Disappointed and dismayed by mask story


To the Editor,

Unfortunately, I am writing to you today to express repugnance for the title of the recent essay published by Lorraine Parish, titled “Mask Nazi of Vineyard Haven.” While I understand the reference to Seinfeld’s character “the Soup Nazi,” this supposed likeness does not, and should not, grant Ms. Parrish or The MV Times license to make light of Nazi cruelty. Anti-Semitism is on the rise around the world, and the publication of this essay in the Times gives the (I hope, untrue) impression of your staff’s complacence in this matter. I implore you to work with Lorraine to, at the least, change the title of the essay and read the already abundant comments on the essay’s page. The work Lorraine is doing on the Island should indeed be celebrated; however, the manner in which she and your staff have told her story detracts from the point entirely.

I am a resident of Katama, and have been a longtime reader of The Times. I am both disappointed and dismayed at the staff’s decision to allow this essay to go through to publication as is, and urge you to rethink its allowance in your publication, and to work with Lorraine to publish an apology and resources for those that this essay has already hurt.

Ali Cooper



  1. I hear you, Ali, and I agree. The Times also heard what many of us had to say about their headline. I don’t know what the Times was thinking in the first place, though, or how inappropriate it was for Ms Parish to usurp a 1990’s TV “joke” that wasn’t funny then and is even less so now. The Times changed their headline to “Mask Maven of Vineyard Haven” using the Yiddish word, maven, (expert) to make a cute rhyme.

    I’m not holding my breath for an apology, though. Nor would I expect that those who were not bothered by the joke, some even making accusations of lacking a sense of humor, will understand. It’s like asking Andrew to understand that it is racist to bring up crime in Chicago under every article about racial equality, justice, and inclusiveness on the island.

    And speaking of cute Yiddish titles, I just heard that Kamala Harris’s step-children call her Mameleh, (rhymes with Kamala), a Yiddish term of endearment meaning, literally, Little Mama. Yes, Kamala’s husband is Jewish. What’s not to like? Biden/Harris 2020.

Comments are closed.