Sunday, December 18, 2005

Hidden truths or agendas...

As one who attempts to deploy sarcasm in writing, I know that occasionally the true meaning of what I'm saying can be difficult to ascertain. When speaking, sarcasm is distinguished with a change in tone or a wink of the eye. On the other hand, when writing, you pretty much just throw it out there and hope most people get it, and if they don't...well, you can always explain yourself, but that's the short road to not-funny--the place where sarcasm goes to die.

Anyway, I bring this up because of a letter to the editor the today's Sun that could be either really funny sarcasm or just pointless sincerity. The context of the letter was a question posed by the Sun last week asking residents what they expect from the new Republican chair of the county council, Chris Merdon. To wit:

Based on previous experiences, I would expect the Republican chair to follow orders precisely from the Bush administration rather than from the people of Howard County, to try to merge state and church together, to attack the other person instead of the issue when in a debate, to send others into dangerous situations while they sit on the sidelines and root, to tell falsehoods and spin stories, to fire everyone who is not a Republican, to vote for more money for big corporations and millionaires, to take money from the poor, education and health, to track people who oppose their ideas and try to fill Howard citizens with fear instead of concern. And to say Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays to whomever they meet.
Because of the litany of charges against Republicans, I at first assumed this was a Democrat speaking with honesty about his opinion of the "other side." However, reading the letter a second time, it occurred to me that these are all the same bland talking points I hear Democrats whine about in newspapers and blogs, and therefore the writer could be a clever Republican taking pot shots at Democratic paranoia/silliness. Since I try to stay away from the ugly world of national politics, I'll just say that Democrats seem to have now a great opportunity to present optimism, hope, and a plan for the future of our country, but they're squandering it, focusing instead on blame, cynicism, and pessimism (certainly not the party I thought I signed up for when I turned 18).

So back to the letter. If the writer really thinks this way--that the Bush adminstration will rule Chris Merdon's chairmanship--than I think he (she?) is way off base and is doing more to hurt than help his party's cause. And, if this is the case, than the unintentional irony of the comment is just as funny as the possibility of it being a sarcastic take written by a Republican.

Of course, I read too much into things (sometimes) and would like to hear if you think the letter is sincere, sarcastic, or just plain right/wrong.

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