Monday, August 31, 2009

The Boy Who Wasn't There

Alderman Matthew Petty, confessed tricycle thief and contriving mushroom farmer, has now declared himself to be an art critic. Critic, that is, in the sense of criticizing the selection committee that chose the winning design for the two bicycle rack sculptures to be built at the new Fayetteville District Court Building. His complaints, published as a letter to the editor of the Northwest Arkansas Times, charged that the other members of the selection committee violated the guidelines, chose a sub-par artistic design, and ignored the superior designs submitted by local artists to choose a New York designer.

Fair enough, perhaps. What Alderman Petty doesn't reveal is who were the dastardly members of the selection committee that deserve his scorn, for which of the submitted designs did each of the members vote, who were the outstanding local artists rejected by the committee, and which one of the local artists did he vote to receive the commission?

The fact is that Alderman Petty did not vote for the winning design or any of the local losers. He didn't even attend the only meeting of the committee and the one where they selected the design. Like they say, Alderman Petty, "if you don't vote, you can't complain." You owe the other members of the committee a public apology and your constituents an explanation on why you weren't there to share your artistic expertise and vote.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Two for Tea, and Ewww for Me

Several years ago, the public was off put by the published transcript of intimate cell phone chatter between Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles. Today, we can get our fill of such tasteless banter on Facebook, a new forum for the expression of oddball political views and personal displays of attraction. It can also be a big dose of the "Ewww Factor."

Just yesterday, Mike Masterson (right wing newspaper editor) and Laurie Taylor Masterson (local teabagger) were publicly opposing something. New High School? Health Care Coverage? Oh, this time it was the administration's popular Cash for Clunkers program. Laurie Lee posted up a link to some rightwing website bashing the program. Laurie will jump on any issue that will get her some attention. Ewww.

Mike took that online opening as an opportunity to display an off-topic sophomore critique of the opposition. "I can't imagine what an absolute tangled cluster of corruption and idiocy it would be to have Nancy Pelosi, Barney Buffoon and the rest of that circus in D.C. running health care for us and our children," he said so smugly. Ever-supportive helpmate Laurie cooed, "I love you hotstuff! enjoyed seeing you work out this mornin!" Ewww.

On Tuesday, it was even sweeter. Laurie posted a public entry reading, "I love you my darling and miss you terribly, can't wait to see you tonight! You completely fascinate me and leave me breathless with your every glance. Hope you are having a wonderful day, you are constantly in my thoughts~ your adoring wife~ " Less than an hour later, Mike in response posted up, "I love you Laurie Lee. Sorry you are feeling stunned today. However, God will calm that and provide the peace you need and deserve." Ewww.

You get the picture, the unsightly blend of politics and passion laid bare to share with strangers when Mike goes to mixing messages and massages. It brings to mind the old story of the heated exchange between John Wilkes and John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, in which Lord Sandwich exclaimed, "Egad sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox." Wilkes missed not a beat and replied, "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your Lordship's principles or your mistress." Ewww.