Favorite

Irony run amok 


I wish that, just once, I could get through the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette editorial page without wanting to claw my own eyes out. Just once.

Last weekend — Saturday to be precise — I actually thought I was going to make it. Then I read Mike Masterson’s column “Tears in the fabric,” in which he bemoaned the loss of decorum in the debate over social issues. I shoulda known there’d be trouble right there.

As befitting the Halloween season, it was a jump-out-and-gitcha, sneak attack.

“Today,” he wrote, “it seems that everything, even local issues involving basic community standards, is wrongly filtered through the lenses of liberal blue or conservative red.”

Has MM come to his senses? Dare I let a bloom of hope spring up in my rocky heart?

“It seems we’ve become a nation of complacent and timid do-nothings when it comes to making our individual voices heard … Few have the spiritual fortitude to lay it on the line for worthwhile causes.”

Maybe I can make it through this one without a trip to the optometrist for a scratched cornea.

But then, out of nowhere …

“And often, when we do jump into an issue, it’s with our opinion already formed — an opinion usually based on woefully incomplete information. Few Americans appear to care to think objectively or critically anymore.”

Arrrrrgggggh! The pain! It’s so… very… painful!

Either I need to get the prescription changed on my glasses or Masterson suffered some blunt-force trauma recently, because I know he didn’t just (For those of you not up on your local publicity fiends, Laurie Taylor is the Fayetteville mother who has been arguing to every television or media outlet that will burn tape or ink — including this paper a few weeks back — that more than 70 books among the stacks of Fayetteville Public School libraries should be removed or restricted due to their “pornographic” content.)

Specifically, I’m talking about how Masterson signed on as Taylor’s wingman after reading “excerpts” of the books Taylor opposed. Then, in column after column, he proceeded to shout “filth” over all the books targeted in her crusade — including world masterpieces by Nobel Prize-winning “It has become so much easier and acceptable to pile onto a bandwagon,” Masterson wrote Saturday, “and begin mindlessly repeating the same slogan being bellowed by the hoarse person beside you.”

No comment. In the face of irony like that, what’s the point?



My tendency to strafe first and ask questions later aside, I know how to give a compliment when one is due. And one Last weekend, for instance, Brazzel fielded some of the best writing the D-G has seen in a month, in the form of a long piece about the crusty owner of an outmoded cotton gin in Keo. Ostensibly about the mechanics of it all, the piece became nothing short of a prose poem about the passage of time and the way life slips by us when we aren’t looking.

An excerpt: “When we arrived, Cole had gone for dinner, and Burgess kept watch over the machinery, plucking at the school of mosquitoes that lunged for his bare neck and forearms. As twilight camouflaged the insects, Burgess looked like a 1950s telephone switchboard operator, quickly unplugging and replugging phantom wires.” Simply lovely.

Not to lump up on Jay “Sweet Tea” Grelen any more than every single literate person I know already does, but it’s hard to understand why the D-G saw fit to bring in a professional Suth’ner for a spotlight column when one of the best Confusing. But then again, a lot of things about the D-G are.

Brazzel dazzle

David@arktimes.com

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

More by David Koon

  • The class of 2016

    First-time candidates outraged by Trump's election off the bench and into state and local races.
    • Dec 14, 2017
  • DOJ: IBERIABANK will pay $11.6M over insurance certifications

    IBERIABANK, a financial institution headquartered in Lafayette, La. with branches all over Arkansas, will pay over $11.6 million for what the Department of Justice says were violations of the federal False Claims Act in which IBERIABANK falsely certified documents in order to obtain mortgage insurance on loans from the Federal Housing Administration.
    • Dec 8, 2017
  • Brake light repair event this Saturday hopes to foil questionable police stops

    On Saturday, a group is hoping to help low-income residents of Central Arkansas remove one major reason for questionable police stops by hosting an event where they will replace brakelight bulbs and tape up cracked taillights for free.
    • Dec 8, 2017
  • More »

Most Shared

Latest in Media

  • UA cozy with D-G columnist

    An interesting element of the ongoing story of budget problems in the University of Arkansas Advancement Division has been a divide in outlook in the pages of the state's dominant news medium, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
    • Nov 21, 2013
  • Democrat-Gazette covers one of its own in story of reporter Cathy Frye's rescue

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's reports on the rescue of its reporter Cathy Frye, who was missing for days in the hot scrubby desert that is Big Bend Ranch State Park, are gripping.
    • Oct 10, 2013
  • Hodge shares his OA vision

    Roger Hodge, the new editor of Oxford American magazine, talked about his rise at Harper's, his writing philosophy and his plans for the OA before a full crowd last Wednesday at the Clinton School.
    • Sep 26, 2012
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

December

S M T W T F S
  1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31  

Most Viewed

  • Money talks

    Democratic candidates face a dilemma in Arkansas. To take on the GOP members who are firmly entrenched in the state Legislature and Congress, they will need lots of money and lots of votes. The easiest way to get more votes is to spend more money. Obscene amounts of money. And thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision and President Trump's judicial appointments, this will be our reality for a long time. The six Republicans who make up our congressional delegation have stopped pretending to care about their constituents. They vote in line with the interests of big corporations and lobbyists. They know what side their bread is buttered on.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Gratitude

    • Thanks for the information about the rally Saturday.

    • on December 15, 2017
  • Re: Money talks

    • I understand what you are saying about money, but there are always exceptions and a…

    • on December 15, 2017
  • Re: A difference

    • History is likely to move with light speed in concluding that in late 2017 society…

    • on December 14, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation