This issue marks one of those increasingly frequent occasions on which the staff of The Stranger, having run out of new ideas sometime in the mid-1990s, resorts to shameless self-cannibalism, and in doing so ends up ascending the heights of self-parody—only to immediately fall off a precipice of irrelevance and plummet into a cavern of deep boredom.
I mean, truly: How many times do they think we can bear reading another regurgitation of Democratic talking points by ELI SANDERS, who this week slanders my longtime realtor Dino Rossi with a long list of petty falsehoods? Mr. Rossi's crime? Daring to challenge that corrupt, sneaker-wearing shrew Patty Murray, who has, for far too long, held hostage a U.S. Senate that rightfully belongs in Republican hands. And how many deranged "obituaries" of African-American midgets do they think we can stomach from the likes of ADRIAN RYAN, who remains, as ever, far too gay to be a reliable chronicler of anything except his own lisping hysteria?
But the all-time worst of these rehydrations of dried-up Stranger tropes is LINDY WEST's blasphemous feature, a profane revision of papal history. I am no papist, I assure you—being a direct descendant of the Archbishop of Canterbury, I pray in the direction of holy England, not the depraved vomitoriums of Rome—but I do know a tired idea when I read one 26 weeks out of the year. Is there a single person on the planet who remains confused as to whether The Stranger is out to destroy Catholicism for its "crime" of calling perverts perverts? (And its related crime of not allowing a young DAN SAVAGE to fornicate with other altar boys lo those many years ago during the reign of St. Pius X?) There is not. Yet this week, Miss West bangs out yet another deranged anti-Catholic screed as if this paper's papaphobia is "breaking news," causing all reasonable readers to reply with a hearty, as she likes to say in response to my every e-mail, "Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz."
(A private word here to Miss West's parents, whom I have been trying to reach for over a year now: I have been informed by several reliable sources in the Tweetosphere that, over the past week, your daughter "went viral," traveling to locations on both coasts of America, and even to my ancestral home of Great Britain—no doubt on your credit cards—where she screamed unspeakable obscenities about the nether-regions of the lovely Samantha Jones while wantonly spreading her disease hither and yon. Until now, I have had great sympathy for you as parents of this deranged woman who obviously needs help, but at this point, I must insist that you are about to become responsible for a global public-health epidemic if you do not send for your daughter at once and lock her up upon her return to your family estate. Please heed my warning. We are running out of time.)
As for everything else in this tediously familiar collection of rote repetitions, please allow me to indulge in a pithy internet-language phrase that my grand-niece Castina just taught me, and that I shall certainly be deploying more frequently in this space: tl;dr.
Follow A. Birch Steen at www.twitter.com/strangerslog.