Friday, May 29, 2015

The Green Sheet, Jon Stewart and unlicensed WI teaching

I'm going to miss The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, but nothing lasts forever. Tell me about it, you say, as the Wisconsin Governor and Legislature right now aim to raise state park fees, fire state scientists, end some school teacher licensing and devalue UW degrees through staff, program and arbitrary funding cuts.

Back to Jon Stewart. His closing program is Aug. 8th; replacement comic Trevor Noah takes over on Sept. 28th.

I know these dates because I read them in the reborn Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Green Sheet, so right there you've got a bit of a challenge to the maxim that everything has an expiration date.

Now I like that they've brought The Green Sheet back. I wasn't raised with it, as I didn't get to Milwaukee until my early 30's, but it was appealingly Milwaukee-and-Journal quirky, and it's fun when old standards and standbys are upheld, like baseball players' socks that are pulled calf-high.

Who doesn't get a kick out of seeing an A & W roadside restaurant come into view?

Still, resurrecting The Green Sheet feels like an acknowledgement that the newpaper's better days are behind it.

Which brings me to this:

I ran into a smart, younger guy on the East side the other day and we got to talking about the future of Downer Avenue's commercial strip, and in particular the long-empty storefronts there. It's a complicated situation. Big plans were abandoned, developers went bust, and properties up and down the street are up for auction June 1.

Naturally, people in the area have concerns and hope for the best.

I opined in the conversation with the younger guy that I was glad to see Downer Ave. still able to support Boswell Books and the Downer Theater - - two of my favorites - - along with the restaurants and Sendik's Market - - but to my surprise the other guy said the theater and the bookstore were of less concern to him than other commercial operations or opportunities there because books and sit-down movies represented old models which younger people were ditching for digital, downloaded entertainment.

He wasn't being mean or judgmental, and had nothing against theaters and  bookstores, but his perspective caught me up short and added to my 'nothing-lasts-forever' frame of mind.

So, for the record, I'm hoping people enjoy The Green Sheet, that Downer Ave. thrives with a movie theater and bookstore long into the future - - in fact, mark on your wall calendar (or computer and/or smartphone calendar) Andrew Maraniss' June 22nd reading at Boswell from his award-winning sports and civil rights book Strong Inside - - and that traditional models survive and prosper along side the new.

Jon Stewart walking away from The Daily Show is one thing, and God Speed to him.

But if ideologically-motivated Wisconsin Republican are out to fire DNR scientists and allow unlicensed people - - some without even a high school diploma to teach your children - - then we're going to have to make it our business to maintain some important things in the face of those who want to prematurely kill them off.


Anonymous said...

At least now it is crystal clear that Walker and his Republican legislators have as their goal to kill public education. Walker's budget proposal made that clear and the Republican legislators deviously restored Walker's cuts but didn't tell the public that most of the restored funds were going out the back door for property tax relief and voucher schools and only a small amount would be divide up among all of Wisconsin's school districts! Looking back it is alarming how quickly Walker and his legislators created the political monster that vouchers have become. Give this governor some money and he will waste no time getting you what you want. Pay for play is alive in Wisconsin. If you've got the money the governor will get you some action.

Paul Berge said...

Okay, I get that The Kids Today favor watching films on their smart phones instead of on the big screen. But what a lame date that must be.