Saturday, June 27, 2009

Comparisons

DADVocate's son just finished attending football camps at both the University of Notre Dame and the University of Tennessee. Apparently, the differences were stark, and the SEC school comes out looking less than stellar. Ouch.

And what is up with UT's new obsession with going shirtless?

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Stimulus & Response

Just wow. What is it about politicians from the Carolinas? Any time they come close to sniffing a Presidential aspiration, their personal life completely implodes.

And it is one thing to get exposed by the tabloids for sneaking across town to a hotel. It is quite another to think you can go incommunicado for a week, while carrying on an affair in another country.

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Georgia Theatre Memories

So, Friday morning as I was getting ready for work, the text messages started flooding the phone. The historic Georgia Theatre caught fire and was burning. According to reports, the outside appears intact, but the inside is a wreck and the roof is gone. The real investigation starts up on Monday to find out what happened. It is a huge loss for the town, especially the week before AthFest. This fire will impact both Athens' culture and music as well as downtown development plans.

The Georgia Sports Blog shares photos, and most importantly, memories. There were a lot of crazy nights that involved the Georgia Theatre - the music from the stage and football games and movies on the big screen, and being able to play music on that stage is something I will remember for the rest of my life.


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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Issue Rests with Tank Commander

Doug at Hey, Jenny Slater! is praying for Tank Commander, and directs us to read this incredible examination to explain why.

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Ideas for the American Sector

I've always wondered why so many "business leaders" in New Orleans want to compare this city's growth and development with ideas that "work" in Houston and Atlanta. I've always thought that NOLA would do far better to investigate ideas that make Athens and Savannah work.

Case in point is the new "parking garage" the city of Athens is building at the corner of Lumpkin and Washington Streets downtown. Take a look and see if you can tell me what part of this building is a bad idea.

For refrence, this building will occupy a space that has been a combination of flat, asphalt parking lots (in varying states of repair) and a small brick Bank of America drive-thru stall. There was an old brick building on the lot years ago, but it was taken due to its state of disrepair.

Know any parts of New Orleans that fit that description?

The new building's plan surrounds the historic Georgia Theatre, and develops the block to the east* of the historic Morton Theatre.

The plan adds needed parking to an area of downtown (and the parking situation in downtown Athens is far more business and resident friendly than NOLA's current American Sector/CBD parking junta), with spaces for retail, offices and a public art gallery (!?!) Lastly, it should complement - with the street level retail spaces - the walkability of the Lumpkin-Washinton Street corner.

And the building should look like a building instead of a parking deck. Go see the visuals.

That sounds like triple-win to me.

* - The original post erroneously labeled the development to the west of the Morton, when the Morton is west of the development. Thanks to Sprout for calling me out publicly, and Meredith for calling me out privately.

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Dangers of Blogging

Fellow Georgian-in-New Orleans Sam shuts down his blog because people in the central office of the RSD think what is really going on in his school means they need to shake up the staff at the school. Not an ounce of credibility falling on the shoulders of the administrators of a desperately failing system.

This is one of the dangers of blogging on the one hand, and whistle-blowing on the other. You run the risk of getting yourself thrown in professional hoc and any co-workers you mention jammed up with you.

The people who are really running this train off the track, however, are free to continue making those tax dollars while doing little to address any real issues brought up by the reporting in question. I know there are some folks in the central office trying very hard to make things better. Their efforts, as well as those of teachers, school administrators, students and parents are being constantly and consistently undercut by individual hacks who are incapable of doing their jobs and who remain above any effective accountability measure.


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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Too Much to Hope For?

The last several days have given the world a crash course on the subject of Iran beyond the usual ravings and oversimplifications. I am holding my breath that something positive may come of this. As we wait and watch, the loop plays over and over in my head.

The Cedar Revolution. Solidarity. The Wall in '89.

Is it too much to hope for this time?

Lord, may the moral arc of the universe bend yet again, under the weight of millions of feet marching for justice.


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Speaking of Toilet Humor

Doug at Hey, Jenny Slater! delcares American civilization at an end due to a new personal comfort invention.

I can't tell if the object of his ire is for real or is a hoax, but if it is real - I'd be worried about the mechanics of using this device for many, many reasons.

I can only imagine the warning labels, disclaimers and instructions on proper usage that come with this thing.

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Baby Jokes

Now that it has been in the news for more than a week, it seems, I'll come out and say it: I just don't like jokes about politician's families. The cruder the joke, the more turned off I am. There are plenty of bloopers and snafus that the actual politicians make about actual policies, and there are too many jokes to be made about ideolouges who display ideological inconsistencies on camera. Please see: the Cramer vs. Stewart tilt on the Daily Show and the SNL portrayals of Palin herself.

You don't need to resort to toilet humor if you have talent. Especially on teenage pregnancy, where a frank discussion is desperately needed. It is one thing to discuss Palin's 'family values' platform in relation to her own experiences as the mother of a pregnant teenager. It is another thing to keep going back and repeatedly calling a woman's daughter a you-know-what on national television. We kicked Imus off the air for the same kind of disparaging comments.

Going after someone's family is, IMHO, lazy writing. Also, nothing does more to turn off people from running for office than this kind of circus. Who wants to drag their families through this sort of thing? Then we wonder why our elected officials can't seem to get their stuff together.

But this is generally the reason I don't watch the late-night talk shows. They play to crude elements and American celebrity worship, and these things do not entertain me. They are like the "shock-jock-outrage" radio of mainstream pop culture = just bland enough to have wider appeal, with crude jokes told around the water cooler rather than the Jiffy Store parking lot. If I want laughs, I'll click over to I Can Has Cheezburger.

And the discussion in the MSNBC post about political strategy affecting the difference between the reactions to this kind of 'humor' during the campaign and the reactions now? I know it has merits, but I hate that kind of discussion when it comes to defending one's family from public insult. It shouldn't matter what political stragety Sarah Palin employs then or now to defend her daughter from public insult: the fact is that she should not have to.


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Friday, June 12, 2009

Crazy Watch

Jeffrey's term. A lot of folks on watch after the goings on of the past weeks. A few links to direct you:

Adrastos examines the double standard among other issues. What would reaction look like if the Holocaust museum shooter had been of Middle Eastern descent and of Muslim heritage?

The Libray Chronicler links to an examination of Glenn Beck's crazy interpretation of events. The money quote:

And his audience's "truth" is that al Qaeda is in cahoots with lone nuts to kill Jews and blame it on conservatives --- and they are sneaking in from Mexico with "illegals" to do it. This makes perfect sense to them.


I guess there might have been something to that nine page screed against phantoms we heard about back in April.

And let us not forget last week's "conversation."

Meanwhile, Liprap and DADvocate explore the meanings and sources of hatred in our society.




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A Damn Shame

I know too many good teachers at the end of this school year thinking along these same lines.

I don't know how much it has to do these happeneings, or the fact that several RSD schools around town had almost their entire staffs surplused, or if the grant money for charters has started to run out, or any number of chaotic issues that plauge this city's education structure; but I do know that this much instability, year in and year out, does nothing to help educate children nor develop a professional, energetic and dedicated middle class.

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