Okay … so I haven’t managed the sublime lately. But I am fuming about the ridiculous. Near the comics section in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which I admit I scour religiously, there is an occasional column that I have always assumed to be a make-work assignment for a relative of some Post-dispatch honcho. “Life Sherpa,” written by one Joe Holleman, purports to give advice about ” life, love and other guy related maladies,” and seems to push a concept of “guyness” that consists of everything dull-witted. I think the goal is supposed to be humour.
I don’t usually even look at this column since I am not a fan of the genre, although I have a mostly live and let live attitude toward this type of thing. Imagine my surprise then, when I noticed the headline of today’s column: “Obama proves adept at being a politician.” Curiosity whetted, I took a look and found that Mr. Holleman aspires to write a particularly disingenuous type of satirical political commentary. A sample:
The Life Sherpa finds it comforting that this young, untested and relatively inexperienced politician already has mastered the art of acting like – wait, let me find the right word – a politician.
There is no more time-honored political move than to throw bales of money at complex social and economic problems and then hope for the best. This must be the “hope” part of Obama’s platform.
Oh gee, and here I though that Obama was trying to use the same Keynesian techniques that got us through the Great Depression to weaken the impact of Bush’s Depression. Silly me.
I am probably over-reacting. Like most of us I am subject to the usual incessant media distortions of political reality so perhaps my antennae are becoming over-sensitized. One can, of course, comment directly to Mr. Holleman in the online version of the paper, but the Post-Dispatch still puts out a paper version where these comments never appear–and the Post-Dispatch does include an editorial section which is, incidentally, located elsewhere.
I can’t help wondering if this guy should be pushing his very unsubtle political opinions in what is presented as a lighter than light entertainment column? It does seem to me that if Mr. Holleman feels belittled by his assignment and wants to write on more substantial issues, he should quit and start looking for another type of job. Or maybe he should start a real political blog where his biases can be spelled out right at the start and where he has the space to actually explore issues rather than offering cliches wrapped in heavy-handed satire.