Updated Oct. 2, 2019, by Dave Read. It’s about the river, people; if you don’t believe me, read Jim Bouton’s Foul Ball, which exposed the cabal running the local “cultural economy,” the same interests controlled or influenced by GE, which was instrumental in establishing 1Berkshire in order to perpetuate the primacy of its economic interests over the cultural legacy of the Berkshires. (Read about Jim Bouton’s current illness.)
From Google books:
“Foul Ball is the behind-the-scenes story of Bouton’s efforts to save Wahconah Park, one of the oldest ballparks in the United States, located in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, not far from his home in the Berkshires. With his trademark wit and distinctive voice, Bouton recounts his battle against the local power elite, who wanted to build a new stadium to replace Wahconah Park, a project the citizens had voted against three different times.But Foul Ball is more than a hilarious romp about saving an old ballpark. In a detailed diary-his first since Ball Four-Bouton takes us along on his wild ride, into the teeth of corporate malfeasance, anti-democratic process, the tyranny of a one-newspaper town, and the real reason why the “good old boys” wanted to build a new stadium.”
GE will be bankrupt before the Berkshires’ primary cultural asset, the Housatonic River, is restored to the condition GE found it in when it made the corporate decision to convert the river into a cost-cutting asset for the manufacture of its products, without regard for the health of its employees, residents, and visitors to the Berkshires.
Where was the outrage when 1Berkshire’s founding lie and deception was exposed by the Housatonic River Initiative’s Tim Gray?
Once GE got wind of Bouton’s book, they put the word out to the publishing community that, if they knew what was good for them, they’d decline the book. That wasn’t until Bouton thought he already had a deal; the deal evaporated and the best-selling author of Ball Four, on Time magazine’s list of the top 100 non-fiction books of all time, wound up publishing Foul Ball himself.
What that instance demonstrates is that the power wielded by corporate interests swamps that wielded by feckless politicians. Witness Trump’s inability to quash publication of scandalous titles such as Fire and Fury. Those same publishers scared away from the book that told the truth about immortal GE’s nefarious control of the local economy, “cultural” or not, will bid against one another to take on a target so corporeal, but so un-corporate and so mortal, as Trump.
Speaking of books, prior to the current imbroglio, the last time Norman Rockwell was in the news was in the wake of Deborah Solomon’s scandalous assault on his character, particularly her reckless psychoanalysis of Rockwell, writing that she “detected a pattern of pedophilia” in his work. Solomon had the full cooperation of 1Berkshire’s own Laurie Norton Moffatt, who knows the economic value of a good cultural scandal.
The Berkshire Museum has been worthy of boycotting ever since it refused to screen Mickey Friedman’s 2002 documentary Good Things To Life: GE, PCBs, and Our Town. I hate to go all Sixties on you, but a common expression from those days, of inchoate cultural revolution, was “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” Has 1Berkshire or any of its members and beneficiaries taken a lead in solving the problem of this current instance of defiling Berkshires’ cultural legacy?