HB V

is older than it's ever been and now it's even older

1/15/2001

It's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. day. Our company, always sensitive to racial issues, is of course open. As noted before, my work environment is all-male, all-white, and offensive.

I'm reminded of the Chris Rock monologue when he noted that every city seems to have a MLK BLVD, and that despite King's legacy of nonviolence and empowerment of the black community, the street named after him always seems to be the most violent street in town. That certainly seemed true in Portland, where MLK is the main thoroughfare in NE. I also find it interesting that city planners are also aware of this phenomenon, and in some cases are attempting to fight the stigma with pro-active policing.

Tangential at best: The state of Rhode Island, which is the smallest, has the longest name. Officially, it's Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. The Providence Journal is reporting that a MLK breakfast became an impromptu forum to discuss changing the name to remove the "plantations" part, which some Afro-American leaders say is a racist throwback. I admit to being puzzled by this, since it seems at first blush a misplaced source for outrage, kind of like the controversy over the word niggardly that broke out a couple of years ago. After all, the Providence Plantations portion of the name is in the Constitution, and certainly doesn't refer to the type of plantations widespread in the south. If I'm reading this wrong, call me on it.

I've been communicating with my old friend Michael, who now lives in England. Back in The Day, Michael and I had a friendly rivalry on the Oklahoma high school debate and extemporaneous speaking circuit. We were evenly matched always and neither one of us did substantially better than the other. After graduation, Michael went to Harvard and I was rejected at Georgetown, making me eternally bitter towards those Jesuits and their admissions process. I'm glad to hear he's doing well. Michael, here's an alternate map to the London tubes, so you can get around easier.

Gratuitous LAPI: Men fight after girlfriends get busy and won't let them join in. This is out of the Lawrence (KS) Journal-World. Why do I think no story like this will ever appear in the Norman Transcript? (from the Obscure Store & Reading Room)


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