We’re all adults here, right? We’ve all seen “The Sopranos” and everybody’s aware the F-bomb exists and can sometimes be an effective “sentence enhancer.”
So really, the fact that Andrea Dick chose to hang flags on the fence of her Roselle Park house that say “F*^K Biden” isn’t really an issue. There is some question about whether the F-bombs violate the town’s obscenity ordinance.
As guest columnist Ellen S. Wilkowe talked about this week, and as we discussed here after last winter’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, it’s not what the flags say about Trump or Biden, but what they say about the person who flies them.
Not surprisingly, Wilkowe’s 11-year-old daughter was unimpressed with the actual F-word.
“My daughter was mostly curious as to why someone would display such a sign in the first place. Exactly,” Wilkowe wrote.
For her part, Andrea Dick doesn’t give a rat’s butt what you think.
“I’m not taking them down. Absolutely, 100% not,” Dick told Avalon Zoppo, in response to a code enforcement notice telling her to take the banners down or face a summons.
But as any TV lawyer or a savvy 11-year-old Jersey girl can tell you, the legality is beside the point.
Years ago, my journalism students would come to me with ethical dilemmas — should we print this, run this quote, select this picture — the million-and-one unseen choices that go into a news report. My advice: Examine the reasons why you’d do something. If the first or only reason you come up with is “Because I can,” it’s probably not the best choice.
But Dick’s stunt is getting attention, which of course is the point. I give it a few days before she’s on Fox News claiming to be a victim of cancel culture. Because, sadly, she can.
Also this week, a new decision in a 30-year-old murder case, you folks sure like weed, pay the lifeguards, what those pink signs mean and more:
- MATH CAN WAIT: So how did *your* teenager spend the past week? Megha Ganne, a 17-year-old Holmdel High student, has been playing in the U.S. Women’s Open golf tournament — and dealing with calculus homework. A Steve Politi delight.
- THE WEEK IN WEED: Well, if my emails are any indication, a lot of you found last week’s exploration of cannabis gifting services helpful — hope you all had an excellent weekend! The state’s 19th medical marijuana dispensary opened this week, and the Cannabis Regulatory Commission held its latest meeting. We’re still waiting for legal, adult-use shops.
- LIFEGUARD PAY: If you’ve ever sat on the beach housing a Fudgie-Wudgie while watching lifeguards dash out for a rescue or row those boats crosswise through the surf, you’ll not be surprised to hear some beach towns are hiking pay.
- MOVE IT ON OVER: Next time you’re driving, keep a lookout for a new, bright-pink alert sign reminding drivers to move over a lane or slow down when approaching a crash scene, a disabled vehicle or construction area. You should already know to pull over for police, fire and emergency vehicles. It’s the law!
- BOOKMARK THIS: With pandemic restrictions winding down, performers of all kinds are getting back on the road. Here’s a list from Bobby Olivier of 33 concerts and festivals coming to Jersey this year. Who are you excited to see?
Finally this week, how’s the great unmasking going for you? I’ve seen a few videos from other states of people getting hassled for continuing to wear a face covering. But for the most part, my experience has been like Katie Kausch’s — everybody doing what makes them feel comfortable while minding their own business. That feels like a win.
P.S.: The best Shore town in the state is a South Jersey sleeper! If you know, you know.
Amy Z. Quinn is NJ.com’s Audience Editor, Newsletters and Briefings. To get a Letter From Your Editor every Saturday, add your email here.