February 26, 2006

Actor Darren McGavin died yesterday at the age of 83. Like many, my favorite role of his was the father in A Christmas Story. One of the great movie lines of all time: Spying the word “Fragile” on the crate containing the fishnet stocking leg lamp he won as a prize, he says, “Fra-gee-le….must be Italian!” He was also great in another of my favorite movies, The Natural, where he played the gambler, Gus Sands. R.I.P. Darren, you were an original.

The last time I visited New Hampshire, I saw their new signs welcoming visitors to the state with a new motto: “You’re Going to Love it Here”. No more “Live Free or Die”? I wasn’t impressed. Neither is former resident John Hinderaker of Powerline, who recounts the latest controversy:

New Hampshire, inspired by its more liberal elements–or, more likely, by its real estate developers–came up with a new jingle; it doesn’t really qualify as a motto: “You’re going to love it here.” Feeble, no? Nevertheless, signs displaying the new slogan were posted along highways entering New Hampshire.

Turns out, John and I aren’t the only ones, as the only thing the new signs (a bland but tastefully done country village scene) appear to have illicited is general unhappiness:

…The only problem is the governor and other top officials hate them.

“Right now, every time I go past those things I’m embarrassed,” Senate Majority Leader Robert Clegg said Thursday.

Gov. John Lynch acknowledged that he, too, can’t wait to get rid of the beige signs that depict a small village along with the “love it” slogan.

“It’s true. I want to be there when they take out the first one,” he said.

The Senate passed a bill Thursday to require the state motto, “Live Free or Die,” on highway welcoming signs. The motto could replace the “love it” slogan on the beige signs, or, more likely, appear on new signs.

“Live Free Or Die” just won’t go away, I guess. Somewhere there must be old-fashioned Emmets who stubbornly hew to the old-fashioned values. Actually, I think this kind of conflict is a good thing: the plain vanilla ad man slogan vs. the early 19th century challenge. Personally, I’m with General Stark.

Anytime we can replace bland 21st century marketing with a reminder of our nation’s truly revolutionary roots, that can only be a good thing. Congrats to the Garnite State and its elected leaders.

Regardless of his motives, this can only be seen as a positive thing. Anything Iraq can do to take responsibility for maintaining its own security and unity further diminishes al-Zarqawi and al-Qaida’s ability to force political change in the Middle East. I can’t help but think this week’s failed attack on a Saudi oil refinery and blowing up the Samarra Golden Mosque, rather than furthering its interests in Iraq and Saudi Arabia, will in the end do nothing else but hasten al-Qaida’s rush to obscurity as nothing more than the neighborhood bully and thug.

So yesterday, I’m against the Dubai Port Deal. Now I hear Hillary Clinton blasted both the administration and the deal, saying it will turn over our sovereignty to another country. Riiiight….

If Hillary is that set against it, that’s good enough for me. Therefore, I’m now in favor of it; enthusiastically so.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 13:13 | Comments Off on Comings and Goings
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