They can’t all be schmaunt fat jokes, can they? Over the years, some Daily Bonnet articles have ruffled a few feathers. Sometimes I can tell when an article will stir things up, while other times it comes as a complete surprise. Let’s have a look at some of the more “controversial” articles. (You can also click on the headlines to revisit these articles in their entirety).
10. Mennonite Town Bans Wearing Socks with Sandals – Sometimes articles that I think are completely benign, turn out to ruffle more feathers that I ever could have imagined. Apparently, this article caused great offence to those in the sock-and-sandal-wearing community.
9. Residents Required to Display ‘Steinbach Driver’ Sign in Back Windshield – This one wasn’t controversial with the general public, but some government folks didn’t like the original photo I used, which, apparently, made the signs look a little too official. According to correspondence I received, there was concern that some people might think these new signs were for real. Well, okay, they’re not, but they should be.
8. Rage Against the Machine Smashes Capitalism with $300 Concert Tickets – This non-Menno article went massively viral, spurred on by the backlash to this leftist band’s outrageous concert ticket prices. The prices seemed quite bourgeois to me. While the reaction to the article was mostly supportive, some fans were furious saying the prices were somehow justified. All I know is Woody Guthrie never charged $300.
7. Miriam Toews Statue to Be Erected in Steinbach – This is an early Daily Bonnet article that drew enough controversy to be mentioned in the New Yorker. My point here was that Steinbach had not (and still hasn’t) done enough to acknowledge our hometown literary icon. Of course, Mennonites being Mennonites, there are always some folks who want to take others down a peg. They were quick to point out that Miriam Toews was just the “flavour of the month” and that their Uncle Klaus or whoever had written some books, too. I also got an email from a woman in Quebec who understood it was satire but said the article had been sent to her by someone from the official Manitoba tourism office, letting her know about this new attraction coming to Steinbach.
6. LGBT Church Opens Doors in Southern Manitoba – You won’t truly “get” this article from just the headline. You have to read it a bit closer. Still, those who only read the headline and took it seriously thought I was doing a disservice to the reputation of the good people of Landmark, Manitoba. I was told, in no uncertain terms, that they did not like their town to be depicted as quite so tolerant.
5. Top 5 Christian Stand Up Comedians – Apparently Jim Bakker still has some fans. I had no idea. But the so-called evangelists on this list are apparently not to be held up to the light of satire.
4. Assiniboine Zoo Has Higher Vaccination Rate than Southern Manitoba – Admittedly there are probably a whole bunch of pandemic-related articles that could be on this list. When I saw that the Assiniboine Zoo in Winnipeg was literally vaccinating the animals, I couldn’t resist writing this article. I think it’s funny because it’s true. However, according to some, its not funny because it’s true.
3. “Freedom Loving” Pastor Won’t Let Women Wear Pants – Oh the irony of high profile church leaders calling for “freedom” while curtailing the freedoms of folks (especially women) within their own congregations. Don’t point this out, however, or you’ll incur the wrath of those who prefer to have their church leadership served with a side order of tyranny.
2. Canada Pays Off Entire Federal Debt One Day After Marijuana Legalization – This is another article that went very viral, even being shared by one of the members of the band B-52s (remember “Rock Lobster”?) I guess some folks thought it was real. At this point, I’m sure Trudeau wishes it was.
1. Donald Trump Proposes Gigantic Wall to Keep Out the Mennonites – There are quite a few political articles that could be on the list, but the one that started it all in terms of Daily Bonnet “controversy” was this article. I’m still trying to figure out how you could build a wall that only keeps out Mennonites. I’m sure someone’s working on that as we speak.