Archive - July, 2012

It Isn’t Always Beautiful

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Tonight the London Olympics officially open… and someone has already been disqualified from competition.

Triple Jumper Voula Papachristou was politely asked to return to her native Greece after making disparaging comments about Africans.

She tweeted that, “With all of the Africans in Greece at least the West Nile Mosquitos will eat homemade food.”

Every 4 years we are treated to the beauty and pageantry of the Opening Ceremonies, a celebration of nations and world heritage. The beauty and promise of the world’s youth are spotlighted against the backdrop of hope.

The display of unity and solidarity among peaceful, yet different, nations is always one of the most stirring aspects of the games.

This doesn’t mean that things can’t get heated a few days into the competition though.

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Making It Personal

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Sometimes you look at a document and recognize that even though the words are English, the language doesn’t make any sense.

If you’ve ever graded freshman composition essays or been served legal papers you know exactly what I’m talking about.

I’ve been served with official documents twice in my life and both times I’ve found myself especially grateful for lawyers and equally frustrated by them- Frustrated by the legal team pursuing my wallet and grateful for the lawyer who was looking out for me.

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What This Says About Us

Legendary Pictures

You can learn a lot about an era by examining its heroes.  Americans of a previous age sainted men like Washington and Lincoln for their unassailable virtue.  Historically we’ve preferred our idols to appear unblemished, because this used to be possible.

Embellishing the reputation of a man was easier before information travelled at the speed of electricity.  It took so long for every American to learn about George Washington’s cherry tree confession that attempting to undo that image is something that could only have been accomplished after his death.

And nobody likes anybody who tears somebody apart at their funeral.

By the 1900’s radio and print had made vast amounts of news available to the common man, and protecting a heroic person meant actively suppressing the truth about them.  The problem was that scandal sold newspapers, and by the time the Great Depression arrived, America was forced to accept that the men they idealized were often charming, self-centered, philandering alcoholics.

So we began inventing the heroes we needed.

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