Wednesday, December 03, 2008

What the White Stag Sign should say

How unfair that the University of Oregon now owns the iconic White Stag sign and proposes to replace “Made in Oregon” with (what else?) “The University of Oregon.”

And this in the week following the Ducks' Holocaustic (are we offended yet, sports fans?) gassing (yet?) of the OSU Beavers.

No, this sign, the Crown Jewel of our glittering downtown skyline, belongs to the city — a city of Ducks and Beavers, and ducks and beavers, and the rest of us.

So here’s my suggestion. Let’s accept the sign as advertising (that’s a HUGE concession on my part) and let’s use it to promote BOTH valley universities. That would be an act of great magnanimity for the University of Oregon, but, let’s face it, it’s about time.

“The University of Oregon & Oregon State University” is too long and boring.

I propose a massive message that both Ducks and Beavers agree on;


Imagine it. Each day tens of thousands of commuters arrive at the clogged confluence of I-5 and I-84 to be greeted by the leaping white stag, the Civil War battle cry of our great institutions of higher education, and the teeny “Old Town” at the bottom.

It says it all ... I guess.

* * *

Attention Ducks and Beavers, this just in on The Civil War — the other one. The New York Times today lists among the five best non-fiction books of the year “This Republic of Suffering, Death and The American Civil War” by Drew Gilpin Faust.

Here’s what the Times had to say about the book:

"In this powerful book, Faust, the president of Harvard, explores the legacy, or legacies, of the 'harvest of death' sown and reaped by the Civil War. In the space of four years, 620,000 Americans died in uniform, roughly the same number as those lost in all the nation’s combined wars from the Revolution through Korea. This doesn’t include the thousands of civilians killed in epidemics, guerrilla raids and draft riots. The collective trauma created ' a newly centralized nation-state,' Faust writes, but it also established 'sacrifice and its memorialization as the ground on which North and South would ultimately reunite.'”

Go HERE for the Times’ ten best books list for 2008.

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