The Neutrotsky Gulag-Observer*

* Yes, before we get started, that’s my very latest name for the New Paltz Times.

Other than through their work, I don’t know the people who put the Neutrotsky Gulag-Observer together each week, but through said work I recognize them as ridiculously obvious shills on behalf of their own perceived political in-crowd. Woven in through the constant New Paltz Happy Talk (TM) reportage are virtually all of the baseline Lefty premises that one can jam into a community newspaper without actually having a thumbnail of one of those tee-shirt silk screens of Che Guevera at the top of each story as a stylized wave to the paper’s (and its parent company’s) bourgeois bohemian radicalism.

To the Gulag-Observer’s credit it sits with considerable nonchalance within the herbally-tightened skin of its own unexamined premises. Though that would constitute the peak of its accomplishment, other than showing up on time at respectable newstands every week.

My signal observation about the Gulag-Observer is that I would exhaust myself before exhausting the potential for humorous analysis of any single edition. There just are not enough hours in the week, even if I went without sleeping, to complete that job.

So, with that level of skepticism in plain view, let me direct your attention to the main front page story in today’s (5/29/08) edition of the paper, and express my suspicions (though I cannot claim to see into the heart or mind of the person or persons who write the cute but rarely clever heads for the articles).

The story is about Ulster County setting aside a parcel in a local cemetery for the burial of veterans. That’s certainly a very decent gesture by the county. And the story is clear enough, and certainly sufficiently long in detail to make sure that the reporter’s good friend in the Ulster County legislature is given credit on multiple occasions for getting the thing done.

That last bit about the usual shilling for the aforesaid perceived in-crowd is not what concerns me, though it provided some comic relief from the grimness of the topic.

It was the headline: “Vet Cemetery.”

Suspicion: It is meant to invoke the Stephen King title “Pet Sematary.”

If my suspicion is on the mark, and I’m inclined to think that it is, then the person who wrote that head should be thrown out the door today, even by the dubious standards of the Gulag-Observer and its strange parent company.

It’s not something to be shrugged off or pooh-poohed. Such puns and allusions are commonplace in the cute headlines of the Gulag-Observer and, as I say, while they are rarely clever, this one is decidedly unclever and unfunny.

My habit is not to go falling all over veterans at every opportunity, but I do have great admiration for them, and for someone at that paper to flick such an obvious booger of disrespect atop that story sets my eyes on fire.

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