A few thoughts about this and that

Written by on May 23, 2012 in Baltimore Voices, Blogs - No comments

A few thoughts about this and that:

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Signs are popping up all over town offering to buy houses for cash. Here’s what I think: a) don’t fall for it, and b) why doesn’t the city prosecute these frauds, at least for violation of the city’s sign and flyer law? At $500 a pop the perps would stop posting the placards in a big hurry.

Speaking of the sign and flyer law, if Otis Rolley III and Catherine Pugh love the city as much as they said they do during last year’s mayoral campaign, why don’t they take down the signs that are still up around town? Seems to me if you love a city you don’t litter it.

The Highlandtown Wine Festival should serve as an example to neighborhoods that host street festivals involving alcohol. A couple of thousand attended, paying $25 a pop for tastings of homemade wine and an antipasto tray. There was also a beer tent selling pints of Flying Dog, which is an excellent beer with a pretty respectable alcohol volume.

Yet no windows were broken, no one got arrested and the cleanup afterwards was pretty simple. The guests ranged in age from early 20s to late 70s and everyone was there for a good time. Everyone treated the neighborhood respectfully, and indeed several children and teens who live on the block pitched in and helped with the festival. It was a cooperative event.

Congratulations to Kevin Bernhard, president of the Highlandtown Community Association, organizer of the festival, and his entire crew of volunteers. The Highlandtown Wine Festival was the very opposite of Canton’s St. Patrick’s Day catastrophe. Thanks for proving that it is possible for a crowd of people to have a drink or three in the open air without laying waste to the surrounding community.

There is a little tempest in a beer cup brewing between Washington and Baltimore about what a Washington Post sportswriter thinks is our disrespectful treatment of the National Anthem.

Because we yell “O.”

O yeah?

Here is the columnist, Mike Wise of the Washington Post, on the subject.

“Look, you’re not unpatriotic if you yell “OH!” It doesn’t make you an awful American. But by claiming the lyrics, if only for a moment, you fundamentally undermine the idea that the song was written to unite instead of divide. A national anthem is a national anthem, not a convenient vehicle for one’s immense pride in his or her team.”

O please.

First, I think Mr. Wise needs a hobby.

But further, if we actually think that yelling “O!” or “Braves” or whatever at the end of the anthem trivializes it, I have a suggestion. Let’s stop trivializing the anthem by playing it before every single game of football, baseball, basketball and tiddlywinks played in this country. Let’s play it at truly important moments, like inaugurations and Fourth of July celebrations, and then people might treat it with reverence.

And if we must play it before sporting events, let’s play it for truly important ones, like the Olympics and championship games. Look at it this way. The Professional Golfers’ Association manages to present the Masters and US Open without singing the anthem at the first tee, and golf is still wildly popular. Just a thought.

by Jacqueline Watts
editor@baltimoreguide.com

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