What do I do when there’s nothing I feel like writing about? I mock the opinions of my fellow citizens and the rag newspaper that disseminates them with another installment of my award winning* series, Riffing on Mail Call!
(*Last year it won the coveted Cursey Award for Best Blog Series Written in Response to a Stupid Feature in the Herald-Mail. That was a crowded category, as you might imagine. And just because I never publicized it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.†)
(†Although in this case it didn’t.)
These comments were culled from the June 24 edition of Mail Call, published by Hagerstown’s paper of record, the Old Gray Lady with progressive nonfluent aphasia, the Herald-Mail.
“The Saturday paper: I read about the 10-year-old girl that died of cancer, got her last wish. She wanted to see the Disney movie Up. But what I can’t believe is it was put on page 12, A12, and the front page, they put ‘School system gets $9.4 million in stimulus funds.’” - Clear Spring
You’re right, a child getting to see a movie is far more important to the people of Washington County than the millions of dollars in new funding doled out to their schools. This is actually a rare instance where the Herald-Mail did something right. The story about the girl seeing Up before she died belonged on page A12 — and that’s assuming it deserved to be in the newspaper at all. It’s a human interest story. It’s sweet, it’s sad, it’s nice the girl got her last wish. But it’s not news. Ashley and I joke all the time that one day we’ll pick up a copy of the Herald-Mail and the front page story will be some useless Marlo Barnhart write-up about the pastor of a local church, and then buried in one of the back pages will be a story bearing the headline “Six Dead in Bloody Prison Riot, Eleven Confirmed Escaped and At-Large in Hagerstown Area.”
It’s really not that far-fetched.
“Just remember that Obama and the White House Mafia ‘own’ the mainstream media, and through it, can feed you all the ‘blabber blast’ and ‘sweet talk’ they want. It’s not necessarily anything close to the truth, it’s just what they want to sell you to get you to do what they need to their own agendas. Remember this if you watch ABC’s ‘Obama infomercial’ this Wednesday.” – Hagerstown
What I’d like to “know” is who “typed” those “quotation” “marks” around “own” and “blabber blast” and “sweet talk,” and so forth. Don’t most people call their comments in? Isn’t that why the feature is titled Mail Call? Was the talk-radio drone who called this in just so affected that the intern who typed it up felt compelled to add the quotes in order to accurately transcribe the call? I’d also like to know what this (I’m going out on a limb here) fella’s idea of the truth is, and where he goes to get it. Does he get it from Sean Hannity? Because I listen to Hannity almost every day. Two days ago I heard him accuse Barack Obama of being too much of an ideologue. Sean Hannity. That’s either an appalling lack of self-awareness or shameless dishonesty. Either way, it’s not what I’m looking for in someone I turn to for “the truth.”
“I find it rather interesting, people complaining about the upkeep of the golf course, especially since the taxpayers are subsidizing it. I have another question. Why? And why do we subsidize the airport? If it’s not making money, sell it. Sell both of them. And also, why is HCC called Hagerstown Community College, when it’s not even in the city?” – Hagerstown
“And another thing, why can’t we kill a few of those ducks in City Park for table meat? They’re just taking up space swimming around in there, and do you know how hard it is to find good duck around here? And why do we call it the ‘Post Office’ instead of the ‘Mail Office’? And why won’t the nurse tell me what the purple pill is?”
If it was in the city, they’d call it Hagerstown City College. Durr.
“Just watching TV, about all the unrest in Iran, and how much CNN is - how much coverage they’re providing for it. Why didn’t they do the same thing when George Bush was in office and suppressed the people so that they couldn’t march in protest?” – Halfway
Did I miss protestors being shot dead in the street during the Bush administration? I hate to take up for George, but I’m pretty sure he vetoed it every time Cheney suggested executing a few of the peasants to maintain order. George W. Bush was a horribly inept president, an embarrassment to us and the rest of the world, but comparing him to the murdering thugs who run Iran only kills the credibility of whatever argument you’re trying to make.
“I’m calling concerning the write-up in Monday, June 22, paper, about the senior citizen center at the junior college. I think that should be looked into very, very, very much, because I agree with the write-up. There’s gonna be too much traffic, and it should be looked into. I have two senior citizens that’ll be going to the center, and I don’t like it at all. Please print this. Everybody needs to be heard.” – Hagerstown
You have two senior citizens? How are they? Because I’ve been thinking about getting one for around the house here, just to liven the place up. Are they good with pets? And what about cleanliness? If they’re just gonna shuffle around dropping used Kleenex everywhere, I’m not getting one.
This last one isn’t from Mail Call, but from a story in yesterday’s Herald-Mail about Hager Hall, a local convention center, being fined by the liquor board for a male revue that danced there on April 25.
Inspectors for the liquor board testified at a hearing last week that some of the male dancers led women in the audience onto the stage. Inspectors also said women stuffed dollar bills in the dancers’ clothing.
One dancer stood behind a customer on stage and simulated having sex with her, inspectors said.
. . . Joe Rouse, an attorney who co-owns the Hager Hall building and is part of the business, said he didn’t think the actions violated a state law prohibiting bare buttocks or breasts within 6 feet of patrons at an establishment where alcohol is served.
But Robert L. Everhart, the liquor board’s chairman, stressed a provision banning “acts or simulated acts of sexual intercourse” if an establishment has a liquor license.
So bare buttocks and breasts are allowed within six feet of patrons at establishments where alcohol isn’t served? In that case, next time the male revue comes through they should book the Golden Corral instead.