Friday, November 13, 2015

Your Facts Interfere With My Paranoia

Washington County Board of Education member Karen Harshman is angry and frightened. Perhaps in a "sour grapes" moment regarding the recent funding controversy, she's spouting the old trope every suburbanite in Washington County seems to believe: that Hagerstown is a crime-ridden Hell-hole (no, it's not). She said:

"I wouldn't walk from one end of the block to the other in Hagerstown at night. And I certainly would not want my child there"

Well, fuck you too, bitch.

Mayor Gysberts, much to his credit, called her up to discuss this comment of hers. She hung up on him. She says he was yelling at her and "the conversation had taken an immature pattern." He says, essentially, that the woman wouldn't listen to reason, which I'm inclined to believe.

Mayor Gysberts called her back, leaving her a message "inviting her to sit down with him and Acting Police Chief Paul Kifer to review data about crime in Hagerstown." Apparently, she has not yet listened to that message because "I really have no desire to talk to him."

It's nice to know what reasonable, mature people we have in our local government.

For those of you who might read this who aren't from the area, it might help you to know that the city is poor compared to the county, we have a large homeless population, and (OMG) a lot of the people who live downtown are black. Harshman is white, affluent (at least for the area), and I would be shocked if homelessness ever came close to affecting her or her family. She's a typical middle-class county-dweller. These people know nothing of the city, have never lived downtown and believe every myopic thing the Herald Mail says.

Speaking of the Herald Mail, I do have to give them credit for not only reporting on this, but also telling both sides of the story, providing some background information, and putting it on the FRONT PAGE of the newspaper. Awesome. Way to go!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Woman Lawyer

Recently I was talking with an acquaintance about the problems in Hagerstown, namely how little the county commissioners and city council care about any part of Hagerstown outside a one-block radius from the square. This acquaintance is an older woman - I'd guess in her 60's or 70's - and is very outspoken. She's extremely socially progressive and is constantly going on (and on and on) about how much our country has let down the poor, the minorities, etc. She comes across a bit like a frustrated hippie.

The conversation twisted and turned, as conversations are wont to do, and eventually came to my husband's and my plans to move to Baltimore soon so I can go to law school*. I jokingly made a comment along the lines of, "Maybe if I'm a lawyer, the city council will pay attention to what I have to say." To which my acquaintance sadly replied:

"Yeah, but you'll be a woman lawyer."

Friday, November 6, 2015

A Letter to my Fellow 20-somethings

Dear fellow young people:

Life is not fair.

Life is not safe.