When Scene first approached me to write a reader representative column, I was writing a highly influential column by the same name for The Plain Dealer. Due to my renowned journalistic sensibilities, rival media organizations commonly bid for my services.
The name "Ted Diadiun," after all, adds a certain giguere to a newspaper.
Yet Scene's overture gave me a hearty chuckle. Here was a free newsletter with advertisements for "New Shemale in Town -- Sweet Candy" believing it could lure me, Ted Diadiun. The recruiter said I wouldn't have to do much -- just use the word "journalistic" a lot, and allow Scene to exploit my presence for its vast commercial advantages.
I responded with a muscular guffaw and politely declined. Ted Diadiun, writing for a free newsletter? It was much too precious.
Then the recruiter offered a larger cubicle with a view of the alley. Suddenly, I recalled the teachings of Christ: "Thou shalt reacheth out to the lesser among us, especially if they're throwing in a larger cubicle."
To make a long story short, I am your new reader representative, your advocate at Scene.
My new colleagues are inspired by my presence. They have taken to calling me "Captain Sphincter," which I believe is a term of veneration among today's youth.
My job here will be much like it was at The Plain Dealer. You write in with your journalistic questions, comments, and complaints. I pretend to thoughtfully consider them. Then I tell you why you're wrong.
So without further ado, let's go to this week's mailbag:
Dear Ted: Last week, Dan Savage told a 17-year-old kid that he shouldn't expect his Catholic girlfriend to put out. But I'm pretty sure Dan is gay. Of course he doesn't care if a girl puts out. Shouldn't the media be more fair and balanced, so we also have columnists who tell girls to put out?
Barry in Euclid
Dear Barry: As I'm sure you're aware, Ted Diadiun is the gold standard for fair and balanced. I believe journalism is built on the notion that each side must be given an equal chance to make incomprehensible and misleading arguments. Without it, we'd actually have to investigate which side's telling the truth, which would take way too much work.
But I'm unsure if this concept applies to advice columns. I believe vulgarities such as intercourse should be strictly between man and wife with the lights off -- except when the man is in Vegas :-)
Dear Ted: Last week Sheehan's Pub had an ad for "$1 domestics." When they say domestics, are they talking about beer or about servants, like a maid you hire from Mexico or something? That's a pretty good deal if they're talking about a maid.
Tracy on Lorain
Dear Tracy: Allow me to interpret the vernacular of today's youth. "Domestics" means a beer purportedly from the United States, though it may be produced by a foreign company from Belgium or St. Louis. It would be rather difficult, however, to find a maid for $1.
For example, Ted Diadiun likes to hire buxom women named Consuelo to clean my Bratenahl estate for $50. But then I only pay them $20. Since they're illegal, what are they going to do about it? This is why Ted Diadiun believes it's journalistically responsible to support immigration.
Dear Ted: How come today's musical combos have such terrible names? When we were young, you knew that the Kingston Trio was three guys from Kingston. But last week, I saw a review of Plasma for Guns. Can you really trade plasma for guns? If so, how much blood would I have to donate to get an Israeli assault rifle? I'd like to shoot my neighbor. His dog barks a lot.
Gunther in Cuyahoga Falls
Dear Gunther: While I believe it's journalistically irresponsible to shoot one's neighbor, I do empathize. Ted Diadiun has an Italian widow living next door to him. She cooks for her extended family on Sundays. While I have nothing against Italians -- some of them are my best friends -- I do believe it's journalistically irresponsible for her culinary smells to intrude upon Ted Diadiun's house.
But instead of shooting her, which would violate my journalistic ethics, I like to set fire to her garage. Ted Diadiun believes this is a fair and balanced response to her cooking. If she wants to keep her garage, she should learn to cook American. It's all about personal responsibility, which is sorely lacking among today's youth and widows.
Dear Ted: What's up with the goatee? I understand why cops have mustaches, because it's like a job requirement. But I don't understand why balding guys always have facial hair. Journalistically speaking, what gives?
Marcus in Warrensville Heights
Dear Marcus: Open and vigorous dialogue -- especially when it's about Ted Diadiun -- is the cornerstone of our democracy. Obviously, I have a lot of profound thoughts. But if I were to stroke my chin in the midst of a wizened soliloquy, it just doesn't look as good without facial hair. Believe me: I've tried in front of the mirror many times.
That's why professors and scientists also have facial hair. It's like sporting signage on one's face that says to the listener: "Shut up! Deep Guy Talking!"
Of course, few can match the profundity of Ted Diadiun. But it's against the Constitution, and journalistically unethical, to prevent them from trying.
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