So, I was on the road a bit the past few weeks, including a few days in the HomeState. Picked up a copy of Milwaukee Magazine. This is the monthly glossy, the equivalent of Washingtonian, or New York, or 5280. I think these magazines are fun, usually, and they typically feature articles like, “Hot Neighborhoods for Every Budget,” or “Fun Fall Getaway Weekends,” or “Can’t Miss Spots for You and Your Sweetie.” This month’s Milwaukee had articles on the decline of the American Middle Class, a retrospective on a Milwaukee-born journalist whose investigative work helped the FBI bring down a number of mob bosses, and a profile of the State Supreme Court Justice who is currently viewed as the lead internal mediator on that body’s very public and rather embarrassing struggles. Not a fun town. Not fun at all.
I also went to see the traveling version of the Cleopatra exhibit with my dad. It was OK. Admission came with this digital audio supplement, a handheld personal device that included audio snippets of information. The audio was provided by a woman talking with a Count Dracula accent who I guess was supposed to be Cleopatra. The handheld was a bit complicated and I helped my dad and an older couple with how they worked. A lot of the audio information was repeated in the display captions. I noticed by the end of the exhibit people were reading the captions on the displays rather than relying on the handhelds.
That’s Milwaukee, even the people in their seventies and above have the eyes and the education to read. Back in the 1970s when some of the paper companies moved (or tried to) some of their production to other parts of the country, there were some unexpected challenges. Like, when they would put a sign up about something employees were supposed to do or not do, no one paid attention to the sign. Really? Maybe it’s not a literacy issue, but something to do with situational awareness? You don’t read signs? Like, danger third rail? Or employees must wash hands? This came along with, “Why do the machines have to move so fast?” and people who would quit their job after six months because they had enough cash for awhile, and then would come back ten months later looking for work again. Something to be said for unions . . . .
Which gets me back to Wisconsin. Having decided two out of six ain’t bad, the Wisconsin Democratic Party embarked this week on a recall of Immortal Beloved Governor Walker. Yes, a lot of Badgers are not so super happy. The thing about high literacy rates is means your electorate tends to think for itself. No doubt the Waukesha/Wauwatosa crowd is thinking for itself. So is the rest of the State. They’re looking at the game board and seeing some pieces out of place, and some missing pieces. Sometimes you can fill in the missing pieces, sometimes you need someone to do it for you. This is all a lot of trouble to go to if the Democratic candidate is a clunker. Hard to tell if this is going to be a choice between clunks when there is no Democratic candidate announced.
Well, I’m still registered to vote in DC, so it is observational for me right now. But if anyone were asking me, my question is Who’s It Gonna Be?