Letter: Failing to find humor in dating story

Graphic by Lori Deaton

[Re:“From a Distance: What I’ve Learned About Dating in Asheville During a Pandemic,” Jan. 6, Xpress:] Kevin, it appears you forgot your article, “From a Distance” was in the Humor Issue, because after searching thoroughly, I failed to find any humor. Like actually any. I did, however, cringe a number of times.

First, you presume that dating during a pandemic should be easy. It’s a fair concern, but of all the things that are difficult about this time, is your inability to get laid really deserving of its place at the top?

Also, we get it. You lived in NYC. Cool story, bro.

You might want to learn how to use the pejorative Karen correctly. It most certainly does not mean women who are unwilling to meet up with you during a pandemic where, as I write this, over 4,000 people in the U.S. died yesterday. It seems your ego bruises rather easily; I thought people from New York were supposed to be tough?

I’m surprised I need to say this, but you can’t compare dating in NYC to dating in Asheville. They’re Big Apples and Orange Peels. Sorry, but it’s going to be different here. There aren’t thousands of people to swipe on. Maybe the reason you’re superthirsty has little to do with the pandemic. Instead consider that it might be witticisms like, “There are a lot of butterfaces getting away with murder right now” that are making things tough for you.

That this article appeared in the same issue announcing layoffs of talented and far more thoughtful writers was particularly embarrassing. If the knee-jerk response is, “Lighten up, can’t you take a joke?,” why does it feel as though it’s coming from a very real place? I suggest polling some women and ask if they find it funny. My guess is they threw up in their mouths a little.

— Ryan DuVal

Editor’s response: Thank you for your feedback, along with that of the other letter writer on the topic in this issue and the multitude of online commenters who shared their thoughts on Kevin Miller’s recent opinion piece in our annual Humor Issue. Humor is a tricky thing, and written humor even more so. It can be a way to shine a light on our community and its foibles — which is one reason we chose to publish this piece. But part of deploying humor effectively is reading the room, and it’s safe to say that neither Kevin nor the Xpress editors read Asheville’s room correctly in this case. We’re sorry for any offense that caused and hope you will not hate on us too long. We live and learn — and work at listening and empathizing — and hope you’ll keep reading Xpress.


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6 thoughts on “Letter: Failing to find humor in dating story

  1. Dopamina

    Maybe it’s me, but in retrospect I can’t help but wonder if the article in question was published specifically at the expense of the type of people who read MountainX? Seriously, the staff didn’t know that MountainX readers tend to be very progressive and take issues of equality very seriously? Oops, just kidding, we didn’t read the audience?

    It’s always better to assume ignorance as opposed to malice when trying to figure other people out but my gut tells me there was a tad bit of malice driving the publishing of this satirical piece.

    That’s almost exactly the way abusers act, they do something awful because they enjoy it, and then when confronted, claim they were kidding. And if they weren’t kidding, well it’s your responsibility to forgive them :(

  2. theDon

    Two things. One, there has always been a fine line between hip and lame …at least to this decidedly non-hipster (..and way too old to even choose, thankfully ;) Obviously, the clueless hipster provocateur who wrote the piece fell way over that line. Two, the publisher of the Mtn Xpress is an odd fellow… to put in mildly. The pandemic has put a big hit on his/the Mtn Xpress -as per his various pleading missives to the paper’s readership- and this obviously was an intentional attempt by the publisher, along with his editors, to ramp up the Mts Xpress readership/ conversation. Also lame… and so podunk Asheville… sigh.

  3. Spring

    Wow, that’s kind of a weak apology. “We failed to read the room,” like there’s some other room where calling women butterfaces is OK?

  4. Bright

    Agree with the comments…the title of the article turned me to other articles. Kevin, dear, any woman whom you can persuade to go out with you is a fool. Sad.

  5. bsummers

    I think Kevin should include a link to this piece on his dating profile – even highlight the ‘but her face’ line. Then sit back and watch the dates roll in…

  6. Shultz!

    Agree w/the above comment about the half-hearted apology from the editors. I get that you guys need to bolster revenue in these times & controversial stuff brings in the hits, but c’mon, you need to actually follow your mission statement! Since the start of the pandemic this beloved rag of mine has unapologetically amped up its tabloid pieces. Y’all really need to rethink this strategy of the ends justifying the means.

    Not being OK with misogyny is a ‘foible’? Seriously?

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