Weblog just got back from a weekend journalism conference in Nashville, where the local paper is The Tennessean. It's usually a fine paper, and Weblog has linked to it several times for several items on the Christian music world. But it committed a cardinal journalistic sin on Friday: running the complete text of a poem completely unattributed. Well, not completely: it apparently is "making the rounds in cyberspace." Well then, if it's being e-mailed around it must have just appeared ex nihilo. Actually, the poem, a 9/11-themed parody of Dr. Seuss's "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" titled "The Binch," was written by Christian humorist and cartoonist Rob Suggs (who recently illustrated The Prayer of Jabez for Kids).
One version of the message being circulated suggests that he works for Children's Heathcare of Atlanta. He doesn't. A common tag on the forward suggests he wrote it "to further explain the [terrorist attack] to the children." Nope. As Suggs told CT this morning, "This wasn't a grand gesture, a premeditated desire to minister to children, or an effort to speak to America through cyberspace. It was a parody that I spent ten minutes writing after considering the mythic parallels between Dr. Seuss' character and this horrific contemporary figure who was suddenly thrust like a dagger into the middle of our national psyche. … I merely wrote the verse for a few adult friends on the Net, not children—not even my own kids, who are 8 and 10. I tossed it off without even adding my name, and I had no expectation of forwarding."
For Suggs, The Tennessean's not attributing the poem (nor naming him in an accompanying article about its popularity online), is a blessing. Already his publisher, InterVarsity ...1