We don’t have a great deal of breaking news in our part of the suburb-o-sphere, but an interesting one dropped today, which was the first day of school for the two high schools: The Grosse Pointe South Blue Devils football team will welcome a transgender member this year, a girl named Meredith who would rather be referred to as “he” and called Seth.
I posted this on the GrossePointeToday.com Facebook wall, and a couple of other people did the same. Given the repulsive commenting going on at Patch these days — are there any internet news outlets with comment sections that aren’t sewers? — I expected the discussion, if you can call it that, to deteriorate rather quickly.
But no. Between three Facebook walls, I count about 50 “likes.” But here’s something interesting — of those 50 likes, 48 are female. Only a handful of comments, but all but two were from women, all getting misty-eyed with pride and tolerance. Two men weighed in; one made a mild joke, the other wondered what the world was coming to and made a sad face. 🙁
So what do you think this says? Are women more likely to be proud of their transgender children, or is this a football thing?
I don’t really care all that much, but I do find it interesting. This is a community that blows hot and cold on inclusion. The repulsive commenting I mentioned earlier concerns guess what? race and is bad enough I’ve wondered whether I should just set the house on fire, collect the insurance and move to Ann Arbor. But a transgender high school running back? Arms wide open!
Oh, well. Night has fallen, and I’m waiting for returns to come in on what I hope is the final act of the Thaddeus McCotter story — the $650,000 special election to fill his seat for all of six-count-’em-six weeks. The column at that link pulls punches, but it’s hard to figure what more punches would do for McCotter:
The primary will determine which two candidates will be on the Nov. 6 ballot to be elected to fill the remainder of McCotter’s term. The winner could serve less than two months before being replaced by the winner of the general election, who will take office next year, but representing a district considerably gerrymandered from the one that sent McCotter to Washington.
It was redrawn by his fellow Republicans to help McCotter hold the seat, but the former Wayne County commissioner and state legislator from Livonia carelessly left his re-election petition filings up to an office staff that botched the job — deliberately and fraudulently, based on criminal cases now pending against a handful of them.
The Republican political establishment tried to avoid taxpayer ire over the cost of the special primary — required to assure the district does have some representation in Washington — by settling on a consensus candidate and discouraging others from filing so the contest wouldn’t be needed. But five Republicans rejected such rigging and filed in the special primary, including Kerry Bentivolio, the ex-teacher from Milford who won the regular GOP primary last month and will carry the party banner in the redrawn district in November.
…Confused? Thank McCotter, whose last months in public office were dominated by an impossible quest for the Republican presidential nomination and the drafting of a sit-com script. Aside from a couple of terse statements, the normally loquacious McCotter has been unavailable — and unaccountable — since leaving office.
I’m going to say this and then I’m going to shut up: We’ve been hearing a lot about voter fraud lately. And here we have, in the McCotter case, a clear-cut case of election fraud, four people charged with falsifying nominating petitions for one filing deadline, and evidence they did it in the previous two elections. Who is howling about this? Virtually no one. My Wayne State colleague Jack Lessenberry takes a few whacks at him — and a few others — here, but that’s about it.
So much for that, eh?
A bit of linkage:
Tom & Lorenzo take a look at Shelley O’s look last night. Via Jolene. Something I learned today: Tracy Reese is a Detroiter, and the dress was a custom design. It certainly showed off the First Guns to maximum advantage.
Mark Bittman says what I was trying to say last week, about restaurants, particularly fine dining:
It simply isn’t what I want anymore. It’s become painful, not in the visiting-the-dentist sense, but in the “you have to go to synagogue; it’s Yom Kippur” sense, a long, drawn-out affair in which even the obviously beautiful and enjoyable parts — the $10,000-a-week flower arrangements, the custom glassware and china and sometimes even the carefully prepared if almost always overly subtle (to my taste) food — were overwhelmed by the sheer tedium.
These are temples of ceremony, with (normally absent) chefs as priests; they’re circuses without clowns or trapezes.
It goes on. Read.
Finally, those of you who follow journalism might know that our own Hank Stuever is spending the term teaching at the University of Montana, as a visiting prof. His class is about writing pop culture, and here’s the good news: You can follow it online! On Hank’s blog! Scroll down to the entry called “Montana,” and come back up. Charlotte, I expect this might interest you.
And so we greet Thursday. Already.
Update: I finished and scheduled this while Bill Clinton was speaking, but before the speech actually achieved liftoff and took off for the stars, with a vapor trail of puppies and bacon streaming behind. I watched the remainder in bed, on the iPad, chuckling and switching back and forth between the stream and Twitter. I think I’d buy, in hardcover, a collection of the best tweets last night, which were hilarious. (I’m indebted to Jill Biden for the puppies-and-bacon imagery, which was in hers.) My fave might be the several who sketched some version of Clinton as James Brown, throwing off cape after cape to run back out and play another encore. Who says public speaking can’t be entertaining?