The NN.C mascot.


Neglect your website for a while, and your karma comes looking for you. People start sending you things that remind you how kind the universe can be, sometimes.

Behold, my very own Nancy doll, seen here with her accompanying signed, suitable-for-framing Nancy comic strip. The doll is signed, too, although you can’t see that (you have to push up her dress; yes, she’s wearing undies). Thanks to regular reader and sometime commenter First-Time Caller, who is also Lance Mannion’s sister-in-law, and a very nice person who is evidently acquainted with Guy Gilchrist, who inherited the strip from the ghost of Ernie Bushmiller, or some such.

I’m so touched. My very own Nancy! I plan to cuddle her whenever I need an idea. I’m surre she’ll bring me luck.

Thanks, First-Time Caller.

So we’re having an exciting election season here in the the GP Geto, aka Da Woods. By “exciting,” I mean “contested.” That doesn’t happen much here, I gather. Not only does the 15-year incumbent mayor face a challenger, there are something like three candidates running for a single open council seat. The mayoral challenger came to a neighborhood picnic last summer, so I got a sense of her, but everyone else is terra incognita.

Of course, as a newcomer and a journalist, I’m looking forward to coverage in the local weekly. Two weeks ago, they informed us the endorsements would be coming in the following issue, and then dropped this bomb: “It’s our policy to endorse incumbents except in extraordinary circumstances.” Ohhh-kay. That’s helpful.

So the endorsements came out, and guess what? There were no extraordinary circumstances. Of the three rookies shooting for the open seat, their pick was the guy who most reminded them of the incumbents. What’s worse, in dismissing the mayoral challenger they made vague reference to an incident that happened some years back, with little explanation of the event and none of the context.

Because no one ever moves here, I guess, and so no need to give any background.

Thank God for the Free Press. All you gotta do is explain it.

And as “contested” as things get here in the ‘burbs, it’s nothing compared to Detroit. You want to know what the race card looks like? Like this.

Posted at 9:05 pm in Uncategorized |

9 responses to “The NN.C mascot.”

  1. brian stouder said on October 28, 2005 at 9:54 am

    Leaving aside the tawdry political broadside linked at the end – I am following the developing arrangements for Rosa Parks with interest.

    Kwame Kilpatrick looks extremely adept and spot-on (rom this distance, anyway), on what is indeed a major special event.

    The national press is (rightly) going to cover that great American’s repose in the Capitol Rotunda (the first woman ever so honored? Really?!) – but no story has failed to mentio Detroit’s public remembrances (and Mayor Kilpatrick), too

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  2. Nance said on October 28, 2005 at 10:09 am

    Kwame (if it isn’t disrespectful to call him by his first name) is in trouble. He’s trailing in the polls by a substantial margin after one term. About the only thing he has going for him is his stage presence and natural political skills.

    Regrettably, though, he seems to believe he was elected not to be mayor of a dying city with a quarter-billion-dollar deficit, but to be road manager of a hip-hop act. For months, the media have been turning up evidence of profligate personal spending, starting with the red Lincoln Navigator (leased with city money for his wife’s personal use) and trailing off in a blizzard of receipts for high-living, city-compensated expenses. He likes to pick up the check, and he never orders from anywhere but the top shelf, it seems.

    The race card is particularly repellent in this case, as his opponent is a black man, too. But Hendrix is biracial, and so you notice the references to him as “Helmut,” his given first name. (I think Freman is Hendrix’s middle name. His mother was European, I think.) Anyway, this is an old game in Detroit, going back decades — who’s blacker? Who’s the tool of the evil suburbs? Who’s the white man’s puppet? It’s like it never occurs to anyone in the city that some people in the ‘burbs want it to succeed on whatever terms it wants, that there might be people of good will out here. To be sure, you simply cannot deny that much of the animosity directed at the city by the burbs is racial in motivation, or at least appears to be. You just can’t. But still.

    Kwame will have his moment with the Parks funeral. Whether he can hold off a challenger is a different story.

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  3. brian stouder said on October 28, 2005 at 10:29 am

    “you simply cannot deny that much of the animosity directed at the city by the burbs is racial in motivation, or at least appears to be. You just can’t. But still.”


    And not to sound patronizing – but if white males (like me!) can elect flim-flam man to be the president of the United States – who can bitch about black citizens indulging whatever emotional or visceral motivations, enroute to voting for Kwame?

    It’s as American as apple pie to vote for who you want to win (and against who you want to lose), regardless who the ‘real’ best candidate is

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  4. Nance said on October 28, 2005 at 10:49 am

    Of course it is, and you could make a very cynical case — that Detroit is beyond any real salvation, so why not elect someone who makes the city feel good about itself? However. It’s really hard to feel sympathy for KK when he says stuff like…I’ll give you an example.

    One thing the city is justifiably proud of is its municipal water utility, which many of the closer-in suburbs hook up to (including ours). The water is clean, cheap and tastes great (for water). Meanwhile, with the city’s financial problems, the media are looking hard for examples of wasteful spending. They found a city agency that was buying bottled water for its offices, at a annual cost in the low six figures. Not a huge amount of money, but not chump change, either, and given the quality water flowing from any old drinking fountain, obviously a needless expense. A TV station turned this up, and asked the mayor for comment.

    You know what he said? “Slavery is over. It is. We don�t need for massa to tell us to get some water.” Huh? Wha-? What the hell does that mean? No one is suggesting city workers should go thirsty. They’re just saying why pay for a service to come in and maintain bottled-water coolers when you can just throw in a Halsey-Taylor and let people fill their cups with the cheap stuff? But when one’s back is against the wall in Detroit, you reach for the closest weapon. Which is the R-word, it seems. Always.

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  5. brian stouder said on October 28, 2005 at 11:15 am

    “Huh? Wha-? What the hell does that mean?”

    You have captured the crux of the problem. If a Pat White type (suburban, private school, Ford Crown Vic driving, professional radio wing-nut tut-tutter white guy) voices exactly the same criticism, he is (truly) coming from a racist starting point, and therefore immediately (and rightly) discreditable – he has no standing.

    Hopefully the challenger is a public-minded person with enough panache to be electable….

    but in the meanwhile, all one can do is remind the racists of the legions of inept/thieving WHITE hands that have grabbed all they could from the public weal, for some perspective

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  6. MichaelG said on October 28, 2005 at 12:12 pm

    And how many times did the good citizens of D.C. elect Marion Berry?

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  7. brian stouder said on October 28, 2005 at 12:24 pm

    How many times did Chicago elect Richard (the first) Daley? How long did the Tammany machine of Boss Tweed rule the roost? How many crooked politicians have latched onto power, in American history?

    Did they represent the best possible leadership? Or were they simply the kings of their own particular dung pile at that time?

    If we’re taling about the ‘race card’, how many white guys made careers out just the same sort of stuff? Hell – West Virginia still keeps a klansman in the US Senate to this day…and even if Byrd is a repentant soul now, his political career would never have happened if he hadn’t been a domestic terrorist a half century ago.

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  8. mac macgillicuddy said on October 28, 2005 at 9:33 pm

    I was kind of hoping to see more about the doll.

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  9. alex said on October 28, 2005 at 10:32 pm

    Look how many times they’ve reelected Daley II, Brian. And you know what? He could be convicted of kicking a kitten or murdering his own mother and they’d still give him landslide victories. That is, until public services break down again as they did during the unusually severe winter of ’79. Sometimes it takes an Act of God to oust a Man of the People.

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