Tuesday, December 05, 2006

In the news

The Boston Globe today put forward two articles too good to pass up for me:

"For Rick Looser, the last straw came on an airline flight a couple of years ago when a 12-year-old Connecticut boy sitting next to him asked, "Do you still see the KKK on the streets every day?"
That prompted the Mississippi advertising executive to spend his own money on a campaign to dispel Mississippi's image as a forlorn state of poor, illiterate, racist "good ole boys." (full article)

On the one hand, I admire this guy and his efforts. But in case we needed any reminding, Mississippi has the second highest rate of extreme poverty, the worst literacy rate and the highest infant mortality rate in the country. You can put a coat of paint on a trough, but that doesn't make it a townhouse. Maybe that money would be better spent advocating for a better Mississippi, not a glossier image. (Full disclosure: I misspelled Mississippi twice in writing those few paragraphs...)

On a more local, more relevant note, Berklee School of Music announced the beginnings of a big expansion plan in the Back Bay of Boston today. This is good news on several levels, though I imagine it will make Mass. Ave. a bigger mess than it already is. I have mixed feelings about elements of the Berklee education (did spend some time as a high schooler in programs there), but it is a vibrant place who has certainly outgrown its current digs. And I have no doubt that a new performance center would be fantastic, if the current one is any indication. However, I did a double-take on this one:

"Mainzer-Cohen (spokesperson for a neighborhood association) said she did not object to Berklee building dorms in the neighborhood because its students are more well behaved than many other colleges' students; Berklee students are usually busy practicing and composing and do not have much time to devote to partying."

She just doesn't go to the right parties...

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