Just when you thought you'd seen the silliest people doing the silliest things fear factors, bachelors and bachelorettes, fake millionaires, Natalie Maines selling out by apologizing for her comments about our little president just because some deejays got mad and quit playing her band's music along comes something even more inexplicable and right here in our own backyard. In case you missed the item in The Commercial Appeal
the other day, it seems that our own Shelby County School Board is following the lead of the chairman of the House Administration Committee, Ohio Republican (are you surprised?) Rep. Bob Ney, who ordered House restaurants to change "French fries" and "French toast" on their menus to "freedom fries" and "freedom toast." I am so happy that things are going so well in this country that our leaders have time for this. Apparently, the French don't; one French diplomat's dry response to the potato name change was: "This is a very serious matter. We really don't care what you call your potatoes." And they even know how to spell potato! Now the illustrious board that oversees our county school system is trying to change the name of the fried potatoes on the school cafeteria menus in a pathetic display of ignorance that board chairman David Pickler says is "a small way for us to show our support for the men and women fighting for our liberty." If you want to support our troops, who, of course, we want to come home safely and quickly, it may be a little more patriotic to teach the future adults of this community something other than blatant hatred for an entire nation just because they don't happen to agree with George W. Bush that war is the right thing to do right now. These are children. They should be getting taught compassion and understanding. What are you going to say to your children, parents, when they come home and ask, "Mommy, why I am supposed to hate French people?" Or, "Daddy, will I get in trouble if we go to McDonald's and I order French fries?" Those of you on the board who are in on this (and I know not all of you are) should be yanked from your positions immediately and replaced with spider monkeys. It would be much more cost-effective, and they would likely do a better job. To make all of this even worse, while the schools are choking on budgets, don't have enough classrooms, and are plagued with all manner of other problems, the board is taking the time to draft and attempt to pass a resolution
on the potato name change. This is a good use of time? Well, you know, the Germans aren't helping us out much either, so I guess that means you'll all have to
kill your pet German shepherds. Give up German chocolate cake. The Chinese aren't much help either, so no more Chinese checkers. Hell, break all of your wedding china. Destroy your recordings of David Bowie's "China Doll."
And what about Turkey? They're being pretty uncooperative about letting us use their fly zone, so why don't we give up eating turkey. Get rid of Thanksgiving. Pass up the shots of Wild Turkey. Pardon me for putting my humble opinion in print, but this is
lunacy. Keep the war out of our school cafeterias, unless you plan to have students study French culture so they can have a better understanding of what's going on. But then, if the County School Board has its way, the kids will probably never study French again and pages on that country will be ripped out of history and geography books. Nice, eh? Way to go, board. In the meantime, here's a brief look at what's going on around town this week. Today kicks off two big events that run through Sunday. One is the Southern Women's Show
at the Memphis Cook Convention Center, with a variety of events and information for, well, the Southern woman. The other is the big annual Memphis International Film Festival
. This year's honored guests are Morgan Freeman and Holly Hunter, and the four-day fest includes everything from their work to documentaries, short films, animation, foreign films, workshops, lectures, parties, and more. Read more about it in this issue's cover story by Chris Herrington.