Tag Archives: WORCESTER

YOUR CITY WEBSITE SUCKS — PART 1: WORCESTER, A BENCHMARK OF MEDIOCRITY

AFTER OUR AWARD-LOSING COVERAGE OF THE WORCESTER ELECTIONS AND THAT GUY WITH THE HAIR… TODAY, WE BEGIN AN EXCITING NEW CHAPTER IN BIZARRO WORCESTER, IN WHICH WE RETURN TO OUR M.O. OF LOOKING AT OPEN GOVERNMENT AND WORCESTER’S LACKADAISICAL COMMITMENT TO IT!!!!!!! THEREFORE, IN HONOR OF SUNSHINE WEEK AND THE UPCOMING BEST OF WORCESTER AWARDS, WE PROUDLY PRESENT A LOOK AT ONE THING WE ALWAYS FIND COMEDY IN NO MATTER HOW CRAZY THINGS GET OTHERWISE: GOVERNMENT WEBSITES.

A CITY’S WEBSITE CAN REVEAL A GREAT DEAL ABOUT ITS CIVIC HEALTH. IT CAN REVEAL HOW WE INFORM. HOW WE PROVIDE. HOW WE VALUE THOSE WITHIN CITY HALL. HOW WE VALUE VISITORS. HOW WE VALUE THE INTERNET. WHAT WE THINK OF OURSELVES. OR HOW LITTLE WE GIVE A CRAP ABOUT ANY OF THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!

WE HAVE MADE A LOT OF JOKES OVER THE YEARS ABOUT WORCESTER’S PRESENCE ONLINE. BUT ONE THING WE NEVER DID WERE TAKING AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT EXACTLY HOW IT MIGHT MEASURE UP OUTSIDE THE COMPLETELY TRUE STATEMENT THAT EVERYTHING FROM WORCESTER MUST SUCK BY DEFAULT. WE DO NOT EXPECT TO BE UP THERE WITH SUCH GIANTS OF WEB DESIGN AS INDEPENDENCE, MISSOURI, OR EVEN NEW YORK, NEW YORK‘S RECENT UPDATE. BUT WE HOPE TO AT LEAST BEAT THE MULTITUDE OF OTHER GENERIC CITY WEBSITES WE LOOK EXACTLY LIKE. THEREFORE, WE SHALL PIT THE CITY OF WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS, AGAINST FOUR OTHER SIMILARLY-SIZED CITIES’ WEBSITES (AND TWO PERSONAL CHOICES).

TO THAT END:

METHODOLOGY

FIRST, WE PERFORM A SERIES OF TASKS ONE WOULD TYPICALLY EXPECT FROM A GOVERNMENT WEBSITE. THEN, WE COMPARE THOSE RESULTS TO THAT OF OTHER WEBSITES FROM CITIES OF SIMILAR SIZES ACROSS THE US. THEN WE ASSESS A SERIES OF ARBITRARY PENALTIES BASED ON SUBJECTIVE RAGE INDUCED BY THE PROCESS. WE SCORE LIKE GOLF (OR THE PREFERRED BIZARRO VERSION, FLOGGING); LOWER SCORES == BETTER THAN. IT COULD BE SIMPLER, BUT THEN YOU’D END UP ON A WEBSITE WHERE THE GRAPHIC DESIGNER WENT BOBBING FOR APPLES IN GASOLINE BEFORE MAKING THE ADS. AT LEAST WITH OUR FAUX-BUDGET WORDPRESS SITE YOU GET A SURPRISINGLY READABLE WEBSITE DESPITE OUR BIZARRO CAPITALIZATION AND BASED PRONOUN USAGE.

IN ALL CASES, WE ASSUME CITY HALL STAFF WOULD BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO HELP IN PERSON OR VIA PHONE WITH ANY TASKS YOU MIGHT REQUIRE OF THEM, IF FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN THAT THEY OTHERWISE HAVE TO DEAL WITH POLITICIANS ALL DAY.

 

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PROGRAMMING NOTE: “YOU IDIOT!!! YOU QUOTED HIS STUNT DOUBLE!!!!!”

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AS STATED ON OUR TWITTER ACCOUNT (WHICH WE SHALL NOT BOTHER DEALING WITH HERE), OUR LONG-AWAITED “YOUR CITY WEBSITE SUCKS” TOUR SHALL COMMENCE ON MARCH 13TH. WE SHALL COMPARE VARIOUS MUNICIPAL WEBSITES TO WORCESTER’S. THIS SPECIAL COVERAGE SHALL COINCIDE WITH SUNSHINE WEEK AND THE UPCOMING “BEST OF WORCESTER” AWARDS TO FINALLY CEMENT OURSELVES AS THE JENNY PACILLO OF THE WORCESTER BLOG SCENE!!!!!!!!

(IN AN ODD TWIST, JENNY PACILLO AM THE BIZARRO WORCESTER OF THE WORCESTER BLOG SCENE. NO IDEA HOW THAT HAPPEN.)

BUT FIRST… WE NOTE THE RECENT FLAP OVER A FACEBOOK POST WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE BEEN MADE BY THE PEOPLE’S COUNCILOR, MICHAEL GAFFNEY. IN AN ATTEMPT TO LAY THE SMACKETH DOWN ON HIS WOULD-BE IMPERSONATOR, MR. GAFFNEY REPORTEDLY TOLD SAID IMPERSONATOR TO TAKE THEIR COMMENT, SHINE IT UP REAL GOOD, TURN THAT SUMBITCH SIDEWAYS AND STICK IT UP THEIR CANDY ASS!!!!!!!!! OF COURSE, WE REPORTED THAT SO YOU SHOULD PROBABLY REFER TO THE 3 ACTUAL JOURNALISTS COVERING THIS ALONG. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO IGNORE DIANNE WILLIAMSON AND CLIVE MCFARLANE AS YOU WISH, HOWEVER.

ESPECIALLY SINCE OUR SUPERIOR TAKE AM ON MASSLIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

INSTEAD OF DISSECTING THIS CONSPIRACY JFK-STYLE AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THE POST ACTUALLY CAME FROM MR. GAFFNEY OR MERELY BACK AND TO THE LEFT, BACK AND TO THE LEFT, BACK AND TO THE LEFT… WE SHALL COMMENT ON BOTH INSTANCES OF SCHROEDINGER’S POST SO YOU HAVE TWICE THE OPINIONS TO IGNORE!!!!!!!!

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PROGRAMMING NOTE: COVERAGE OF HOW MUCH WORCESTER.GOV SUCKS, PLUS THE CASE FOR MOSAIC

AFTER OUR INTENSE COVERAGE OF THE TRUMPOCALYPSE AND THE LOCAL ELECTIONS BEFORE THAT, WE CONCEDE TO HAVING BEEN IN A STATE OF BIZARRO BURNOUT.  OUR PLUTONIUM-LINED JACKET AM TOTALLY DEPLETED!!!!!!!!! WE PLAN TO REMEDY THIS WITH AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT HOW MUCH WORCESTER.GOV, OUR CITY’S E-FACE, MAY OR MAY NOT SUCK. BUT UNTIL THEN, WE THOUGHT WE SHOULD ADDRESS THE MOST PRESSING TOPIC IN WORCESTER TODAY, DESPITE IT BEING INHERENTLY UNFUNNY: THE CASE AGAINST MOSAIC.

THOSE WHO READ THE CTRL+ALT+DEL TO OUR HOMESTUCK HAVE HEARD THE CASE AGAINST THE MOSAIC CULTURAL COMPLEX PRESENTED A MILLION TIMES, OCCASIONALLY LEGIBLE BETWEEN ADS AND MEMES THAT MAKE OUR LOW-EFFORT WORK LOOK LIKE JOHN SINGER SARGENT (WE WOULD LINK THE ARTICLES, BUT WE THOUGHT SAYING “WE HEARD FROM A FRIEND OF A FRIEND THE AUDIT MIGHT COME BACK DIRTY” AND THEN PARAPHRASING PRIOR ARTICLES ON MOSAIC TO FILL THE REST OF YOUR WORD COUNT DESERVED AN EQUAL LEVEL OF EFFORT FROM US). EVERYONE FROM JANICE HARVEY TO CHRISTOPHER PINTO RIPPED INTO THEM, AND WE EXPECT TONIGHT’S COUNCIL SESSION TO BE UGLIER THAN SEXTING WITH JOHN FRESOLO.

THEREFORE, LET US PLAY BIZARRO ADVOCATE… AND ADDRESS THE CASE FOR MOSAIC.

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TRUMP PROTEST DON’TS AND DOS

TOMORROW, THE FABRIC OF REALITY SHALL BE TESTED LIKE NEVER BEFORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DONALD TRUMP SHALL BE SPEAKING IN WORCESTER TOMORROW ON NOVEMBER 18TH AT THE DCU CENTER AT 7 PM. THIS SHALL BE PART OF HIS “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN EXCLAMATION POINT” TOUR; APPROPRIATE SINCE AS WE ALL KNOW, AMERICA SUCKS AND WORCESTER AM EXHIBIT A.

SHOCKINGLY, WE HAVE LEARNED THERE MAY BE PEOPLE IN WORCESTER WHO DO NOT LIKE TRUMP!!!!! SOME OF THEM MIGHT EVEN DISLIKE HIM ENOUGH TO… PROTEST??? IN WORCESTER?!?!?!?!?!? UNTHINKABLE!!!!!!!!! UNPOSSIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! COMPLETELY UNEXPECTED IN A CITY WHERE WE NEVER SEE ANYONE PROTEST ABOUT ANYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE NERVE OF SOME PEOPLE, DISRESPECTING THE MOST ESTEEMED SPEAKER TO VISIT WORCESTER SINCE THE GREAT CARLOS MENCIA!!!!!!!!!!

OF COURSE, SECURITY SHALL BE AT MAXIMUM. WE HAVE HAD A RECENT BREAK-IN AT THE ARMY RESERVES BUILDING, FUELING SPECULATION THAT SOMEONE MIGHT BE UNBALANCED ENOUGH TO ASSASSINATE A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, EVEN IF TRUMP HAVE LESS CHANCE OF GETTING ELECTED THAN WE DO. ACCORDINGLY, WE HAVE HEARD THAT SECURITY MEASURES DEPLOYED INCLUDE UNDERCOVER OFFICERS AND EXPLODING DOGS.

WITH TENSIONS AT AN ABSOLUTE MAXIMUM, WE THEREFORE HAVE TAKEN IT UPON OUR BIZARRO SELVES TO INTERVENE IN THE INTERESTS OF PUBLIC SAFETY. WE HAVE RECENTLY PUBLISHED A LIST OF DON’TS AND DO’S FOR PROTESTING, WHICH WE NOW PRESENT ONLINE FOR YOUR EDIFICATION!!!!!!!!!! THIS WAY, WITH NEWS MEDIA FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO BOTH EXERCISE YOUR FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT AND AVOID BEING CRUSHED BY HEAVY STONES FROM TRUMP’S PRIVATE SECURITY BARBARIANS.

THINK OF US AS THE LOVE CHILD OF EMILY POST AND ABBIE HOFFMAN.

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THE 2015 WORCESTER ELECTIONS: A RAMBLING RECAP OF THE BEST, THE WORST, AND THE INVETTIBLE

FOREMOST AND FIRST, WE THANK ALL VOTERS WHO WENT TO THE POLLS IN SPITE OF NOT BEING ABLE TO WRITE IN A BIZARRO VOTE. WE KNOW THIS MADE YOUR CHOICE DIFFICULT.

ALTHOUGH WE CANNOT CLAIM A TRUE SENSE OF PRIDE OVER A 21.3% TURNOUT (DESPITE IT BEING THE HIGHEST TURNOUT BY PERCENTAGE SINCE 2009, AS NOTED BY BIG SMARTY-PANTS REPORTER AND SPELLCHECK-BREAKER NICK KOTSOPOULOS), WE CAN AT LEAST TAKE SOLACE THAT IT TROUNCED 2013’S TURNOUT OF 14.4%!!!!!

THEREFORE, LET US TAKE A LOOK AT SOME OF THE WINNERS AND LOSERS OF THE 2015 ELECTIONS IN WORCESTER.

SPOILER: NONE OF THE LOSERS SHALL BE US. WE GOT ALL OUR PREDICTIONS RIGHT. ESPECIALLY OUR PICK FOR MAYOR.

 

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THE BIZARRO WORCESTER TICKET

INTIMIDATED BY THE BALLOT??

CONFUSED BY WORCESTER’S MEGABUCKS-STYLE COUNCIL ELECTION PROCESS????

LOOKING FOR OUR BIZARRO TICKET TO MAKE YOUR VOTING LIVES EASIER ON NOVEMBER 3RD?!?!?!?!?!?

LOOK NO FURTHER, CITIZEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WE HAVE ALREADY MADE PREDICTIONS REGARDING THE WORCESTER ELECTIONS FOR SCHOOL COMMITTEE, CITY COUNCIL AND MAYOR, WHICH WE GUARANTEE TO BE AT LEAST 1% ACCURATE, AND WHICH WE MADE PROBABLY WAY TOO PREMATURELY. BUT EVEN THOUGH WE CAN RIG THE ELECTIONS WITH ONE SNAP OF OUR FINGERS, WE UNDERSTAND SOME OF YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW WHO WE WOULD VOTE FOR IF SUCH A THING WERE NOT AN ABOMINATION IN BIZARRO WORLD.

WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND BLOC VOTING (AS HAVE LESSER BLOGS) AND WE UNDERSTAND OTHER MORE RESPECTABLE SITES SHALL BE GIVING ENDORSEMENTS IN THE NEXT 2-3 MONTHS IF THEY HAVE NOT ALREADY. WE WOULD DO THE SAME. JUST ONE PROBLEM…

WE DO NOT HAVE A BIZARRO TICKET.

NYEH HEH HEH HEH HEH HEH HEH!!!!!!!!!!

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COUNTDOWN TO THE INVETTIBLE: THE 2015 WORCESTER ELECTIONS!!!!! (SEPTEMBER RECAP)

THE PRELIMINARIES HAVE GONE AND COME. THROUGH OUR DEFT SUBLIMINAL MESSAGE CAMPAIGN USING THE FIRST LETTERS OF EVERY SENTENCE IN JANICE HARVEY’S WORCESTER MAGAZINE COLUMNS, WE SUCCESSFULLY MANAGED TO SAY “TGIUTLYHIGHLIGEUYTIUITRIYW” AND BOOST PRELIMINARY TURNOUT TO 11.2%!!!!!

PITIFUL THOUGH THIS MAY BE, WE AT LEAST ESCAPED THE IGNOMINY OF A TURNOUT EVEN MORE ABYSMAL THAN 2011. THEREFORE, NOW THE TIME HAVE COME FOR A PREMATURE CELEBRATION!!!!!!!! WE WERE PLEASED ENOUGH WITH OUR INFORMAL RANKINGS TO GLOAT FAR BEYOND OUR TALENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AS A RESULT, WE PRESENT A LOOK AT THE WINNERS AND/OR LOSERS THUS FAR, INCLUDING A FEW OFFHAND PREDICTIONS WE SHALL COMPLETELY DENY HAVING MADE LATER.

ONE MORE THING BEFORE THE REST OF OUR GLORIOUS ARTICLE: WE HAVE A MESSAGE FOR ALL THE CANDIDATES, INCLUDING THOSE STILL IN THE RUNNING, FORCED OUT, AND THOSE WHO SIMPLY WITHDREW

… THANK YOU.

 

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PROGRAMMING NOTE: TWO-MONTH HIATUS… PLUS TURNOUT TALK!!!!!

IT AM WITH THE GREATEST SADNESS WE CAN MUSTER IN BIZARRO WORCESTER THAT WE MUST RELEASE YOU CITIZENS FROM OUR IRON-FISTED CLUTCHES UNTIL SEPTEMBER. BUT BEFORE WE DEPART, WE HAVE ONE FINAL COMMENT ON THE UPCOMING 2015 WORCESTER ELECTIONS.

THE SUMMER AM FAST APPROACHING ITS HEAT-DEATH. IN ONE MONTH ON SEPTEMBER 8TH, A CROWD OF 16 AT-LARGE COMBATANTS SHALL BE REDUCED TO 12, WHILE THE UNRULY CROWD OF 4 GLADIATORS FROM DISTRICT 2 SHALL BE SLASHED IN HALF. REALITY SHOWS CAN ONLY DREAM OF BEING SO EFFICIENT!!!!!

WE HAVE HAD TALKS ABOUT RACE, POLICE, EDUCATION AND EVEN THE INTERNETS!!! WE EVEN HAVE A CONTROVERSY WITH POTENTIAL TO DRIVE PEOPLE ON BOTH SIDES TO THE POLL BOOTHS!!!!!!! WE ONLY RARELY SEE LOCAL POLITICS THIS HEATED. WE HAVE HAD AN UNPRECEDENTED NUMBER OF PROTESTERS AND POLITICIANS AND JOURNALISTS AND PUNDITS AND BLOGGERS AND TWEETERS TAKE A STAND OF SOME KIND ON SO MANY ISSUES AFFECTING WORCESTER, BOTH FROM WITHOUT AND WITHIN. IT WOULD BE A TRAVESTY INDEED IF THE SUM TOTAL OF SO MANY PEOPLE’S LABOR… SHOULD BE SINGLE-DIGIT TURNOUT, AS WE FEAR.

THEREFORE, WE SHALL INDEED BE PAYING CLOSE ATTENTION TO THIS ELECTION. IN OCTOBER, WE SHALL POST OUR OFFICIAL BIZARRO PICKS TO AID THOSE WHO FIND NARROWING TWO COMPETITIVE FIELDS DOWN TO 6 CANDIDATES TOUGHER THAN CHOOSING MUNCHKINS FOR A STAFF MEETING. WE WOULD DO THE SAME FOR THE 16 AT-LARGE CANDIDATES NOW, BUT THIS PRELIMINARY ELECTION AM MORE ABOUT CAMPAIGN OUTREACH THAN LEGISLATIVE PROWESS. WE DO NOT EXPECT THE TOP 12 TO BE TOO DIFFERENT FROM OUR PREDICTIONS. BARRING RON O’CLAIR MAKING THE CUT, WE CARE LITTLE FOR WHO SHOULD ADVANCE TO NOVEMBER.

WHAT WE SHALL BE WATCHING MOST AM THE TURNOUT.

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PREPARE FOR A MATH LESSON, DUNCES!!!!!!!!!!

 

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