“I have no idea, I have no idea,” said Philip Levine, the former United States poet laureate, who has lived in Fresno since the late 1950s. But his enthusiasm was tempered by worries over the proliferation of poets laureate. “If you gave the Congressional Medal of Honor to everybody who got drafted, in a way you water down the award,” he said. “Do all these towns need a poet laureate? That’s what I wonder. Does Fresno, for that matter?”
(Fresno is paying their poet laureate $2,000 for a two-year term.)
Paging Andy Ihnatko. Andy Ihnatko to the white courtesy phone, please.
(Seriously, this does not strike me as a good idea.)
“When things got tough or extremely difficult on the House floor, we could count on Jesse to bring levity to an otherwise daunting situation with a bad joke or a one-man skit,” she wrote. “Jesse was the highlight of our karaoke nights and always made everyone feel like an integral part of, and not apart from, various activities.”
“She” is Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (D-Ohio), chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Edited to add: Ken over at Popehat has a post up flaming the LAT and other newspapers (and, sort of by implication, your obedient servant) for seizing on the karaoke angle and taking out of the context it was in.
More guns, less crime.
The Statesman has been all over the collapse of RunTex (a local running shoe store, which was also active in various community events) like flies on a severed cow’s head at a Damien Hirst exhibition. I haven’t paid much attention to the story because I’m not a runner and didn’t care about RunTex. I remember my sister (who competes in triathlons) telling me about going there a while back and being totally unable to find any shoes that fit her. (And my sister does not have giant mutant feet.)
In that vein, I found this Statesman column rather interesting. It looks like my sister wasn’t the only person who had that problem…
On recent, long Saturday runs with my Gazelle pace group, when the conversation meanders from work and family stories to movies and smoothie recipes, someone occasionally would mention that they had tried to buy a pair of shoes from the Riverside location’s diminishing selection. Stories of failed attempts to buy new shoes resonated. “I used to shop there all the time” had become a familiar sentence.
Edited to add: A friend of WCD told us a similar story in email; he went in looking for the Nike shoes that would work with their iPhone application and transmitter. They didn’t have any shoes in his size, let alone the Nike ones. When he inquired, they told him “We’re not a shoe store. We support the running lifestyle.”
“We support the running lifestyle.” WHAT THE FRACK DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?
“We’re not a shoe store.” Yeah. Now, you’re nothing.
This is just further evidence towards my theory: the problems with the American economy have much to do with the fact that nobody wants to take money for goods and services any longer. I’m not kidding: I can’t count the number of experiences I’ve had, or been told about recently, involving wanting to make a purchase and not being able to get help, get questions answered, or get people to take money.