Causing or Cleaning Up Mixed Message Mess?

8 04 2007

From today’s New York Times money and business section — “Cleanliness Is Next to Godliness — And Blending Them Into One Is Blasphemous!”

The Goods:

Form, Function and Controversy

Published: April 8, 2007

CLEANLINESS, as the saying goes, is next to godliness. But combine these two virtues into a single product and some consumers may take offense.


That is the lesson Ian Stallard, a partner in the London design firm FredriksonStallard, has learned from creating the Cross brushes, a set of cleaning tools shaped like Christianity’s most sacred symbol.

“Some people have become very upset about it,” said Mr. Stallard, recalling a number of vitriolic e-mail messages his company has received.

“We’re not trying to be nasty or arrogant,” said Mr. Stallard, who characterizes himself and Mr. Fredrikson as “nonreligious.” “We’re saying, ‘Here is a symbol with a story. Read into it whatever you want.’ ”

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Teaching What’s “Very Important” About Easter Holiday

8 04 2007

Notice I use no question mark, because apparently this is a simple statement of fact, not a question — as quoted by the political bureau chief writing a Sunday news story in my capital city newspaper during a high-profile legislative session, about an official function at the Governor’s Mansion (the people’s house, not God’s house?) made by the popular governor of the third or fourth most populous state in the union.

I was educated in Florida’s public schools and at Florida’s flagship public university but I freely admit, I just can’t quite figure out what the heck this means.

“I think it’s a great experience for them,” Crist said as he surveyed the children scurrying around the lawn or sipping orange juice in the shade of the mansion porch. “I hope some of them are actually old enough to remember it. We’ve got a bunny rabbit here for them and Easter eggs all over the yard. It’s just a very important holiday and an opportunity to share with others.”

While the smallest kids flocked around the big rabbit, tugging its ears and its tail, Crist tossed a football with some first graders. He and the bunny posed for pictures with families, and Crist asked every child’s name – introducing himself as “Charlie.”

He also made a point of admiring each small visitor’s pastel bucketful of eggs.

Crist, long ago divorced with no children, said he enjoyed having youngsters around.

easter-bunny-suits.jpgVery important how, very important why, and very important to whom? I have no doubt that it is important to him, not just the holiday but this observance of it in his new digs.

But what is it egg-zackly, that these little kids playing in Florida’s political house of the people to celebrate the highest and most defining of Christian holidays, are supposed to learn and remember from this?

The Governor’s Mansion, with no political meaning? Bunny ears and lawn games on Easter weekend, with no religious meaning? What secular cultural sharing is so important on this particular holy day and how it is more important tradition to the people of Florida specifically, than is our state song for generations, “Old Folks at Home? Read the rest of this entry »