.

It’s none of our concern that she is of sufficient mass to have her own gravitational field as witnessed by the fact that she has three moons in constant orbit about her named Erin, Jill and Kara.

And it is of only passing interest that as Chair of the School Committee she is one of only a couple of public resources that compete with the landfill in terms of total acreage.

At issue is the utter audacity of playing the victim card while sitting astride a public bureaucracy that issues notices to parents about their children’s body mass index. I don’t care if it’s a state mandate or not. Lecturing me on setting an example when childhood obesity is a major nationwide concern is disingenuous in the extreme.

Rather than using criticism of your weight as a distraction from real issues in the school district or as a pathetic attempt to gain public sympathy, suck it up and set a real example. Prove to those kids whose BMI is in the unacceptable range that they can change by setting the example and losing weight yourself. It would also be in the best interests of your health. I suspect that your daughters, who you so cravenly dragged into your self-pitying diatribe, would ultimately find that they have this blog to thank for shaming you into taking action that extended the years you have to spend with them.

As regards the matter of bullying, that is hardly an appropriate matter for you to champion. The offhanded remarks which you chose to base your monologue upon compare in no way to the relentless bullying engaged in by you and some of your colleagues leading to the resignation of the former Chairman of the Committee.

As regards your claim that I rebuffed your attempt to establish an honest dialog, that simply doesn’t hold water. I extended to you an invitation to post your views and vision on this blog. What I declined to do was to meet with you personally. The way the former Chairman was treated made me reticent to allow for the possibility that anything I said to you privately would later be misrepresented or distorted.

Finally, as someone who has been active in the public realm, I can tell you that you had better develop a thicker skin. I have had far more derogatory things said about me and far more vile rumors circulate than any remarks about being overweight. As another plain-spoken politician once said, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”


22 comments:

  1. I think it is ironic that you post a Truman quote when in fact he was outraged when someone criticized his daughter. I'm just curious, are you a world class athlete? What's your BMI? This district has been seriously challenged since 2003. It seems you could blast every school committee member from school committees past. Teachers are beginning to understand why terminations are happening and it's not because of excellent performance. Unfortunately, in this case the superintendent cannot discuss personnel issues or the town might be appalled. There are some great teachers in this district who are rallying to overcome and defeat the deadwood and the slime that you spew and allow to be posted. Also, just a reminder about karma, sir.

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  2. I believe that this metaphor has been extended and is over the top just to rally readers to this blog. It that was the purpose then it has been successful. However, it detracts from the important issues at hand. Namely the final destruction of a once proud school district by this present administration and school committee.

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  3. Stay classy.

    Oh, sorry, forgot where I was.

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  4. Here is a reminder, you are in a privately maintained site rather than in the taxpayer underwritten forum used by the School Committee Chair Person to air her personal grievances.

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  5. You are a terrible. How sad. I pray for you.

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  6. A previous post eluded to "kama.". McLoughlin should have thought about that topic long ago.
    For her to sit and just about cry because her children are upset. How about all the childrenand ffamilies that have been financially hurt by this tea club an The Great Oz?
    I've been alive long enough to know that what goes around comes around.
    Unfortunately for McLoughlin & Donovan the roundness is just coming their way. It's just the tip of the iceberg.

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  7. I'd like to ask a contributor to your "site", Councilor Peloquin, what she thinks of how you are approaching Lauren? Do you believe that the word in town of people looking to recall you, or so I hear, because of your adding to this site, are justified?

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  8. I thought that as a society we had evolved beyond resorting to rants of fat, fat the water rat. I guess that I was wrong. If you want to talk about poor role models for the children in a school system...just read this blog. YIKES!!!

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  9. Ken,

    This post was not your finest hour. Although I applaud your ability to skewer politicians at the hands of their own ineptitude, I can not support personal attacks. Hell Ken, why not go after her family? Keep it to what you are good at, supporting the causes that are important to you whether I or your readers agree with you. This one was just beneath you.

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  10. You, Sir are a bully. I feel sorry for your family

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  11. What beautiful irony to see "embrace diversity" emblazoned across the banner of your blog. You sir, are a prototypical bully, and a douche bag of the highest order.

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  12. Hey Ken I've seen pictures of you pal. You shouldn't be criticizing anyone...

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  13. Felling the heat O'Brien? Perhaps you should heed your own advice: " If you can't take the heat get out of the kitchen."

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  14. You are a pathetic person,Its time for you to go away.

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  15. You ought to be ashamed of yourself. You are not the solution to this town's education issues with your disgusting harassing bullying comments that you posted. I'm an educator in a nearby town and you comments have no credibility after the total ass you just made of yourself. You sir need an education on empathy.

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  16. So you've "removed" the post, with apology, after refusing to apologize through WCVB, yet you keep the comments, and the link on the left? Hard to believe that this is sincere.

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  17. Funny how it is removed after the news attention it received.

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  18. Bullying is a pathetic move to draw attention away from one's own faults. Wait...wasn't Patricia Woodruff bullied off the school committee by a few of her fellow members - including McLoughlin?

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  19. Stay classy, Ozone.

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  20. You are a complete moron and all that is wrong with Southbridge!

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  21. Very sad Ken how you speak ill of this woman. Seriously this town is a ghetto and you need to pick on someone about their weight. I gave you more credit than you should have received. Why don't you bring up the question as far as when will they be moving the welfare office out of this town and if I am to remember correctly, I do believe it is suppose to go to Sturbridge next. So let's give Clark a farewell gift. If you want some real issues contact me.

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  22. Dear Mr. O'Brien, I read the article on CBS news and had to make my own comment to you. You are probably the biggest jackass I've never met. What/Who gives you the right to personally attack ANYONE with your worthless opinion? Please tell me who granted you this right? I'm dying to know. You should be ashamed of yourself...you were a State Rep? What a joke!!! The only thing you should represent is being the biggest A-HOLE in the state. I hope your family is proud of YOU!! Make sure you hold your head high walking in your town,...oh wait you'll have to pull it out of your ass first!

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