Welcome to the new, minty-fresh edition of Ask Boomer With Attitude, live from Charlotte, where people have actually said that having three sports radio stations makes us "world class." Two of the following questions were sent in by readers, and two came from deep inside my noggin.
Dear BWA: So is Rielle Hunter a sleazebag or what? —Not A Fan
Dear Not: Never met the woman, so I can't make that judgment. However, if her "tell-all" book is any indication, she's certainly a no-class, self-absorbed twit with the writing skills of a sixth grader. Hunter's pickup line? "You're so hot!" Original. Her regrets over the pair's sex tape (or "private video")? She was not pregnant at the time, and she wants to everyone to know it — heck, she didn't look pregnant, dammit, "from any angle." How do you spell "narcissism"? Her reaction to motherhood? "Breast-feeding is weird." Huh? Her remorse at breaking up a famous marriage that had been one of Edwards' political strong points? "Elizabeth Edwards was a witch on wheels" who drove him to cheat. Classy. Never mind that the woman was dying of breast cancer. Never mind that Elizabeth and John had four children together. Never mind anything, in fact, except A.) John was "hot" and willing to risk his marriage, career and reputation, and B.) whatever else is going through brilliant Rielle's head at any given moment. Christ, what a world.
Dear BWA: In the past, you made fun of the Elizabeth Avenue streetcar proposal as a "starter kit," so what about the $119 million price tag for completing the route? —Transit Fan
Dear Transit Fan: A streetcar from Beatties Ford to Eastland is a great transit idea, and the development in South End that followed installation of the light rail Blue Line is proof that transit is a good development strategy.
The real problem, as I see it, isn't the streetcar's price; rather, it's the decade or more it would take to complete the line and its related development. The west and east sides need help immediately if not sooner, so it's time to cut to the chase without having to wait for the unpredictable mass transit funding process to run its course. Surely the city can find ways to inject money to spur development in those areas first and worry about the streetcar later. Those parts of the city have been neglected too long, and it's high time to remedy that disgraceful situation.
Dear BWA: Why do some people still have anti-Amendment One signs in their yards? —Sign-Curious
Dear Curious: Um, maybe because they're still pissed off about having Bible-thumping yahoos telling people how to live their lives? But that's just a guess, so I asked Chris and Charles, a couple three blocks from my house, about their still-standing sign. The short answer is that my initial guess was right. "But really," said Chris, "it's just making a point that, you know, 'We're here, we're queer, get used to it.'" Charles added, "Plus, the old fart across the street kept his pro-amendment sign in his yard after the vote, so we decided to wait him out. We've got him beat by a few weeks now." So, Curious, I hope that explains things.
Dear BWA: You must be nuts, saying the Democratic National Convention is no big deal. What world are you living in? —Pope Joey Buttafuoco
Dear Pope: First, here's hoping you're a better one than the current guy at the Vatican. Second, I didn't say the DNC was "no big deal." It obviously is a huge occasion and an interesting coming-of-age event for the city. But, as I noted in last week's column, it is also a mammoth distraction that sucks energy out of dealing with some of the city's very real problems. Moreover, it's a national political distraction, as is the GOP convention and, frankly, the entire presidential election rigmarole — distracting us from how badly our democracy has withered, along with our national infrastructure. And don't get me started about the "free-speech zones" that make a mockery of political dissent. The irony is that protests at big events like the DNC have a lot in common with the convention itself: both have become so stylized and artificial, they seem more like Kabuki theater than real politics.
Please send your burning questions and voluntary love offerings to BWA at firstname.lastname@example.org.