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A Trustworthy Friend sent this to me after “reading your blog in bed at 4 this morning.” Guess I wasn’t the only person whose sleep last night was sullied by this. Caveat: see the notes below about satire.
For background, see my last night’s post: Sullygate: If there is a contractual agreement, Mayor Sullivan, show us the contract. See also The Mudflats on Mayor Dan Sullivan for background on some of the various financial decisions — including cuts to the Anchorage Fire Department — that Dan Sullivan has made as mayor. Gotta save the Muni money… except when it comes to SullyTrust. Or embarking on witchhunt audits.
Update about satire: Just to be clear: the picture above is not of a real check or of real notes by anyone actually involved with the Sullivan “life insurance.” The picture is satire. I had already identified it as such in the tags on the post, but I think it’s better to say it here too.
(My previous post was not satire.)
Further update: a mini-essay about satire. This follows on a friend’s concern that the satire here detracts from my previous, more serious post about the Sullivan “life insurance” policy. But I decided to keep this post up anyway; this note is to explain why.
I’ll take assistance from Wikipedia’s article on satire, which explains,
A very common, almost defining feature of satire is its strong vein of irony or sarcasm, but parody, burlesque, exaggeration, juxtaposition, comparison, analogy, and double entendre are all frequently used in satirical speech and writing. The essential point, however, is that “in satire, irony is militant.”
The ironies in the above picture are very militant indeed, & to my mind especially illustrate how the (current) Sullivan administration’s conduct in this matter has eroded the public trust. Particularly because it involves public funds being diverted to pay out a supposed “life insurance” claim — with the Municipality of Anchorage somehow having been turned into an insurance firm — when simultaneously budget cuts are being applied elsewhere to services that many Anchorage residents deem vital. Anchorage Fire Department backcountry rescues, for example, or People Mover bus services in Eagle River & Peters Creek.
My use of my anonymous (except to me) Trustworthy Friend’s satirical picture does not mean that I take every aspect of it as being literally or factually “true.” But the satire illustrates that greater truth contained in the title I chose for this post: the George Sullivan Trust gained $193,000 of public funds, at the expense of the public trust in either the Mayor or the Assembly. One only needs to read through the (as of this writing) 263 comments on Sean Cockerham’s Anchorage Daily News article for proof.
That’s a problem. Not just in Anchorage, but statewide, nationwide, worldwide: there is distrust between everyday people & the social institutions that we depend upon, regardless of what kind of institutions they are — government, corporations, religious organizations, you name it. I’d like to think that at least at the local level we could work together to restore trust & work together for the betterment of our community so that it serves all of us well. But it ain’t happening right now. And if nothing else, I think that the militant irony of satire helps to point that out.