Yahoo news page had this headline: “Why New Employees Can’t Write, And Why Employers Are Mad” on CNBC (11-12-13). I couldn’t read the article since it was a video (and you don’t read videos, you watch them). The dictionary lists the word “and” as a conjunction. Logic says when two items are conjoined by “and”, they are true if and only if both cases apply (in contrast to “or” where only one of the two need apply). Reading and writing are inseparable. Sparta owner Chris Ramsey bemoaned the limited use of his in house reading room library. “No one reads.” An acquaintance spoke of a job teaching writing at CTEC, and of the challenge it presented. New employees may not be able to write but they probably have incredible ability creating, finding and getting videos, photos or appropriated texts online.


            Speaking of employers, one of Newark’s biggest was represented at the Local Leaders Breakfast at Moundbuilders Country Club (according to an article by The Newark Advocate, Kent Mallett 11-12-13, State Farm: No layoffs here, but some jobs moving).  Susan Krieger, vice president of operations, is quoted as rationalizing the challenge of luring professional workers with: “That’s a little bit more difficult to find in Licking County, it’s hard to attract a lot of college people to our Newark location.” (as opposed to, say, New Albany?) What the incidentals are regarding such a claim is irrelevant. One begins to understand how class myths, stereotypes and tropes are perpetuated and reproduced. Within walking distance of the State Farm offices is the large campus of COTC/OSU, with Denison University just down the road. Many “professionals” commute both from Newark to Cols. as well as Cols. to Newark every day. Characterizing and typecasting Newark as a blue collar, working class town continues to override the actualities of 21st century life.


            And life in the 21st century is indeed becoming stranger and stranger. The Rev. Al Sharpton and his National Action Network are advocating a boycott of Kanye West. Seems North West’s daddy has embraced the stars and bars as his own (the rebel flag of the southern Confederacy – see “Civil War”, not necessarily Ken Burns). “I took the confederate flag and made it my flag. It’s my flag now.” (MSN Music News 11-12-13 Rev. Al Sharpton Leading Kanye West Boycott). In this day and age of branding and whose name is on your butt, one would be justified to wonder if that welder’s cap, that snot rag pulled out of a pocket, or that back window screen on a pickup truck is a genuine Kim Kardashian’s Kanye stars and bars, or just the same old tired KKK one. How will we ever know? How will we ever really know for sure? Flags, like words, are not always read the way they are written.


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