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At least someone in Jackson is thinking of the children
July 5, 2013 10:18 AM   Subscribe

"Counter-clockwise seating is unnatural" according to Jackson City Council member LaRita Cooper-Stokes. It's confusing innocent school children who are taught to read from left to right. Fortunately the reporter provides a helpful diagram to clear things up for us (drawing not to scale).
posted by dchase (33 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
If you want to make it easier for the school children, give the wards interesting names instead of numbers. Since it's likely that the head of the Council isn't necessarily from Ward 4, the order is likely fucked anyway. So why not cool names for the wards? Instead of your rep being Councilor 1, you've got Rep Jackson of Hufflepuff. Her nameplate could include a ward crest.

Except, don't actually copy the Harry Potter reference, create new and inspiring names and crests for each ward. Community pride!
posted by explosion at 10:24 AM on July 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


House Religious Crank!
House Corporate Shill!
House Corrupt Developer!
House Single-Issue Loon!
House Waste of Air!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:28 AM on July 5, 2013 [20 favorites]


I'm not certain who I should laugh at here. The council, the mayor, the confused children, or the person who wrote the article. Or, if I'm to laugh at ALL of them, a diagram as to which order they should be laughed at would be helpful.
posted by HuronBob at 10:28 AM on July 5, 2013 [6 favorites]


Yes, for it is us, the Jews, who inflict counter-clockwise seating upon all you left-to-right readers. Cower before our might!
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:33 AM on July 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


I like the first comment on that page.

I make a motion that school children not be forced to attend city council meetings.
posted by COD at 10:35 AM on July 5, 2013 [12 favorites]


Citizen government is a beautiful thing.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:37 AM on July 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just cry for Jackson. As one may infer from this episode, its city government is well past broken. That city is well on its way to being Detroit Pt. 2.
posted by LooseFilter at 10:37 AM on July 5, 2013


explosion: Except, don't actually copy the Harry Potter reference, create new and inspiring names and crests for each ward. Community pride!

My middle school had three "houses" that were simply numbered. The administration had the idea to let the students submit suggestions for names for the houses and then vote on the new house names. The plan was abruptly scrapped when the landslide winner, in a write-in campaign, was "Sex", "Drugs", and "Rock and Roll".
posted by Rock Steady at 10:39 AM on July 5, 2013 [17 favorites]


If we were paying attention to the needs of first-language Chinese kids we'd stack the Councillors vertically.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 10:39 AM on July 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


On the subject of school houses...
I can't tell you how much it blew my mind to learn that British schools actually do commonly use a house system, with points, in addition to having prefects and Head Boy/Girl. For a moment I wondered if even Quidditch were real.
posted by Gordafarin at 10:49 AM on July 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


American schools have it too. My son's public high school in California has houses. No sports at all, though, so no Quidditch, sorry.
posted by Brocktoon at 10:52 AM on July 5, 2013


Yeah, my SoCal middle school divided every grade into two houses and then set up all sorts of school spirit/fundraising competitions between them.
posted by LionIndex at 11:10 AM on July 5, 2013


That city is well on its way to being Detroit Pt. 2.

Complete with a new Whole Foods, now under construction, a la Detroit, and then a big new upscale "town center" down the street, etc. But yes, the council and city govt. are certainly dysfunctional. (I won't get into the new mayor, except to say that I don't expect him to be anywhere close to as bad as Frank Melton, who so many white people around here appeared to be deeply in love with, politically, before he was elected--so I take most griping about the just-barely-seated mayor, a guy who was a black separatist in the early '70s, with a grain of salt; otoh, the author of that piece thinks the past mayor was at least competent, and then look at the website he left the incoming mayor with; also, I don't see how this was posted without mention of the council member's trademark giant hats).
posted by raysmj at 11:12 AM on July 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Unnatural?! Why, the earth rotates counterclockwise! What could be more natural?

That is, unless you are looking at Australia's pole instead of America's pole, in which case all that's left to ask is why does LaRita Cooper-Stokes hate America?
posted by Flunkie at 11:23 AM on July 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I had to click through to C-L.com to find out this was not about Jackson County, Missouri, and I therefore don't have to shake my head and sigh over where I live. Today.
posted by jennaratrix at 11:28 AM on July 5, 2013


My (all girls) school had houses. One of them was named Cramp, and its colour was red.
posted by jeather at 11:31 AM on July 5, 2013


> Unnatural?! Why, the earth rotates counterclockwise! What could be more natural?

Flunkie you bring up a point that has always puzzled me as a north hemisphere dweller. Witches do their magic circle motions deosil, not widdershins, i. e. clockwise; i. e. the same motion the sun travels through the sky when you are standing on level ground in the northern hemisphere looking up towards it. I have asked a number of antipodeans and never heard a satisfactory answer to this question: do southern hemisphere witches do their magic circle motions counter-clockwise?

Maybe I should ask metafilter but this is the type of question that seems to stump them.
posted by bukvich at 11:45 AM on July 5, 2013


My middle school had three "houses" that were simply numbered. The administration had the idea to let the students submit suggestions for names for the houses and then vote on the new house names. The plan was abruptly scrapped when the landslide winner, in a write-in campaign, was "Sex", "Drugs", and "Rock and Roll".

UC Berkeley co-op housing unit "Casa Zimbabwe" had to amend their constitution to prevent house-votes taken while most of the residents were away on vacation after they came home one year and discovered that the name of their dwelling had been changed to "Crackistan".
posted by Parasite Unseen at 12:06 PM on July 5, 2013 [7 favorites]


I'm not certain who I should laugh at here. The council, the mayor, the confused children, or the person who wrote the article. Or, if I'm to laugh at ALL of them, a diagram as to which order they should be laughed at would be helpful.


Here's my proposed list:

1. Laugh with the reporter, not at the reporter.
2. Laugh at the council.
3. I'm neutral on the council president. You can laugh at, with, or near him.
4. Pity the confused children. Always pity confused children. Won't somebody think of the confused children?
5. Help the confused Mefites figure out who to laugh at.

Do I have a second?
posted by nubs at 12:09 PM on July 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


You know if a) I lived near Jackson and b) I could pull this lie off without grinning like an idiot, I would love to show up at a city council meeting with an extended explanation (including power point because everything seems more dire with a good powerpoint presentation) of the dangers of not sitting your children widdershins. I'm pretty sure with the right stimulus they would start tearing out whole chunks of interestate to save themselves from the devil.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 12:26 PM on July 5, 2013


Why is the Mayor off to the side? That confuses me even more (especially if they have a "strong mayor" type of government. )
posted by vespabelle at 1:14 PM on July 5, 2013


I vaguely remember that story, Parasite. Lived there 1996-1998, what year was Crackistan?
posted by migurski at 1:23 PM on July 5, 2013


vespabelle: I'd like to say it was because the outgoing mayor was a lame duck (didn't make Dem. runoff, new mayor took over Monday, July 1) and that he was forever recommending that the city study things rather than do them. But it's the council president who presides over meetings in Jackson, not the mayor, as is true in most US jurisdictions with whatever setup. (And Jackson politics is wildly befuddling, for the record.)
posted by raysmj at 1:33 PM on July 5, 2013


Based on the drawing I would say it's a clear case of anti-Semitism. All that green Menorah is missing is its center branch.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:54 PM on July 5, 2013


I make a motion that school children not be forced to attend city council meetings.

I make a motion that city council meetings not devolve into playground politics.
Yeah, like THAT would pass.



Do I have a second?
posted by nubs


Seconded. Or seventhed. I'm so confused. Please don't laugh.
posted by BlueHorse at 5:19 PM on July 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, dumb true story time! (I never thought I'd have a relevant reason to tell this story.) Apparently where our school board sits is a Big Deal to some people who feel it's a measure of their status. It's decided by some really arcane formula known only to the secretary and the people who feel it measures their status. I just sit wherever the secretary puts my name placard. In any event, I have an assigned seat that I had been sitting in for two years at that point because that's where I was told to sit. My seating location is not special, I am off to one side, between two people. I am technically closest to one of the two doors to the hallway that leads to the bathroom, but I'm also closest to the lightswitch and thermostat so I'm always jumping up and down when people are cold or we have a powerpoint to watch.

So when I missed a couple meetings having a baby, one of the other members SAT IN MY CHAIR (the horror!) because apparently she has been gunning for my chair and since she is senior to me feels she deserves it. This triggered a complaint from another member (who is in a faction that opposes the first member) to the Board president, which triggered a "general" reprimand from the board president about only sitting in assigned chairs (but obviously pointed at just the one person), which triggered a series of nasty e-mails about it and then I'm literally in the hospital with a new baby getting texts from concerned board members about my chair and whether I'm upset. And I was like "... LOLWUT?"

After it was explained to me, I said, "I don't care if she sits in my chair! I'm happy to switch!" And I was told by someone who's in the faction that opposes her, "NO! If she'd ASKED she could have taken your chair while you're out, or switch permanently, it would have been fine, but since she didn't ask we are MAKING A STAND." Then I offered to the first member to switch if she wanted to anyway, and she did NOT want to, because it was not an issue of sitting there, it was an issue of who was ASSIGNED to sit there by some arbitrary authority, and then she was offended that I thought I could just GIVE her what she had a RIGHT to. And I was just like, Okay, whatever! Someone just tell me where I sit! I do not care as long as there is a chair!

Anyway, how politicians arrange their seating is apparently, to some people, a VERY BIG DEAL. And an excellent proxy for people's OTHER issues with each other. The child I was busy birthing is now two years old and people are STILL mad at each other about this. And the best bit is, since they were all sniping at each other over e-mail, you could FOIA the whole thing.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:51 PM on July 5, 2013 [7 favorites]


I saw the blurb and immediately thought widdershins too. It's not just a wiccan thing. For example, in my local Amish community, you don't stir a food pot widdershins. I don't really know why, my Amish aunties corrected me one day but didn't say why. Today they'd probably call that Kitchen Witching, and claim that widdershins is bad energy and bad for the food.

Anyway, the article reminded me of the negotiations on the Vietnam War peace talks. They stalled for months, supposedly due to bickering over the shape of the negotiation table and the seating arrangements.
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:09 PM on July 5, 2013


Someone should tell her that counter-clockwise is just stage-clockwise.
posted by gjc at 7:44 PM on July 5, 2013


how politicians arrange their seating is apparently, to some people, a VERY BIG DEAL.

For reference, see the first 1:50 of this scene from Game of Thrones.
posted by nubs at 8:57 PM on July 5, 2013


raysmj: "And Jackson politics is wildly befuddling, for the record"

For the record, I found Jackson to be wildly befuddling both times I have been there. My SO's coworkers were nice, and they've got pretty good restaurants (although I'm spoiled here at home), but the city itself just seemed weird somehow. I've spent hours exploring cities of no more than a couple thousand people at times, but I couldn't work up any real desire to explore Jackson, despite having fuck all to do while my SO was at work.

Maybe you can help me out this winter. ;)
posted by wierdo at 9:31 PM on July 5, 2013


There are days I miss working in city hall. Every morning I go out and feed my chickens and I recall a college graduate and councilmember not knowing you needed a rooster to fertilize chicken eggs. Or the time I explained how percentages worked to a different councilmember on the floor of the council chamber.

One could dispare that there are so many stupid people drawn to public service. But I like to think that is what unites us as an American people. Happy belated 4th, everybody!
posted by munchingzombie at 12:01 AM on July 6, 2013




Mostly they should let the kids talk.

Also, they should use a large, round table with a hole in the middle, placed in the center of the room. The kids can sit around them anywhere they choose. The council's chairperson sits under the table and sticks his/her head up through the hole, and every one else, sitting in chairs around the table, can yell at him/her whenever they think they have an idea. There is always one less chair at the table than the number of council persons who show up. The extra person has to sit with the kids. The council votes by shooting spitwads on the ceiling with straws. A majority of the spitwads have to stick to the ceiling for a resolution to pass.

Somebody has to bring cookies.
posted by mule98J at 8:09 AM on July 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Mule's idea demands nerf balls.

It would be ace with nerf balls.
posted by BlueHorse at 2:01 PM on July 6, 2013


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