Lately I’ve been fairly successful at weaning myself off reading the Fort Wayne papers. I still check them daily, but don’t often click past the main page. There’s increasingly less there there, I regret to say. And, as always, they’re showing their provincialism — I think there’s been a story about the IPFW mastodon public-art project most days since it opened in May.
You want to know if a trend is over? I thought to myself. Check if it’s gotten to Fort Wayne yet.
No sooner were the thoughts out of my head than I passed a gaily painted frog in a Grosse Pointe commercial strip. Then another. And another. And oh my, but we’re off to the races again.
I guess this trend started with the Chicago Cows on Parade, followed by Cows on Vacation in South Carolina, Cincinnati’s pigs, San Francisco’s hearts, Buffalo’s buffalo and Toronto’s moose and, oh, here’s a list. Go look up your own links.
I don’t know why frogs for Grosse Pointe. Maybe Toledo had some leftovers. Maybe because we were settled by the French. The fundraiser is called Frogs*Fur*Friends and has something to do with the twin beneficiaries — the Children’s Home of Detroit and the G.P. Animal Adoption Society — but beyond that, I don’t really know why frogs.
As for the photo above, this being Michigan, someone felt they had to honor the long-running Michigan-Michigan State football rivalry. I’ll leave it to Eric to explain, with that exquisite Ann Arbor condescension, why it’s not really that big of a rivalry. At least for Michigan.
And now for the bloggage:
Lance and Nance hit the American Street. An imperfect entry, but a start. I think he’s too mean to Amy, but then, he’s recovering from a virus.
Someone really hates Mitch Albom.
Remember the good ol’ days, when people had good values and respected human life from the moment of conception to natural death, and displayed living premature babies as a carnival attraction?
Another hot Sunday lolls outside the windows. Have a good’un.
brian stouder said on June 12, 2005 at 11:08 am
Congratulations on the American Street gig; it looks like an interesting site. And thanks for the heads-up about Lance being too hard on Amy.
I read his response (or rant) to your opening piece, up to the point where he said (or ranted!)
“My feeling is that conservative Catholics want exactly what the Right Wing fundies want � everybody else to stop having fun. They aren�t pro-life or anti-abortion. They are anti-joy.”
and then I’d had enough and read no further.
See, Amy is a good parallel as to why I enjoy reading whatever you might write, Nance. I pretty much know that my votes and your votes won’t match up, but your thinking is clear and your writing is lucid and shiney.
Everyone has their own style I suppose, and true enough – many people enjoy Lance’s style (which always strikes me as longish and flat; in need of an editor’s red pencil)….
Anyway, everything is relative, and I think it’s funny that in this new endeavor, it looks like Nance get’s to be the ‘righty’!!!
Kevin Hayden said on June 12, 2005 at 12:13 pm
As a recovered Catholic, I guess I have to lean Lance’s way. Mainly because of reproductive and sexual issues and what I believe, too, is a mockery of the term ‘pro-life.’
But I am always intrigued by the shiftng alliances of religious righties. After all, Baptists useta be pretty anti-Catholic, telling stories of underground tunnels between monasteries where the priests and nuns played, and of secret graves where nuns burried their fetuses. They held Jews in great contempt, too.
Catholic exceptionalism used to claim that other Christians couldn’t reach heaven. Now they hold that other Christians could reach heaven, but only Catholics could be Saints.
It’s the judgmentalism of organized religions that turns me off, as I consider it presumptuous for any to displace God.
My Dad was upset, when Pope John XXIII moved the church away from Latin, along with other reforms. He half-jokingly referred to him as Pope John the Communist, which I found absurd, though funny.
I remain a very strong admirer of Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin and the Catholic liberation theology movement, despite it being restrained by Vatican pronouncements.
You are both welcome members to the team. There’s no editorial oversight, so your views and topics can be freely expressed, though. We have no litmus test beyond the capacity to express yourself well, a gift you’ve already mastered. So, in my best Catholic translation: Rock on!
Lance Mannion said on June 12, 2005 at 4:30 pm
A blue pencil, Brian. My work needs an editor’s blue pencil. School teachers use red pencils, although maybe I need to go back to school too.
Dwight Brown said on June 12, 2005 at 5:52 pm
“Remember the good ol’ days, when people had good values and respected human life from the moment of conception to natural death, and displayed living premature babies as a carnival attraction?”
Well, that’s one way of looking at it. What I get out of that article, though, was that the good doctor, as strange as he may have been, was genuinely interested in saving premature babies, felt that the technology wasn’t catching on fast enough in the US, and chose that method in an attempt to promote better care for premature babies.
Yeah, it seems odd in retrospect, but I suspect a historian of technology (which I am not, by any means) wouldn’t be too shocked. And I have a hard time throwing stones at the guy. “At least 8,000 babies passed through the incubators, and the doctor was credited with saving at least 6,500, according to news reports of the time.”
“In 1911, his reputation was tarnished when Dreamland went up in flames. The babies were safely whisked to Luna Park, but The New York Times incorrectly reported that six had burned to death. An article the next day under the headline “All Well With the Babies,” failed to undo the article’s damage.”
Nice to see some things don’t change.
Nance said on June 12, 2005 at 7:15 pm
The doctor may well have been a creature of his time, and I don’t think it takes anything away from him. They say of the 8,000 babies who passed through his care, he saved 6,500, and that’s not small change.
I was just struck by the weirdness of it; we forget that those were the days when not just preemies, but people with obscure medical conditions were displayed as freaks, and people paid money to see them.
Then there’s this quote, which I thought was telling: “I can’t believe he was na�ve about what Coney Island was,” said Dr. Jeffrey P. Baker, a pediatrician and a medical historian at Duke University Medical Center. “He went into a place where he knew he’d be put in the midway.”
Claire said on June 13, 2005 at 12:13 am
It’s purple now, Lance. Purple pens for school teachers, that is:
“When it comes to correcting papers and grading tests, purple is emerging as the new red. ‘If you see a whole paper of red, it looks pretty frightening,’ said Sharon Carlson, a health and physical education teacher at John F. Kennedy Middle School in Northampton. ‘Purple stands out, but it doesn’t look as scary as red.’
That’s the cue pen makers and office supply superstores say they have gotten from teachers as the $15 billion back-to-school retail season kicks off. They say focus groups and conversations with teachers have led them to conclude that a growing number of the nation’s educators are switching to purple, a color they perceive as ‘friendlier’ than red.”
Hi Nance, first time visitor here and enjoy what I’ve read. Arrived via Amy Alkon’s blog.