"Hello, We Must Be Going. We Came To Say, 'We Cannot Stay,' We Must Be Going..."
After nearly four years, and 772 what we believe have been somewhat meaningful blogposts, The Community Alliance blog is, in the parlance of M*A*S*H*, bugging out.
Not that it hasn't been one heck of a ride -- some have referred to it as a "long, strange trip" -- but given what we, as community advocates, have set out to do, and what, collectively, we have failed to accomplish, perhaps it is time to devote our passion, our energies, and our talents elsewhere (the Russian front has been suggested as a good place to start).
Would that we could attest to even minor victories along the way. Oh sure, we got "nail and mail," but if anyone believes a dent has been made in banishing illegal apartments from our midst, along with the burdens and hazards that accompany them, we've got a Sanitary District to sell you.
Affordable housing? Zippo.
Rejuvenated "Downtowns" and revived "Main Streets?" Nah.
Putting the kibosh on the property tax and excoriating the special taxing districts into extinction? Not quite.
Taking back our town? Maybe its better if we let them keep it.
Not that it hasn't been fun. For the most part, it has been a blast.
Not that we won't miss the almost daily opportunity to lambast the elected, the anointed, and the inane. We will.
Not that we wouldn't have minded -- indeed, welcomed -- greater participation (a guest blog, now and again, just to let us know you're still breathing) from you folks in the Peanut Gallery. We would, but, like so many of us who wear our passion for community on our sleeves -- as much a scarlet letter as a badge of courage -- you're frustrated, tired, and simply trying to survive the day-to-day.
Back in 1899, a clerk in the U.S. Patent Office opined, "Everything that can be invented already has been."
So, too, would it be not only inappropriate, but downright foolish for us to say, "Everything that can be said, written, or, for that matter, blogged about community -- its ups, its downs, its shortfalls, and its successes -- has been committed to the airwaves, to paper, or to cyberspace."
It is, for each of us, to keep the pressure on government -- and upon ourselves -- to create a more sustainable way of life, not only here on Long Island, but globally.
It is, for each of us, our duty, to continue to speak out, whenever and wherever, on behalf of those who have no voice, and as advocates of those whose voices have been or would be silenced.
It is, for each of us, as activists committed to the future of every hamlet, village, and unincorporated area (what the hell is an "unincorporated area", anyway?) to stay involved, to man the barricades, and, yes, to continue to fight Town Hall with everything we've got.
Assuring our quality of life, and that of our children, requires our vigilance and our vigor. Community, demands it.
The Community Alliance blog will continue its rant for several weeks more [after all, we'd be remiss if we didn't bring you the annual rite of spring we call A Passover Story].
After that, perhaps a venting here, a stoke of the fires there, and then, who knows where we'll next find our way into your community.
Of this, however, you can be certain:
Wherever there is a community cause to be fought, The Community Alliance will be there;
Wherever there is an impediment to the quality of life to which we aspire, The Community Alliance will be there;
Wherever there is an injustice, an elected official who turns a deaf ear, or a bowl of chocolate covered pretzels, you can be sure, The Community Alliance will be there.
This blogger often wondered, "What would be our parting words as we took our leave from the blogoshpere?"
Well, pondering long and hard, and realizing that this cessation of the blog is not the end of the journey, but merely a new beginning, we shall hold off on the epilogue, and, instead, offer up the words of Walt Kelly:
"Specializations and markings of individuals everywhere abound in such profusion that major idiosyncrasies can be properly ascribed to the mass. Traces of nobility, gentleness and courage persist in all people, do what we will to stamp out the trend. So, too, do those characteristics which are ugly. It is just unfortunate that in the clumsy hands of a cartoonist all traits become ridiculous, leading to a certain amount of self-conscious expostulation and the desire to join battle.
"There is no need to sally forth, for it remains true that those things which make us human are, curiously enough, always close at hand. Resolve then, that on this very ground, with small flags waving and tinny blast on tiny trumpets, we shall meet the enemy, and not only may he be ours, he may be us.
It has been a privilege, an honor, and an experience that will always serve as an inspiration to this community advocate and, hopefully, to others as well.
Yours in community.
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On second thought. . . ;-)
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Comments? Opinions? Musings? Anything?
Last call to make your case for a better community on The Community Alliance blog. Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.