Editors Note: B.D. Gallof has not been seen since Sunday am, when his pictures from his ipad were uploaded to his Facebook page of him smoking a cigar and drinking a bottle of Whiskey. Late tonight we received an email from him asking us to place this up on the site. It has not been edited or adjusted in any way. His whereabouts are unknown…
Is It Fear & Loathing on Long Island?
BD on the August 1st Vote and Endorsement
Long Island is a strange bird. Sometimes you can love its lazy obtuseness and almost neurotic aspects like some crazy uncle who visits your house each family event. Other times it is a constant barrage of morons and idiosyncrasy that hammers one head like a thousand woodpeckers on speed.
I used to hate Long Island and where I lived with unfettered revulsion. When I left for college, I could not wait to get out and get working in NYC as to escape its toothy maw. Having lived in a few places outside of LI, it would seem strange to that younger self to why I came back. Things change. There is a respect and understanding to why Long Island has been a thriving place and to why it remains still holding onto that (though tenuously at best). But there is also that crazy uncle not only still along for the ride, when he really goes loaded for bear; he no longer is just quirky or wacky. He instead becomes a stark raving beast with a submachine gun.
That crazy uncle and those unending chain of bullets are clear to many an Islander fan who have been belted in to this arduous tumult of partisan politics, a stained former Senator who took his octopus-like arms and oily ink to backrooms and lobby-groups, a backwards-facing suburban ideology of over-protectionism, oft-kilter business management, an oddball billionaire who keeps his two enabling yes-men along for the ride all the way back from Computer Associates, a backwards self-serving Republican stronghold who operates to the predilections of an affluent donor roll and benefactors for just one town, a neophyte who is in way over his head in the County who won that role because he fermented a tax revolt and is now hamstrung by it in office, a conniving throng of political hacks trying to get back control having been toppled last voting cycle, a league who is in the process of losing those teams that were expanded both South and West… and all during a very rocky economic recession that have everyone cash strapped and wallet conscious.
Add another 15 years of failed team strategy and ownership to those fans psyche, and you have a bewildered, paranoid, and just plain confused fanbase watching this unfold helplessly.
It is that helplessness that has stung so much as things have gotten so out of whack that it might have made many fans start to tune out to the goings on. How many of us where those who came out years ago to the LI Marriot, standing for the cause, only to watch it fade out in some long drawn death scene under the Town of Hempstead’s self-serving hands. Or as Charles Wang then imploded the entire Lighthouse Project, refusing to negotiate, and then when he finally did make overtures months and months later, the ToH were long gone and off focusing on something else.
How can one NOT tune out? The reality has blown so much hot air, black smoke and gritty detritus that it resembles one of the smoke stacks along the Meadowbrook Parkway. How can one not be tired of it all? How many times have we gone to the well, asked to show up or listen to someone’s tale? How many times were we given no answer, instead things went dark or just got swallowed by the darkness that lies within the heart of Long Island? That same darkness, confusion and bevy of excuses that has left a large piece of Nassau County some sort of hollow hole that the team still has to skate in.
I have to wonder if that thousands years from now it will be Nassau Coliseum and the faint scrawls of VOTE YES or JUST BUILD IT that still are painted on the walls will be viewed as some quaint archaic ruin with cave paintings. Will the failure to renew a hub that was built over 40 years ago be due to people being more interested in that it retains some name of “Veterans” than actually being a place to go to and entertain the hardworking citizens of this fair land? A place where their kids and grand children want to congregate?
“Why don’t you ever want to visit us?” says grandma
“There’s nothing to do out there!” complains everyone else.
Well, one has to wonder if this will be the reality thanks to the latest poll touted in Newsday. Something else for the paranoid delusional to cite as conspiracy theory or conniving agenda of the Dolan’s to destroy one of their best rivalries. Instead it is just an off-target poll of 50% over 55 years of age, which ignores the 38 year-old median age of Nassau County. Furthermore it ignores the demographic of who will likely vote this special vote. No real poll can be accurate for a special election that requires a committed and staked voter with team fans, unions and other oddities added in.
If there is any conspiracy with Newsday, it is only one of dunces. Extremism is merely easy outlet for some due to the angst and anxiety that we are all likely feeling during self-serving political mechanics that seem dead-set on destroying hockey and alienating the entire younger generation. Giving too much credit to enemies is usually the hallmark of the paranoid, and it has been used flowing like a fire hose spewing dread and just plain ignorance all over the blogosphere comment sections and message boards.
Newsday has been more a shining example of causing cognitive dissonance. It has created readers conflicts due to an editorial ideal based on selling strife smacking against the cause and facts of what the writers are trying to get across. What has helped peel off their editorial curtain is the fact that independent bloggers seem to have more legwork and entrenchment in the muck of what is going on than the paper on many an Islander item. So every step Newsday has done, they more often than not, show off their sensationalism by creating some sort of slant or angle to provide conflict.
They have created a bouillabaisse of resentment from the Islanders fanbase. But to think that any of their almost ham-handed antics are some sort of conspiracy is just giving that motley crew, who are just trying to survive a quaking change of ideology thanks to a new ownership, far too much credit.
No, this conspiracy is misplaced. What needs to be installed here is one giant mirror. We need one giant unyielding mirror reflecting on this entire County. Each potential voter needs to take a long unflinching look at this mirror, and cut the bullshit and excuses. Cut away the old blame and history. Everyone needs to drown out the marketing and negative nonsense.
You all need to ask yourself what you want in your home. What will be the future of your hometown and county?
Will it be of the savage implode like the house of Poltergeist, with cries of recession until there is nothing left? Will it be the explosion of public relations material citing tag lines and singing along with the “Meet me at the Lighthouse” jingle as you stagger like robots? Or might it be just hiding heads in the sand, waiting for it all to end, much like the staff of the Town of Hempstead, with no opinion except one of passed responsibility?
Hopefully it will be none of the above. It will likely be, if you take a moment and a breath through all this nonsense, be a moment of clarity. Maybe you will have an epiphany. Maybe not, but there will be likely be a decision. My suggestion is to make a measured decision weighing things carefully and appropriately.
My own will be to Vote Yes.
There are so many reasons why. One large one for me is that my children deserve a better venue to see sports, concerts and anything else than that concrete nightmare that sits on Hempstead Turnpike. The building is dilapidated, in disrepair, ancient, and quite bluntly, a fucking embarrassment to what is supposed to be one of the most prestigious places to live in NY.
It is a fucking embarrassment to even sit there and come up with reasons why we should vote anything other than yes. A fucking embarrassment that the Democrats and Republicans have screwed the pooch so many times on this venue, that it got to a point where it now sits in our hands to bail it out just enough to fight another day.
That too is one fucking giant embarrassment.
Where is Nassau County’s citizen’s self respect? Where is their belief that they DESERVE this? That they SHOULD have a venue that is top notch or at least somewhat closer to mediocre that what lies there now?
It simply boggles the mind of the shortsightedness and excuses by opponents who seem hell bent on cutting off the nose to spite the face. Or to think that it isn’t important. Or to be against it because of the shear politics of trying to topple the foolish County Executive who put forth this referendum with barely any backup information or things laid out beforehand.
We have gone on and long on the issues I have had with the ToH, both hapless and ineffective County Execs, the self-serving Republicans & Democrats, and also of the Islanders and their quirky doof of an owner. I am probably not well liked by any of them, but that was never my intent. My intent at the start was to shear away the absolute piles of bullshit that seemed to be piling all over us throughout a process that was almost always at odds with our futures and with those of the hockey team we follow and cheer for,
When they are shoveled all away, it is simply what you want to come to on Long Island. A loss of the SOLE professional sports team for the County and Long Island, or for there to be an improvement of venue, new long-term lease of that team, and a place that is respectable to see a concert, show or sports event?
To me, there is simply no debate. The independent numbers came in and it cited a roughly a close to $14 cost to each taxpayer. A far cry to the absolute tripe of $48 or more that opponents touted like parrots. That is a movie ticket. Parking. A CD or book, for god’s sake.
Nobody but nobody till lately bothered to cite the cost of LOSING the Islanders, the Coliseum’s main tenant, and their generator of taxes to the County and what it will cost each taxpayer. $16.
So all the buzz and noise around this referendum, despite the heaping loads of mistakes and miscues made, is the fact that it is not a loss, not taking anything from anybody’s pocket, and in the end, something to be proud of and respectable to a place that has been disrespected or at least abandoned when inconvenient by just about everyone who sits in office.
No, it is high time for a stand. To wake up. To get our proverbial head from out of asses and make a voice heard. We finally, FINALLY, have a day to make our own vote a clear exclamation point for the Islanders future, and in a large way, our own on Long Island. IF we cannot be up for that, after listening and reading everything else, you might as well just pack up and move out of town…
Because I don’t think I’d want you as a neighbor.
About the Author: B.D. Gallof is a published writer and hockey blogger. He writes about Hockey, NY Islanders & the NY Islanders venue situation for CBS New York. BD has been written up in Sports Illustrated, TSN.ca, the NY Times Slapshots blog, Yahoo's Sports and SportsBusiness Journal. He has been a featured blogger for The Huffington Post, as well as owner, lead writer, and managing editor at HockeyIndependent.com.