SATURDAY, AUGUST 5, 2017
Because Those Folks Sound Just Like Some Of the People We Know
At yesterday’s meeting of the Conservative Agenda, Political Insiders were asking Beloved Whistleblower Publisher Charles Foster Kane to explain once more if those people and events we read about in all those “Return to Patronage County” Columns are real people and events, or are those things just made up for the fun of it like when Oliver Swift used the island of “Lilliput” in his classic “Gulliver’s Travels” satire. Sometimes the literary device is called “roman à clef,” where real people are depicted under fictitious names.
Actually, there are two kinds of columns in the Patronage County Series. You’ll see the “Welcome Back to Patronage County” columns that first appeared in the feisty Mt. Washington Press in the 1980s and were personally edited by eminently renowned publisher Dennis Nichols.
Earlier in our “More Marvelous Muckraking” E-dition, The Blower was explaining our humble beginnings when Ronald Reagan was running for president, and Kane did media advance work for The Gipper during the early primaries. Later that year, just for fun, Kane exposed then-GOP Hamilton County Commissioner Norman Murdock for operating an illegal Republican group out of the courthouse.
It was nearly thirty-seven years ago, when a picture of the check from Stormin’ Norman’s “Committee to Elect Republicans” bearing the Hamilton County Courthouse address of “1000 Main Street” on the front-page of the Sunday paper on August 10, 1980, along with legendary political reporter Bob Weston’s award-winning expose (“Republican Group Alleged to Work from County Office”).
Later that year as the Murdock scandal fomented, Jim Borgman piled on by publishing some Pulitzer-Prize-winning editorial cartoons lampooning Murdock, like that classic one showing the disgraced Commissioner as a sleazy used car salesman with the caption asking, “Hey, have I ever given you a reason to doubt me?”
Kane then followed with weekly satirical op-ed pieces for several years in the very Conservative, then very much respected Mt. Washington Press, detailing the goings-on in the mythical “Patronage County,” where Commissioners Pilfer, Filch, and Swindle held sway. You’ll never guess how many people thought “Stormin’ Norman” was Commissioner Swindle.
During the past few years The Blower has published some of those early 1980s columns under our “Welcome Back to Patronage County” banner.
A lot of people at the Literary Society thought those older columns were better than the stuff we were currently writing.
You can find a myriad of them under the Return to Patronage County heading at the top of the Whistleblower Web Page.
Then we tried writing “Patronage County Today” columns using the same sleazy characters at the satirical Patronage County Courthouse, but about more current events. And we’ll continue to use folks in our mythical Patronage County to illustrate things going on hereabouts these days so Persons of Consequence might gain another useful perspective on the news.
These articles will be Beloved Whistleblower Publisher Charles Foster Kane’s attempt to encourage undiscovered young writers, such as our brand new columnist below who shares his acute and oh-so-accurate take on local Politics as Usual in satirical Patronage County.
Take this column for example. The Blower published it two years ago about the renovation plan for the local Patronage County Museum and the Patronage County Music Center, and even folks at the Sanctuary for Stupidity at Cincinnati Hall could figure out that we were really talking about over-taxed payer funding for the Museum Center and Music Hall.
“Larcenous Landlords” by James Jay Schifrin
Last week the Patronage County Commissioners were arguing about the renovation plan for the local Patronage County Museum, as well as the Patronage County Music Center, because Commissioners still need to decide before August 6 whether to place a proposed sales tax increase on the November ballot.
“A sales tax seems easiest to sell,” said Commissioner Filch. “That would spread paying for it among the greatest number of people.”
“A property tax would be tougher to sell,” added Commissioner Pilfer. “And don’t forget how people always complain whenever anybody suggest raising ticket prices to pay for improvements.”
“Our friends supporting a levy say they’re optimistic all this can be worked out They’re calling it a collaboration, and a partnership,” Commissioner Swindle explained. “They say these are very important, iconic buildings, and it’s really vital that we all pull together and try to find a solution.”
“It’s no big deal to come up with the money,” said Commissioner Filch. “Besides a county-wide sales tax, we could always get donations from local Liberal do-gooders, along with state and federal bonds and money from the city.”
“How about selling naming rights?” asked Commissioner Pilfer.
“Great idea,” answered Commissioner Swindle. “Think how much those folks at Dildo World will pay plenty to look legitimate and see their name on a big building.”
“I think we need to keep muddying the waters at least until we can get that tax hike on the November ballot,” concluded Commissioner Pilfer. “We don’t need investigative reporters at the Patronage County Innuendo asking why the owners of those buildings don’t make the repairs.”
“Right as usual, Pilfer,” concluded Commissioner Swindle. “Especially when you consider that the three of us actually own the property on which the museum and music center stand.”
See how it works? We call it “Satire.”