Over at Slog, ECB sticks it to Knute Berger for his latest column on Crosscut (you know, that online “newspaper” that has no news and no paper), and while I genuinely like Skip personally… Erica’s kinda got a point. There’s a “Blast From the Past” like quality to the Brewster/Berger/Van Dyk crowd that fails to connect with mere 16-year transplants like myself. Their’s is a Seattle more commonly found in history books than in, um… Seattle.
But I was particularly struck by Erica’s snide comment on Skip’s snide comment about Mayor Greg Nickels’ supposed call for secession:
Nickels’s “call for secession,” as Berger surely realizes, was a joke.
Or does he? This is the second column in a row in which Skip has raised this canard, to which I previously (and sarcastically) responded:
Berger dismisses Nickels’ assertion that his call for secession was “tongue-in-cheek” because apparently, journalists are much more capable of climbing inside the heads of their subjects than their subjects themselves, and no politician could ever be subtle enough to deliberately suggest an absurdity purely for dramatic effect.
In writing that sentence I was very conscious of my own recent run-in with the joke police, when the Times’ David Postman rejected my explanation that my intent was satirical when I responded in kind to BIAW charges of eco-Nazism. In his headline, Postman put the word “satire” in quotes, clearly refusing to accept my explanation as anything but an ex post facto excuse.
So I feel Nickels’ pain. Nickels denies that he really supports secession, in the same way that I denied that I really think the BIAW are Nazis. (Compare that to the BIAW, who passionately defend their assertion that our state’s stormwater regulations are the environmental equivalent of the Nuremberg Laws.) In both cases, journalists have concretely taken our original comments at face value, while stubbornly refusing to do the same when we explain that we were speaking tongue-in-cheek. Apparently, they did not find it funny, so it couldn’t possibly have been joke… a standard by which the bulk of sitcoms would be properly classified as reality television.
Years back, before I started blogging, I responded to yet another Eyman tax-cutting initiative by writing an update to Jonathan Swift’s classic satire “A Modest Proposal,” in which I proposed slaughtering students who failed the WASL, and using their flesh to supplement our school lunch programs. My column was instantly rejected by the Times and P-I, but the editors of the TNT mulled it over for weeks, eventually declining due to the consensus opinion that their readers “lacked the satire gene.”
I’m beginning to wonder if our journalists suffer from the same genetic defect?
Proud To Be An Ass spews:
Satire is in the eye of the beholder. Speculation as to why it is there and not somewhere else is above my pay grade.
Daddy Love spews:
I got yer genetic defect right here.
Dave Reichert, along with the rest of the Washington Republican congressional delegation, voted against Mothers Day.
Only a Republican. To them, slowing down the pace of events in Congress is more important. That’s why they were elected, right?
Daddy Love spews:
Re: the Senate ethics committee decision yesterday exonerating Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) over his use of the “D.C. Madam’s” call girls. The Senate cleared him because the prostitution occurred when he was in the House — and the House can’t punish him because he left for the Senate. The madam, meanwhile, killed herself by hanging last week.
Business as usual in the Republican caucus. Let’s block some legislation, boys!
Roger Rabbit spews:
“I denied that I really think the BIAW are Nazis.”
But … what do you really think of the BIAW, Goldy? What you can’t (or won’t) say in public, I mean? Hell, I don’t have your inhibitions. I say what I think! The BIAW are wildlife haters!! They’d cut down every tree and pave over every scrap of grass if we didn’t regulate them! Of course they’re not pure Nazis — Hitler loved animals. He didn’t love people, though. And neither does the BIAW; the only thing they love is money. They’re impure, neo-type, small “n” nazis, like our unpatriotic goatfucking fascist troll friends.
Goldy, you have to admit, the actions and statements of the GOP over the last 7 or so years (oh hell, the last 30 years) have made it extremely difficult for even an intelligent person to identify satire. So I would say the cause isn’t genetic in this case, it’s more likely to be environmental.
the sense of satire is missing in the pacific northwest genes.
also, humor generally, to be funny it has to have a bite and that’s not nice.
I mean, “nice.”
Roger, I’ve looked into them a little further and the BIAW is indeed wack – and it seems that they started off that way. As someone who works in building construction, I have some real issues with L&I. But they’re not commie-fascists. All L&I employees I come into contact with are very good people. I very much enjoy working with them for that, even though what they do in this particular arena wherein I work I consider to be a large waste of effort. However, they are receptive to suggestions for improvement. They are courteous. They’re real people. That BIAW demonizes such decent people with hate rhetoric should be a larger concern to all decent Washington citizens – liberal or conservative. I appreciate anything Goldie does to bring this to people’s attention. With luck and some hard work, we just might be able to pull the plug on a majority of their funding – castrate them financially.
Steve, your the one thats a little wacked.
BIAW gets their funding from contractors and
its fully voluntary. Unlike the labor unions
who steal their members dues and give it to
Democrats (never could figure out that love
affair) so if you think you can end BIAW
then I believe you may be starting WWIII.