Let us speak now about forgiveness, since that seems to be what this gang of thugs seeks with its annual "Strangercrombie" issue (the motto of which, "Once a year we do something good," is for once a close approximation of the actual value offered by this publication). Really, to think that the thought crimes, sex crimes, petty intellectual larcenies, and plain old Class A felonies that constitute the "content" of this disreputable product could be made up for at all—much less with one measly issue devoted to raising money for a charity—is just a gob-smacking manifestation of unconscionable shamelessness and unfathomable idiocy. I am sorry if I am not showing my usual rhetorical restraint, but as my daughter Chauncy (not a Stranger reader, I assure you) often says to me via the text machine: Come. On.
Are we truly expected to forgive and forget, offer warm wishes, and think of water-under-bridge metaphors simply because The Stranger devoted a sheaf of pages to collecting gaudy knickknacks and soiled unmentionables from its so-called friends, selling those items to the highest bidder, and then funneling the profits to a pet cause (an organization called Treehouse that purportedly helps foster kids)? Suddenly The Stranger believes in philanthropy? I think not. I feel quite confident in saying that the charitable impulse cannot possibly be the first (or second, or third, or even dead last) motivation here. Such an impulse has never existed in this building—and I would not have become fast friends with Mr. Keck if it had.
In any case, since when does supporting charity—and children, no less—involve auctioning off things such as the "Patriotic Sex Pack" (which to my disgust includes 4,000 oiled condoms), the "Sexy, Sexy Sushi" package (which inexplicably combines my two least favorite things, lesbian tool-sellers and raw fish), and the "Savin' Myself for Jesus Fun-Pack" (which starts from the highly flawed premise that blasphemy is fun)? I would say that the recommended opening bid on most of these items, $1.99, is more than sufficient—and more accurately described as highway robbery.
Listen, kids (and eternal self-infantilizers, and whatever other types may be lurking about): I am all for making a buck expeditiously. Or a buck-ninety-nine, even. But this is a scam too far. If The Stranger were a better business, I would call the Better Business Bureau. As it stands, I am calling the FBI (about the interstate commerce and civil-rights implications of the "B'wana Go to Africa?" package), the health department (about the "Hot 'n' Hairless" package), and the dog catcher (about the "You Lucky Dog" offering, which threatens to loose an intoxicated mutt on this fair city). Unforgivable. All of it.