Hey Baltimore, let’s crack open this week’s installment of The Mr. Wrong Column with a letter from my new pal, Eric from Queens:
Hi Mr. Macleod,
I’m Eric, a writer out of Queens up in New York. I come down to Baltimore about twice a year (I try to come more) and always pick up a copy of the City Weekly and one of the first things I read is your column. In reference to your column last week on the holidays, up here we call the Epiphany “Three Kings Day” because that’s what it’s known as in Puerto Rico and we have a huge Boricuan population that was only recently surpassed by Dominicans.
At any rate, just wanted to drop a line and say that while I get a kick out of reading Andrea Peyser as tabloid journalism crack, I’m much happier to read you and agree with you way, way more often. Who knows, someday if I bite the bullet and finally move down there I’d be able to read you in print on the regular. Glad you’re still doing this after that Sun takeover.
Eric from Queens
Thank you for reading and writing, Eric from Queens! I’m gonna give you a pass on calling City Paper the “City Weekly” on account of how you previously have stated that you only get to Baltimore twice a year, so maybe you travel a lot, and pick up a wide assortment of the many different Alternative Weeklies available across This Great Land of Ours, but the more I think about it, there is another Alt-Weekly paper, in Salt Lake City, Utah, called City Weekly, so I’m wondering if maybe this letter was misdirected. I mean, I don’t have a copyright on the Name “Mr. Wrong,” it was just a name I settled on after writing a few things for the old City Paper “Rant” column, and I think if I had a better Branding Team (me) then I woulda figured out a different name for the column, you know? I mean, there’s the whole Romantic angle of “Mr. Wrong,” as in meeting “Mr. Right,” and then there’s that 1985 Major Motion Picture starring Ellen DeGeneres called “Mr. Wrong,” and Mary J. Blige has a song called ‘Mr. Wrong,’ and there’s this series of cartoon images in the United Kingdom that are called “Mr. Men,” and one of ’em is called Mr. Wrong, and it is this red sorta Kool-Aid-pitcher looking thing, and sometimes the face drawn on looks like a bad Cathy-face from the deceased comic strip “Cathy,” by Cathy Guisewite, that used to run in The Baltimore Sun.
But wait, Gentle Reader and letter-writer Eric from Queens also mentions “that Sun takeover,” so yeah, OK, he’s talking about the right paper, in terms of Wrong. Thanks again, Eric from Queens, I already responded to you via email, and I’m gonna reiterate my thought that maybe right now, Queens is the place to be, on account of it seems to be Trending and stuff, but that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t be proud to have you exist down here in Baltimore, which has gotta be cheaper than Queens, no offense, and you could still get your Andrea Peyser fix, we get all the Tabloids down here, and it ain’t a Zero-Sum Game, you know? You can read all the newspaper columns you want!
It’s good somebody like Eric from Queens says he might move to Baltimore, you know? This city gets kicked in the teeth all the time, by people who want to crack wise about television’s “The Wire” and stuff, and take a cheap shot at our Civic Pride. Back in January when they (and you know who They are) announced that the new Official Slogan for Baltimore was gonna be something like “Baltimore: Birthplace of The Star-Spangled Banner,” I invented the slogan “Baltimore: We Don’t Care What You Think,” because I totally have an attitude about living here thanks to errbody who harshes on this place. Also personally, I think a lotta that Civic Pride stuff is Chauvinism, of the old-school variety, as defined here on the Google thing that just saves you all the clicks you would use to go to a proper Dictionary site:
exaggerated or aggressive patriotism.
“public opinion was easily moved to chauvinism and nationalism”
synonyms: jingoism, excessive patriotism, blind patriotism, excessive nationalism, sectarianism, isolationism, flag-waving.
Just live someplace, man, go ahead and celebrate it, enjoy it, love it, be proud of it, but I mean, it’s a buncha crap, saying where you live is better than some other place where people live (even if it is, for whatever reason, just show some class, for fuck’s sake, and be low-key about it), and it’s even more bullshit when you go outta your way to say somebody else’s place is a shit hole, OK? This is the kind of stuff that hurts people’s feelings and then makes them angry, like when you say your God is better than theirs. Just quit it, man. Brighten the corner where you live, you know? Don’t spend so much time looking for negative aspects of other people’s homes. That makes you an asshole, no matter where you live. Thank you.