A Critical Overview of The Stranger
I have been informed by my inferiors that more "diversity" is desired in this column. What this means, apparently, is that some of the people whose drivel is reliably beneath comment have taken my silence as a slight (which, indeed, it is). Worse, I understand the slighted recently gathered in the basement of some wretched communal-living arrangement over on Beacon Hill and—after a meeting that was presumably two parts feminist séance and one part opportunist's manifesto—determined that because a majority of the whiners present were women and/or arts writers (unfortunately not, in these post-brassiere-burning days, mutually exclusive categories), my column is both sexist and anti-art.
Of course, these bleats of self-diagnosed victimhood are simply being used as a shield from the truth by a clutch of spineless wimps who, as my old boxing pupil Jack Nicholson has said many a time, can't handle the truth. Fine then: I will show them what happens when I abandon all mercy and turn my pitiless monocle toward their work. First we find JEN GRAVES quivering like a child at the sight of a puppet show. Need I remind you that she is the paper's art critic, a position that requires at least a modicum of courage? And yet puppets are enough to send her spiraling into lines of frightened babble meant to buttress her contention that "the entire political situation of the 20th century" has been called into question. By puppets? My newborn great-granddaughter Ainsley has shown more fortitude in less than a fortnight on this grim planet—and in the face of teddy bears and dancing mobiles no less.
Next we find the silken-haired ERICA GRANDY staring once again into the abyss that is her vocabulary and responding by inventing a whole new language with which to discuss her latest pets, the "Animal Collective." I honestly do not want to know what Ms. Grandy thinks is being communicated with the phrase "dirty MP3 trunk-rattle," nor would I ever want to purchase a phonographic recording that "combines jammy psychedelia and tasteful obscurantism"—especially not if that string of six words means what I think it means, in which case she should have been arrested the moment she tapped it out with her index fingers.
Finally, we come to a bloated monstrosity of a section apparently devoted to the natterings of one LINDY WEST, who has already disappointed me on many occasions. When I saw that she was charged with directing this year's guide to the Seattle International Film Festival, I assumed—correctly, it turns out—that even more subversive foreign movies than ever before would be dangerously summarized in the incomprehensible tongue of Ms. West and her brood, thus sowing even more un-American sentiment in our fair city than ever before. In a word: treason.
Ladies and/or arts writers, I have, as requested, given you my full attention. If we're lucky, it was as painful an experience for you as it was for me and we shall never have to repeat it again.