Wow, fun morning.
Just got off the phone with some guy who started off sounding nice, but quickly degenerated into shouting, uninterruptably, over my column today on tattoos that an Ogden High English teacher has.
Funny, I was sure the word “vagina” was the part of the column that would get me in hot water. Oh well.
For this caller, tattoos are simply wrong. That is not his opinion, that is established fact and I owe the readers an apology and retraction if I am at all ethical, he said.
“You and I have differing opinions and there will be no retraction,” I said, and he went off again for another 5 minutes, finally asking to speak to the boss, to whom I gratefully transferred the call.
What is it with people who can’t see the difference between opinion and fact? He has his opinions, I have mine. Fair is fair.
It is a fact that a huge percentage of the population has tattoos. Ink is no longer just for gangsters and sailors. Regular folk get tattoos for religious, romantic, artistic or affiliation reasons. George Schultz had a tiger tattoo on his but from some college franternity he was in.
It is this caller’s opinion tattoos are evil. It is mine that they are something I don’t want on me, but other people can decide for themselves. Is this so hard?
It is a fact that Mark Johnson, at OHS, works with a lot of inner city kids who live around gangsters and other types with tattoos. If having tattoos, as well as being black, makes it easier for kids to relate to him, and hear his teaching about English and literature and so on, that’s more for the good.
It is sad Ogden schools are taking such a small-minded attitude towards tattoos. They need to see the big picture.
Speaking of George Will (OK, we weren’t. So?) His column today in the Washington Post is a symphony of impenetrable words about the rediculousness of the State of the Union Speech. Every now and then I find myself agreeing with George, and today is one of those. Read his column here: (click!)
Washington refused to have his image on a coin because putting your picture on money is what kings do. Jefferson didn’t believe in making state of the union speeches because he felt that the president should not act like a monarch and lecture to the congress, which is the representatives of the people and a president is no better than any of them.
Mr. Will is discussing Obama’s last speech, and he’s right — as with so much, though, I wish Mr. Will had written this column back when it was President Reagan turning the speech into political theater, or President Bush. Or Carter or Clinton too.
Too often political pundits make very good points only when it is the other side who provide the convenient exemplar. Will would boost his cred a lot if he’d demand conservative principles from conservatives when it is conservatives who are in office, such as when he opposed the war in Iraq while Bush was still in office. A column or two on balanced budgets under W, for example, would not have been out of place and might have done some good.
Having said that, I agree completely with this column — the State of the Union is just theater, and pretty silly theater at that. It could easily be replaced with a post card, or perhaps a blackberry message, something along the lines of “Everything’s hunky-dorey! Call if have questions.”