Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A couple of things...you can't imagine my delight that Zippy the Pinhead was in Western Massachusetts!

You never know just when a reference to Western Massachusetts is going to pop up in the national press.

Mike Bissonnette, the mayor of Chicopee, was a little surprised, but delighted, to see Al’s Diner, a Chicopee landmark, as the setting for the June 15th “Zippy the Pinhead” comic strip.

Started as an underground comic book over 30 years ago, Bill Griffith’s mentally challenged creation goes through life as a sort of idiot savant. Griffith uses his character to make pithy observations on life and politics.

I’ve been a Griffith fan for years, myself.

In the strip Zippy is sitting at Al’s Diner and says, “Al, is Chicopee real or is it a state of mind? Because if it’s real I may have to re-order all my priorities.”

Bissonnette loved the strip and fired off an e-mail to Griffith about it. Griffith wrote back, “Zippy gets around. He’s been to Al’s Diner in a few strips over the past eight of so years. People keep sending me new fotos [sic] of the venerable joint, so I feel compelled on occasion to revisit. I drove into Chicopee a few months ago on a drive to Vermont ands thus the reality of the town was planted in my pinhead. I can’t tell you how connections get made when I’m writing a Zippy strip – it just happens and I watch and obey.”

If you’re intrigued, log onto www.zippythepinhead.com.

And more reaction from my review of "The Ghosts of Abu Graib."

I received another letter about my review of “The Ghosts of Abu Graib” this week. Here it is:

“Kudos to the Pat Henry letter about ‘The Ghosts of Abu Graib.’ I also credit ‘The Reminder’ for having the courage to publish it. Mr. Henry stated what I have felt for the past year about the Reminder Editorial Page – most of the time it drags this once fine newspaper down to the ‘Valley Advocate’ level.

“What is the ‘Valley Advocate’ level? Just look at the businesses that advertise in this newspaper and you will get the gist. View the advertisers in ‘The Reminder’ and you will see quality people and businesses.

“In my view, a reader can get the pulse of a newspaper by reading the editorial section. I strongly feel ‘The Reminder’s’ editorials since Mr. Dobbs came on board has cheapened this newspaper.

“Respectfully, Bob Maccarini, East Longmeadow”

Let me explain something: it takes no great courage on my part to print letters that criticize an opinion I’ve expressed. One of the purposes of any community newspaper is to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas. I believe in this responsibility and I try to print as many letters as possible regardless if they are critical or not.

I do disagree that under my management the editorial content of our four community weekly newspapers has been “cheapened.” I have a file full of letters of thanks from individuals and organizations who believe the stories presented here and the advocacy our staff has provided has helped the communities we serve.

If anything, we are not always able to fulfill every request for coverage or sponsorship of an event due to the limits of our resources.

Disagreeing on politics is part of the American way and it’s reflected in these newspapers.

© 2007 by Gordon Michael Dobbs


Tommy said...

Sunk to the Valley Advocate level? What is that supposed to mean? You are too polite to respond to these critics with the correct phrase:


Mark Martin said...

Zippy has been to Miss Florence Diner too. You know that, right?

My comment cheapens your blog!

Kip W said...

Zippy has also been to the White Hut, here in West Springfield. Yow!