August 17, 2007

Another Gadfly

First, it was Karen Gadbois in the Times-Pic:
"That's a massive amount of housing to take out of a neighborhood as a neighborhood is trying to maintain its vitality," said Karen Gadbois, a preservation-minded gadfly who maintains the Web site www.squanderedheritage.com, where the discussion is taking place.
Now, Matt McBride in the New York Times:
Matt McBride, an engineer who became an anti-corps gadfly on flood-protection issues, left the city along with his wife after deciding he simply did not trust the new system.
Hooray for gadflies.

I understand that gadfly is a compliment. But it just sounds weird. I don’t know if everyone, including me, gets the classical allusion.

According to Wikipedia:
During his defense when on trial for his life, Socrates, according to Plato's writings, pointed out that dissent, like the tiny (relative to the size of a horse) gadfly, was easy to swat, but the cost to society of silencing individuals who were irritating could be very high. "If you kill a man like me, you will injure yourselves more than you will injure me," because his role was that of a gadfly, "to sting people and whip them into a fury, all in the service of truth."
How about "active citizen" or "citizen-activist." Or, "blogger," to give us a little credibility.

5 comments:

Marco said...

We need hordes of gadflies to smother D.C. Good post.

The German said...

If Socrates was a gadfly, I am but a mere housefly.

Karen said...

Matt is my hero..honestly.

The first time I saw him make a presentation at City Council I almost fell out of my chair.

It was at that point that I realized if you paid attention to one thing, and did that night and day,you become the "expert"


Blog On!

Matt said...

I tried to get that word pulled, but they stuck with it.

m.d. said...

It really is a compliment. Wear it with gadfly pride.

Maybe get a gadfly patch or something.