We've received lots of mail in the past couple of weeks about our staff-written Nov. 23 cover story, "American Gluttony," a satirical look at holidays and overindulgence in this city, state, region and nation. Most of the complaints have been along the same lines: Your satire went too far this time -- eating disorder is no laughing matter.
It's a reasonable complaint. The point of satire is, of course, to make a harsh comment on whatever it is being satired. (So for the record, kids, we at Creative Loafing are not really recommending that you eat too much, drink too much, barf too much or do anything to the extreme.) But we also understand that what's funny to some readers may be painful to others.
That's the line we nudge up against when we gather to plan each issue of this paper. How can we be funny, edgy and irreverent but also be sympathetic, compassionate and considerate of others' feelings. Obviously, no publication, irreverent or not, could possibly please everyone all the time. An alternative weekly's job is to irritate -- to put music, art, film and restaurants under a microscope; to call into question corrupt politicians, bad public decisions and ... unhealthy mass behavior. By pointing fingers, we're definitely going to get the finger pointed right back at us. And that's OK. In fact, it's healthy.
So while we at Creative Loafing will make our best effort to consider feelings when planning our coverage, we're not going to pull our punches so much that the writing winds up hitting like a cotton ball. Think about it: If all comics, musicians, painters and other artists were to try and please everybody, there would be no good humor, music or art. There would be no Jonathan Swift, George Orwell, Miguel Cervantes, Monty Python, Frank Zappa -- or NC rap group Little Brother.
We welcome all reader feedback and we want you to tell us when you think we've gone too far. It puts us in our place -- just as we are charged with putting public figures in their places.
Thanks for reading us. And from all of us at Creative Loafing, have a happy and safe holiday season. Really, we mean it!