Tuesday, October 14, 2003

J. Edgar Blog.

Heavy rain this morning, enough to knock a lot of leaves off a lot of trees. Raking the front yard on Sunday was not, in hindsight, a good use of time. By this evening, it was cool and clear. In one neighborhood along my path home, street lights are rare, and so at one point I could see to the north both Cassiopeia and the Big Dipper, and even the Guardian Stars that pivot around the North Star endlessly. Up high is still the Summer Triangle. To the south, Mars is still very bright.

Today I wrote a letter to the American Map Corp. of Addison, Illinois:

"To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing to point out an error in you most recent edition of your Chicagoland Road Atlas.

"In Section 2, page 16, an elementary school on Springinsguth Road in Schaumburg is misidentified. I pass by this school very often, and it is clearly Herbert Hoover Elementary School, not J. Edgar Hoover Elementary School."

Interestingly, I saw that same mistake on another map by a different company not long ago. Is it a perverse urge to remember the perverse Director Hoover, as opposed to the less sinister, even pathetic, President Hoover? Or is it map companies copying each other?

In the comic strip The Boondocks, the story takes place in an unnamed Chicago suburb, which I suppose would be the jejune boondocks that the title refers to, far from the authenticity of the Chicago slums. Though it hasn't come up recently, I'm fairly certain that the main characters attend J. Edgar Hoover Elementary School. If any one man was The Man, I suppose it would be him.

Mostly, the school is trotted out when cartoonist Aaron McGruder wants some Caucasians to mock. But actually, he spends most of his time mocking black celebrities, which means little to me. Not because they're black, but because they're celebrities. Willful ignorance is generally an evil thing, but it the case of the vast ocean of worthless information about celebrities, willful ignorance is exactly the right approach.


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