Residential Space A creative outlet during residency, turned ongoing virtual soap box

Another connection with Colbert – South Carolina Society Hall  1

Posted on March 31st, 2007. About Ramblings.

I should probably create a blog category for posts referencing The Colbert Report as many editions are blog-inspiring. I will not though.

On March 28th’s show, Stephen was expounding on the latest episode of Dancing With The Stars, and in this context let loose the following:

By the end of the night my wife’s feet are a-barkin’. That’s what she gets for marrying the second best all-around dancer at the South Carolina Society Hall cotillion. You can look it up.

Frequently, Stephen will make a statement on his show that I recognize as so genuine to his upbringing that it is almost astonishing to hear from someone of such fame. He is able to make reverent remarks about his homeland while still gently poking fun at the South in a way only a good Charleston-raised boy could! I loved the March 28th remark in particular, because Evan and I got married in Charleston in 2003 and rented South Carolina Society Hall for our reception. It is a beautiful, historic ballroom on Meeting Street in the heart of the historic section, and the perfect locale for a joyous occasion. Having familiarized myself when the building from planning my own party there, I can vividly imagine little Stephen Colbert, learning to ballroom dance as any youngster of good breeding should. How cute!

So here we are, on our wedding day, pictured on the steps to the building partially responsible for Stephen Colbert’s presentation into high society.

Scsocietyhall

 

 

Song of the South due for release  1

Posted on March 27th, 2007. About Entertainment.

Another nostalgic blog post of sorts…with commentary.

I was intrigued to see this article on MSNBC this evening, informing me that Disney’s 1940s film, Song of the South, is finally to be released to the public for purchase, more than 60 years after its screening premiere. I remember seeing the movie with my dad during that 1986 theater release, and laughing for days about the Uncle Remus stories. Of course, years later I heard it mentioned that Song of the South contained racist elements, which puzzled me. I suppose it may be racist in the same way groups have considered The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn racist – that black characters speak with a dialect and are in positions of subservience to white characters? I suppose I see why this may be offensive – but I also understand that in the rural south many years ago, while it was unfortunate that black Americans were not afforded the same opportunities for higher education and advancement in status, it was the cruel and unfortunate reality of this time period.

If anything, I recall feeling positively towards Jim in Huck Finn, and I definitely remember liking Uncle Remus’ character (disclaimer: I have not seen the film since 1986, so I’m operating purely on my impression at the time) in Song of the South. He entertains a young boy with his imaginative stories, and as an eight-year-old child growing up in Texas, I did not view him as an inferior person, but as the hero of the movie – the story-teller who brought us Brer Rabbit.

I think to say that Song of the South is a racist film, one might have to make the same claim about Gone With The Wind, an accusation which I have not heard raised (although I’m sure it has been at some point). Mammy is a slave, and speaks her dialect, and is in a position subservient to her white owners – but the movie is lauded for winning multiple Academy Awards, and Hattie McDaniel even won the Oscar for her portrayal of Mammy! Incidentally, as the article points out, the actor portraying Uncle Remus earned an honorary Oscar for his depiction too. Yet, Gone With The Wind could not have been the great film that it was if Mammy had been an attorney with the local law firm while speaking the Queen’s English, as it would not have been realistic. The only other option would have been to not make the movie, and do we really want to deny the past?

Downright Hilarious  1

Posted on March 8th, 2007. About Ramblings.

When Evan lived in Charlotte, NC, perhaps my greatest pet peeve was that, when I went running, I had to search for a sidewalk, or else risk being hit by cars driving too erratically to notice me running on the poor-excuse-for-a-shoulder-part-of-the road. Riding a bicycle was even worse. Perhaps if I had been downtown rather than in the suburbs, it would have been a different story, and I recognize that, but I always thought Charlotte was lacking for bike lanes, public parks, walking trails, and other amenities that welcomed pedestrians, runners, and cyclists to abandon their motorized vehicles.

When I moved to Seattle, I was so grateful for the many sidewalks, parks, and pedestrian paths the city offered me. In my mind, there was no comparison between the two cities.

Imagine my surprise when I saw the Prevention Magazine 2007 ranking for the most walkable cities in the United States:

MOST WALKABLE CITIES

1. Madison, Wisconsin
2. Austin, Texas
3. San Francisco, California
4. Charlotte, North Carolina
5. Seattle, Washington
6. Henderson, Nevada
7. San Diego, California
8. San Jose, California
9. Chandler, Arizona
10. Virginia Beach, Virginia

While I was proud to see Seattle ranked fifth, I was unsure how much stock to put in this ranking after seeing who they chose as #4.

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