Website Review: EdwinParrott.com

For this week’s Website Review, I’ll be cynically mocking a fine, upstanding citizen, a man who is an honorable public servant and a valuable contributor to his community. In the process, I’ll also be ridiculing his wholesome young family, as well as many of his all-American values. I do this because I’m envious and I’m petty, and those are two of my better qualities.

Edwin Parrott III is a city councilman in Charlotte, N.C., and host of the website edwinparrott.com. (I’m guessing he decided against “edwinparrottiii.com,” fearing it would look too much like a new generation of markup language, successor to “ascii”). I’ve always wondered what small-time locals have to say for themselves when they go to the trouble of setting up a whole website devoted to their presence on Earth. Usually these are realtors, insurance salesmen and politicians looking for a way to brand themselves in the digital world and, in the process, severely embarrass their children. This new-media method of self-promotion is only slightly more respectable than standing by the side of a major highway in a cow costume, and just begs to be ridiculed.

Like the good councilman, I am here to serve.

Edwin Parrott is a handsome blonde Republican family man first elected to the city council in 2007, in a race where he finished fourth in a race for four available seats. He may be “at-large,” but has decided to forsake the fugitive lifestyle long enough to set up a web page devoted to his reelection in 2009. The home page proudly announces that he’s already halfway there, having rounded up “over 21%” of the vote in a September primary, and is now preparing to do battle with an unnamed Democratic opponent in November.

“Greetings!” begins the exclamation-mark-riddled welcome. “I want to continue the job I’ve started! Thanks for visiting my site!”

In his biography, we learn that Edwin likes to be called “Edwin,” is a 39-year-old Charlotte native and works as vice president for the Pomfret Financial Company, what sounds like an investor in exotic french fry derivatives. He attended the private Country Day School, where he was co-founder of the Teenage Republican Club, then went on to the University of Georgia to get his bachelor of arts in political science, a certificate in global studies, a spot on the baseball practice squad and his future wife. As an active member of the Charlotte community, he also serves as an assistant T-ball coach and as a lunch buddy at Eastover Elementary School (2008 to present).

His blonde wife Amy is the mother of his two blonde children, Edwin Bruton IV and Avery Gail. Amy is a certified personal trainer with her own certified personal website (virtualathlete.com) where, not surprisingly, she lists her age as “39!” She is also certified in something called “CHIRUNNING,” which sounded at first like a new offering from Taco Bell but instead turns out to be a style of running that emphasizes a mid-foot strike and “opening up your flow of chi.” I still remember Grete Waitz’ brave performance in the 1986 New York City marathon when her flow of chi opened up around the 16-mile mark, and yet she still finished third despite the soiled shorts.

There’s a Frequently Asked Questions section that talks a lot about his stint on the council so far. He says it’s harder than it looks on TV but at least he got a chance to meet USAir hero pilot “Sully” Sullenberger. The part he likes most is how policy is made by interactions with others (so that’s how they do it!) and the part he likes least is the long meetings. He’s running again because “my job is not done,” a common bit of political reasoning that shows he’s got his eyes set on an eventual White House bid. His main issues are spending, planning and crime, he’s a “big fan!” of the current mayor, believes Charlotte may show future growth in the film industry, and gets an occasional “hall pass” from his wife to play golf and tennis.

Edwin does take this forum to discuss the only controversial question on the list, whether the videos that show up on his home page were paid for with taxpayers’ dollars. “Yes,” he says, but apologizes for “neglecting to disclaim this to the citizens.” To show his “special thanks to a concerned citizen” who was rude enough to bring this up, the council commissioned the city attorney to produce a six-page letter, breaking down the $12,000 expense in such embarrassing detail that we learn city staffer and part-time teleprompter operator David only made $27.40 for his hour-long brush with Charlotte’s nascent entertainment industry.

In the Viewpoint pulldown, Edwin shows as much disdain for the hyphen as he shows enthusiasm for the exclamation point in his discussion of issues like crime, diversity and the environment. He wants aggressive law enforcement in “high crime areas” (the mountains? skyscrapers?) and increased intervention to stop our youth from the “dead end path” of joining a gang, which he supports “whole heartedly” (the intervention, not the gang-joining). He characterizes his commitment to diversity as being “friendly,” even including a photo of him embracing it in the form of a fellow white person who, diversely enough, is not Edwin.

There’s even a section on the site called “For the Kids!” that documents the Parrott family’s commitment to a cleaner world. Wife Amy had noticed how much trash and debris there were along certain highways, so she made up a game for her children called the “Litter Hunt.” As they walk through their neighborhood, the kids enjoy an activity much like the annual Easter egg hunt, but with hypodermic needles and discarded condoms playing the role of colored eggs and sugar-coated Peeps. “People who litter should go to litter jail,” exclaimed young Bruton during one of these jaunts, and councilman Dad agrees, saying “too bad there’s not a jail large enough to put away all these offenders.”

Finally, I checked out the two semi-professionally produced video links, located right next to his Twitter account (he’s “EBPIII” for those interested, and he’s currently “pressin’ flesh at BBQ — boy am I enthusiastic!”). In the video, we see Edwin coming to grips with being the new guy on city council: “I thought I could end crime by myself, but I can’t.” We learn about how he preaches responsibility, both to his children and to the city at-large: “Practice picking up after yourself.” We see his wife reiterating that pro-environmental stance when she speaks of their children: “They’ve learned that trash isn’t good” and “they bathe only every other day.”

Lastly, we hear Edwin’s personal philosophy that has successfully guided him to this pinnacle of municipal government in a burgeoning mid-sized American city of the New South.

“Never make a poor man conscious of his poverty, an obscure man conscious of his obscurity, or any man aware of his inferiority or deformity.” Sounds like a great plan for improving the economy, empowering the faceless, and avoiding contact with the great mass of people who will never be as good as you.

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7 Responses to “Website Review: EdwinParrott.com”

  1. defpunk Says:

    I was amused by your post to the extent of attempting to access ‘edwinparrott.com’, my ISP tells me there is no such website, however. Provide links? Or is the textbook republican a figment of your imagination only?

    • davisw Says:

      names were changed to protect the innocent — if not a parrot, think of another colorful bird that starts with a “P”

  2. fakename2 Says:

    Why can’t we have more politicians like this? I suggest a third party movement: Clueless for America. Slogan: Trash is not good.

  3. fakename2 Says:

    Oh, so it’s really “Parakeet”?

  4. planetross Says:

    It’s Penguin right? … a penguin with crayons!

    It all sounds like mediocre red tape microbabble.

  5. tychy Says:

    I’ve found it – it’s edwin peacock!

    err… sorry about blowing the anonymity of the guy you’ve libelled. in britain, you’d get at least five years in prison for writing the above.

  6. defpunk Says:

    Ah finally someone’s found out what his real name is, means I could finally check him out (yes, haven’t managed to think of ‘peacock’ before tychy posted it..) and his website makes me retch, but then again conservatives in general make me retch.

    Don’t we all love people who believe in meritocracy because they happen to be the benefactors of nepotism or just particularly fortunate, and people who are deliberately obtuse about it when you tell them that equal chances in capitalist society is a gurrdamn chimera?

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