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Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Stranger Should Praise More

Posted by on Sat, Jun 22, 2013 at 11:04 AM

A letter to the editor:


Is it just me, or is The Stranger rampant with needlessly scathing articles? I've always appreciated The Stranger for Free Will Astrology, Savage Love and the opinions on offbeat, local subjects.

But lately, I've been repelled by all of the verbally abusive retorts on benign subjects (ie Ballet) and the -just plain ignorant commentaries, such as the latest, "Street Harassment," which I found to be a little offensive and somewhat, socially irresponsible. Don't get me wrong, I think that self-defense is extremely important but I wouldn't encourage women to engage with anyone who makes a petty, derogatory comment, as it could lead to an actual assault. I mean, a young woman was stabbed a few days ago in LA for not giving up a dollar to a homeless man as she had engaged with him, instead of just walking away.

Ultimately, it makes me wonder, are we trying to cultivate an angry, paranoid and aggressive audience here?

I don't know, maybe these articles are meant purely as entertainment and amusement and I'm taking them too seriously. But if that's the case, can't you guys do a little better? I know the world is a mean and scary place, especially for your writers, but maybe figure out some subjects that are deserving of praise or awe, rather than ridicule and anger.

- Mia


Comments (30) RSS

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Gern Blanston 1
Apparently, this person never read "Nice Job Whatshertits."
Posted by Gern Blanston on June 22, 2013 at 11:11 AM · Report this
Baconcat 2
Be awed by -- and then praise -- how quickly Slog commenters turn on you, Mia.
Posted by Baconcat on June 22, 2013 at 11:19 AM · Report this
Puty 3
I like this new series of Helpful Unsolcited Advice From Readers. Also, I love the Stranger just the way it is. XO
Posted by Puty on June 22, 2013 at 11:22 AM · Report this
TomJohnsonJr 4
Focus, people. Are we complaining about the Stranger being what it is, or commenters being who they are? I haven't got time to weigh in on both, I am such a busy person.
Posted by TomJohnsonJr on June 22, 2013 at 11:39 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 5
Wait, I thought only the Suburbanites and the Elitists complained about The Stranger, out of envy?
Posted by Will in Seattle on June 22, 2013 at 11:45 AM · Report this
I know this is totally an ad hominem attack, but I tune out the moment anyone says they appreciate an astrology column.
Posted by dicon on June 22, 2013 at 11:48 AM · Report this
femwanderluster 7
hat tip to sllotd: fake!

written by MRA. (change one letter in Mia)
Posted by femwanderluster on June 22, 2013 at 11:52 AM · Report this
dnt trust me 8
I agree.

I try to model my comments after the Stranger - 80% (if not more) focused on whining, bitching and snark. The rest of it I go for sweet, helpful and funny. Plus, there's plenty of other websites and blogs which have those numbers reversed, thank the Lord!
Posted by dnt trust me on June 22, 2013 at 11:52 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 9
It's just easier to churn out content that tears things down -- it writes itself usually. Folly, is after all, the human condition. You can expose the folly of the human condition in a scathing, cutting way that still ultimately conveys a positive, constructive message. Problem is, it's really hard. Louis C.K. can do it, because he gives a shit, and takes the time to try.

The Genius Awards were created specifically because it was universally agreed that The Stranger was all negative, all the time and everyone was sick of it.

But if you're no Louis C.K., and you're not writing a Genius Award nomination, and you've got pages to fill, then what choice do you have? Write like a dick is your choice. Folly.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on June 22, 2013 at 11:56 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 10
@7: Yep. Women wouldn't phrase it as "offensive". Thanks, "Mia", for suggesting that women be more passive and that these essential fantasy responses to being hollabacked, harassed, and followed by creepers are somehow ruining society more than the douchebag guys.

Thanks for the "advice". No, really.
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 22, 2013 at 12:34 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 11
I thought The Stranger needed to me more negative
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on June 22, 2013 at 12:42 PM · Report this
#9 Yes.
Posted by M. Wells on June 22, 2013 at 12:46 PM · Report this
Knat 13
Sounds to me like "Mia" is the one trying to cultivate a paranoid audience, with stories of women being stabbed by homeless people for daring to engage one like a human being. "Don't engage people on the street, they'll just stab you if you stop walking and turn in their direction!"
Posted by Knat on June 22, 2013 at 12:49 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 14
@9: Similarly, it's easier for these letter-writers to write about how mean The Stranger is than not be a dick to others. Some systems need to be torn down, and being "negative" towards hostile persons is natural.
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 22, 2013 at 12:52 PM · Report this
The Stranger has been backing off its criticism of The Seattle Times lately, Mia.

I guess ignoring its irresponsible journalism can be interpreted by some as a compliment.
Posted by Fizgig on June 22, 2013 at 1:45 PM · Report this
ams_ 17
I have to agree that lazy snark is taking over The Stranger and most of the internet. I blame Jezebel.
Posted by ams_ on June 22, 2013 at 1:46 PM · Report this
very bad homo 18
People who constantly bitch about The Stranger & Slog, but can't stay away from it.
Posted by very bad homo on June 22, 2013 at 1:53 PM · Report this
Has Mia been in a coma the entire time that you guys have been covering the Genius Awards?
Posted by treehugger on June 22, 2013 at 2:07 PM · Report this
bigg 20
@2 You made the same response I would have, but better and faster. Bravo!
Posted by bigg on June 22, 2013 at 2:44 PM · Report this
I'm with @18. And yet here you are.

Look, people read looking for a point of view. If all you want is information, go read Wikipedia. I don't know any decent news outlet that doesn't have a POV. The Stranger's is certainly more pronounced (but at least they are honest about it unlike the Times).

Yes, The Stranger is an-in-your-face source of news but most of us don't want it any other way. You can certainly have your own opinion about what you think/do in re: their situational items but don't tell them how to write.
Posted by westello on June 22, 2013 at 4:34 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 22
But seriously, how is gushing praise and inertia not inherently more lazy and conservative than dissatisfaction with anything?
Posted by undead ayn rand on June 22, 2013 at 6:44 PM · Report this
The Stranger has been this way forever. "We are better than you, and therefore whatever you like sucks shit." It annoys me often. But that's the way it is. So deal with it. And write a letter once in a while to keep 'em in check. I've done it, too. :)
Posted by paulus22 on June 22, 2013 at 8:39 PM · Report this
NotSean 24
@10.. yup.

Oh, if you're feeling small and
you can't draw a crowd,
draw dicks on the wall.
Posted by NotSean on June 22, 2013 at 10:12 PM · Report this
NotSean 25
@24 you meant @9.
Learn to count and read.
Posted by NotSean on June 22, 2013 at 10:13 PM · Report this
Ballard Pimp 26
I have in my hand an object which gives me access to the accumulated knowledge and wisdom of humanity. I use it to send pictures of kittehs and get in arguments with strangers.
Posted by Ballard Pimp on June 23, 2013 at 12:15 AM · Report this
I've long suspected that the average Stranger staffer/reader was on the same intellectual level as Fox News staffer/viewers. Maybe with different ideas, but with similar levels of disregard for critical thought or ethical behavior.

It would totally make sense, then, that the Stranger would be "cultivat[ing] an angry, paranoid, and aggressive audience".
Posted by fetish on June 23, 2013 at 7:07 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 28
Really, Goldy needs to compliment the NRA more. And Dan Savage needs to be nicer to Tony Perkins. C'mon guys, kisses all around!
Posted by Pope Peabrain on June 23, 2013 at 7:51 AM · Report this
dangerousgift 29
I come for the hopeless nihilism, but stay for the radical Marxism! The snark is just icing on the cake.

Regarding the articles the letter writer points out, I would be happy if you actually just ran them again. That person doesn't know shit about shit. That street harassment guide was fucking righteous.
Posted by dangerousgift on June 23, 2013 at 10:05 AM · Report this
I hate having to share a gender with people as stupid as the letter writer. Women need to stand up to the misogynistic crap floating around. Hell the whole republican party is trying desperately to get women back in the kitchen but Mia here thinks we should just think beautiful thoughts and go back to cooking our man a good dinner.

Maybe more stories about puppies?
Fuck that.
Posted by Madame Chintoa on June 23, 2013 at 11:01 AM · Report this
@33 post has In Sammamish Not Getting any written all over it.
Posted by maddogm13 on June 23, 2013 at 5:18 PM · Report this

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