Upstream. A Mohawk Valley Blogzine.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Mohawk Valley Gadflies.

"I am that gadfly which God has attached to the state, and all day long and in all places am always fastening upon you, arousing and persuading and reproaching you. You will not easily find another like me, and therefore I would advise you to spare me." Socrates.

Definition of Gadfly from Merriam-Webster Online.
Main Entry: gad·fly Pronunciation: 'gad-"flI Function: noun Etymology: 1gad 1 : any of various flies (as a horsefly, botfly, or warble fly) that bite or annoy livestock 2 : a person who stimulates or annoys especially by persistent criticism

One person who comments on this blog goes by the pseudonym mohawkvalleygadfly. His name got me thinking about gadflies. It’s standard practice to dismiss critics by calling them gadflies. Not everyone minds the term gadfly, however. There was even a national magazine called Gadfly. It is now defunct, but you can still order back issues. From 1973-1975 a monthly was published in Albany called The Gadfly. Back issues are available on microfilm at the NY State Library.

Paul Bray, who writes Eye From Albany columns for Empire Page, doesn’t mind the word gadfly. In fact, he calls himself a Public Television gadfly. Read his recent column on WMHT.

Here are some other Mohawk Valley gadflies.

Pat Zollinger not only keeps an eye on the Schenectady City Council, she was instrumental in keeping Mayor Brian Stratton from getting his pay raise.

Jerry Moore keeps on top of the Scotia-Glenville School District.

We have written a number of times about Glenn Heller who keeps watch over Alan Chartock and WAMC.

He is not from the Mohawk Valley, although he has travelled here a lot to speak out on issues, Bob Schulz from Washington County keeps a close eye on what the Government is currently doing to The United States Constitution.

I only include these “gadflies” because they have web sites. I am sure, and I hope, there are more than this in the area.

A final thought. Using Merriam-Webster's first definition, if you refer to your critic as a gadfly, then you might just be an ass.


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