Courtesy of Joe Baldacci
By Emily Burnham, BDN Employees •
November 10, 2018 1:00 am
Over the previous 40 years, one in every of the most frequent and colourful writers of letters to the editor to the Bangor Daily News has been Stephen King, the Queen Metropolis’s most well-known son.
Although in newer years he’s solely despatched a number of — together with some to endorse political candidates — again in the 1980s and ’90s, King wrote to the BDN about a lot of issues. From musings on particular native points, to taking numerous ranges of difficulty with the methods the BDN did or didn’t cowl the information of the day, King didn’t mince phrases. There’s no higher instance of that than a 1985 letter expressing his outrage at the censorship of a “Doonesbury” caricature about abortion.
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We’ve collected all the letters from King we might discover, starting with a 1983 letter about the city of Hermon. We couldn’t discover the BDN story that prompted King’s letter in this particular case, however the high quality people of Hermon shouldn’t take an excessive amount of umbrage with a 35-year-old letter.
June 22, 1983
You possibly can please a few of the individuals all of the time, however you possibly can’t please all of the individuals all of the time. Mark Twain, who by no means made it as far north as Hermon, stated one thing like that.
The city supervisor of Hermon might want to erect a Mark Twain museum on my previous trailer pad, as a result of he has by no means been there — if he had been, they might have to search for yet one more author. I dread to assume what Mark Twain would have made from Hermon.
I’ve lived in Maine all my life, and individuals who know me and know my work will know I’ve had only a few dangerous issues to say about my house state. In reality, I’ve discovered a good variety of good issues to say.
In Hermon I used to be evicted from my house, harried by my landlord and somebody shot my canine. My spouse carried the poor mutt out of the again subject with one leg hanging by a string.
I’m positive there are lot of excellent individuals in Hermon, however it’s nonetheless by no means going to be considered one of my favourite locations.
Carroll Corridor | BDN
Feb. 13, 1985
My lord! I’ve been dwelling right here in Bangor for 5 years now, and I’m nonetheless Steven King to your writers and copy editors. When you don’t cease fairly quickly, I’m going to spell the identify of your newspaper The Banger Dailie Noos in my subsequent novel, which simply occurs to be set in this space (fairly good piece of blackmail, huh?).
I imply, I anticipate to be Steven King, Steven Keene, and in one memorable case even Stephen Kinney to the individuals who ship out these “Occupant” circulars, however the native paper? Come on, guys. And for those who should stick to Steven, might you no less than begin referring to our celebrated native
Baptist minister as Buddie Franckland?
April 24, 1985
I would like to thank the News in basic and Paul Reynolds in specific for censoring that nasty and vulgar “Doonesbury” strip final week. With out such guardians of ethical requirements and decency, I don’t know what I’d do. I’m positive if the strip had been run with out cuts, I might not have been in a position to stand up to the temptation to learn it and my ethical standing can be a great deal decrease than it’s, thanks to the fast motion of the News.
I additionally need to thanks on behalf of oldsters in the larger Bangor space. It’s good for us that the News employees realizes we’ve misplaced all management over our youngsters, and can be helpless to cease them studying such a vulgar piece of labor. However with the News there to make such selections for me, I do know that I — and my fellow mother and father — can loosen up. The youngsters can’t learn what isn’t there, and so their ethical requirements will stay just a bit greater.
This can be a step in the proper course — I hope it alerts the starting of a brand new News coverage and a broadening of editorial duty. You may start by refusing to run something in any respect having to do with intercourse or sexually associated illnesses; you possibly can cheer individuals up and additionally calm them down by omitting dangerous monetary information; guarantee help for our president by refusing to carry such disagreeable issues similar to his go to to the SS model of Boot Hill; and these are actually just some of the “creative management” prospects which the censoring of the “Doonesbury” strip trace at. Gents, this could possibly be a terrific step ahead for the Fourth Property! Congratulations!
Robert F. Bukaty | AP
Nov. three, 1994
On the entrance web page of the Nov. 1 challenge of USA At the moment, there’s a little squib saying that my household and I “fled the house” in order to escape hordes of trick or treaters. That is utterly misguided, and utterly dopey. We have been away Halloween weekend on household enterprise, and acquired again too late to hand out sweet. We reserve the proper to both hand out sweet on Halloween or not hand it out on a year-by-year foundation, however the concept that we could possibly be pushed out of our residence, even for a night, by little ballerinas, pirates, and Energy Rangers, is simply ridiculous.
Nov. three, 1995
[King wrote this letter just before election day in 1995, to express his disapproval of Question 1, a ballot measure that sought to prohibit local laws outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation, among other civil rights protections.]
I’ve lived in Maine my entire life, and have by no means wished to stay anyplace else. I really like the woods, the lakes, the seacoast, and the cities. Most of all, I really like the beliefs held by most Mainers, as a result of they’ve all the time appeared to me the purest distillation of these issues that make America value loving and cherishing. These beliefs embrace the concept that everybody deserves a good shake, and that nobody deserves to be handled badly as a result of they assume a sure approach or reside a sure method. A “yes” vote on Query 1 would go towards every thing I consider in, and that features sticking my nostril into the approach different individuals reside.
I urge you to vote “no” on 1.
Might 16, 1997
Neither a lighthouse nor a chickadee works for me as a license plate picture; neither says “This is the spirit of Maine as we make ready to enter the 21st century.” How a few pregnant teen-ager smoking a cigarette?
Yours for a extra correct Maine picture,
Stephen M. Katz | BDN
Nov. 19, 1998
[Matt Kinney is a Bangor native and former Main League Baseball pitcher about whom King wrote in his 1990 essay “Head Down,” detailing the 1989 Bangor Little League season, in which each Kinney and King’s son Owen participated.]
As somebody who was busted twice by the Orono police for alcohol-related misbehavior once I was 21 and a scholar at the College of Maine, my coronary heart went out to Matt Kinney once I learn the report of his arrest. There’s loads of cause to focus consideration on substance and alcohol abuse, nevertheless it also needs to be identified that the majority younger individuals drink an excessive amount of at one time or one other, and most study that the penalties — even when these penalties are restricted to how awful you are feeling on the morning after — outweigh the advantages. When athletes and celebrities have repeated issues with alcohol, information of their conduct might have a spot in the press. First classes ought to maybe be handled with slightly extra discretion and kindness, nevertheless.
My two not-so-excellent Orono adventures have been famous in the BDN’s police blotter column, the place I used to be combined in with all the others who had executed one thing dumb after getting tanked at Pat’s or the College Motor Inn or The Shamrock. Matt Kinney, on the different hand, received his very personal headline at the prime of the sports activities part’s second web page. I’m very grateful I didn’t have the burden of fame whereas I used to be nonetheless studying to be a grownup, and I don’t have a lot respect for the Bangor Daily News’ dealing with of this specific story.
Evan Agostini | Invision/AP
Aug. 11, 1999
I agree with Hugh Taylor (BDN, Aug. 10) that each one the dialogue of Christopher Smith’s “Blair Witch Project” evaluation has been an ideal factor. It’s refreshing to see an issue in the letters pages that doesn’t contain weapons or Hillary. Put me down as an enthusiastic Christopher Smith fan — in contrast to the Portland paper’s Marty Meltz, Smith is a cultural genius — however I feel he’s lifeless mistaken about the finish of “The Blair Witch Project.”
I suffered a critical accident in mid-June, and have been just about confined to mattress ever since, however the individuals at Artisan Movies despatched me a videotape copy of “Project.” I watched it for the first time with my older son close to the finish of my hospital keep, and my response to the finish was very comparable to Smith’s: You imply that’s all?
I feel that might nonetheless be my response, however I watched the movie once more with my youthful son when he got here house from New York a few month later. This time I picked up a small however very important clue in the first 15 minutes of the movie that modified my understanding of the finish utterly. I counsel Christopher Smith and anybody else who was dissatisfied to watch the movie once more, paying specific consideration to the interview with the two fishermen.
I might additionally like to thank everybody in the Bangor space who has wished me nicely in my restoration. I’ve by no means been so touched in my life.