Ok Clampatriots, what do Trumpian idiocy, dubious startup ideas, Russian Facebook bots, Incest accusations and the Fuller School all have in common? If you picked “Contributing factors listed on Jim’s soon-to-be-executed involuntary psychological commitment form” you would be correct. You would also be correct if out in your conspiracy shed you had red yarn going from all these things pinned to a photo of one Diana E Ploss.
Who is this woman? Why is she here? For many people she just seemed to drop out of the sky onto the Blackburn Rotary in almost passable human form but gibbering incoherently about immigrants, local Republican activists the Orlando Family and Agenda 21. Many of us, however, have had her in and out of our orbits for the past couple of years.
Here is my own experience, in handy “timeline” format.
- Plosstic Fantastic I first became aware of her a couple of years ago when she was pushing her “startup” Pur Sip, which was/is a piece of plastic as far as I can tell that had something to do with filtering water in water bottles? Maybe? I’m not clear. She’s was over at Cambridge public access TV shilling it for a while, she tried to get on Shark Tank and she was going to some of the many meet-ups in Cambridge for early-stage companies, which is fine. The problem was she treated this piece of plastic like it was the recipe to turn Rice Krispies into carbon nanotubes.
But, she vociferously insisted she couldn’t talk about it. She assumed someone else at the meeting who was probably working to create cancer- curing viruses or real-time augmented reality solutions for remote emergency surgery would pretty much ditch all that and straight up steal it from her once they found out how awesome it was. Yet she insisted in going on about the thing she said she couldn’t talk about AT LENGTH to anyone unlucky enough to be within earshot. One woman I know used her Asian ethnicity to pretend to not speak English around her (and people say immigrants have no advantages in America!). Anyway, as far as I can tell Pur-Sip is no more. The URL is dead, her show is off Cambridge Public Access.
- She’s a Trump Fan Because of Course She Is Ploss next reappears when my brother-in-law does the thing I hate, which is “point out someone being an asshole in the national news who is also from Gloucester.” He sends me an article in the New York Times about this woman who is traveling around to Trump rallies with a cardboard cutout of Donald Trump who claims to be from Gloucester. Now, I don’t know everyone from Gloucester, but I know a lot of people and I see her in the picture associated with the article and recognize her, but can’t figure out how. It takes a while for me to put the pieces together and go, “Oh, it’s the annoying piece-of-plastic lady from Cambridge…she’s not from Gloucester, she’s from Cambridge. What the frick?” Here is where the Ploss Affair starts to take on the feeling of a zombie movie, where the symptoms of “the sickness” become apparent. I did what all characters do at this point, ignore it. We all thought the whole Trump campaign was a joke back then. It made sense joke product lady would be in favor of joke candidate. [I’m going to pause writing this article to take long, jerky pulls off a bottle of brown liquor and stare out my window for an uncomfortably long span of minutes….Ok, I’m back] Ploss also shows up on NPR as the “Lifelong Democrat who supported Trump.” She sounds unhinged. She’s clearly “patient zero” of this new world.
- Russian Bots Come to Gloucester Ploss shows up next on a Facebook video, at Fuller, being all wrong about the school, its sale, how the decision was made to sell it, she’s literally wrong about everything (click the image to see the video).I’ll rundown a full list of how she’s wrong after this timeline, when the bourbon hopefully starts kicking in. For now, what’s really interesting is not that she’s getting everything wrong or her terrible, terrible camera skills. What is amazing in its bald-ass attempt at fuckery is this: Look at this number of shares. 1,562 people shared this shitty video about the Fuller School in Gloucester. And very oddly, the shares are running ahead of likes, which never happens in the real world. And when you go to these shares, you start to see something weird. Bots. The vast majority of her shares are to very similar super-slim profiles with no personal images or information, just constant 24 hour-a-day forwards of right wing memes. The NYT talks about this phenomenon here. In fact, Melvin Redick – the fake profile outlined in the Times piece was one of the shares. The conclusion is simple: Ploss is either buying traffic or the Trump people gave her access to their fakeo network, the one Putin helped build to get Trump elected.. Seriously. This is happening, if you don’t believe me check out the shares yourself and tell me if there are that many people with barebones FB profiles that share a conservative meme every few minutes all day long. It’s all fake and Ploss is more botted up than a Japanese toy convention. Ploss has brought Russian social media fuckery to Gloucester. Read the Times piece and follow her shares. I feel like the scientist yelling about the zombies no one is listening to.
- Ploss Hates the Orlandos Ok, weird enough yet? Oh, sit your asses down people, remove any restrictive clothing and high-heeled shoes and prepare for some high-G maneuvering up in the Plossosphere. Shit’s gonna get real. Next we discover Ploss for some reason wants to be State Committeewoman of the local Republican something or other. I don’t really give a shit. But there is some deal where the previous chairperson moved out of state because her husband abandoned her and then Ploss accusing Amanda Orlando Kesterson of Gloucester of doing something illegal or something and Ploss gives this angry speech and storms out and it’s all very dramatic. So they do some digging and accuse Ploss of voter fraud. Dude, look, I could research this more and tell you all about it, but this effing piece is already too long, so just go read it on the “Rabid Republican Blog” which looks like it was designed in 1997 by a retired used office furniture salesman and it pains me physically to even look at it, much less actually read. Knock yourself out, if that’s your thing. Anyway, there is super-bad blood between Ploss and the Orlandos. What of the beef is substantive? I have no idea, but it once again seems to focus on the idea this woman is actually from Cambridge, where she voted, not Gloucester where she claimed to be from.
- Signature Move Kesterson wins the chairwhateverperson and Ploss is enraged. She decides to get her revenge on the Orlandos by running for Councilor at Large and unseating Republican millennial-in-a-suit Joe Orlando Junior. To do this, you need to get 150 signatures. Reports have her at Market Basket collecting signatures for an hour or so, but the signatures she eventually turns in “cannot be certified” which means what? That they’re fake? She can’t even collect 150 real signatures to run for City Council? Go to a couple of sports events and a bar ffs. Jebus. So, she’s not running. Or she’s a write-in because that totally works.
- The Return of Ploss (once again click if you still have any brain cells left)She’s back and wronger than ever. This time her “Call to Action” as we say in the business is to vote in the primary…for something. The Mayoral primary? Did she think there are councilors on the ballot in the mayoral primary? What the fuck is she talking about? The bots are back- look at those share numbers! Her piece de’ resistance is accusing the Orlando siblings of incest by comparing them to the Lannisters via lame Game of Thrones reference. Ick. That’s…just…for fuck’s sake woman. What the fucking fuck?
Have we reached Peak Ploss? Somehow I doubt it.
Analysis: A couple of things- First, Fuller was let go because it was a junk building we couldn’t do anything with. As we’ve said elsewhere, it’s like having a surplus shed on your property. You don’t sink money into the shed because it’s going to get ripped down, which is just a reality these days because a new building costs so much less here in the 21st century than rehabbing an old one, especially one with problems like asbestos. This is settled. Stop arguing about it.
Second, there is absolutely no low income housing going in to the project. None. Zero. I have no fucking idea what Ploss is talking about, her whole premise is a shit sandwich on a shit roll with a side of shitfries dipped in shit sauce. And vinegar. The current plan has the Y going there, some retail and apartments at market rate, which is probably something like $1500 for a two bedroom. The developers are making a fairly common deal where they give an in-kind donation to the city affordable housing fund. There are a whole host of problems with this and a bunch of trade-offs deserving careful evaluation, but none are related to whatever Ploss seems to be ranting about. How is this tied to illegal immigration at all? Only the noises and flashing lights in Ploss’ mind seem to understand. She has not been to one meeting or clearly read one article about this topic.
Third, the Orlandos. And this one took some Clamtropsection, peeps. It is my firm belief the normalization of Donald Trump and the Republicans who did not stand up to him and/or embraced him encouraged the the kind of behavior we’re seeing from people like Ploss. So, at first my sympathy for them was muted, especially after their posting of a Holocaust meme a couple of weeks ago right after the president of their party was pretty much cool with people hanging around with Nazis. Then I had a conversation with Jen Holmgren (side note, you should vote for Jen Holmgren) and she said one thing that made sense:
And that’s it. Not here. We don’t put up with this shit here. The Ploss thing is coming from the outside. This is our town and the Orlandos have been part of it for generations. No one has any right to come here and talk shit about them that way. You can oppose what they believe (I do) but our kids go to the same schools, we all care about this place and the people in it. Back to the zombie movie metaphor: We’re all trapped in this shopping mall. The only way through is by sticking together
What Can I do?
Ok, so we’re open to ideas here, but the most important thing to do is be vigilant. If you hear people being wrong about Fuller- correct them. Read the reports, go to the meetings or send them to people who actually know what the fuck they are talking about. Don’t let the Ploss/Putin misinformation machine get a toehold.
Next: document, document, document. Take screencaps of things she says. You can send images to the Clam where faithful members of the Underground Lair will put them with our collection.
Call the cops if you see her trespassing.
Speak out. The paper doesn’t want to report on her, in fact people told us not to report on her because “giving her attention is what she wants.” Remember how well ignoring Trump worked? Or ignoring the Nazis in Charlottesville? Speak out on social media and make sure you have your facts straight. Stand and fight. Ten years from now when people ask you about what it was like during the Trump era, you want to be able to say, “I stood up for the truth,” not “I pretty much ignored it.”
Holy fucksprinkles, someone is imprsonating Amanda Kesterson Online. Don’t friend this, report it to the police and hopefully Amanda has called the cops.
Holy shit. This is out of hand.