The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Wednesday, February 25, 2004  

I Keep Telling Myself to Stop Using That Word

“Idiot.” “What an idiot.” “He’s an idiot.”

I say that, or things like that, and then I tell my mean-spirited self, again, “Stop using that word.”

So I do. I stop. And then I go and do something really stupid -- idiotic, even -- and read Andrew Sullivan or someone of like mind, and the word comes back to me.

It happened again this evening.

Via Atrios I read an unbelievable collection of avian droppings in the Daily Mountain Eagle, Jasper, Ala., written by Susan Sanford, the bird-cage liner’s copy editor.

I love copy editors. Some of my best friends are, or have been, copy editors. I’ve been copy editing on and off, officially or otherwise, for, I don’t know, something like 18 years, even, occasionally, here at Rittenhouse.

When they’re good, copy editors, I mean, they’re very, very good. But when they’re bad, not only are they very, very bad, some of them still draw a paycheck. Miss Sanford, at least in her incarnation as an editorialist, apparently falls into the latter category.

In “Sodom and Gomorrah Revisited,” Miss Sanford inquires:

My first question is, do these people not read the Bible?

Speaking only for myself, Miss Sanford, yes, I read the Bible regularly, and I have read the Bible for years, and I will go chapter-and-verse with you any day of the week.

(Let me just interject here with a message to those who mock or criticize me for my continued adherence to Catholicism and Christianity: Can you meet Miss Sanford on her “own” ground? No? Would you have me, us, therefore concede that ground to her?)

Then, with incomparable originality of thought and doctrine, Miss Sanford adds:

Have they forgotten Sodom and Gomorrah?

No, Miss Sanford, but may we put the purported events in those two tiny villages of millennia gone by within their proper theological, historical, and cultural context, or is that just too complicated for you?

Miss Sanford adds:

[W]e should be worried that this group and their [sic] supporters have worked diligently to have themselves [sic] -- common sinners, according to God’s word -- declared a special minority.

Excuse me, this woman is a copy editor? Even more, she is the copy editor at the Daily Mountain Eagle? I think I’m being generous in asking who had the night off.

And “common sinners,” that’s a nice touch. Before she throws around stupidity like that I would like Miss Sanford to swear and affirm -- as an oath, like, on the Bible -- that she herself never has had an errant, unapproved, “nice touch,” self-inflicted or otherwise.

Thereafter follows some drool about creationism, Leviticus (though no mention of not being allowed to eat rabbit or pork), all the usual stuff, including some words from noted closet case St. Paul, Miss Sanford’s dribble ending with this pathetic exhortation: “The battle for souls has begun.”

Just now? What the hell have you been doing for the last 20 years?

Bring it on, Susie.

The Rittenhouse Review | Copyright 2002-2006 | PERMALINK |