Tuesday, February 08, 2011
Along with open meeting our town, and I presume many others, has a newspaper that reserves a great deal of space for letters from the public on any subject and any viewpoint. I was particularly impressed with this one:
Allen Ginsburg, not the beat poet but a contemporary blogger, made this observation that I feel beautifully captures the reality of present day America, not the pure white, purely Christian fantasy that the Republican Party is trying to con the nation into believing is what the country is -- or should revert to being in their very limited vision of what the United States used to be:
“This is America, where a white Catholic male Republican judge was murdered on his way to greet a Democratic Jewish woman member of Congress, who was his friend. Her life was saved initially by a 20-year old Mexican-American gay college student, and eventually by a Korean-American combat surgeon, all eulogized by our African American President.”
The concept of a person becoming a brand name raises some interesting questions, many of them involved with marketing. Given the fact that getting elected these days has ceased to be about the candidate's intelligence or competence and is much more involved with issues like the number of guns owned (as in the recent screening of candidates for the position of chairman of the National Republican Committee) or complete ignorance of American History (as in Michele Bachmann's recent, appalling public performance) marketing candidates like junk food has a certain grim appropriateness.
If Mrs. Palin becomes a trademark name, is this one more nail in the coffin of 'not running"? If so, please give her the TM.
I too have never heard of the towers.
My attention was caught by a news paper article -- can't remember which paper, but I Googled Watts Towers Deterioration and found this, which is pretty specific. It also points up the fact that the problem has been going on for a long time:
From the Los Angeles Times:
Hope for ailing Watts Towers
October 23, 2003
Your intelligently researched Watts Towers article by Diane Haithman ("Officials Take a Close Look at Watts Towers," Oct. 16) told the public that the California Department of Parks and Recreation (towers owner) has brought the city of L.A. (towers lessee for 50 years) to task with specified requirements that can, if performed correctly, reverse the city's decade of refusal to fund the towers' maintenance and repairs.
We send our gratitude to the state officials who listened to our three-year guardianship advocacy for improved towers welfare: Dr. Knox Mellon, chief of the State Office of Historic Preservation; Steade Craigo, state preservation architect; and new chief of California State Parks Southern Division in Los Angeles, Ted Jackson.
We send our thanks also to their two evaluators who studied the towers' condition and to city management for a report which made the state's requirements possible. We thank, too, the source of funds which powered the work. (No one but our determined volunteer engineer, N.J. Bud Goldstone, works on the Towers for no pay.)
If the city completes the state requirements correctly, it will turn around the city's neglect that has produced the active deterioration now in progress. Shards fall from the spires daily, and the invasive, intrusive, huge city amphitheater radiates crack-producing solar heat into the north side of Rodia's masterwork.
Jeanne S. Morgan
Jeanne S. Morgan has been chairwoman for the Committee for Simon Rodia's Towers in Watts/Guardians since 1958.