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Friday, December 03, 2004

BYRNE, BABY, BURN

Splendid fusillades by the fierce Michelle Malkin and equally talon-ted Nicole Brodeur on the subject of the bizarre Stephen Byrne 'obituary' in the Seattle Times.

No surprise to find Sound Politics sounding off but it's interesting to find Free Republic also here for the bier.

Mademoiselles Malkin and Brodeur will not be the last to pronounce on this pythonesque turn of events and I don't envy the editor of my local Bainbridge Review the delicate task of picking thru the vitriolic letters that're bound to follow, not to mention keeping tabs on fellow journos now duty-bound to pontificate on the bandwagon bally-hoo.

What's the betting we even make it into Drudge?

kelsey, SJB, hayley I can't decide which is sadder: this color version of the dad and daughters pic as appeared in the Times, or the infinite drabness of the black & white repro as managed for the grotesque apologia in the Review.

Either way, the very sight of the girls and their murderer together in the same shot is abhorrent and one looks round for some instrument of extreme violence before remembering that the man in the photo has beaten us to it.

A rambling mish-mash of biography and defensive justifications of the most crass and cringe-making kind, the "Tribute" occupies 9" across 2 columns of page 13 of the Dec 1 edition of the BI Review, just below the calendar of events and hemmed in on the right by the hearty 4-column exhortation to "Seniors! Shop Fred Meyer ... and receive 10% Senior Discount."

A status and benefit denied our trio.

The writing is literally unreadable, 6-pt type of dense (in both senses of the word) gibberish, guaranteed to infuriate with its mumbo-jumbo of 'incomprehensible burden' and certainly doing no favors for the wretch it's meant to exonerate.

I don't mind it backfiring on the father - who deserves all the sickening posthumous puns one can load - but this sort of misbegotten revisionism also casts an ugly shadow across memories of the innocent.

I keep feeling there must be some cleansing verse to quote, some sonorous quotation or ancient Druid curse to comfort or at least banish the helpless feeling of cheapness that now hangs over the tragedy.

There's something sinister about purchased print of *quite* such leaden wit and obviousness and I find myself shuddering at the chilling thought that people like this might actually have been around during the girls' visits with their father.

I look forward with grim interest to the editor's choice of letters on the subject. They're sure to make entertainingly shrill and intemperate reading.

At my readers' requst, I will do my best to convey their ham-handed gist together with my own usual affected and ill-intended comment.


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