A quick note before we get to another edition of Ask Boomer With Attitude. Back in August, some readers gave me hell for penning a column about the media's coverage of David Crespi, the Charlotte bank exec who stabbed his 5-year-old twin daughters to death, allegedly because he was depressed. Readers complained the column was thoughtless toward Crespi's family, and that "they didn't ask for all this media attention." I thought of those complaints last week as David Crespi appeared from prison on "Oprah" to again blame the murders on depression -- and while Crespi's wife Kim gave Oprah's viewers a tour of the house where the twins were killed. I almost retched. Maybe now my August prediction will come true and Oprah will give Crespi his own segment called "Pimp My Cell," in which he'll show how he's decorating his new digs. After which, of course, the man local media portrayed as a "pleasant rich guy who became unhappy and made a mistake" will sign a contract to write his autobiography, tentatively titled Oops, My Bad. This time, I don't expect to hear much about how "they didn't ask for media attention."
Dear BWA: I like your idea of giving prospective voters a quiz on government and current events, but mainly to keep most of the Dumbocrats from voting. My question is, do you still think a test is a good idea now that your beloved Democrats are the majority party in Congress? -- Wounded Elephant
Dear Wounded: Yes, I do. As I mentioned at the time, I wrote about voter tests before the recent election. No matter who won or lost on November 7, one result was the same as always: dummies who couldn't name the three branches of government if their lives depended on it had as much say as citizens who follow the issues and make informed choices. Simply put, that's both unfair and bad for the country. Tests for voters is something that goes against the traditional liberal view of how democracy should work, so I was hoping for less clichéd responses than yours from conservatives. Guess I should have known better.
Dear BWA: I'm disappointed that CL gave Borat a good review. I don't think a progressive paper such as yours should praise a film that promotes sexism and anti-Semitic views. I realize it's supposed to be satire, but Borat isn't funny, it's just disgusting. -- Anti-Borat
Dear Anti: First, please note that CL film critic Matt Brunson wrote the review you mention, not me. In any case, it sounds like you need to rev up your irony motor. Actor Sacha Baron-Cohen, who portrays Borat, uses his character's blatant prejudices to lampoon anti-Semitism and sexism, not to promote them. Humor takes many forms and elicits a wide range of reactions, from mild chuckles to pee-in-your-pants, can't-breathe, roaring laughter. Lucky for me, I took a change of underwear to the theater when I saw Borat. I'm kidding! I'm serious, though, that political correctness should never be allowed to put the lid on outrageous humor. My point is that, as Chris Rock says, "Funny is funny," no matter who's being made fun of. I'll prove it: Q. Why do white men like to have sex in front of a mirror? A. Objects may be bigger than they appear. Now, I think that's pretty funny, although it mocks my ethnic group and gender. If I can do it, Anti-Borat, I bet you can, too. Let's try one more and see if you can loosen up and laugh. Q. What's the flattest surface to iron your jeans on? A. A white girl's butt. Are you laughing yet? If not, take a double dose of Borat and call me in the morning.
Dear BWA: Why is Charlotte getting rid of its classic older restaurants like The Coffee Cup, Athens, and Anderson's? I'm relatively new here (one year), but it seems that these "historic" eateries could be saved, as happened in my hometown of Madison, Wis., if enough people organized around the issue. -- Sue Winston
Dear Sue: Welcome to Charlotte, where history is often just a speed bump on the way to a lucrative deal. Recent reports say The Coffee Cup may be saved yet, but I'll believe it when I see it. I love your idea for Charlotte to emulate Madison and organize around the issue of saving historic buildings. I just wish you'd been here 20 years ago to propose it. I also wish your idea had even a slight chance of being acted upon. We're happy you're here, Sue, but you do need to know that Charlotte is to Madison as a steak-eating exec in a Brooks Bros. suit with money hanging out of his pockets is to a hoody-wearing activist with multi-colored hair eating a bowl of organic soup.