Moments Of Brilliance, #1: Stuck On Stupid

For a few days, Larry Langford was my hero.

Last week, my roommate, who will be henceforth referred to in these pages as NE, brought an item on the news to my attention. (I wonder what it says about both of us that she only watches local news, while I only watch national or international news. . .but that’s something for another column.) The item was about the city of Birmingham, Alabama, which has recently placed all municipal workers on shifts of 10 hours a day, for 4 days a week, instead of the normal 8-hour day 5 days a week, in order to ease the burden of high gas prices. Good idea, right? Yeah, I thought so too. But what made Larry Langford, Mayor of Birmingham, my hero was this quote: “In America, we’ve been stuck on ‘stupid’ for so long that it’s become accepted; it’s become the norm.” (I’m paraphrasing.) And again, I have to agree with Mayor Langford. We in this country (America) have been doing things in stupid ways for so long that it’s accepted and normal and we’ll fight against any changes, even when those changes are beneficial in both personal and global ways (how long has the automotive industry been fighting against regulations to raise fuel efficiency? how long have oil companies sought through lobbying to crush efforts to develop cleaner energy sources?).

So Mayor Langford is quite correct. We need to stop being stuck on stupid and do things better, more intelligently.

One of the these things I think we need to stop is government corruption on all levels, state, federal, city, and county. For example, the case of a county commissioner in Alabama who has been under investigation by the SEC for years for suspicion of accepting $150k in cash and gifts in exchange for giving county bonds to a certain business. Said commissioner was sued by the SEC on April 30 of this year, even though he is no longer a county commissioner and is now. . .

. . .wait for it. . .

. . .is now the Mayor of Birmingham, The Arguably-Honourable Larry Langford!

The hell, Larry? The hell!

Ah well. . .I guess everyone has a moment of brilliance; even a broken clock is right twice a day.

VS – 6.9.08

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