October 23, 2012

I felt so symbolic

We interrupt Goat Rope's regularly scheduled Moby-Dick series to celebrate a nice little victory. As noted earlier in this blog, members of Charleston WV's African American community and many white allies mobilized over the last year to add the name of Mary C. Snow, a prominent black educator, to the new West Side Elementary School.

This post from February shows what it's like when hundreds of people turn out for a school board meeting to make a stand. And this post from July celebrates the fact that community members overcame resistance and converted former opponents to support the name change.

On Tuesday night, I was back in the neighborhood and was thrilled to see that it had actually happened. A friend had previously circulated a picture, but I thought it might have been photo-shopped. Like doubting Thomas of old, I had to experience the reality for myself. And it was sweet.

Yes, it was primarily a symbolic victory. Yes, we have much bigger problems to deal with. As a general rule I prefer hard targets (as in policy wins) to symbolic victories, but it occurs to me that humans are, after all, creatures of sign and symbol. And that symbolic victories are sweet as well.

(I am reminded of the lyrics of my favorite song from the 1990s, Mr. Jones by Counting Crows: "I felt so symbolic yesterday.")

POLLS, JESUS, POLITICS AND ALL THAT are discussed in the latest edition of the Rev. Jim Lewis' Notes from Under the Fig Tree.

THE RAW AND THE COOKED. Was cooking the trick that helped early humans develop such big brains? Maybe.

IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING what was up with former Massey CEO Don Blankenship after Frodo melted the Ring he retired from the company, click here.


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