Wednesday, July 2, 2008

REJECTED by Cobourg Daily Star, March 21/07

Re: Conrad Black in prison stripes, March 15, 2007

In 961 words, Eileen Argyris demonstrated the veracity of Conrad Black’s characterization of many self-righteous journalists as “ignorant, lazy, opinionated, intellectually dishonest and inadequately supervised hacks” (Chicago Tribune 3/6/94). In Ms Argyris’ case, I add that her journalistic/editorial skills are mediocre, venal, sexist and unforgivably boring.

Ms Argyris’ sexist reference to Barbara Amiel Black’s husband as a “tubby hubby” is a prima facie example of a sophomoronic schoolyard slur. Would she gleefully characterize a man’s wife as a scrawny bonebag? Not likely, but then again, Mr Black is a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP, like me) male, which makes him (like USAmericans) one of the last acceptable targets for public prejudices and bigotry.

Ms Argyris’ writing style is less colourful than an empty mall parking lot, and has the nourishing substance of a slice of white bread left out in the sun for the simmer of a summer.

Whereas Conrad’s name and title set Ms Argyris’ “teeth on edge”, her editorial disabilities drive competent writers to corrective dental surgery in droves.

Ms Argyris has an absolute inability to turn an original phrase; most people can turn themselves at least once while sleeping in bed, but Ms Argyris’ creativity can turn a new phrase less often than a cadaver in a casket – bloodless, lifeless, and exceedingly odoriferous.

The measure of a boring hack can be identified by the clichés that clutter her column of crud: “set my teeth on edge”, “kingly lifestyle”, “couldn’t happen to a nicer guy”, “king of the hill”, “Merrie Olde England”, “ye olde aristocracy”, “tubby hubby”, “anchor to a drowning man”, “hatchet man”, “penny-pinching Scrooge-like”, “keen as mustard”, “silver spoon in his mouth”.

Ms Argyris’ copy and paste style is better described as copy and waste. What edification or enlightenment or enrichment has she provided readers? None! It is nothing more than a diatribe of her personal “visceral antipathy” of Conrad Black.

This riposte is my visceral antipathy to all mani-infestations of mendacious mediocrity written by so-called professionals with overactive bland glands. Ms Argyris is simply impoetent.

I hope this 356-word riposte will be taken as intended – publicly personal.

Long live Freedom of Screech!

-- Wally Keeler

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