Skip to main content

How to Identify a Crazy Person

1) Locate a sufficiently large body of people from which to pull a sampling. Something on the order of, oh, say a City Council.
2) Observe this group. Note any strange behavior that stands out from the larger group.
3) Pay particular attention for irrational conclusions or outbursts.
4) If one of the group stands out from the rest through either of the tests above, you've found your crazy person.

Today's experiment involves the Detroit City Council. The City faces an incredible financial burden and deficit, one which has the potential to put them into receivership. Lightening this load would seem to be a priority. So when the Zoological Society offered to take over almost every dime of funding needed to keep the zoo open, seems like a, well, I'll go with Detroitblog and call it a "no-brainer".

Ah ah ah! Not so fast there my logical reader. Things are not that simple. Exhibit A is City Councilwoman Barbara-Rose Collins. See, the Zoological Society's plan isn't helping the city, it's an insult to the City Council and all Detroiters. How, might you ask?

“This is not a plantation,” Collins said. “We are not owned by everyone else. Black folks are not owned by white folks anymore. I made the point Saturday that the state Legislature was pimping the City of Detroit, and that we should not play the role of prostitute. That upset a lot of people, but I stand by my words. The symbolism is that Detroit is a black city, and we’re not able to govern ourselves. It’s a racist attitude and I resent it.” [source]


I believe we have identified our crazy person.

You're absolutely right, Councilwoman. It's not a plantation. In fact, one might argue, it's not that much of a city anymore. It certainly isn't a place where rational discussion and debate can take place; you can't even see a gift when it's handed to you on a platter the size of your ego. Less than a month after 1 billion people watched a football game take place in the city, you're back to flipping the HUGE race card over a plan that was meant to help you. You know, to keep open a zoo that's been around for over 100 years and has, until this, managed to do so without much concern for the race of those paying for it.

Detroit isn't a black city, it's a city where a lot of blacks live. There's also a lot of people of who can trace their roots to Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Central and South America. It also becoming so much of a joke (and these statements help make it painfully obvious why) even Detroit's defenders are giving up. The terrible thing is, she'll probably get elected again. So, congratulations Detroit, you're getting exactly what you deserve, handbasket and raving lunatic included. If the City Council continues to follow the stellar lead of the Councilwoman, I can't wait to hear the hyperbole that spews from her mouth when Lansing takes over every facet of the City.

Comments

  1. FYI, I've started a group on Flickr with pics of the zoo if anyone is interested:

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/detroitzoo/

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Happy Retirement Pat Sweeny!

In a previous life, I was an active member of the West Michigan Shores Chapter of the STC. I met a lot of really cool people there and learned a lot about what it meant to be not just a technical writer, but more about how technical writers can break out of the mold and accomplish things.

One of the people who did that was Pat Sweeny. Pat is (or was, by this point) the President and owner of The Bishop Company, a contract do-it-all house; they document, streamline and illustrate your process, and they do it damn well. Pat was one of the first people in that chapter to "get it", which is to say, he and his company understand that technical writing isn't going to be a department for very much longer, it's going to be a business.

He had the foresight to actually make it a business, but he also had something else. Pat was forever trying to better those around him. He would come to meetings (which was a big step beyond most people) and teach you things. Or he would come to …

Google Inbox: A classic Google product

My work domain (an EDU) recently had Google Inbox enabled so I had a good chance to try it out. My personal email is relatively quiet and, I believe, doesn't provide a good Inbox experience. Work is more active and requires actual management, something I've tossed many a tool at over the years. As part of my work life, I supported the Google Apps for EDU installation here and took a pretty extensive presentation to campus about how to manage large amounts of email.

Inbox is a classic Google product: the distillation of a number of excellent ideas into a set of half-complete features built for a use case most people don't meet. We've seen this in the past in products like ChromeVox, Google's Chrome extension for accessibility. ChromeVox works great on ChromeOS devices, but completely ignores the point that most users of accessibility tech (AT) don't have or want ChromeOS devices and come to services with their AT in tow. ChromeVox also ignores decades of convent…

Evernote

Evernote, for better or worse, is the best note-taking service for my needs. It works across all my devices/computers/modes. It's fairly easy to get stuff into it. Hell, they even have 2-Factor authentication. The Windows app is a little clunky and my girlfriend and I have never been able to get shared notes to work properly (conflicted note! three times in the same grocery trip!), but what service is perfect? At least they have nice socks.

Everything, in fact, is pretty good as long as you don't screw up. And screw up I did. I'm not very regular about making backups, but I do make them every month or so. Once you figure out how to create a backup, that is.

There's a helpful Export Note option (which turns into Export Notes when you select multiple notes HINT). The export process is essentially opening All Notes, selecting every note, and then choosing Export Notes. Or something like that; Evernote never tells you, you're left to figure it out on your own. The file…