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An insane person for an insane job
Malt Schlitzmann for city manager!
Look, it’s entirely possible the City Council is going to take this succession process seriously. It’s possible they’ll conduct an above-board national search for a real-deal city manager with a carefully articulated set of priorities and expectations and select the best candidate based on merit. It’s even possible that this process will be the real process by which they choose a new manager and not a smokescreen. The rumors I’ve heard of Ed Augustus referring to Eric Batista as his “successor” in several quasi-private meetings could be just that—rumors.
It’s entirely possible the fix is in fact not in.
But if it isn’t, they’ve got to go out of their way to prove it. It’s their word against the past 30 years of precedent. Joe Petty basically has to demonstrate that he’s not going to do it like Joe Petty does it (for more on that, let me point you to this newsletter from a couple weeks ago and also Nicole Apostola’s stellar work on the subject).
And I’m just not convinced that he’s gonna, frankly.
So in the meantime, while Batista begins his brief term as “acting” city manager and/or lifetime appointment, I’m going to conduct my own public search process. That’s right, folks! You can apply for the job through this here newsletter—all you have to do is send your application to email@example.com.
Our first applicant: Malt Schlitzman, a local poet, writer and general ne’er-do-well you might remember as I do for lively performances at The Dirty Gerund Poetry Show in the Before Times.
And guess what, folks—he’s out for blood!
Please as always consider a paid subscription to this newsletter! It is the only way Worcester Sucks makes money because I simply refuse to whore myself out to like Bushel ‘n Peck or some shit for advertising dollars1.
It is also how I pay great contrib—er, city manager applicants like Malt!
Without further ado, here is his application…
INSANE TIMES CALL FOR INSANE PEOPLE
By Malt Schlitzman
Hello Worcester, you glorified parking lot. I’m sorry I haven’t said much poetry inside you as of late, if my baby gets sick I will commit Zamboni Crimes.
I understand that business-haired roadblock of a bureaucrat Augustus is quitting early and abandoning us to our sins. I have some thoughts on the subject. Credit to Auggie for getting out while the getting’s good, the next COVID spike is going to decimate schools and I wouldn’t want that on my record either. I would make a joke about the entire political apparatus effectively washing its hands of public responsibility and leaving us all to die, but every time I try I keep accidentally assembling incendiary devices instead.
Now, obviously the old guard of ity Hall has already put the fix in for the next money-blooded Ivy League son of a bitch scheduled to sell us all to an organ farm, but I have a stupid, hilarious idea: Hire me instead.
Am I qualified? Yes. Everyone is. Or nobody is. Managing people isn’t real work, keeping them subservient with the minimal amount of violence is. White-collar knowledge workers, especially ones engaged in the esoteric dance of civil governance, vastly overestimate the value of their own expertise. Any idiot can govern, all you have to do is lie your way to the top and dare anyone to call your bluff. They never do!
If you’re still mad that Donald Trump got to run roughshod over democratic norms with cleats on for four years and suffer literally no consequences in the least, I am the candidate for you. I promise to cajole, bribe, threaten, and bully every single weasel in City Hall in order to make things as good as they can be for broke-ass motherfuckers like myself. I will break the law so hard it calls me Master and drinks my piss.
If a developer wants to build a high rise, I will physically tear off his fingernails until he pledges to house, for life, for free, everyone he displaces. Once a year, one of the 10 richest business owners will be given the option of dividing half his wealth and returning it to his workers, or I kill and eat him in front of his family. I will make “The Lottery” look like the lottery.
The police will not be abolished but rather retrained in forensic accounting. Employers guilty of wage fraud will be stripped nude and paraded through town, pelted with rotten vegetables. This will happen exactly once, before those gold-toilet crooks learn their lesson and stop stealing from us all.
I want to address any lingering concerns about my violence: What I have proposed is not exceptional. It is not new. It is not without precedent in modern life. What I have suggested is no more violent than the daily life of most working poor.
If you’re paid by the hour you know how it feels to be humiliated, without even the dignity of arguing back. You’ve held off committing to plans out of uncertainty that you’ll be called in or not. It is so ubiquitous it has even become a meme, the horror of the unexpected mid-vacation call-in.
Is it any wonder no one goes to church when not even the Mammon worshippers keep holy the Sabbath? Prayer sounds nice but sorry God, I’ve got to box dildos for fifteen dollars an hour.
Look, I understand that wealthy people reading this are rightfully scared. You know you didn’t earn your horde. But let me put it this way: Either you let us kill some rich people, or we burn down society and kill you all. That’s exactly the same offer capitalists extend to workers. You might even stand to benefit!
Since my cruelty will be focused only upon the richest of the rich, mid-level rich fuckers stand to benefit the most from my cruel reign of hilarious terror. Just like in the forest, when a mighty oak falls, the sunlight is quickly lapped up by treacherous social climbers willing to sell out bastards they don’t even like in exchange for a chance at their now-empty throne.
If you’re some dipshit franchise manager or a greasy MBA landlord, you’re not even the kind of crook I’m talking about! You aren’t rich enough to bother socializing. Small fries don’t concern me, I am here to reach into the soft chest of this town and tear the cancer out by its roots. There is no amount of money I will respect if it shelters an exploiter. I will drive the leeches and the ticks and the pimps into the canal and set it on fire. I will dog walk this city into Utopia.
If you find yourself inspired by Malt’s application and would like to similarly apply for the job via this newsletter drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org! And if you loved Malt’s pitch you should vote for him oh wait that’s right you can’t.
In any case you can vote for the success of this newsletter by subscribing :-)
And hey! The second anniversary of Worcester Sucks is fast approaching and I’m planning a whole big run of fun merch—tote bags, stickers, bumper stickers, shirts, etc—to celebrate.
Ahead of that, I’m opening up the original Worcester Sucks shirt to a presale order for the next several weeks. Quite a few people have indicated they still want one, so now is the time! I’m going to leave the presale link up for exactly two weeks (ending April 26) then put the order in.
Also I will be playing guitar for Cradle of Judah at a basement show in Allston tomorrow night! Email me if you’d like to come, and I’ll send you the address.
Well gee now that I came here to do what I set out to do, I’m finding there’s still quite a lot to talk about. I’m going to bounce around from topic to topic a little bit here but there’s a loose theme as you will see.
You could always skip it and just come watch the Worcester Council Theater 3000 stream tonight (at 6:30 p.m. as it is every Tuesday on the Wootenany Twitch channel). We’ll be talking about all this and more, I’m sure.
A Worcester cop made more money in 2021than anyone else employed by the City of Worcester. Lieutenant John Towns made $302,858. He made almost $180,000 in “normal pay,” plus $123,420 in detail work, $37,495 in overtime, and $22,379 in a category that’s just “other” lol. That is absurd. It is absurd that a police officer—not even the police chief!—is making more money than the chief executive by a clean $20,000. The entire chart below is very interesting. Of the 29 people I was able to fit in the screenshot, there are only two who aren’t cops—Augustus and Superintendent Maureen Binienda.
We definitely can’t hire any more social workers though. There’s not enough money for social workers—that’s for sure. And the unhoused? What are we supposed to do? Let them live in their tents? While we’re paying all these cops $200,000 to slash them? That’s just a waste of resources. Oh, and sorry about all the black mold your kid is inhaling every day at the elementary school she has no choice but to attend. There’s a backlog of school-building maintenance. Budget problems. You know how it is. There’s just not enough money to go around. Such a shame but what are you going to do? Money doesn’t grow on trees.
Speaking of black mold, ye olde Maureen Binienda is in the news. She very subtly hinted at her intention to run for some sort of Worcester seat in 2023. My thinking is mayor, but she might just mean school committee. Either way for the love of God please no. PLEASE no. I’m tired just thinking about it.
In a recent Telegram article, she said: “I am considering getting involved in a leadership role in Worcester. There’s a lot of change in our city right now, so I’m waiting to see what happens with the changes and then, probably next January, I’ll make my decision if I’m going to run for office in Worcester.”
Emphasis mine. That is not the language of someone who has just casually thought about the idea. She is definitely running. Ugh. And away we go.
Also not for nothing Maureen’s wearing a WILD shirt in the article.
It’s a shirt that would make Susie Essman’s character on Curb Your Enthusiasm seethe with envy.
Is it a great look to be making fun of a woman for what she’s wearing? Absolutely not. But you know what else isn’t a great look is denying kids sex educatiuon for a decade plus as teen birth rates and youth STI rates soar.
My transgression was in service of a joke. Hers was in service of… Well, that’s a long story.
In any case I figured out how to stop her.
Back on the police front, Boston 25 News parachuted into Worcester to do a bit of classic Cable News Copaganda.
As I pointed out on Twitter, “everybody” is doing an awful lot there. And it is so telling that writing that so obviously conflates drug offenses with violence passed an editor’s desk at Boston 25 unchallenged.
But not all journalists are bad, and I want to give kudos to the Worcester Business Journal for realizing they caused a stir with that “inner circle” article and appropriately following up on it (in the future, however, let us remember not to let the wife of a member of the inner circle write about how easy it is to join it). First, they published a real scorcher from Redemption Rock CEO Danielle Babineau about how the inner circle is indeed impossible to join, and that’s very much by design.
The fact the “elites” of Worcester are eager to present themselves as welcoming and accessible to anyone who just picks up the phone and gives them a call, or reaches across the table for a handshake and an introduction (all while waxing poetic about the origins of the closed-door, invite-only meetings where a group of carefully curated individuals form the actual power structure of the city) demonstrates just how out of touch, complacent, and exclusionary they are.
And then the Business Journal followed up with another story quoting prominent women of color in our community talking about how hard it is to get a footing and be taken seriously.
“Just showing up has never worked and will never work when speaking about issues around inclusivity. I have shown up repeatedly, whether it is in the context of civic engagement in the City of Worcester or in my professional realm of work,” said Jennifer Julien Gaskin, founder and president of The Worcester Caribbean American Carnival Association. “Showing up means that they let me sit at the table, but does that mean that my voice is heard and that my inclusion is meaningful? Absolutely not. Inclusion requires intention and a willingness to hear, understand, and accept experiences that may not be your own.”
That’s how you respond to community input and keep a productive conversation going about institutional racism and power dynamics. Kudos. Wish that other outlets in this city would even dare have the conversation in the first place! But alas…
Much to think about! Cya next time!
Unless it’s Belmont Veg. And in that case… ads on the house.