Of Asterisks and Small Pols

When the city government tries to play satire police with the press, everyone with a sense of humor -- and a belief in the Constitution -- should be concerned

No, I just wanted to point out that some liberal politicians who think they're all in favor of human rights are actually quite willing to stomp on a major part of the most important declaration of the rights of man ever written -- the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights -- when it suits their temporary political purposes.

Just about now, I was going to suggest that the small pols apologize for their thoughtless mistreatment of the Constitution, but I don't want to play the kind of game the Human Rights Commission seems so practiced at.

What Ammiano, Heinicke, and their governmental kinfolk really need to do is rent a bunch of old Warner Bros. cartoons, pour 10 or 12 shots of tequila apiece, and see if they can't relocate their satire glands.


Particularly after this column is published, I imagine SF Weeklywill have angered enough S.F. politicians, small and larger, ultraleft and otherwise, that they and their hangers-on might try to keep this Puni teapot-tempest alive for another month or two or three.

This seems like a waste of time for everyone involved. I'm not going to quit believing in political satire or the First Amendment. They're probably not going to stop despising SF Weekly's irreverence and political independence.

So I've decided to propose a compromise. Isn't politics, after all, the art of same?

It's very simple. The small pols get everything they want, without doing anything they haven't already done. Here's the deal:

I will apologize not just for the elements of Siegler's cartoon that reference Latinos, but for each and every derogatory element in the strip. (To avoid repeating the elements that have been deemed racially offensive, I will use strategically placed asterisks.)

As I said, the tiny pols don't have to do a thing. They can just continue pretending to be unable to recognize satire and irony when they read it.

Got it? Great. Here goes.

SF Weekly is now officially ever so sorry and offers abject and ever so sincere apologies to all of the following Mission District denizens:

Cell phone yuppies; mapless tourists; strung out junkies; wigged out crackheads; old school L*****s; young hip L*****s; STD laden ho bags; smooth talking pimps; washed up johns; religious pamphleteers; 99 cent shopkeepers; parole violators; N*****o gangbangers; S****o gangbangers; freelance gangbangers; young v**o l***s; beat l**o c****s; no hablo espanolos; drunken hooligans (I***h); drunken hooligans (Regular); Neanderthal frat boys; tacky thong wearing skanks; sleazy ass drug dealers; lunatic pigeon feeders; Che Guevara revolutionaries; schizophrenic wackjobs; plastic bagged A***n ladies; soccer playing school skippers; Hunter S. Thompson wannabes; SF Weekly cartoonists; bitchy Marina invaders; white dot-com leftovers; geriatric t****e sellers; wandering m*******s; pregnant t******e M******s; and all others.

Again, and to repeat: We're ever so sorry we ever made fun of Mayor Newsom, Tom Ammiano, the Human Rights Commission, and anyone who ever inhabited the Mission District, and we promise to never, ever do anything like that again.

There. One political teapot-tempest peacefully resolved.

Or, as Porky Pig might say, "Th-th-th-th-that's all, folks!"

What IsThat Smell?

Unless I feel there is no choice, I lay off writing about the San Francisco Bay Guardian, because when you tell the truth about fraudulent bullshit artists marching in ideological lock step, they become angry and stir up even larger clouds of bovine stink than usual. When that happens, you may have to respond again. Inevitably, some small hint of Guardian-smell attaches to you.

Responding to every puff from the Guardian's fear-driven stink shop would be a Sisyphean task. With Carville, Begala, and Stephanopolous at my side, I wouldn't have time to run a war room against Guardian ravings and still have SF Weeklyput out the quality journalism it is known for.

So I've developed a strategy: occasional retaliation, or "OR." When an oozing, stinking berm of GuardianistaBS reaches a certain level, I take the OR power-washer of truth to it. If undertaken only occasionally, at the proper time, at no great length, and with a spoonful-of-sugar attitude, such cleansing of the public forum can almost be entertaining.

Now is a proper time.


Of late, you may have noticed (or been unable to avoid) some elements of a smelly BS-offensive emanating from Brugmann-land (or would that be Brugmania?). As usual, in this offensive, the Guardianistashave depicted SF Weeklyand its parent company, New Times, as conscienceless violators of all norms of civil society. Think of Col. Gen. Grubozaboyschikov of SMERSH in the old James Bond novels, crossed with John D. Rockefeller, Osama bin Laden, and the grand vizier of the Ku Klux Klan, and you've got an understated notion of the Guardian's take on New Times.

Among other efforts, the Guardian's stink-attack has included numerous, voluminous, widely distributed, and poorly written Brugmann e-mails claiming SF Weeklyis pro-Iraq War, even though our lead news columnist, Matt Smith, and I have both opined repeatedly over many, many months against the war and George Bush. Then there was the long-shot labor lawsuit, filed against New Times in Ohio, that Guardianeditor Tim Redmond apparently felt had extraordinary meaning to San Franciscans. Also, the Guardianrecently implied, SF Weeklyhad put itself in league with the Satans of downtown business by misbooking what was believed to be a public service ad.

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