Thursday, January 18, 2007

Bawlmer: Better Than Baghdad!

I normally give editorialist cartoonists a lot of leeway in their hyperbole, particularly Ted Rall who has done more for the “George Bush as a simian tin-pot dictator” meme than anyone else, but today he went over the line. He insinuated that being on a military patrol in Iraq is safer than walking the streets of Baltimore.

I’m sure we can find statistics to support his thesis since Baltimore leads the nation in heroin addiction, prostitution, and STDs, but that is not the point. Every big city has drug crime, failing schools and corrupt politicians. Baltimore is the only one making coin off of its bad rep by parleying its gritty side into five seasons as the host dystopia for The Wire. I’d rather Baltimore be the setting of something more glamorous, but you play with the cards you are dealt.

Baltimore has a lot of great points. For one thing, it is the home of the Rockingest Governor in America. While Martin O’Malley’s Irish folk-rock band, O’Malley’s March, is officially on hiatus while he holds public office, the group has had more farewell/reunion performances that Kiss and The Who combined. And there is more to music in Charm City than muscle-shirted mayors. The Peabody may be not as famous as Julliard, but no place else can claim both Tupak Shakur and Tori Amos as alumni. And John Water’s cultural contributions to cinema can only be hinted at in such a short time.

Baltimore even leads the country in lame civic slogans. We were once “The City That Reads” until all the bookstores closed and everybody kept mispronouncing “reads” as “bleeds”. Then we were America’s Greatest City, which was such a ridiculous claim, nobody even bothered to dispute it. Our latest slogan is:

Which just reeks of desperately cynical optimism. That is why in support of my adopted hometown I humbly submit to the city this new claim to fame:

Baltimore: Better Than Baghdad

Take that Ted Rall. I hereby donate my royalties to the public and I want O’Malley’s March to reunite for the parade in my honor.


Anonymous said...

We in Charm City appreciate your defense, yellojkt, but it's true that our brave fighting men and women would be much more like to catch syphilis in Baltimore than in Baghdad.


yellojkt said...

I didn't say it might not be true. I just took offense anyway. You can do that with regional pride.

Anonymous said...

It's called sarcasm. Read the cartoon: the entire strip lampoons the reasons being given for not bringing home the troops.

J.Po said...

Where is Rall based? DC? That would certainly explain why Baltimore would be a joke target.

Let him come to Philly if he wants some good old-fashioned street homicide...over 400 in '06!

yellojkt said...

Of course it's sarcasm. I've been accused of using it myself. Obviously in undetectable amounts on this post.

Anonymous said...

Actually, our latest slogan is "Get In On It".

"Believe" was actually an anti-drug slogan, except nobody knew what it was about. Personally I liked the bastardizations of this one, including "BLIEVE, HON" and "BEEHIVE", both of which (go figure) came out of the neighborhood of Hampden.