I enjoy the Two Buttons Deep website and podcast. It’s fun, it’s irreverent, and there’s a good mix of sarcasm and snark going on with it.
That’s why a post from last Monday kinda gave me a bad ache in the gut.
And it reminded me of a similar post from three years ago that really upset me.
Let me explain.
The Two Buttons Deep site featured an article called “Berne Woman Arrested for Destroying a House But I Forgive Her.” The article went on to discuss the woman’s mugshot, with the wording, “Boy am I a sucker for blue eyes and there is no exception here. I’m sure she didn’t mean it and I do have a history for liking ‘bad girls.'”
It got worse. The article ended with this coda: “I’m willing to give her a second shot. Or maybe is it that I’m just so lonely that I’m resorting to mugshots to find love?”
Ugh. No. Not again.
I realize that the Two Buttons Deep site does a lot of satire and in-your-face humor… and the article referred to the crime as something that might only happen in Berne – and trust me, there’s a ton of stereotypical whackadodle-doo Berne stories out there.
So why doese this post make me queasy?
We have to go back to that halcyon year of 2015. Back when I was blogging for the Times Union. And in 2015, there was a post on the On the Edge blog.
No, it wasn’t written by Kristi Gustafson Barlette. Trust me, she’s written a lot of nasty-grams about me, both in her blog and on social media.
But in 2015, Kristi Gustafson Barlette took some time away from pushing her superiority complex all over her readers. For a few months, her On the Edge blog was written by Brianna Snyder, who tried to write with that same mixture of entitlement and snottiness – but even she couldn’t out-Kristi Kristi.
Trust me. Brianna started out with a post asking if local musicians would provide music for an upcoming Times Union video, in which the TU would pay the artists in “exposure.” That was strike one. Strike two was when she linked to a photo of some rock band, and one of the bandmembers had an obscene vulgarity on his T-shirt – for all to see.
But strike three came after two men held up a Clifton Park convenience store at gunpoint. The thieves were captured, and a mug shot photo made the rounds.
And apparently … this was around the time when a California criminal with a comely come-hither mug shot had his 15 minutes of fame as “Hot Mugshot Guy.”
Well, Brianna Snyder decided to go one better. She wrote an On the Edge blog post, entitled “Is this our own Hot Mugshot Guy,” and all hell broke loose. Some people weren’t sure if she was joking or trolling. Others were extremely offended – that a person whose life was threatened now has to watch as the Times Union, the paper of record in the Capital District, turned that crime into some goofy fodder. And trust me – if you think the comments were bad, you should see Brianna’s responses to same.
I should note that the Times Union eventually took down that blog post. Thankfully, it still exists on archive.org, so I can link to it in this post. Sorry, you don’t get to delete your shame.
I also responded to Brianna’s “attempt” at humor with my own blog post, “The Difference Between Satire and Offensiveness.” And I mentioned that if what Brianna Snyder wrote was satire, it was a poor effort. She quipped back in a comment that it wasn’t satire. So what was it? Humor? Seriousness? Trolling?
I should note that Brianna Snyder was a Times Union staff writer at the time. Keep that in mind.
So do I wish that the Two Buttons Deep website had chosen a better story than this? Yeah I do. I don’t care what the crime is or what the suspect is accused of, you don’t give someone a free pass in life because they have a face that could melt your heart and fire up your libido.
It wasn’t funny in 2015, and it sure ain’t funny today.
And I’m sorry if people disagree with me on this, and I’m sorry if people think I’m some old fuddy-duddy who will now go outside and chase the kids off his front lawn.
But believe me, I’ve just seen posts like that before. And I didn’t like them then, either.