Sunday, June 24, 2007

Hey, be nice!

The senior class of Falls Church, Virginia's Marshall High School were told by their graduation speaker last week to avoid Fargo at all costs.

"My advice to you today," said one of the school's history teachers, Tim Kane: "Work hard, believe in something, be passionate and be persistent in whatever you do or you will end up in Fargo."

"Yes, Fargo, North Dakota — the armpit of civilization. Why Fargo, you ask? Because for me, Fargo, North Dakota, is the physical and spiritual symbol of what happens to you when you die inside."

Awwww... that's not very nice. After all, the East Coast doesn't have to look this far for world-class armpits – New Jersey alone has several outstanding ones, including my native city of Camden. Certain parts of Richmond, in Kane's home state, come to mind as well.

How fitting that the address took place in DAR Constitution Hall, a symbol of ignorance in Washington ever since its managers prevented Marian Anderson from singing there in 1939 because she was black. Eleanor Roosevelt, disgusted by the racism, resigned from the DAR and arranged for Miss Anderson to sing on Easter Sunday morning from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to a rapt crowd of 75,000 and a national radio audience. Where's Eleanor when you need her?

Kane's comments were reported this morning in the Forum in a column by its editor, who printed Kane's work phone number and e-mail address, and urged his readers to teach him about Fargo and to "[r]emember to follow his own advice and 'believe in something, be passionate and be persistent in whatever you do.'”

Neither I nor the Forum's editor, apparently, feel like having much of a sense of humor about this. I think it's because the weather has been gorgeous this past week; today is a high in the mid-80s with 50% humidity. We are totally headed to the pool for the day the moment it opens, and I'm not going to take anyone saying anything bad about this town today.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only bad thing *I've* got to say about it (which, although bad for me, may in fact have been good for Fargo) is that I never got a chance to visit you guys *in situ*. I know we'll kick back in R-ville later on, but damn it, I heard so much good about Fargo, I really wanted to see it for myself -- and through the prism of you guys. I may pass through there sometime, but it won't be the same without that advance guard, numsane?

11:33 PM  
Blogger Trish said...

Bless you for supporting Fargo. One thing I've learned over the years is there's good and bad everywhere and that guy is like a pot calling a kettle black, as my Mom used to say...

10:06 AM  
Blogger Doc Mara said...

I find it funny, considering that I moved here a year ago and have not regretted it at all. If a teacher has jazz up a joke with ignorance, methinks that the problem is more his than ours. Most of the time, Fargo is a punchline because the comedian needs to point to some place people in the audience know nothing about to conjure a comparison. This guy is no different.

Even funnier is the person from Arizona in today's Forum who thinks that 110 is all that AND a bag of chips. I grew up in Arizona, and you couldn't pay me to move back to anywhere but Flagstaff. A bunch of relocated Californians trapped in a place that doesn't get below 100 degrees at night in the summer? When your swimming pool gets hotter than a bath and your family all gets skin cancer, come back and talk to me about how terrible the mosquitos are from 8-10 p.m. Please.

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm aware of how long ago this article occurred, but looking back on this, I realize how ignorant the author of this article is.

The school was Falls Church, Virginia. It has NOTHING to do with Washington, D.C. I am appalled that you, like many others, connect Northern Virginia to DC.

Although it may be true that what Tim Kane said about Fargo, ND is insulting and inaccurate, you are being quite the hypocrite.

2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But the speech was made at DAR constitution hall which is in Washington DC.

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tim Kane for life.

9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's a good teacher, honestly.

11:23 AM  

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