The Cambridge Citizen:your Voice of reason

By  | July 12, 2010 | 22 Comments | Filed under: Editorial, Politics

I’m back. I have been on hiatus from local issues to work on my first novel Shadow Dragons, but James Hillis has disturbed my vacation in Fictionland. He has convinced me that Shadow Dragons can wait.

I am disgusted with what I see going on at The Advocate. Just before the last election Colin Carmichael started The Cambridge Reporter Online, which eventually became The Advocate, in response to the need in the community for an interactive forum. I came on board as Managing Editor, and we garnered a lot of attention in Cambridge. After Colin and I appeared on TV we were contacted by the legal department of Torstar and advised that they were planning on resurrecting The Reporter. This was not unexpected, and we changed the name to The Voice, which was subsequently sold.

I had problems writing for an inexperienced publisher who has never been published, and we went our separate ways. Other than a few writers, such as James, Joe Lethbridge, Larry Turner and Waycat, I have largely ignored The Advocate.

I will continue to ignore them. I was first published in The Times in 1981, and have been published locally several hundred times since. Anyone who knows me is aware that I get my biggest thrill out of helping a aspiring artist, but I will not engage in a pissing contest with a bunch of amateurs.

I may have had differences with Jeff Hurst, Bill Doucet and Kevin Swayze in the past, but differences of opinion, particularly with editors, is part of growing as a writer. The fact that I am a finalist for a Bernice Adams Award for Literary Art this year, which is sponsored by The Record, shows that there are no hard feelings. I am in complete agreement with James that we will leave the job of writing the (hard) news to the professional journalists.

With the coming election I think that it’s important that there is a voice of reason in the Cambridge sector of Cyberspace. While that voice isn’t necessarily me I want to be sure that there is a place for them to be heard.

More than that, the Citizen will be a place to read stories about entertainment, local music, and the history and characters that make this one of the greatest cities in Canada to live.

I look forward to hearing from everyone, and encourage you to submit your stories and comments. Let’s have fun.


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22 Responses to The Cambridge Citizen:your Voice of reason

  1. Sherrie July 12, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Are you going to become a pawn for the City or report what is really going on.

  2. cambri22 July 12, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    I have never been a “pawn for the city.” I have always been the first to speak out when I see something I don’t agree with, but at the same time I see a lot of useless bitching and nitpicking with our politicians.

  3. scot July 12, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Here is one example, you can check The Record, Echo, The Times, The reporter for more.–cambridge-funding-fairy-tales

  4. Sherrie July 12, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    I wasn’t picking at ya, just wanted to know where you were heading with this site. I agree that there is good and bad in the city and all anyone asks is that everything get’s covered properly.

  5. James July 13, 2010 at 12:24 am

    Sherrie, we intend to be an open forum for all to have their say, naturally some of us will be a little more vocal than others, and will have different views but i can guarantee you that we will not cater to any one interest, we will be fair but honest about everything.

  6. scot July 13, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Sherrie, the more people who voice their opinions the better. As will quickly become obvious, I have mine and I won’t hesitate to use it! I look forward to reading yours.

  7. Margaret Barr July 13, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    I will be posting here, just as I do on the Advocate. (If that’s okay with everyone). I think both venues have their pros and cons. I agree that the ‘host’ of the Advocate is sometimes a little too quick to denounce someone for their differing opinions. However, a wide variety of posts from thoughtful and intelligent individuals can also be found on the site.

    Having said all that, I will also add, that calling the posters at the Advocate “a bunch of amateurs” is not much better than any of the negativity and ‘bitching’ we may see on the Advocate.

    Scot, try not to be the pot calling the kettle black. It will only tarnish this site.

  8. ringostarrynight July 13, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    I suggest that Mr. Barber attend some courses at St. Louis Con. Ed for basic English grammar and spelling before continuing with this project. Mr. Barber mentions that he has been published “several hundred times”, which may be true but also, just perhaps, the Cambridge Times was having a slow news week when they decided to publish him. In my humble opinion, Mr. Barber’s writing is atrocious (always has been), and alas his editing is worse. (Having quickly read his post I found several, glaring mistakes. I suggest placing an ad for a replacement editor). The biggest and most unprofessional faux pas committed by Mr. Barber is his impulse to disrespect contemporaries in a very disparaging manner. This reeks of jealousy and resentment. Having known Mr. Barber as an acquaintance for many years, I am aware that this is part of his shtick; but being a contrarian involves more than possessing a nasty tongue.

    As someone who does not live in Cambridge anymore but still has direct contacts and family, I enjoy reading about and following the news in my hometown. There is, however, a need for an independent electronic media source that is informed, educated, and critically objective, editorially speaking – not personally subjective wanking, which include harbingers about “pissing matches” when trying to justify why someone begged and pleaded for Mr. Barber to postpone his Magnus Opus to bless and anoint this project.

    To quell the regional (perhaps even provincial or national) stereotype that Cambrians are uneducated cement- heads, perhaps the Citizen can seek out the educated, and well-informed Galtonians, Prestonians, and Hespelerites that surely live among the Grand and Speed Rivers.

    I look forward to your success, but suggest that you seek out and align yourself with contemporaries that have some of the attributes which I mentioned above. Oh… and Scot can stay on board with his reminiscing and antidotes, just make sure he completes at least an Applied Grade 11 English before publishing any of his stuff. Come to think of it, this probably will not get published since Mr. Barber is the … ahem… “Managing Editor”. O Vey!

  9. scot July 13, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    …and what have you done Ringo, and why do you hide behind such a corny pseudonym? When you stated about my ” reminiscing and antidotes” did you mean ancedotes?

  10. ringostarrynight July 13, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Oh my… you just confirmed my post and you don’t even know how. Let me explain your reply:

    1. You start with a “pissing match” that you claim to detest i.e. “what have you done Ringo”.

    2. You make fun of my name.

    And you want to write effective editorials?

  11. scot July 13, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Margaret, it’s good to see you here. It will be good to have your input.

  12. ringostarrynight July 13, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Mr. Managing Editor, I’m not quite sure the meaning of “ancedote”. Do you mean – anecdote? If you did, then no. I meant antidote as in “antidotal” as a play on words to anecdotal.

    Man o man. There’s that editorial issue again.

    Good luck with that.

  13. scot July 13, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    I should clarify something. When I said “I will not engage in a pissing contest with a bunch of amateurs.” this is exactly what I’m talking about.
    You are not attacking any position I’ve taken but you are attacking me personally.
    Rather than waste my time and artistic energy responding to what is obviously a personal “hard on” for me I’ll utilize that energy in more positive ways.

  14. Margaret Barr July 13, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    Thank you, Scot.
    I am living day-to-day, hoping for a life where one of the most important things is; whether or not a word or phrase is spelled/used correctly….especially on a blog.

    I may find the occasion to agree/disagree with you, but I won’t comment on anything except the ‘message’. (Unless, of course, someone misspells MY name….then that’s a different story 🙂

  15. scot July 13, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Margaret, I’m glad you are here. I know that you keep up on what council is doing, and I look forward to disagreeing with you 🙂

  16. James Hillis July 13, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Welcome to the site Ringo, just to let you know I own the site and I welcome all to post their thoughts and also their story’s etc.. Debate is welcome but the one thing we are trying to stay clear of is personal attacks as i find them trivial and boring, we can attack the facts and you can do that all you want. the majority of us that will appear on here are amateurs and many times we will show that, and for that i am glad. I know Scot can piss some people off but whats life without a little vinegar, and to be honest, this site would not be possible without Scots helping hand. Enjoy the site and I hope to hear more from you.

  17. James Hillis July 13, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Welcome Margaret, spelling is not one of my strong suits so picking at someone for it is not my habit. Hope we can provide another place for you to be heard on a regular basis. Now about that coffee!

  18. ringostarrynight July 14, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Thanks for replying to my post James and for showing solidarity to Scot. I would just like to add that when one commits to presenting themselves as superior in any way I personally feel compelled to respond. If a blogger writes about politics I’ll respond accordingly; if the topic is religion… I was responding critically to the points that Scot was making. Is this not what the Cambridge Citizen is all about? If one promotes themselves as a great editor/ writer and I see otherwise I will comment. However, I too do not appreciate posters that habitually criticize spelling/ grammar etc. So then Mr. Barber, if you do not want to be criticized for your poor writing skills then I suggest stop promoting yourself as someone who is superior in that discipline. Furthermore, if I read one of your posts and notice that perhaps you have improved – I will be the first to compliment you.

  19. James Hillis July 14, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    And you are more than welcome to comment, don’t be afraid to let us know what you think. A healthy dialogue is good.

  20. Thomas Vann July 25, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Scot. l’m glad to see your comments once again. l look forward to conversation on issues with you again. Since l’m on a Commador 64 lt may take a while to get my reply. Best Wishes.

  21. Jimm July 25, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    You really are old school, game of pong anyone?

  22. Christine Lashoff August 28, 2010 at 11:33 am

    I like what you guys are doing here, keep it up. A little humour with the real world is always good, no need to be so down all the time!!As mu Jim Morrison one gets out of this world alive!

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