Does the Marianas Variety also respect Ralph Torres’ haircut?

By Mabel Doge Luhan

It’s a little bit off-topic, but I just want to make an announcement: I am 2024 Opinion Columnist for the US Territories. As if that weren’t enough, my grandson Orville has been honored as 2024 Power Bottom for the US Territories.  Just when I thought there couldn’t be enough good news, my most libidinous falcon, Gustavus Adolphus, is 2024 Avian for the US Territories. I can’t help but be overjoyed. It’s almost as good as having a husband who’s not a felon!

Well, enough of my showboating! It’s time to discuss what really matters: the Marianas Variety. And specifically, its article of January 12th, “IPI respects US high court decision.”

I have so many questions. First, IPI is a corporation, or at least presents itself as one. What does it mean when a corporation “respects” a court decision?

Is “respecting” a court decision a mental state? If so, how can a corporation have a mental state, and more importantly, how can Emmanuel Erediano know what this corporation’s mental state is? Erediano surely has read Thomas Nagel’s “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?” in the many years he spent studying to become a journalist, and therefore must know exactly the delicate nature of the question!

Or is “respecting” a court decision based on observable actions? If so, what actions of IPI’s has Erediano observed to lead him to the conclusion that IPI “respects” the court’s decision? And how could Erediano have come to that conclusion only a day after the decision? Will the next article proclaim that Mabel “respects” Ralph Torres merely because she hasn’t mocked his dumb haircut — today?

And what possible actions would have led Erediano to conclude that IPI doesn’t in fact “respect” the court’s decision?

Or is “respecting” the decision merely what some IPI capodecina told you to print as the headline?

“It doesn’t matter,” you might be saying to yourself, while munching on a Snickers bar and enjoying your Fridays off? If the meaning of your headlines doesn’t matter — and this is certainly a defensible position — then your newspaper doesn’t matter. You don’t matter.

You may still not be getting my gist here. If what your headlines say doesn’t matter, then there’s no reason for you to have a job. Woken up yet?

Andrew Yeom made the motion for a revocation hearing on December 13th. Ralph Demapan set the revocation hearing for a month and a half later, January 31. Why? How incurious must one be as a reporter not to wonder this, and ask? Is it to give IPI some time to gather the necessary pieces of paper that the Commission requires? I am referring to documentation, of course! What else did you think I was referring to?!

Maybe I should stop my bellyaching, because it’s already an absolute farce that the Marianas Variety is not figuratively but literally the PR agency for IPI (through its “affiliated company”).

Maybe the naysayers are right. Maybe the Variety really doesn’t matter at all. Maybe its only purpose is running announcements for the CNMI government and court litigants, and the “articles” are just irrelevant filler. The “reporters” would probably be perfectly happy with that — until they figured out that meant they would no longer have their jobs.

Does what you write matter? Do you, as a reporter, matter? It’s up to you.

IPI “respects” the court’s decision, but does anyone with a brain and a conscience respect your newspaper?


Mabel Doge Luhan is a woman of loose morals. She resides in Kagman V, where she pursues her passions of crocheting, beatboxing, and falconry.


  • When Torres waddled into Washington with a fresh haircut, he was the spitting image of Kim Il-Jong.

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