Matt Zencey

Signed columns for PennLive/The Patriot-News (Harrisburg)

The first two columns were part of the entry that won second place in the 2015 Keystone Press Club column writing competition. The third is a personal favorite.

Philly, you can have the state capital when you pry it from our cold, dead fingers

by Matt Zencey (May 28, 2014)

In one of the dumber ideas ever to grace Philadelphia magazine’s “Bright Ideas” feature, this month’s edition gives us Simon Van Zuylen-Wood suggesting that Pa. should move the state capital to Philadelphia. …

No, good sir, Philly is hopelessly unsuited to host Pennsylvania’s state government.

The capital of the U.S. was once there in Philly – and it got moved. Our Founding Fathers, wise men all, knew what they were doing.

The capital of Pennsylvania was once in Philly, too – and it got moved. Sorry, Simon: Been there, done that.

A big city like Philly has more places for corrupt cockroaches and their consorts to scatter and do their dirty business. In a small town, there’s a better chance they’ll be noticed when they stick their noses out in public.

When you hear Philly boast of the “Big Five,” it could refer to the local pols Attorney General Kathleen Kane decided not to indict, not the city’s college basketball scene. …

Read more here.

Rick Santorum, stop dissing my (heterosexual) marriage

By Matt Zencey (June 24, 2014)

At the “March for (a very limited concept of) Marriage” last week, Rick Santorum and friends basically said my wonderful heterosexual marriage with the love of my life is just as awful as that supposedly evil same-sex marriage they’re crusading against.

Rick told the crowd that marriage was a “unique relationship between a man and a woman for the purpose of having and raising children and establishing a family.”

Translation: I shouldn’t be married unless I’m planning on making babies and raising them.

To which I say: Rick, take your Neanderthal definition of “marriage” back into whatever cave you came out of and leave the rest of us alone.

Read more here 

What if the South had won the Civil War?

By Matt Zencey (April 9, 2015) 

One hundred and fifty years ago today, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, making it clear that the South had lost the Civil War. Because rumblings about secession periodically resurface in various parts of the South, it’s tempting to ask, “What if the South had won the Civil War?

For a biting, satirical answer, check out the movie, “C.S.A. The Confederate States of America,” released in 2006. …

In one especially edgy scene, two bright and cheery white home-shopping hostesses solicit bids for a muscular black male on the Slave Shopping Network (1-800-SLAVES-N). …

The movie lays bare the absurdity of what southerners were fighting for at Gettysburg and throughout the war. That “southern way of life” they purported to defend was built on slavery – period. Without slavery, there were no unbridgeable differences between the states, and no reason for fighting the nation’s bloodiest war. …

You may well conclude, as I have, that after Gettysburg, the south lost the war but won the peace. If the Confederate flag-flying secessionists who keep fighting that war want to get serious about going off to form their own country, I’m OK with that.

Read more here.

Next sample: Columns for the Philadelphia Inquirer. 

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