Your RDA of Irony

Quips and Quirks

Is being me a chronic condition?  Apparently so.  A friend just reminded me of an incidence from 40 years ago.  A group of Hispanic activists stormed into the college newspaper office.  They demanded to know why the Daily Illini was not giving more coverage to Hispanic issues.  A certain features writer quipped, “We supported the Moors.”

The activists didn’t get the joke…or the additional coverage.

And now the latest manifestion of my condition. 

I recently wrote a magazine article about the Salem Witch Trials.  Now, there are some valuable lessons to be learned from this story.  You certainly can see that America has a long tradition of sanctimonious hypocrisy.  (Most of the victims happened to be political opponents or commercial rivals of Salem’s leading family.)  And if a clique of  Mean Girls can terrorize 17th century Massachusetts, you should be amazed that you somehow survived high school.  You might also have some premonitions of Sarah Palin’s presidency.

But I saw intriguing similarities between “The Crucible” and “Bye Bye Birdie.”  They both center around hysterical teenagers, and if Paul Lynde isn’t a witch who is?  “What’s the Matter With Kids Today” is applicable to either show.  And imagine Dick Van Dyke as Cotton Mather performing an exorcism to “Put on a Happy Face”! 

Peter Sellars is called a genius for coming up with ideas like this.  I’d be lucky to get a Brooks Brothers’ straitjacket.   

p.s.  Let’s not forget the historic significance of this day:

  1. Ken says:

    Will you tell us the name of the publication when (if) your Salem article is published?

    • Eugene Finerman says:


      IF? How rude! I’ll have you know that Megan Fox is planning to have my article tattooed on her body. She is erasing the tattoo quote from “King Lear” just to make room.

      Well, maybe not. But the article will be published in BOSS Magazine, which has been published my essays on history for four years. I have written for several corporate periodicals, and BOSS is far and away the best.

      Take a look:


      p.s. I am not in the Spring, 2010 issue. The editorial board commissioned an article on Japan’s surrender in World War II, but then decided that the atomic bomb was a little too controversial. Don’t worry: I still got paid.

  2. Michael says:

    It’s only fitting that they gave you a kill fee.

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