10 April 2012

The Slightly-Varnished Truth: Squeaky Clean?

The weekend paper reported that Mr. Whitekeys, a local entertainer who's been poking fun at Alaska, its sometimes-respectable politicians, and all things Alaskana for decades, was fired from Alaska magazine. He's been writing a column for them for the last five years.

Apparently, the owners and management of the magazine have recently become aware that Whitekeys' pieces were sarcastic in nature, and that he lampoons public figures and public policy.  (Insert shocked faces, here.)

For those of you Outside, Mr. Whitekeys is doing now the same thing that he's done for decades. His musical review, The Whalefat Follies, has been playing in the Fly By Night Club or another for 25 or 30 years. Billed as "The Alaskan Show the Department of Tourism does NOT want you to see!", it is a hilarious look at all things Alaskan, our frontier past and our sometimes sordid present.

Since Alaska Magazine just became aware of this, they let him go, saying that his writing doesn't reflect the vision or purpose (I forget their exact wording) of the magazine. Since he tells the unvarnished - or sometimes lightly varnished - truth about life in the Last Frontier, that leads us to conclude that the magazine is presenting a different view of Alaska.

I've recently bemoaned the fact that Anchorage's population has long-since been thinned by Outside arrivals to the point that it's not really an "Alaskan" city anymore. The left-coast transplants want to turn this place into their vision of what Portland or Seattle should have been, it seems. All they've really accomplished, though, is to strip much of our city of its Alaskan heritage ... leaving it without much of a soul or personality.

Don't believe me? Ask Princess Cruise Lines why they don't bring their passengers through Anchorage any longer. They told us, some years ago while I still worked in the tourism industry, that Anchorage "isn't Alaskan enough".

In their ongoing attempts to turn Anchorage into a Progressive paradise, they've managed to make it, like the city of Toledo in the old song, "like being nowhere at all".

It's sad.


Guffaw in AZ said...

Sorry to hear. Both about the lessening of Alaskan identity, and the lack of humor/sense of the magazine editors.

joated said...

Sounds like Mr. Whitekeys was doing a Will Rogers/Mark Twain kind of schtick. Too bad the Alaska Magazine--like most Progressives I've met--has no sense of humor.

Old NFO said...

LOL, sounds like the 'truth' hurts... :-)

Murphy's Law said...

I was always told (by Alaskans) that Anchorage is really just a suburb of Seattle...but on a clear day you can see Alaska from there.

Rev. Paul said...

GFA: exactly. It's not true of other cities, but Anchorage is just North Seattle.

Old NFO: clearly they have no idea what real Alaskans are like, these days.

ML: that's pretty much true. Folks in the Valley say the best thing about Anchorage is that it's only 45 minutes from Alaska. :)

Well Seasoned Fool said...

As a former Seattle carpetbagger, I found Anchorage kind of like Tacoma with more potholes. The city does have the best tasting municipal water anywhere (or did).