All right, I didn’t take it personally when you laid me off. After all, as a vice president of the company, I had been looking at those horrific numbers like all other senior staffers. There was no way the paper could keep paying all of us; no way at all. Some of us had to go; and my salary made me a very attractive target.
And yeah, I was kind of ticked off when you wouldn’t let me take my old blog with me, after all the nights and weekends I poured into it for four years, building it from nothing. That was a classic case of corporate lawyer B.S., insisting upon retaining the rights to content even though something called “Brad Warthen’s Blog” could have pretty close to zero value to you going forward. (I would say “zero,” but it continues to get a surprising number of page views — 15,000 last month — considering that I haven’t posted anything since March 2009. Possibly because I regularly send readers back to it. So that’s of SOME value to your advertisers, I suppose.) But I went out that day and bought the rights to “bradwarthen.com,” and never looked back. It had 132,000 page views in April, and I’m now actually getting income from it. (See the latest ad, from Vincent Sheheen?) So I’m over that.
But now, The State has gone TOO FAR. This I cannot forgive. After we’ve been drip-tortured for months by the GOP candidates with their conservative-this, conservative-that ideological monomania, the same moldy cliches over and over and over and over, to the point that I did something yesterday that I’ve never done before in my career — told my readers that NO GOP candidate is fit to be our governor for the next four years, because I for one just can’t take it any more…
… after all that, The State actually poses this question to the GOP candidates, in print:
There are voters who accuse elected Republicans of abandoning their conservative principles. What makes you the Republican most capable of representing the party in the fall election?
Imagine that! PROVOKING them to give it to us with both barrels! Just setting it right up on a TEE for them!
So of course we were treated to an absolute orgy of… As I’ve said from Day One I’m a conservative a true conservative my daddy was a conservative daddy my mama was a conservative mama I’m a bidnessman meet a payroll don’t take bailouts lazy shiftless welfare takers the key is to starve ’em before they reproduce 100 percent rating from conservative conservatives of America my dog is a conservative dog I don’t have a cat because cats are effete I eat conservative I sleep conservative I excrete conservative I got conservative principles a conservative house and conservative clothes take back our government from the socialists even though we don’t really want it because who needs government anyway they don’t have government in Somalia and they’re doing alright aren’t they National Rifle Association Charlton Heston is my president and Ronald Reagan is my God I will have no gods before him I go Arizona-style all the way that’s the way I roll I will keep their cold dead government hands off your Medicare so help me Ronald Reagan…
And on and on. That’s just to give you the flavor; I’m just reciting from memory. Read the actual stuff if you prefer, but my version has more life to it, while in no way being a disservice to the original.
You know what would have endeared me so much that I would have dropped all my objections and endorsed one of these candidates on the spot? If he or she had had the sense of perspective, the sense of the absurd, the appreciation of irony to say something like:
Actually, I’m a liberal. A liberal all the way. I drive a Prius, I love wine and cheese parties with the faculty, I think America is a big bully in the world and no wonder people hate us (I’d be a terrorist, too, if I didn’t abhor violence so), and I never saw an abortion I didn’t like. My spouse and I have an open marriage, so scandal can’t touch us, because to each his or her own. I’m a white, male heterosexual and the guilt just eats me alive; I wish I belonged to a group that was more GENUINE, you know? The first thing I’d do if elected is raise taxes through the roof, and spend every penny on public education, except for a portion set aside for re-education camps for people who now home-school their kids. Then, if we needed more money for excessive regulation of business and other essential government services, we’d raise taxes again, but only on the rich, which is defined as YOU or anybody who makes more than you. Probably the best word to describe my overall tax plan would be “confiscatory.” And my spending (OH, my spending! You’ve never seen spending until you see my spending!) would best be termed “redistributive.” If elected, my inaugural party will have music by the Dixie Chicks and the Indigo Girls, and then we’ll all bow down to a gigantic image of Barack (did you know it means “blessed”?) Obama, the savior of us all, and chant in some language other than the ultimate oppressor language, English. French, perhaps. Or Kiswahili.
Or something along those lines. And if The State ran a response like that, all would be forgiven…
Except for the faculty wine and cheese
parties–not big on wine and cheese and computer science doesn’t really do them anyway–and the male part–you stole my identity for your outrageous librul candidate. I want royalties…
So what’s the word on the street regarding the future of the newspaper? I don’t know anyone in my neighborhood who still subscribes to it.
Is there such a thing as a conservative Republican faculty member on a college campus? I don’t believe I’ve ever met one.
Brad, I couldn’t help but pick up on the ignorant slant you’re trying to use when speaking of conservative Republicans. I believe what you wrote was a run on sentence with several grammatical errors. Now on the other hand, you made the liberal Democrat out to be just the opposite.
Why are people stereotyping Republicans as poor, uneducated people and Democrats as highly educated, elite people? One thing I’ve noticed in real life is it’s quite the opposite. What is the voting records for Ivy League graduate, titans of industry and the elite class in this country? What is the voting record for the high school dropouts, welfare recipient, people lower economic class in this country?
I bet Brad has an Obama sticker on the back of his car.
brad, finally making some sense!
Absolutely. My husband even had a *young* conservative Republican colleague, improbably named Kirk Cameron.
One of the USC history profs is a longtime member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and other retro-groups, and Walter Edgar is no pinko.
Wow. This post illustrates the magnificent power of caffeine.
So our of hundreds of USC faculty and tens of thousands of faculty nationwide, we can come up with an Engineering faculty member at Virginia Tech and a History faculty member at USC.
Nah, that doesn’t illustrate the power of caffeine. THIS post does, however. I was definitely under the influence of the wonder drug on that one, as surely as Kerouac had his bennies for On The Road…
yes, that is a blog that exhibits the power of caffeine! I am not a native but I sired two natives and I have to say that SC politics is never boring, embarressing but never boring. Can it be there is nothing to fix and we have to have sex rumours and slurs to keep us focused on the people in the state house?
I think you were right about Hemingway not smoking a pipe.
He was one of the most photogenic and amply photographed writers, and there’s not one pic out there of him smoking anything…pipe, cigar, cigarette.
Found this quote from Lillian Ross, Portrait of Hemingway:
“Mrs. Hemingway lit a cigarette and handed me the pack. I passed it along to him, but he said he didn’t smoke. Smoking ruined his sense of smell, a sense he found completely indispensable for hunting. ‘Cigarettes smell so awful to you when you have a nose that can truly smell,’ he said, and laughed, hunching his shoulders and raising the back of his fist to his face, as though he expected somebody to hit him.”
No, but I could come up with some off the top of my head. I imagine plenty of faculty members are Republicans. Some I know are apolitical. I just don’t know plenty of faculty members. Sorry.
Of my husband’s colleagues who are personal friends, out of the closest six, two are libertarians. One is a Catholic Democrat. One is German, so not particularly one or the other, but I’d say he’s left of Republican. Two are Massachusetts residents and only one of those is a strong liberal. The other is probably a Democrat, but not super political.
Of my personal friends who are USC faculty members, two are liberal, one is libertarian.
I bet Brad has an Obama sticker on the back of his car.
If that’s the case, I bet that there is a McCain sticker next to it.
Brad drives a truck with no stickers whatsoever. Make of it what you will.
Kathryn – Thanks for proving my statement. Of the nine faculty members you mentioned, none are confirmed Republicans… or probably close to it.
Well I bet Kathryn’s still got a “W: The President” sticker. Oops, that might have crossed the civility line. 😉
What the heck is a “confirmed Republican? I sincerely doubt that Clyde Wilson has voted for a Democrat in my lifetime. Walter Edgar is hardly a lefty. Dr. Kirk Cameron is pretty definitely a straight-up Republican. Libertarian pretty much always equals Republican voter. Profs. Fortnow and Gasarch assuredly vote Republican–but they live in IL and MD, respectively, where that doesn’t equal crazy quite the same as it does here in SC.
“One thing I’ve noticed in real life is it’s quite the opposite. What is [sic] the voting records for Ivy League graduate…” I can tell you that my husband, Harvard College 1983, has never voted Republican in his lifetime, nor have his parents–dad PhD Yale, and mom a Smithy. My brother-in-law–Penn Law–also a staunch Democrat.
@ David — No bumper stickers now, but my husband had a “Republicans for Voldemort” on the car he drives the most for a long time. People actually asked him what Voldemort was running for….
I pointed out that saying Republicans for Voldemort actually implied that Voldemort was a Democrat–like when you get Democrats for Reagan, say….
Kathryn – You know, someone who traditionally votes Republican. I didn’t think it was that difficult. It’s like your husband and in-laws could be called “confirmed Democrats”.