Edgy Mama: In marriage, find joy in those chores, rashes and other annoyances

Edgy Mama: In marriage, find joy in those chores, rashes and other annoyances-attachment0

Spring time approaches. Halle-effing-lujah. As always, nuptial frenzy accompanies its advent.

I’m in a wedding in a few weeks — an untraditional one. The ceremony consists of a play co-written by and starring the bride and groom and featuring 22 of their closest friends.

The affianced couple recently asked me to read something about love and marriage at their engagement party. Initially, I was stymied. I write about parenting. And beer. Then I remembered that I’ve been married for almost 13 years, which is longer than I’ve been parenting, but not as long as I’ve been drinking beer.

Therefore, I do have a few things to say about the institution of marriage. So here’s what I wrote. Imagine I’m reading this to you:

To my mind, there are two reasons to get married. One, it saves money. Typically. You get a tax break, which rocks.

Two, marriage legitimizes any offspring you might have. Not that legitimizing offspring matters as much as it once did, but given how many other rude names your kids are going to be called on the playground, giving them a break from “bastard” is kind of a nice thing you can do for them.

Then, there’s a third reason to get married. Weddings are really fun. Except when they’re not. Which doesn’t happen very often.

In honor of Chall and Lucia’s impending fun-as-hell nuptials, I gathered a few telling quotations about marriage. I typically try not to give unsolicited advice, but every once in a while I just can’t hold back. Like when someone gives me a microphone after they’ve given me beer.

First quote. Someone said, “Marriage does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction.”

In my marriage, I’ve found we spend most of our time looking together at weird rashes on our children’s bodies. We also spend an inordinate amount of time looking together at dirty laundry.

My advice — don’t ever look at Google images of weird kid rashes together. You’ll regret it.

Here’s another quote about marriage I like: “Forget couples’ therapy: Hire someone to help clean your home.” The person who can give the correct attribution of that quotation wins a big smooch from me. Actually, I wrote that in a column a couple years ago.

Therapists say that couples mostly fight about money, sex, and how to raise their kids. But in my experience, the biggest fights are about cleaning the damn house. I think the best use of any extra money you might have as a couple, particularly after you have a kid, is to pay for cleaning help. Then you have a clean house to hang out in while you fight about all that other stuff.

Here’s another quote I like, from someone I’ve never heard of, named Rita Rudner: “I love being married. It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.”

That, to me, is the essence of marriage. You get to learn just how to annoy that special person, just how to push their buttons, and you get to do it whenever you want. There’s something so lovable about having that one person who knows you so, so well. When my daughter complains about how annoying her brother is, I remind her he’s the only brother she has. Of course, you may have more than one marriage, but usually you don’t go into it thinking it’ll be a repeat performance. That would kind of negate the reason for doing it in the first place.

So, Chall and Lucia, I’m glad you’ve found that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your lives. Have fun on your big adventure. Remember not to Google kid rashes, to pay for home cleaning help, but mostly to enjoy annoying the hell out of each other. Best wishes for a long and fruitful union.

Anne Fitten “Edgy Mama” Glenn writes about a number of subjects, including parenting, at www.edgymama.com.

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35 thoughts on “Edgy Mama: In marriage, find joy in those chores, rashes and other annoyances

  1. Julie Roads

    Ha!!! I love this…every bit of it. Though we fought more about money than cleaning…but not much more.

  2. www.projecthappilyeverafter.com

    I think that would make for a FANTASTIC wedding toast. I love that you quoted yourself–and it’s a good quote, too. So true. Housework is one of the #1 things couples fight about.

  3. marriage legitimizes any offspring you might have. Not that legitimizing offspring matters as much as it once did, but given how many other rude names your kids are going to be called on the playground, giving them a break from “bastard” is kind of a nice thing you can do for them.

    Wow. You are pretty dang “edgy.” Not only did you manage to degrade and trivialize marriage in the span of a few paragraphs, but you just insulted a shit-ton of people in Asheville and beyond: orphans, bastards, unwed mothers, lesbian couples with kids …

    It’s comments like this, from people like you, that make me proud to be a bastard out of Carolina, raised by a fearless unwed mother.

    But don’t think twice, its alright … have another beer and forget about it.

    I imagine your husband must be either one helluva sorry bastard or a real stand-up guy to put up with your “legitimized annoyance.”

    [Note to editor: WTF? Is this crap subjected to some kind of "standards and practices" scrutiny before you publish it?]

  4. West Ashevillian

    Good God–someone doesn’t know how to recognize satire. Or maybe they do and are just horribly bitter about existence.

    Sounds like DCJ is the one who needs to have another beer and forget about it.

  5. Good God – someone doesn’t know how to write satire. The tone of the piece is too mixed. That is not how satire works. (See Jonothan Swift.) Satire is usually political, very acerbic and is used to disparage a socially unjust idea, attitude or institution. I would be all for a real satire on marriage, but perhaps not as way of publicly well-wishing two friends who had decided to take the plunge. I think that is in bad taste.

    Unless you know this woman, and I don’t, though I suspect you do, you would never know where she is coming from in this writing. She is teetering between genuinely expressing some kind of “effing” joy about Chall and Lucia’s coming wedding and then “satirizing” marriage in general as a tax avoidance scheme and a way to legitamize children and excuse being a constant annoyance to your spouse.

    Most people I talked to about the column down at The Vault over a beer said they could not tell whether she was serious or not, and thought it was a poorly written, crass point of view. Perhaps she is being sarcastic, or maybe she is bitter about her marriage, or perhaps she hitting the sauce a bit too much and is falling off her game as a writer. (I think the latter to most likely be the case.) Anyway you slice it, this not real satire, and anyone just rolling up on the column for the first time won’t know which way is up, unless you happen to know the “edgy mama” personally.

    I am not bitter about life, I am perhaps a little bitter about the Mountain Express. I think the Express has gone way downhill over the past few years & I just can’t help using this handy-dandy comment feature to register my discontent about some of what it sees fit to publish each week.

  6. DCJ,
    While I’m not out very often, I like the Vault, and I’d be happy to talk with you and your comrades there about my shortcomings as a writer. Seriously. Feel free to e-mail me at edgymama@gmail.com, and we’ll set something up.

  7. Hi Anne,

    I am not out very often either, but the Vault is a great bar with a great atmosphere. My girlfriend and a few other folks who have become increasingly disappointed with the Mt Express might be happy to talk to you about how this piece, and others, rang our bells. Let me check it out with them and get back to you.

    The main problem I had with it, as I stated above, is its tone. It is hard to tell if you are serious when you suggest legitimizing children with marriage rites is important. Is that part of the satire, or do you really believe that it actually sort of matters? It is hard to tell. If you really believe that, then you have offended some people that are not going that route these days – I know several people that were offended by the piece in that regard – not to mention salting the wounds of all the run-of-the-mill bastards whose dads’ skipped town in the old skool way.

    I did see the rest of the piece as a kind of light hearted comedic take on some of the less mentioned “virtues” of marriage. I did not really like it, but that is not meant personally. I generally enjoy most forms of writing, if they are done well, satire included. I am suspect if we do meet at the Vault, I will probably like you personally. I generally like most people. But when it comes to writing, ideas offered up via newsprint, forming part of the local public discourse that occurs in bars and living rooms around town, that is a different matter. I can be very critical, not because I am bitter, but because I care about what people are offered to read here. I think if anyone is going to do anything they should be striving to do their best. I don’t agree with West Asheville above that my pointed criticism of your writing here is an extension of some personal bitterness about life.

    I am often critical of Jon Elliston as a managing editor. I sometimes voice these criticisms on these web pages. It is nothing personal against Jon. I like Jon. I am talking about standards here, nothing more. Perhaps my idealism is useless in today’s society. But until I really feel that way, I think I will keep sounding off when I feel so moved. If you take it personally, maybe that is a good thing. It means you are personally invested in your work. I happen to think your column could be so much better, so much edgier.

    Take your pen name: They say alcohol takes the edge off, so I kind of find it ironic that you have chosen this moniker and yet are always talking about drinking beer. Your pieces don’t seem that edgy to me. They all seem way laid back, and, like your take on “bastard” children, pretty mainstream. Nothing wrong with that, but again, it screws up the reader’s understanding of your tone and what you are all about. You seem anything but edgy, so why use the term? Is it supposed to be funny? (I have had this very conversation about your column at the Usual Suspects with a different set of comrades.)

    In short, I find your overall tone convoluted, from your moniker to your satire on marriage, and now I have said so. You can write my criticism off as the rant of a crank (& maybe I am), or you can take the matter to heart (& maybe you should). Maybe nothing will come of it; maybe something will. My aim in bothering to write anything at all here was to hope for the latter possibility.

    Cheers

  8. Hi DJC,
    Yes, I have lots of unmarried friends, single friends, gay and lesbian friends–many of whom have kids. The bastard line was a joke, and I’m sorry that wasn’t clear. I’ve learned that, with humor writing, what I find funny may not strike others as so. I’m trying to learn from that, while recognizing that there are very few “universal” jokes that everyone will find humorous.

    I appreciate constructive criticism, although when I feel that someone’s attacking me or someone I care about personally (i.e., my spouse), I tend to blow it off, particularly in this comments section, where it’s easy for anonymous folks to say stuff that they’d never say to me in person. So, while you sound thoughtful and reasonable in your most recent comment, I’d pretty much written off your first two comments because they feel personal. I’m kind of surprised, in fact, that the moderator here let them through, as Mt. Xpress has a policy of not publishing such. But then, maybe I’m being oversensitive.

    As for the pen name, the primary definition of “edgy” is “irritable and anxious.” Which, to my mind, defines a good part of who I am as a parent. One of my friends recently said I could worry a hole through a brick wall. Not my favorite of my personality traits, but I keep working on it.

    It does make me laugh when people take issue with my alter ego’s name. I’m not sure why they care. A good friend of mine noticed that it mostly seems to be men who do so, and she thinks they may be threatened by a woman who claims to be “edgy.” I would hope not, but I don’t know.

    I work really hard on tone and voice in this column, but I recognize that I’m not brilliant enough to be always consistent. That said, I’ve been pumping out a pretty decent column for about 130 straight weeks, and for the most part, I’m proud of what I’ve written.

    As for your disappointment with Mt. Xpress, in general, you’d need to take that up with others. Yes, I write a lot for the newsweekly, but I’m a freelancer (by choice), and I can only speak to my own work.

    Thanks for your feedback. I’m glad for the dialogue.

  9. I’m kind of surprised, in fact, that the moderator here let them through, as Mt. Xpress has a policy of not publishing such.

    I am not. It’s the Mountain Express. Unless you are really going whole hog, they let it slide. And really, if you are going to make ambiguous cracks about bastard children, you should expect to get some wise cracks back, no?

    The bastard line was a joke, and I’m sorry that wasn’t clear.

    Yeah, it wasn’t clear to many folks I spoke to about it in passing when it came out. However, I am sure folks that know you probably got it.

    It does make me laugh when people take issue with my alter ego’s name.

    I don’t really take issue with your alter ego name as an alter ego name, I just don’t think it describes your writing style or content very well. If “edgy” means “irritable and anxious,” then I don’t see how it fits in that regard either. There is not anything that remotely resembles worry of anxiety in your writing.

    Now, as far as men being put on edge by edgy women goes, if by “edgy” you actually meant what I mean by edgy, based on my dictionary, “1. pushing the envelope, 2. being way out there,” I think I would agree with your friend that some men might be threatened by an actual edgy mama, but not me. I would actually dig it if you were more like that.

    This brings me to my general criticism of the Mountain Express, which, like your column, it is not very edgy and that is the crux of my disappointment and the disappointment of many of my friends. I think the whole thing could be a whole lot better, a whole lot edgier. And I have taken this up elsewhere, but seeing how your column is part and parcel of the whole flagging rag, and evinces some of the problems I see in general here, I felt moved to write something specific here.

  10. That costs a lot of money. Money that I don’t have.

    :-(

    So instead I just critique the less than edgy paper we got here now, hoping it might one day become sort of edgy again …

    but something tells me that may be a lost cause under the current twittering ownership/management.

  11. Jason Ross Martin

    Edgy Mama… your column is great. I thought this particular one was funny as well. I hope you marginalize the effects of criticisms like those from Mr. Connor Jones.

    And to you Mr. Jones, I recommend that you try to be a little more Bob Dylan, or someone just a little more funky. Try striking up a conversation with a black-haired flamenco dancer and pass me a bottle, Mr. Jones!

    Whatever, dude. For the record, I think the MX is moving forward, better than ever. I think Edgy Mama’s column is a trend setter. And I think Mr. Jones was a great song in the early nineties, but a critic of literate satire in 2010, not so much.

  12. Aw, Jason, come on. You can’t seriously think the Mountain Xpress is better than ever? How long have you been here? Better than when? It has more ads than ever, less content than ever, more pablum than ever, less edge than ever … sort of like The Counting Crows. (And no, their song “Mr. Jones” was not a great song in the early 90s.)

    If I need to listen to a “Mr. Jones” song I am gonna go with the far edgier, far funkier Talking Heads take, in which Byrne might be addressing all the readers of the Mountain Express:

    “Sales men
    Conventioneers
    Some rock stars
    With tambourines
    Short skirts
    And skinny legs
    Selling bibles
    And real estate
    It’s a big day for Mr. Jones
    He is not so square
    Mr. Jones will stick around
    He’s everybody’s friend”

    or, I might want to put myself in the cross-hairs with Bob Dylan and imagine myself on the outside looking in, as the Mr Jones of his “Ballad of a Thin Man”:

    “You have many contacts
    Among the lumberjacks
    To get you facts
    When someone attacks your imagination
    But nobody has any respect
    Anyway they already expect you
    To all give a check
    To tax-deductible charity organizations.
    You’ve been with the professors
    And they’ve all liked your looks
    With great lawyers you have
    Discussed lepers and crooks
    You’ve been through all of
    F. Scott Fitzgerald’s books
    You’re very well read
    It’s well known.”

    That would be edgy. And actually, when I do that, I think twice about all that I have said here and I recall the episode when Barry Manilow met Bob Dylan at a party and Bob went up to Barry and gave him a big hug and said, “keep on doing what you are doing, man, we love you.” Barry said it was one of the most confusing moments of his life. I like to think Bob was being genuine.

    So, I will take your advice, Jason, and I will be a little more like Bob Dylan here and say to Anne, “keep on doing what you are doing,” obviously some people love it & what do I know, anyway?

    (I still think the rag and some of its columns could be whole lot better & there is nothing wrong with saying so.)

  13. Jon Elliston

    DCJ wrote:

    “It has more ads than ever, less content than ever”

    That’s not true. The ratio of ads to editorial content has remained within a few percentage points for years and years. Why do you think it has more ads than ever?

    And we also, generally speaking, have vastly more content than ever, especially when you count our ever-growing online content.

    And when you say you want more edginess, what, exactly, do you mean? I find the plea for more “edge” pretty vague most of the time, so it’d be nice to have some specifics.

    Thanks.

  14. TokyoTaos

    I thought the column was a blast and obviously tongue-in-cheek.

  15. Susan

    Do you know for sure this couple is planning on having children or is that an assumption on your part? Because not all couples choose have kids.

  16. Hey, Jon!

    (I knew you’d drop in here sooner or later.)

    I am talking about the hard copy paper. I was not referring to online content. The only time I come online is when I have picked up a hard copy at some shop in town and been disgruntled with what I have read and want to make a comment, as i did here. I am sure when you count online content, the Xpress has a much, much higher content to ad ratio. (I don’t see any three full page ads in a row online before I get to a smattering of content.)

    Referring to hard copy alone, what is the ad to content ratio you refer to here? I mean just saying the ratio has remained within “a few percentage points” is sort of vague. Let’s get specific. Does a few mean 2 percentage points, 10, 15? You give me the numbers and I will come down to the station and pull out an Xpress from your archives from say 2004 (I have been here since 2000) and we can roll with one from the past three months and we can go through with a black magic marker and black out all the ads and see what we have left in each rag, content-wise. I am not privy to your stats, so it could be some sort of madison ave optical illusion i have fallen prey to, but it sure does seem like you guys are adding more and more ads these days.

    Then we can look at the content for quality alone between say 2004 and 2009. What kinds of articles were being written? How well were they being written? Who was writing them?

    Your edgy writers have all been either fired, or thrown their arms up & walked.

    When I say “edgy,” I mean what the dictionary logs “edgy” as meaning:

    1. pushing the envelope
    2. being out there

    You should know exactly what I mean by edgy, Jon, you used to work for such a rag, The Independent, down in the research triangle. You even wrote edgy pieces back then. Quite a few.

    Let me think … the last edgy thing I saw here was when Alli Marshall pressed the lead singer of the Band of Horses about selling out to Wal-Mart. She could have skipped that question. I am sure he doesn’t like answering that question. They gotta lot of flack from their fans for even considering it. But she pressed him on it. ( Yay, team! One for the Express.)

    OK. So where is the LOCAL article about our good old boy, pigskin-chucking, blue dawg “democrat” Heath Shuler with someone doing like Alli Marshall and asking him about taking $130.000 from health insurance companies in campaign donations? Where is the article asking the “fiscal conservative” why he allocated 800,000 dollars to the red wolf rehab program and only kicked 200,000 to public transportation?

    Where were all the articles on Chuck Taylor’s corruption?

    (Bobby Medford? Easy-sleazy. The guy was going down, you jumped on a band wagon.)

    I asked you about year ago about writing a review/interview of a local woman (from black mountain) who had just written a book about her experience being the wife of Norman Morrison – the man who immolated himself on the steps of the Pentagon in protest of the Vietnam War. She had just been to Vietnam for the first time and connected to all of these vietnamese people who remembered what her husband had done with empathy, gratitude and respect. They had built shrines to him. Written poems about him. She talked about her experiences at Malaprops. But you passed on it. You said something about the fact that it was an old national event – the immolation/protest – and therefore not really fit for publication in the Xpress. ???

    How about that “accepting the last day of Christmas” piece about facing the darkness of realizing your DVD player doesn’t work? Was that edgy? No. You are printing a increasing degree of crap. I am not the only one that thinks this, but I might be the only one speaking up about it here.

    The only real critical voice you have now is Ken, and he is writing about national releases. (Your food critic has ZERO bite.)

    Your owner is always carping about how this is a “local only” paper. Look at your local to national content ratio – News of the Weird – The Horoscope- Ken Hanke’s 4 pages of movie reviews each week. Foebes’ prolonged avoidance of local takes on national stories is disingenuous. Look at your comments each week. More often than not the big ones go off the richter scale when it comes to national events/issues … Haiti, War in Afghanistan, Obama… People are hungering for a local avenue to voice their takes on national political issues here. You are dropping the ball.

    Where is your edge, Jon? Twitter? Please. Where are you as a managing editor pushing the boundaries just a little bit here? It seems like you are going for a lowest common denominator approach to please as many people as possible. It is a phony, unnecessary approach. If you try to please everybody, you end up with a crap rag, pleasing no one.

    But, hey, maybe journalism really is dead, as somebody at the Xpress recently told a friend of mine. It sure looks that way when I pick up your paper these days.

    (Jesus Christ, won’t you please come down and raise this Lazarus rag from the dead already?)

  17. Oh mat, thanks for the morning laugh.

    Yes, Susan, they hope to have a child.

    JRM, thanks for introducing some song lyrics into the conversation. DCJ, thanks for more song lyrics.

    Just don’t ever call me Mrs. Jones.

  18. Jon Elliston

    DCJ writes:

    Referring to hard copy alone, what is the ad to content ratio you refer to here? I mean just saying the ratio has remained within “a few percentage points” is sort of vague. Let’s get specific. Does a few mean 2 percentage points, 10, 15? You give me the numbers and I will come down to the station and pull out an Xpress from your archives from say 2004 (I have been here since 2000) and we can roll with one from the past three months and we can go through with a black magic marker and black out all the ads and see what we have left in each rag, content-wise. I am not privy to your stats, so it could be some sort of madison ave optical illusion i have fallen prey to, but it sure does seem like you guys are adding more and more ads these days.

    I’m talking about the hard copy too. Illusion or no, we’ve got the facts, and they run counter to your assertion. We’ve been tracking the ad-to-editorial ratio for every issue since 2001. Here are the stats:

    2001: 54%
    2002: 56%
    2003: 55%
    2004: 58%
    2005: 58%
    2006: 55%
    2007: 53%
    2008: 51%
    2009: 51%

    So if you follow the trend there, you’ll see that in ’08 and ’09 we had the lowest ratio since we started counting. In other words, the exact opposite of what you’re asserting is true.

    When I say “edgy,” I mean what the dictionary logs “edgy” as meaning:

    1. pushing the envelope
    2. being out there

    Again, those vagaries leave me wondering exactly what you mean. You pick up today’s paper? Read the cover story that’s the result of about 8 months of very difficult investigative work? I don’t know if that’s what you call “edgy” — but whatever, it’s damn good journalism.

    (Bobby Medford? Easy-sleazy. The guy was going down, you jumped on a band wagon.)

    That’s complete bullshit. Our paper was writing critical, investigative pieces long before Medford was arrested.

  19. Well, I hope they didn’t just get married in order to legitimize their hoped-for child on the school playground.

    ;-)

    “Mr./Mrs. Jones” is a metaphor for someone who is “out of the loop” … they are too busy “keeping up with the Joneses.”
    Whether it is Bob Dylan’s clueless Mr. Jones outside the counter-culture of 1965, or David Byrne’s new found in vogue Corporate Democrat/Republican of 1988, is of little consequence. He/she is the same person: ostracized in the 60s, back in like Flynn in the late 80s early 90s and today.

    And really, Anne, we are all Mr. and Mrs. Joneses, ESPECIALLY if we are reading the Mt. Express and all that it sees fit to purvey these days without engaging a critical eye.

    Enaging the critical eye is what all three of those above quoted songs about the Joneses are aiming to do. And that is all this Mr. Jones is aiming to do here.

  20. I have not picked up today’s paper, Jon, so I can’t comment on the cover story.

    Thanks for those numbers. How about throw me the numbers on the ratio of total content between 2004 and 2009. I am guessing that you have a whole lot more now than you did then and that may be why I am confused by so many more ads. I seem to see a fatter and fatter paper which means more and more ads, granted more copy too. (But what kind of copy?) Hence the illusion that you adding more and more ads. But then lets look at the types of commentaries you were running back then and what say what the food critic was doing. Lets look for some over all critical bite while we are at it. Everything you do now days seems to be milquetoast affirmation of all that is.

    Let me reiterate what I mean by “edgy” … here is one example of what I am talking about, it isn’t really vague::

    So where is the LOCAL article about our good old boy, pigskin-chucking, blue dawg “democrat” Heath Shuler with someone doing like Alli Marshall and asking him about taking $130.000 from health insurance companies in campaign donations? Where is the article asking the “fiscal conservative” why he allocated 800,000 dollars to the red wolf rehab program and only kicked 200,000 to city bussing/public transportation?

    Where’s the beef? Is that not an important story? Why are you dragging your knuckles on this? Do you need to get Sarzynski or Bothwell back on the beat to give you a hand? Why don’t you take it up? Why not answer that question?

    What is your opinion of the state of journalism today, Jon? Seriously, is it a living breathing entity with a future, or is it etherized upon a table? How is Twitter gonna come to the rescue here? Why is that technological theme being embedded into every other article headline you publish of late? What is going on? I am guessing we are gonna lose the hard copy here in a year or two, yes? no? maybe?

  21. Jon Elliston

    The operative word in this statement is “WAS.”

    I meant that we were writing about Medford long before his fall, in response to your false claim that we took him on journalistically only after his fall.

    And why haven’t we done the Shuler story you ask about? My answer to that is that it’s same reason we haven’t done hundreds of stories we’d like to do: We can’t do everything. We have two news staff writers, and a handful of editors. We’re cranking out as much as we can — and sometimes I’m amazed at how much this small staff gets dones — but we are a lean machine.

    It’s so easy to cherry-pick one story topic and suggest a publication is negligent because they haven’t covered it. Heck, I could do that all day. But it ignores the reality of what *is* getting covered, something you seem pretty accustomed to doing.

  22. Jon Elliston
  23. shadmarsh

    They also did a hatchet job on me and ruined what was once a promising political career. Also, I too am eating a bran muffin.

  24. (I like bran muffins too. Where are we meetin, greetin and eatin?)

    Jon,

    I am gonna do some real quick investigative reporting for you right now on your bowl of cherry picked cherries stemming all the way back to 2004. With that date in mind I would hardly categorize them as being “of late.” I am not now alleging, nor have I ever alleged, that the Xpress was not at one point better than it is now. Not have I ever said you have never done a hard hitting news story. Out of 260 issues from the past 6 years you rummaged through, you culled these 20 stories to represent “harder hitting stories of late.” Almost half of them were from 2004-2007, NOT the period in question. The period in question is the past 2-3 years. But let’s take a look at what you came up with:

    “We Are Burton Street”

    I am all for finding a work around for sparing Burton Street community from the I-26 juggernaut. I am glad you covered the issue. I thought you did an excellent job.

    “CTS of Asheville contamination”

    Of course, I also applaud your coverage of the ongoing CTS environmental concerns. I would not expect anything less from the most average paper on earth if such a toxic site was discovered anywhere in the US that threatened a community that had a local newspaper.

    “2 Flag burning articles”

    I appreciated David Forbes 2 stories back in 2007 covering “flag burning” as a form of free speech and the bogus arrests that ensued for some residents who engaged in the protest. (Is it more important than investigating Blue Dawg “Democrat” sell-out Heath Shuler and his ties to Big Insurance. I don’t think so.)

    “Bobby Medford”

    Yeah, I already pointed out above that you would likely cite this story. I was happy when Cecil broke this story. The rest of the pieces were the standard coverage of a courtroom drama that we would expect. Everybody in town was ready to see this corrupt, shotgun waving, blowhard, nut job go down. (How long after that initial story did yall let Cecil go?)

    “Parkside”

    Sure. Important. News worthy. Good job.

    “ASKville”

    ??? I did not really see how any of these stories categorized as hard hitting or edgy. Pole Dancing? Acupuncture ???

    “Topic: I-26”

    Of course, you are gonna cover this issue as it stands to effect citizens and businesses alike for all of WNC posterity. Important. Newsworthy. (Not edgy.)

    “World Wide WNC”

    What’s this? It seems like the beginning of a column idea, but no follow up. I could not find anything more than the announcement of an idea here.

    “Green Scene”

    I occasionally find the green scene column pertinent. Not knocking it.

    “Buncombe+Commissioners”

    This is a list of your standard coverage of Buncombe County Commissioners meetings. I am grateful that you do this, but it isn’t edgy. (I’d hate to have to watch them in their entirety on the govt PEG channel to stay abreast.)

    “Asheville+City+Council”

    This is a list of your standard coverage of City Council meetings. Again, I am grateful that you do this, but it isn’t edgy. (And again, I’d hate to have to watch them on the govt PEG channel to stay abreast.)

    “Tony Dale’s phony tales
    An open letter to Asheville’s last remaining daily radio talk-show host”

    I found your inclusion of this piece pretty ironic, considering your decision last week to run Carl Mumpower’s gay-baiting piece about same sex marriage. I guess it is newsworthy in both cases that you are giving homophobic crackpots more attention and air time than they deserve. (I see you just shut down comments on that commentary. Criteria?)

    “Who’s in charge here?
    Secret Army training raises troubling questions”

    DING! DING! DING! DING! First really edgy piece listed thus far. I remember when this all went down, and I am glad you covered it as well as you did. Good Job! (Harkens back to the Independent salad days.)

    “Land of the Sky Spies”

    Another interesting spy piece from the salad days of 2004 about a cold war spy station now geared to be engaged in astrology. Not hard news, nor am I sure how edgy this is. (Is it more important than investigating Blue Dawg “Democrat” sell-out Heath Shuler and his ties to Big Insurance? I don’t think so.)

    “New Age Nazi
    The rise and fall of Asheville’s flaky fascist”

    An interesting history piece about a US Nazi settling in Aville in 1933. Not a hard hitting news story. Not very edgy. Interesting, though. (Is it more important than investigating Blue Dawg “Democrat” sell-out Heath Shuler and his ties to Big Insurance? I don’t think so.)

    “Zeb Vance: no simple man”

    This is a history piece about Civil War Era NC politician Zebulon Vance. Not really hard hitting news, but very well written. (Is it more important than investigating contemporary NC politician, Blue Dawg “Democrat” sell-out Heath Shuler and his ties to Big Insurance? I don’t think so.)

    “Look homeward, Big Brother”

    This is another 2004 spy/history piece, but it is relevant, edgy and hard hitting at the end. It’s about the history of FBI surveillance of high profile figures in NC. The final paragraph lays out how this is nefarious practice has been taken to the streets in the aftermath of the 9/11 Terror Attacks. (But this was written in 2004. Where’s the 2009 piece on US surveillance? Has Obama really done anything to change this practicey? Is this no longer an issue?)

    “Rudolph on Rudolph”

    This is a series of journal excerpts from abortion clinic bomber, Eric Rudolph. Interesting enough. Not hard news. Not real investigative reporting. I would rather read the expose on right wing politician Charles Taylor’s career in WNC and on the Hill, than right wing Rudolph’s outlaw diary.

    “Askville: End of an effigy”

    Now we come back to 2008, which is about the time I started getting really critical of my flagging Mountain Express. This piece is about some guy who had the novel idea of making some sort of fire starter with George W Bush’s face on it. Its called “The Burning Bush Firestarter.” Funny, but not edgy. Not Hard hitting news. (Is it more important than investigating Blue Dawg “Democrat” sell-out Heath Shuler and his ties to Big Insurance? Do I really need to ask? Where is my “Obama where art thou” firestarter?)

    “Cruel Summer”

    Again, this is another history piece about a summer camp in the 60s. Not sure why you think it is hard hitting news or edgy.

    “Apocalypse WNC”

    This a book review. I would recommend reading Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” over this book by Black Mountain local. Not sure how this is hard news, or even edgy. I would rather have seen my writer/friend from Black Mountain’s NON-FICTION take on the life and death of radical anti-war activist, Norman Morrison, reviewed over against this book, but I confess, I am biased.

    Basically, after about 4 or 5 links down your list here, your cherries start to go sour. Try cherry picking from 2008 to the present. What has been hard-hitting and/or edgy lately?

    So I read this week’s cover story by freelance writer Nelda Holder. (Didn’t she used to be on staff?) I thought it was an interesting investigative piece about the nightmare cluster fuck that can happen when DSS comes knocking. (Is it more important than investigating Blue Dawg “Democrat” sell-out Heath Shuler and his ties to Big Insurance? Not sure. Maybe of equal merit? I suspect a lot of WNC people are getting just as screwed by Heath Shuler and his “fiscal conservatism” that thwarts healthcare reform, takes money from public transportation and feeds it to the wolves.)

    But we have digressed …

    Bringing It All Back Home:

    So the funny thing is, as I read Nelda’s story today, and read the rest of the paper, I said to myself not a bad issue, but then I came to Edgy Mama’s piece on potty seat etiquette. (Maybe she should write a famous etiquette book? She might end up in some song lyrics.)

    What can I say? I liked what Xpress member twinkie223 had to say about it in the already prodigious list of online comments:

    “Join us for next week’s equally intellectually stimulating debate on whether the toilet paper should roll overhand or underhand.”

    ok. enough of my yakkin … I am going for a bran muffin.

  25. Believe me, Shadrach, I have thought about it. I just don’t have the money to pay Brian Sarzynski, Cecil Bothwell, Eamon Martin and Michelle Kaczmarcik what they are worth to get the ball rolling …

    Maybe Fobes could kick me some start up money?

    ;-}

    (Plus who would advertise in my paper when they can get up in the Xpress full page so cheap these days?)

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