To celebrate the 10th anniversary of CityBeat, I bring you the top 10 most controversial Sordid Tales of the last decade. See, every once in a while, I publish a column that's, apparently, so offensive that we receive outraged responses from around the country.
What follows are the most controversial, in order of the quantity of hate mail received, and some letters (not edited for grammar—muah-ha-ha).
10. "The meaning of Cinco de Mayo (blaming America first since 1776)": In 2008, I ridiculed people who accuse other people of "blaming America first" when they disagree. Naturally, the hate-mailers responded by—ahem—accusing me of blaming America first, entirely missing the irony.
"The problem with people like you [is that] you are convinced we are the worst country in the world."
"If you want to blame America so much, why don't you leave or swallow acid."
9. "Flogging the Church": In 2002, I criticized the followers of Catholicism for being so convinced that the Church is infallible that they missed the molestation warning signs.
"You should be ashamed of yourself CityBeat for publishing this atrocious column."
"God will judge you when the time comes. Count on it."
"How dare you lump me together with a vast herd of idiot bovines'? ("Because you eat from the same trough," I responded).
CityBeat was even threatened with—excuse me while I guffaw uncontrollably for a moment—a lawsuit for being so "hateful of people of faith," which I never knew was against the law.
8. "Separate but sequel": In 2008, I blasted the hypocrisy of the 70 percent of black voters who voted for the amendment to ban gay marriage.
"I hope the white hood that you sleep with suffocates you tonight."
"Wow, I had no idea what a lowlife racist Ed Decker is. Rot in Hell CityBeat."
"Martin Luther King is rolling in his grave." ("If King would deny equal rights to our gay brethren, let him twist," I responded).
7. "Mitt Loony": In 2007, I cracked wise about Mormonism, saying that you had to be a "stepsister short of a Cinderella tale" to believe that nonsense.
"You look like a blithering idiot and a bigot in the eyes of possibly the thousands that might be unfortunate enough to come across your words ."
"If you are not sued for religious discrimination for this sick bigotry, it is because Mormons are far more tolerant than they should be." (Again with the lawsuits—yawn).
6. "I hate cheerleaders": This 2004 column remains my favorite controversy, as I had no idea how much cheerleaders resemble menstruating badgerwasps when provoked.
"hi, im a varsity cheerleader not all of them are popular dateing the varsity football quaterback yes im blonde blue eyes and have freckles but i have short hair. my family life sucks im dateing a milltary lacrosse guy. . . DONT JUDGE PPL it makes u sound stupid i broke my wrist trying to make sure my flyer didnt hit the ground."
"your a jerk who probably has an ugly girlfriend or lives with cats!"
And my all-time favorite opening to a hate letter: "Hello, my name is Callie. I am glad you have your oppinion, however it is wrong, but it is yours to decide."
5. "Is it ever OK for a cracka to say nigga'?":
For this 2012 piece, CityBeat received, among a raging torrent, this hate-mail classic: "It is a given, for anyone who regularly reads his excretions, that Ed Decker is a moron. But his latest drivel about a vile racial term makes it clearer than ever to me why I (an old black man, not some rapper or comedian) hate the U.S. population in its entirety, including the recent generations of so-called black people. I would love, just love, in some supreme act of hygiene, to eliminate all of you right now it seems the only hope is that radical Islam may provide the desired prophylaxis. I just hope I live to see you destroyed."
4 and 3. "Scorned by the Sons of Lame-archy" and the follow-up, "I love gay people": After writing these 2012 columns, the gay community responded in droves to demand an apology for using the word "faggy." Bloggers took to the comment boards. Twitter lit up. San Diego Gay and Lesbian News banned me from their website. I even received a letter from GLAAD, which demanded that I stop using the F-word and "homosexual" (now deemed offensive). In response I wrote, "Sorry, GLAAD, but I do not recognize your authority over my vocabulary."
2 and 1. "Just one more yahu" and the followup, "I am not a Nazi": These 2007 columns were about the Jewish orthodoxy's atrocious treatment of women. "Orthodox Jews," I wrote, "treat their women like diseased, whorehouse gerbils stuffed in a shiksa's asshole."
It spawned outrage from several Jewish newspapers and blogs, a scolding from the Anti-Defamation League and, of course, an unbelievable amount of blistering hate mail from around the world— much of which was directed at CityBeat.
"It is difficult for me to adequetely express my shock and disgust at discovering this piece of hateful Anti-Semitism posing as journalism in your newspaper."
Indeed, I was sure I would lose my job. But CityBeat had my back. They've always had my back— through the angry responses, boycott threats, horrified advertisers and bitch slaps from various hate-watch groups. Not a lot of writers can say that about their benefactors. Thanks CityBeat! Here's to 10 more years, my niggas!