On their web page this evening the Saratogian has a story about the Kane telephone message. I assume it will appear in tomorrow’s paper. Here is a link to the story.
There are two things that I find revealing in this story.
The first is that Mr. Kane is completely unapologetic. He believes that he has every right to behave as he did in that message.
The second is the response by Bob Turner, Charter Commission chair. He ignored the question about Mr. Kane’s behavior and stayed on message simply repeating one more time the commission’s talking points on the charter.
Eugene Ionesco, the playwright of the absurd, wrote a famous play called “Rhinoceros.” It involves a hapless fellow who finds the people around him, his relatives, his co-workers, the politicians, turning into rhinoceroses. Of course on the stage they do not literally turn into rhinoceroses but they increasingly make snorting noises, stomp their feet at odd times, and their postures become increasingly distorted. Our hero finds this behavior baffling but when seeking confirmation of what he is seeing, people treat him patronizingly. They assure him that he is confused and not to worry.
When I read both Mr. Kane and Mr. Turner’s remarks in the Saratogian, I identified with the hero of the Ionesco play. For me, I find Kane’s behavior and Turner’s reaction reprehensible. For many around me, among them most of the members of the Charter Commission, Kane’s and Turner’s behavior is seen as normal. Mr. Kane and Mr. Turner seem sincerely oblivious of what I perceive to be odious behavior. The standards for civility and courtesy appear to be increasingly a quaint relic from a bygone era.