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July 23, 2008

Dropping The Jägerbomb

The eons-long feud that has simmered between Staten Island and the Jersey Shore boiled over last week after a few ill-conceived remarks from a public official garnered coverage up and down the Jersey and New York shorelines. For those who find themselves in the good fortune to reside in areas where this story does not exist, here's a brief recap of the major events.

Friday, July 4, 2008: Belmar Mayor Ken Pringle decides to celebrate America's birthday by publishing inflammatory remarks concerning Staten Island youth who frequent his town for the sole purpose of "having a good time." In particular, Pringle relates the tale of one all-female fight in a local bar:

As the Staten Island girl was pummeling the Boonton girl's face, she used the hand she was still holding her drink glass in. Now, we're not sure if the glass was stuck to her hand ‘cause of all the hair spray or if this is a technique Staten Island girls learn in Brownies, but we are thankful she left her brass knuckles and straight razor in her other purse.

He continues, "Journalistically speaking, 'SI woman punched other woman' is right up there with 'Dog bites man.'"

Jersey Kids

The Jersey Shore fights back.

Pringle would add colorfully to his sociological assessment of Staten Island, and adapt it largely to offend other, overlapping, populations, highlighting "guidos" in general, whom the mayor said are "as welcome as, oh, Canada Geese" (unfunny), and "blondes" who reportedly told a code enforcement officer they had a mountain of garbage in the backyard because they didn't know how to take out the trash (slightly more funny).

Wednesday July 16, 2008, 10:35 pm: The Staten Island Advance breaks the story. New York-based interviewees agree the mayor is "ignorant." The mayor promises to quit distributing his newsletter.

Thursday, July 17, 2008, 10:44 pm: The New York Daily News publishes its account, affectionately headlined, "Hey, Joisey clown, say dat to my face."

Friday, July 18, 2008, 7:28 am: The New York Post gets wind of the story and runs "DAMN SON OF A BEACH!." Lead line: "Guidos to Belmar's mayor: Hey, shudduppa you face!"

Friday, July 18, 2008, 10:01 am: The New York Times enters the fray—though with a less-amusing headline—detailing Staten Islanders' collective wish that Mayor Pringle visit for a "face-to-face."

The mayor discontinues his newsletter, and apologizes while defending his use of the word "guido": "A name that causes the blood of older Italian-Americans to boil at sight (much less when they are led to believe it was used as a slur by a mayor) is used every day throughout the Tri-State area by hordes of 20-somethings, not to mention dozens if not hundreds of bars and nightclubs, and even by radio stations, and the ads they run, none of whom associate it with any ethnic group, much less consider it an ethnic slur. I wish I had an answer for how to reconcile these views."

A press release from the Staten Island Good Neighbor Association says: "The group wants the mayor who insulted Staten Island to spend 24 hours in the crown island jewel of New York. He would be treated to the local cuisine, including a night at the Staten Island Hotel." The association, it continued, wants to "take him on a tour of the place people love to dump on." Something tells Gelf that the mayor might just take them up on that.

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- Politics
- posted on Jul 23, 08

Oh, come on guys - do you gotta drink the Staten Island haterade? I don't really care what the mayor of Belmar says, but let's give the old forgotten borough a break.

- Politics
- posted on Jul 24, 08
David G

So you're saying that you disagree with the statement that "Journalistically speaking, 'SI woman punched other woman' is right up there with 'Dog bites man.'"?
Which part?

- Politics
- posted on Jul 24, 08

Well, I do disagree with that statement, but that's not what I was referring to. I was kind of in a homesick mood last night, I'd guess, so I felt like defending SI. I just think that anything that mentions "Staten Island" and "guido" in the same breath, as inevitable as it that will sometimes be, is a a sad setback for my misunderstood hometown.

- Politics
- posted on Jul 24, 08

Vin, I think you and all native Staten Islanders have to deal with the same question plaguing the WNBA right now. Is it better to be ridiculed or forgotten?

- Politics
- posted on Jul 24, 08

--says the guy from Jersey

- Politics
- posted on Jul 24, 08
Slim Charles

Even Staten Island guidos no doubt look down on the likes of Baltimore. At least we're not Alabama!

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