Dem Pep Rally
Monroe County Democrats have announced the date for their annual FDR Gala wherein they tell each other over soft drinks and cheese cubes how much the citizenry loves them and how they’re going to win the very next election handily. And, as a rule, they do win those elections — as long they’re local.
So, you can rub shoulders with mayors (soon-to-be-emeritus and aspiring), city council members, party supporters, payrollers who’d rather be at home with their shoes and socks off, and other exotic creatures Thursday, April 2nd, 6pm, in the Fountain Square Ballroom on Kirkwood.
The Monroe County Republican bash will be held under the Opie Taylor’s canopy, weather-permitting. That is, if it’s raining, the event will be cancelled because pedestrians might be trying to stay dry and, therefore, there’ll be no room for two more people.
A Weighty Issue
Here’s another example of an issue wherein those on both sides of its fence are full of it. Thanks to Indiana University human sexuality research scientist, Debby Herbenick, I learned today that Bryn Mawr College this school year has been sending out targeted emails to students whose silhouettes, shall we say, are a tad more parabolic than some medical professionals might wish.
The Bryn Mawr health services center sent the emails to students whose body-mass indexes were found to be “elevated” during office visits. The students, the email advised, were welcome to join a weight loss program sponsored by the center.
In other words, the message came through loud and clear to certain individuals: You’re overweight. This may lead to health problems. If you want to start working out and eating more healthily, we’ve got a program for you.
Sounds pretty much like what any caring health professional might say to a patient whose belt is beginning to look a bit strained at the last notch.
But, natch, the emails were received by enrollees at one of the Seven Sisters/Ivy League institutions of higher brow-furrowing. Whoever sent out the email forgot that such burgeoning scholars must parse and dissect every syllable of every word uttered near, about, and around them for any signs of oppression, tyranny, violence, ridicule, or poor grammar and usage.
One Bryn Mawr student howled on Facebook that the email is “problematic, it’s hurtful, and it’s just plain stupid.” The student explains that she has struggled with an eating disorder much of her life and has sought treatment for it from the Bryn Mawr student health center. “I felt very targeted,” she said to one TV reporter. “It didn’t feel like the school had my best interest at heart. Knowing my personal history, it was an email telling me to lose weight.”
Well, um, yeah.
This, babies, is what we snark artists like to refer to as a First World Problem.
The person who made this big splash has told interviewers as well as the rest of the world she was “horrified” to receive the email.
So, apparently, the student was filled with fear, scared out of her wits, her hair stood on end, and her blood ran cold. Rather like the residents of Hiroshima when that bright flash occurred one sunny August morning.
So, fine, she’s a sensitive flower who can’t bear being reminded of that which she has already acknowledged. I hope her heart can bear the terror of being fired from her job one day. But let’s leave her and start picking on the Bryn Mawr health services center.
It’s none of their goddamned business how big any of their students grow. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know all about how obesity affects health care costs that must be born by all of us. Ho hum. Some window-peekers among us think it’s in the university’s or the company’s or even the state’s best interests to monitor every personal facet of our lives because all those things affect some bottom line. So what?
I know scads of folks whose love lives adversely affect their work productivity. If they get dumped, say, they’re next to useless for days, even weeks, at a time. Shall we send them messages advising them never to fall in love again?
This bottom-line mentality has at its core the near-criminalization of personality, of individualism, of self for chrissakes. Some people are fat. Some have tender hearts. Some have bad breath. All those traits affect us — their friends and coworkers — in some small but ultimately measurable way. Measurable, that is, by bean counters and bookkeepers whose sole concern in this life is that last cell in their spreadsheets.
To them I say, Let us be fat. Let us well-up with tears at odd times during the work day because we’ve been jilted. Let us have our bad breath.
After all, why do you insist on being so close to us that you can smell our breath?
Information Is Power
I just started drawing up a list of questions for the mayoral candidates. In the past, I’ve done questionnaires with candidates for various offices for Ryder magazine in an effort to get at each of those true persons.
For instance, during the 2010 Congressional election, I queried the likes of Todd Young, Shelli Yoder, Col. John Tilford and the rest of the aspirants for Indiana’s 9th District seat about their childhood memories, the music they listen to, the books they read, their fave TV shows of all time, and other such politically vital dope.
Here are a few of the Q’s I came up with last night:
- Who were the three greatest US presidents?
- Describe the happiest day of your life.
- What was the first album you ever bought with your own money?
- Do you agree that chocolate should be the national drug?
If you have any suggestions, feel free to comment here or send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll run the questionnaire and responses in the April issue. The Democratic primary between John Hamilton, Darryl Neher, and John Linnemeier will be held Tuesday, May 5th. Republican John Turnbull is running unopposed.
BTW: Here’s a question for the populace:
How comfortable would you be if Darryl Neher becomes mayor. In that case, he’d be Mayor Neher. Could you bear it?
Which reminds me: Why do you think it is that the United States military does not have the rank of Field Marshal? Pretty much every other fighting force on Earth has Field Marshals. The US stands alone in this regard.
It turns out that the Army did indeed consider adding Field Marshal to its ranks at the start of World War II. Only the top dog in the Army at that time was one General George Catlett Marshall, who directed the two-theater war effort from Washington. The story goes that Marshall was displeased with the idea because he thought it would be unbecoming to be referred to as Field Marshal Marshall. And that was that.