In general, among us Upstate bloggers there tends to be a climate of amicable tolerance and friendly exchange. Certainly, we come from all points of the political prism—from Anarchist (that’s me!) to conservative (such as my old arch-nemesis the “Let Upstate Be Upstate” blog)—but overall we’re all just pretty much thrilled that other people are also interested in our region.
That’s why I was pretty shocked to read the Adirondack Almanack’s latest post: An Angry Adirondack Almanack Note to Neighbors, which tears into the (relatively) new and highly prolific blog Adirondack Boys (“Everything Fabulous About New York’s Adirondack Park”).
I must mention here that I’ve always had a deep respect for the Almanack’s thoughtful commentary on life “Behind the Blue Line,” the Almanack seems to never post unless its something that it deems useful and important (which is a bit different from the Boys… but different styles are ok). The Almanack writes about the new blog:
The posts started nicely enough, mostly the history of Penwood (Old Forge), where the Adirondack Boys have recently had a home built for them. All was well for a while, until, perhaps inevitably given the pace of posting, the posts started turning to other subjects and, well, frankly, began pissing us off.
For several weeks the Almanack held a regular internal debate about the new blog. The Almanack doesn't always agree with even our favorite bloggers, and we don't always have to comment on a bad post or two. The Almanack encourages conflicting viewpoints, alternative ideas, even the downright outlandish. The Almanack doesn't want to be mean. The Almanack wants friends in the blog world and wants to encourage Adirondack blogs. Today however, the insults aimed at locals reached a crescendo and if there is one thing we can't stand it's hypocrisy: don't believe one thing and support the exact opposite just because it fits your social milieu more appropriately. If you worship the devil at night in the woods, don't send money to evangelical TV preachers and sell bibles on the side.
Yes, that’s us that they’re referring to as a “favorite” blog that they don’t always agree with. Fair enough. But this post, which I’m not going to quote much further (you should read it yourself) goes on to condemn the boys for hypocrisy (for instance they’re gay men who love President Bush enough to copy his entire lunch menu as a post) and outright classism.
Without a doubt, the Boys seem completely clueless about the world of the working folk around them. Their celebration of what is ‘fabulous’ about the Adirondacks refers primarily to the Great Camps of the wealthy elite of the Gilded Age. As someone who worked at one of these Camps as a tour guide for three years, I can tell you that perhaps the lives of the wealthy there were ‘fabulous,’ but to not mention the lives of those who worked in and built those camps and lived in them year round is to ignore history just as vital as that of the “Summer People” (their words) that arrived for a few weeks. The descendents of those same workers are the ones that the Boys blissfully ignore or denigrate all around them.
It is within the Adirondacks that the Upstate-Rural-Poor versus Downstate-Urban-Rich dichotomy is the most acute. It is there that jaded, tired Downstaters build their sprawling ‘camps’ and host their elaborate parties. Of course nthing wrong with a little bit of R&R, I can’t think of an Adirondacker that doesn’t appreciate that land for its calming, healing properties. But in the view of the Boys, the Adirondack Park is simply that: A Park. A place for their own amusement. While I admit and enjoy the unique nature of the Adirondacks, I try never to forget that it is also a human place where people make their lives—they and their communities are never simple backdrops for my Adirondack adventures or props for the fulfillment of my dreams. It is that simple truth that the Boys have missed as they have treated decorative lamps and terra cotta urns as more important subjects than the lives that surround them.
 I’m pretty sure that Let Upstate Be Upstate, the blog of the Business Council of NY, doesn’t share in my analysis of our relationship. However, this letter I wrote to them explains my feelings.
 Which of course, gets me curious as to which posts they’re referring to.