Confederate Flag Wavers Banned from Graduation

Three students from Bloomington, Minn., were suspended for waving Confederate flags on campus and will subsequently miss their graduation ceremony. I’ve got no sympathy for the students (their arms crossed, tough white boys picture doesn’t help) who pulled a dumb stunt and are now upset that they miss a ceremony. Welcome to real life, kids.

By the way, the graduation ceremony is just walking around in a robe. It’s not a prerequisite for getting a diploma.

Frankly, I’ve never understood displays of the Confederate flag. You can chalk it up to embracing the Southern lifestyle, but I don’t buy it. Nobody displays the Nazi flag and writes it off as German pride (nobody sane anyway). That symbol is tied up in slavery and racism, just as the Swastika is a symbol of hatred and racism.

Update: I’ve pondered this all before.

Shattering Barriers

Yesterday while watching Barack Obama’s speech and seeing the unbelievable crowd in St. Paul it started to dawn on me just how ground-breaking it is that the Democratic nominee for president is a black man. Seeing that diverse crowd (and that’s saying something in a state that’s 90% white) and hearing Obama preach it (tell me he doesn’t sound like a preacher more than a politician) is pretty inspiring.

What’s especially cool is that it would have been just as ground-breaking if Hillary Clinton had won the nomination. That’s cool. Though it will be even better when these firsts become commonplace.

Triple Overtime Ends with No Cup for Detroit. Yet.

The Stanley Cup was in the house tonight as the Detroit Red Wings faced the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 5. The Penguins struck first with two goals in the first period and Detroit answered with one goal in the second. Detroit came alive in the third period and dominated, scoring the tying goal and the go ahead (you should have seen me jump up and dance to the computer to Twitter the GOALL!!!—I’m such a geek).

The Detroit Red Wings were 30 seconds from Stanley, but it’s not over till it’s over.

Pittsburgh scored in the last 30 seconds to send the game into sudden death overtime. Yikes, those things are tense. We made it through two and a half OT’s before the Penguins scored on a four-minute high sticking penalty and won the game, sending it back to Pittsburgh for a game six.

Wow. I love hockey. I love playoff hockey. But I hate watching for so long and having it end in disappointment. Arg. Now we’ll do it all again on Wednesday.

Is the Democratic Primary Over Yet?

Tomorrow could be the day Barack Obama declares victory and the Democratic Primary is finally over. Maybe. Two observations on the eve of whatever you call that:

1) What’s all this talk about who is winning the popular vote? Hilary has the lead in the popular vote, Obama has the lead in the popular vote, who cares? Last time I checked the election in November (and the Democratic Primary) were not decided by the popular vote. The popular vote may seem important, but as George W. Bush proved in 2000, you don’t need it.

2) All this quibbling over Michigan’s delegates is kind of insane. Barack Obama wasn’t even on the ballot, so how can Hilary say she beat Obama in Michigan? That’s like saying she beat John McCain in Michigan, and since he wasn’t on the Democratic Primary ballot, I guess she did. Maybe I should make a T-shirt: I got beat by Hillary in the Michigan primary.

Discovering Art in West Bend, Wisconsin

Art keeps following me. Apparently it’s not enough to be mapping public art in the Twin Cities. Last weekend we were in West Bend, Wisconsin (about an hour north of Milwaukee), helping my brother and his family move. While getting some lunch we drove past a shiny, metallic sculpture and I pointed it out to Lexi. She looked out the window and said, “Where’s ah art?”

I didn’t think much of it, though I thought it was cool the small town had some public art. Turns out that small town has quite the thriving art community. It’s home to the Museum of Wisconsin Art, which houses the largest collection of Wisconsin art anywhere, the West Bend Sculpture Walk, where I saw my shiny, metallic sculpture (“Wave Dancer” by John Mishler) among 20 others, and the Labryinth Garden Earth Sculpture (Warning: The site plays music and borders on the artsy-fartsy).

I discovered all that while researching a work of art in downtown Minneapolis. Brad Goldberg created “Continuum” in Minneapolis (as well as a few others, including Mears Park in downtown St. Paul) and also created “Place of Origin” in West Bend (though he calls it “Brownfield to Greenfield” on his site).