We’ve come to an impasse

Oct. 06, 2013 @ 07:07 PM

Let me be clear about this: We will not re-open this column until the newspaper agrees to our demands that it completely agrees to our demands.

Until that happens, the column will be shut down and only essential sentences and some useful paraphrases will be allowed in this space. Key operations — such as clever plays on words and intricate puns — will be suspended until we get what we want as soon as we figure out what it is we want.

It was not initially our intention to shut down the operation of this column and survive only on twigs and wild roots and the occasional adverb, but we felt we had no choice. Once the newspaper decided that it was going to go about its business as if it were business as usual we felt it was time to take a stand. And so we’ve taken that stand and unfortunately can’t find where we’ve put it.

It may be in the closet in the guest room; we’ll take a look.

In the meantime, we have been forced by the newspaper’s intransigence to furlough all but essential workers — those who protect the column against incursion by really dumb grammatical errors and the dedicated line workers who operate the spell-check machine.

We understand that this will cause significant upheaval in the lives of those who depend on clever parodies to get their Mondays off to a good start, but we firmly believe that governing this column must above all be about compromise. And if the other side won’t compromise by giving us what we want, then we have no choice but to shout and scream and embarrass them in front of their in-laws.

Some may believe that the only reason we are shutting down the column is because we have been led astray and controlled by a small, radical group of small radicals who are opposed to the whole idea of columns at all and want to replace them with more newspaper features about “The Bachelorette.”

That is completely untrue. Some of them want more features about “Dancing With the Stars.”

We believe that implementing more “Dancing With the Stars” coverage is the fatal next step to a complete newspaper takeover by the Kardashians and could spell the end to serious analysis of the next week’s weather and what the chance of rain will be.

But whatever the initial reason for the shutdown, what we have here now is a crisis of leadership and a matter of principle. Or it may be a crisis of principle and a matter of leadership. Then again, it could be a matter of crisis and a principle of gravity.

In any case, we continue to vow not to back down no matter how many times we are accused of inflexibility and refusing to back down. And we continue to be willing to negotiate as long as it doesn’t actually mean, well, negotiating.  

Neil Offen can be reached at theneiloffencolumn@yahoo.com.