Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lord of The Flies Hoboken Reader Circle June 16th: Does this Apply to Hoboken?

Tonight June 16th the Hoboken Readers’ Circle book group will discuss LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding.

This group offers events about books that are a pleasure to read and to discuss. The Readers’ Circle book group is a community event open to all book lovers. Bring a friend. Meetings are held the 3rd Thursday of the month at 7:00pm in the All Saints Episcopal Church. Free coffee and cake is served. For more info write

The All Saints Episcopal Church is located at 7th and Washington Street across from Dunkin Donuts.

For Discussion: Do the concepts and characters in this book apply to Hoboken's current political situation? Here is how I see it. Feel free to comment below:

Piggy- This is Mike Lenz. Mike Lenz was and still is the rational one about the budget and many other issues when he was on City Council. He has a strong intellect like Piggy but not not necessarily the political charisma to win people over emotionally. As a by-product of him reminding everyone else what the limits on budgets were and other such realities (those Long Lenz Lectures) he became despised by the "Old Guard" faction represented by Jack in the Lord of the Flies. The "Old Guard" coalesced around Tim Occhipiniti who threw the proverbial rock at Michael and took him out in November of 2010 in a an alleged massive vote buying operation that set records on local political corruption and election fraud.

The rabble that embodies the "Old Guard" doesn't like to be lectured on fiscal realities and Mike Lenz was that messenger. Since he spoke well, he had to be taken out as Piggy was in the book. It should be noted that Mike Lenz has since lost a significant amount of weight since but the analogy between him and "Piggy" is something I can't overlook.

Ralph- This role is played by Dawn Zimmer. Dawn took the City of Hoboken by surprise and won the Mayorship at the polls after 3 attempts. She didn't necessarily do it on her extensive business acumen but rather built up enough of a grass roots movement that built up her as a political figure. Ralph too initially appealed to the desire of civility and professionalism but once primal needs took over Jack took the leadership role and Ralph eventually ended up alone toward the end of the book and hunted. The obsession with the hunt could be viewed as the depletion of the surplus to zero by the "Council of No" (a sub faction of the "Old Guard") as the ultimate height of irresponsibility.

Well, that narrative is what the "Old Guard" would like you believe: that Dawn Zimmer is all alone. That may be true at the County and State level amongst developer Democrats like Menendez but she still has plenty of support in Hoboken and control of the City Council. The more civilized BnRs might not be very vocal about it but they certainly don't want a Mike Russo or a Beth Mason to be running the City.

Ralph like Zimmer in the story had some setbacks but eventually survived. Will that hold true for Dawn Zimmer in the 2013 election? Stay tuned.

Jack- This character is represented by Hoboken's "Old Guard" . Beth Mason, Mike Russo, Tim Occhipinti, and the whole gang of others really embody what Jack was in the book Lord of the Flies. Jack was charismatic to his barbaric base and had aggressive leadership qualities but most importantly tapped into the primal urges of the boys on the island. Towards the end he had everyone still living aligned against Ralph and they converged and tried to hunt Ralph to death. If you recall in the book Ralph lived as the authorities from the ship that rescued the boys put the uncivilized hunt led by Jack to end.

Does this apply to the FBI investigation? Will the FBI's investigation and anticipated subsequent arrest and convictions prevent the "Jacks" from spearing our current Mayor to death in a political sense? Stayed tuned for the bumpy ride. ◦