Why We Fight

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One of Birmingham’s best writers, Kyle Whitmire, is leaving the Birmingham Weekly where for several years he’s provided the most astute and most readable commentary on city and county affairs. (Hat tip to Wade Kwon.)

Rosalind Fournier’s profile of Whitmire at b-metro reveals how Kyle’s column got its name, which is “War on Dumb.” Seems that one day he spotted a bumper sticker:

“It said, ‘Let’s win the War on Hunger.’ I thought to myself, how exactly do you win a war on hunger? Do you bomb hunger’s cities? Do you burn its villages to the ground, and kill its women and children? Or, you could just feed people, because that’s what we’re really talking about.

“Not only that,” he continues, with what appears to be his natural state of contained agitation, “but don’t we lose every so-called ‘war’ we declare … on poverty, drugs, crime, terrorism?”

So he renamed the column [“War on Dumb”] with more than a trace of irony. “The name had two prongs,” he explains. “I got to make fun of the infusion of violence into our language, and I admitted to anyone paying attention … that if I declared a war on dumb, I was going to lose.”

Best of luck to Kyle in his next endeavor, and I’m glad that he’s planning to stay in Birmingham.

P.S. If I may be allowed to kvetch, the editorial folk at b-metro need to get their act together. The Whitmire profile was well put together, but the gremlins in the copy were distracting. For starters, take that bold subhed about Whitmire being “the only guy in town will to tell the truth about local politics.” Will to wha-?

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