So Who Peed in Dan Savage’s Cornflakes?

By Neal Comment


When Judy McGuire noticed that this year’s “Queer Pride” issue of the Seattle alternative weekly The Stranger bore some strong visual similaritie to How Not to Date, the relationship advice handbook she published earlier this year, she wrote about it on her blog, clearly more amused than chagrined, and sent an email to Stranger editor Dan Savage which, she told me over the weekend, was written in the same playful spirit.

Savage went ballistic, sneering that he’d never heard of McGuire’s book and that he was sure his newspaper’s art director “was harkening back to our first queer issues, and not perusing the dollar bin at Half Price Books, when he put this cover together.” Some Stranger readers appear to have a more highly developed sense of irony than Savage, though; one response describes Savage’s post as “needlessly douchey over what seemed like an un-hostile email,” while another commenter observes, “Your heavy-handed ‘Who is this peasant to question me?’ tone just makes you look like an asshole.”

My favorite bit, though, is when an anti-McGuire commenter goes to her blog and says, “If you mean your commentary to be funny, you should label it so.” Yes, because otherwise, how are people supposed to know? I understand Jonathan Swift used to get this same reaction all the time after the publication of “A Modest Proposal.”