Some broad has a column about Indiana in the Washington Post. “What you need to know,” or something. It’s twinned with a piece by some guy writing the same thing about North Carolina. They both say their states are a mass of contradictions. Meh. I think they need to get better writers.
But this is it, Indiana — an extraordinary primary in this year of years, so drink it up. I was on the phone with Mark the Shark last week (I was on the phone with a few Hoosiers in the past week; see above), and he was reminiscing about the time he snuck out of lunch at Bishop Luers to see Robert Kennedy’s car drive past, the last time the Indiana primary mattered. Mark the Shark wears hearing aids now. The next time this happens, you could be dead. Drink. It. Up.
Then enjoy the familiar feeling of the day after, when your ardent lover of the past few weeks has moved on and now ignores your number on the caller ID. “Indiana who?” he or she will say, if you get through. “Oh yeah — one of those ‘I’ states.” Like …oh, Iowa.
During my chat with Paul Helmke, we talked about his famous Theory of Horizontal Stateitude, which I believe we’ve discussed here before. To wit: Ohio, Indiana and Illinois are three states divided the wrong way. The upper third of each has more in common with one another than the rest of their own territory, ditto the central and southernmost thirds. The north of each is blue-collar and ethnic (Cleveland, Gary, Chicago), the central a frontier of the Mid-Atlantic states (Columbus, Indianapolis, Springfield, the south a remnant of the Dixie/Appalachia that lies below. It’s an interesting theory, imperfect in parts, but sound as a whole. He reminded me of Indiana’s role in the 1920s-era KKK, which many people see as evidence of a deeply entrenched racism, but that’s too facile. The Klan’s big issue in the ’20s was anti-immigration and stamping out the menace of Popery. When they made a play to take over the state’s Republican party, it was the northern-third party members who put a stop to it.
He also reminded me of the influence of foreign policy on this insulated, heartland area. His family were all Democrats “until Woodrow Wilson invaded the Fatherland,” and all the good Germans turned Republican overnight. “And I’m hearing from a lot of Republicans who plan to vote Democratic in the fall,” he said, over disgust with the Iraq war. Goes to show you things change everywhere, even in Indiana.
So how are the rest of you on this fine spring day? Speaking of demographic and historical influences, I saw a bumper sticker the other day. It read: “Turkey: Take responsibility for the Armenian genocide,” which counts as a sentiment you don’t hear expressed much in other parts of the country. Yesterday, while poking around Sweet Juniper’s related sites, I ordered this from his photo store. It looks as thought it was taken in the Dequindre Cut pre-renovation, although I could be wrong. Title: “Feral dog, Albanian graffiti.” Yes, there’s an Albanian presence in Detroit. Yes, that’s the country where the fake war was in “Wag the Dog,” a place so reliably obscure the writers believed it could pass as “one of those ‘A’ countries,” and it did. Not here.
OK, enough half-assed sociology. On to the bloggage:
The 50 Greatest Commercial Parodies of all time might be funny, but I didn’t get beyond No. 50 — for Annuale, the once-a-year period. It seemed unfair to the other ad parodies to have to compare with that one. Love the pink ax.
A survey of newspaper editors around the world reveals they believe the newspaper of the future will be free (congratulations, folks, it already is); have more opinion and comment (groan, because of course they’re doing such a bang-up job competing with the internet on that one already); and that “some traditional editorial functions will be outsourced” (more errors). A limping industry falls into its future.
Celebrity “journalism” is great fun and all, but I miss the days when all we did was take Sean Penn’s picture when he was leaving a restaurant with Madonna. Poor Mischa Barton (a phrase I never thought I’d write).
For those of you who missed the Tom Cruise/Oprah interview last week, Bossy has a recap.
Off to the gym. Be good, now.