“Why are they publishing this Crier rubbish?” you may be asking. We certainly are. The rest of this edition of Mountain Xpress can’t help but show the tough times WNC is facing. Here’s one little spot in the paper where we offer a bit of levity, to possibly brighten someone’s day, poking a bit of fun at the outrageousness of it all.
In the past week and a half, Asheville has been under at least two states of emergencey (that we know of). Things are crazy and our readers want real answers. The Crier’s award-winning team of journalists have sought out the real movers and shakers behind the scenes and gone one, sometimes two, steps farther to bring you the truth from sources that other publications won’t go near!
In response to “unrest and destruction of property” May 31-June 1 in downtown Asheville, Mayor Esther Manheimer declared a citywide state of emergency on June 2 and issued a curfew beginning that same night, running 8 p.m.-6 a.m. nightly “until [she] declare[s] it no longer necessary.” While the decision immediately resulted in more peaceful demonstrations, sources close to Manheimer reveal that, when faced with time-sensitive rules, the politician has a surprisingly spotty record.
“Of all the people to be telling folks when to be home…” says Manheimer’s father, Dr. Ron Manheimer. “We thought we were being lenient with an 11 p.m. curfew — a good hour later than most of her friends had — and still she would barge through the front door at 1, sometimes 2 a.m. Her mom and I would be up all night, worried sick.” Dr. Manheimer declined to comment on whether teargas was deployed on such evenings.
Asked about her youthful transgressions, the mayor replied. “I faced the consequences for my actions: I haven’t had dessert since, and I got grounded so hard my children don’t get to play Atari.”
The times they aren’t a-changin’
“You know who could get us out of this mess?” rhetorically inquires Burt Cecilwell, one of Asheville’s many resident aging, white, male ex-hippies. “Bernard Q. Sanders, that’s who.”
The longtime Vermont congressman marched with civil rights demonstrators in the 1960s and was even arrested for it, explains Cecilwell, so he understands the plight of the black man in America better than anyone. “And as for protesting, back in Chicago in ‘68, we really showed those pigs what determined people can do,” he recalls. “I got my head cracked by Chief Conlisk himself. That’s why the political situation has really improved since then.”
Cecilwell encourages protesters to keep clashing with police, but also to put their voting weight behind people with experience who have already been through everything that is frustrating people now. He says he’s heard reports that most black voters prefer Biden and are happy with the presumptive nominee, but he continues to advocate for a Sanders write-in campaign.
“They haven’t done enough research to understand their own self-interests,” Cecilwell says about African Americans. “I mean, yeah, black lives matter, far out, but ‘Feel the Bern’ if you want to actually get stuff done.”
“I would twit that at some cool cats, but I can’t find my phone,” he adds. “I think it’s in the fridge again — hashtag FreezerBern!”
“Now is a time for listening to constituencies and understanding feelings of pain or trauma that cripple our society’s ability to move together towards a shared ideal of justice,” remarked state Sen. Chuck E. Cheezeburger, upon hearing about police conflict with protesters in Asheville over the course of last week.
“Lulz! JK, JK, the media sucks, amirite?” he continued.
“How dare these baby, naive, ‘professional’ journalists take pictures and write descriptions that represent our attack dogs — I mean, duly appointed officers — as anything less than saints walking among us?” said Cheezeburger. ““These Monday-morning quarterbacks — what hypocrites! I pledge here and now to never have gluten-free buns in my restaurants, because the best way to tell the content of a person’s character is their dietary sensitivities.”
Ethelred J. Cuthbert III, spokeslord for the Asheville Landed Gentry Association of Elites (A.L.G.A.E), has a bird’s-eye view of protests and police countermeasures from his office on the sixth floor of the Jackson Building. “I don’t know what all the fuss is about,” he says. “As a shareholder of Nestlé — maker of Arrowhead, Poland Spring, San Pellegrino, Perrier and more — I say, ‘Make it rain, 5-0!’”
Cuthbert III noted he was also a stockholder of Facebook and International Paper — whose stock was already soaring after pandemic-induced toilet paper shortages. “Keep those clever protest signs coming! Hashtag winning!” he concluded conivingly, “Hahaha!”
Lies are not enough
Silent partner at Skyline News, Schmupert Schmerdok, is looking to replace editor and reporter Chad Nesbitt after a week of what he says were “pulled punches” reporting about Asheville’s protests. “I respect Nesbitt’s attempts to mislead readers about protester action and police motives,” says the CEO of various social media “news” outfits around the globe [including COVIDtown Crier]. “But I am not seeing the results in division and the necessary questioning of factual statements to subvert activists.”
Schmerdok says he finds Nesbitt’s constant use of anonymous law enforcement “sources” to be on the right track. But he says the reporter’s attempts to back his reporting up with “facts” take too much time.
“I wish he would just cut the crap and do more to keep the poors at each other’s throats,” Schmerdok said. “Let’s get to the Truth about the socialist-communist-anarchist-collectivist-liberal conspiracy that threatens our American way of profit!” he says.
For his part, Nesbitt says he hopes to keep the job he created for himself. “I’m doing my best to ruin things for legitimate media, hiding actual information behind a fog of half-truths and rumor,” he explains.