Sunday, November 1, 2009

Communist rag readers vote Mary Houle #1!

After rising through the ranks of the Seven Days "most popular," Mary Houle finally landed the coveted number one spot (a tenure the LTCM enjoyed back in August). Seizing upon her newfound status as "cult curmudgeon," Houle announced her comeback tour in the form of a statewide media blitzkrieg. Kicking it all off in Jonesville, Ms. Houle sat down with LTCM web editor, Jack Rebedeau, for an exclusive interview:

LTCM: Mary, what prompted you to effect the resignations of several town officials?

Houle: Moral superiority, Jack. I am the only one who cares about this town, clearly. I donate flowers for god sakes! FLOWERS! I don't recall any of my selectboard peers getting their hands dirty for this town. Liberals don't know how to garden, and liberals don't even come from Vermont!

LTCM: Speaking of all things garden related, we've heard that you are still seeking an audit of the Richmond Farmer's Market. Why is that?

Houle: Anytime a business, be they non-profit or for-profit, receives stimulus funds they are accountable to my administration. After I finish gutting the market, I'll be conducting audits of every business to receive a benefit from those funds. If Toscano's lets so much as one strand of pasta go beyond al dente, or On The Rise runs out of breakfast roll-ups before I get there, consider them all as good as closed. And the next time I go into Film Buzz for a VHS, they better have 'em!

LTCM: What do you see as a next step for this town? We're coming out of the recession, the bridge has re-opened, and the town is looking more comprehensively at an economic development strategy. How do you see it all coming together?

Houle: I don't. After I finish knocking off the public officials and town employees I dislike, I'll be dissolving all boards and the police department, creating a regional authority. Acting as sheriff-imperator, I will return the area to a more traditional set of rural standards.

LTCM: Well, thank you for your time Ms. Houle. We humbly submit to your will and wish you the best of luck in your scorched earth approach to community development.


  1. I have been reading through some of your previous posts and one that caught my attention was one where you were describing the many youth that were leaving VT for opportunities elsewhere. I happen to be in that category. There are some wonderful opportunities in VT, but they are marred by the type of inflamatory, non-communicative behavior that you exemplify in your blog. If you were actually trying to build community, you would be interacting in a non-violent manner with your neighbors and trying to find common ground with them instead of purposely pushing them farther away and, in turn, isolating yourself from people who could be beneficial to you. I am not supporting your neighbors' actions and I most certainly did not vote for Mary Houle. However, if you both would put aside your differences, I think you may find that you have more in common than you think. You both claim to care about your town. Why not focus on that? Can you imagine what it would do for the morale of the town (not to mention the success of your potential store) if you two were able to let go of your completely absurd debate and maybe actually engage in calm conversation? Strong community depends on clear communication and all you are doing is engaging in needless drama. How can you expect to have a peaceful neighborhood if you refuse to realize peace within yourself? Until you learn this, you will continue to run into conflict. True rebels actually create change. While your vision is beautiful and innovative, your interactions reflect more of the same line of thinking that leads to the type of ludicrous fueding the town has seen far too much of. Hope you have a reflective day and begin to think rationally before you act.

  2. It's nice to hear feedback from peers-I like your outlook and I think that your observations are incredibly accurate, to a point. This blog is not representative of my personal views, as it, as a function of the larger project, is primarily a study in aesthetics. To be sure, it's not widely understood or necessarily appreciated.

    Summoning the grandiose parodies, repetitive alliterations, deliberate and tired historical allusions, rhetorical framing, and the absurd presentation is simply an artistic device-nothing more. What is "good" for a town is perhaps not what is most comfortable for a town. Debate is healthy, and it's far too early to draw any conclusions.

    If nothing else, this process has for many, illuminated the humor, irony, pain and joy-the best and the worst of life in a communal setting. I find the curation of social experience a particularly compelling medium to work in. At what better vantage point than from a keystone location-a general store, to encounter it?

    I'm deeply mindful of the commonalities I share with people like Mary and Isaac-that's never been in question. Our individual approaches are perhaps divergent from one another, but at the core, no different. From the onset, we've only interacted as players in the context of the store, never as individuals.

  3. Interesting comment from anonymous above. I like the approach. Unfortunately, a character like Houle loves complete domination. She smashes and her way through life and it's tough to have a zen-like mindset when somebody is aggressively in your face. I see a guy like Jon Kart trying his best to be thoughtful and rational and peaceful on the select board--and it's met with an in-your-face, hostile, sarcastic Mary Houle. I'm all for peace and getting along with your neighbor, but it doesn't work in this situation. What Dan is doing here borders on the absurd and I appreciate it. That's his way of dealing with it. Tongue in cheek humor with a pinch of eccentricity blended in. Plus, he's engaging in his fundamental right to free speech. I'd like to know where this Utopian Civilization is that is free of the "inflamatory, non-communicative behavior" that you see exemplified in this blog. I grew up in Vermont and came back to enjoy the quality of life that Vermont provides. Was I making twice as much elsewhere? You bet. But it wasn't home. For the record, I encountered far more disturbing, dark thoughts from the communities I lived in when I was away. Stuff you read about and hope doesn't exist anymore. Stuff that makes you ashamed to be a human being. I won't elaborate, but it was very real and it was very disturbing.

    Anonymous, I respect your right to your opinion, I just don't see the reality or possibility of achieving it. Dan, Houle and Cowan are not the only opinionated folks in this town.

    That's my take on it. But heck, I just want to be able to buy a six pack of Long Trail, some eggs and some artisan cheese within walking distance from my house. It's purely selfish. The rest of this is all just a way to pass my time.

  4. I've got to agree with the first writer of the comment section. This is the second time that I've heard of your blog attacking members of the community that you are trying to build your business in. Granted I believe you to be right in both instances but disagree with how you addressed it. Calling your neighbor a terrorist probably wasn't the best thing for building "community ties." But don't get me wrong I couldn't agree with you more. It was bullshit the way that went down, but blasting him on the net just plain old pisses people off. Mary Houle is detrimental to the future of Richmond and I've got more than a couple of words for her however if I was a business owner in the town where she is on the SB I'd not be putting them in a place where everyone could see. Free speech is a cornerstone of America but so is common sense. Please stop badmouthing people who matter in the town where you are establishing your community so that your store can open soon so I can spend my money there.

  5. Enough is enough Dan. Your blog is not doing anything constructive. Permits, money, drive, ambition are not things that this blog will create for you. If anything it appears that your more interested in creating havoc, acting like a brat, and what message are you sending to the kids you have counseled. You have an obligation and as future business man and role model to wayward youth to use your power of the internet for peace. Clearly your blog insinuates, for now, a different agenda on your part...

    Find peace brotha!

  6. Vince Walker: You're an ambitious man, Mr. Gandhi.

    Gandhi: I hope not.

  7. "You have an obligation and as future business man and role model to wayward youth to use your power of the internet for peace."

    say what? man, what are you smoking? Was a new town ordinance passed that regulates Dan's internet obligations? If so, be afraid, very afraid...

  8. True, that! Right after they take away my gods' given right to scamper around buck ass nekked... now they want to moderate my content?

    Good luck!

  9. Dan you are nothing but a scam artist....Leave a corner in your store for the real artists!

  10. Touché Anonymous! You are as witty as you are named. If you want to know about scam artists, I should put you in touch with a few of my neighbors...they wrote the book! ZING!

  11. Saw the well drillers there this AM. Any progress?

  12. Indeed! Cowan heard "no" from me. He heard "no" from the state environmental department. Now he gets to hear "no" from the state environmental courts on his appeal...that dude needs a hobby.



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