Archive - Mar 5, 2007

No Duck In This Fight

« March 2007 »

I know, from the standpoint of the reader, that I must seem nigh-omniscient at times, keeping up on the latest in Southern bestiality, psycho politics, religious nutjobs, and movies opening on Friday. It's a perception that I rabidly encourage, even though it's not entirely true.

But in addition to the dozens of events that occur but I decide, for various reasons, not to comment on, there are also things that I miss. Things that just plumb shoot past without ever registering on my radar. Like about a month ago, when Katherine Kersten got in a tiny spat with Brian Lambert.

Note the spelling. This is longtime Twin Cities journalist and writer Brian Lambert, who has not, to my knowledge, ever used the term "skunk-fellating" in a column, which is another useful way to tell us apart. Hasn't stopped me from getting one or two phone calls a year from people thinking I'm him. As far as I know, the inverse has never happened to him, but whatever. It's fine. I'm comfortable with our relative positions.

But if any B. Lambert in this town is going to be mildly annoying Katherine "Most Boring Conservative Ever" Kersten with an article about her mind-numbingly dull writing, it should be me, goddammit. Not Mister With-An-I, who, toward the end of January wrote a sort of retrospecticus of Kersten's tenure at the Star Tribune, a period marked initially by controversy (the Strib hiring a conservative as a news section columnist, rather than on the op-ed page!), and now marked by stifled yawns.

I-Lambert's profile is certainly comprehensive. For example, he explains that Kersten came to her conservatism by being irritated by rich Sandinista sympathizers in the area during the 80's. That kind of motivation goes a long way toward explaining why her prose burns with the white-hot intensity of a thousand rocks.

Kersten, in her blog, nitpicked the article, which, in her defense, I freely admit was really fucking long. I-Lambert commented on her clothing (sexist!), how she's buddies with the doofuses at PowerLine (which she doesn't see as a problem), and how she should be on the editorial pages (an argument that, to me, seems very 1970s and dead tree). What I don't understand is why Kersten doesn't object to I-Lambert's most egregious falsehood. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"So, for the last twenty months, Kersten has been a one-woman solution, applying a decidedly different, and perhaps revolutionary, face to the role of big-city reporter and metro columnist." - Brian Lambert, in The Rake, one of the free alternative press weeklies in town.

Revolutionary. Even ironically, that is not the kind of word you can apply to a woman who, in her most recent blog entry, actually fucking wrote "We’ve heard many predictions over the years that rap music is on its way out. But every year the beat goes on, and we old folks are left muttering, 'Where’s the tune?'"

Yes, in 2007, the Star Tribune's Queen of Albedo is still wondering when this "rap" stuff will go away and stop talking about "bling" and "ho's". And hoping it will be soon. That's not revolutionary. That's not even revolutionary in the field of banality. That's the kind of mediocre, standard banality that might win her a Best Adapted Banality award at the Golden Banal Globes.

She even closes the column with a bit of disappointment that it's just people getting bored with mainstream rap, instead of "Americans developing a stronger moral compass, and taking seriously the cultural wreckage to which rap contributes". It's like it's 1992 again, and nobody realizes the violent gangsta rappers who are destroying society will be starring in wacky, family-friendly Hollywood comedies in fifteen years' time.

At the end of the day, the only thing differentiating Kersten's column from any given day's Mallard Fillmore is her apparent inability to draw a goddamned duck. They're both where they are in the Strib thanks to affirmative action.