Letters to Holly

Friday, October 7

No Contest

We've observed radio silence lately because we're stuck in a rut. Our days have become rigid in their schedule with nary a variation in our hours.

Your Sister is crawling through the semester. Having only one planning period every two days is murder, and she's deadweight. She's planning to go into work this weekend again, and my suggestions to lighten the workload clunk off her blast shields. The schedule should lighten next semester (still scheduled to begin with the new year, not weeks after), and the feedback of the bedraggled teachers should guarantee this doesn't happen again.

Earlier in the year, the county announced a contest for a new official seal. Logos were solicited, and I was mildly tempted. The deadline was right around the time of the two local conventions, and I had my concerns about the vetting process. Namely, there would be a committee of locals who would filter the submissions down to a handful before a round of citizen voting for the winner. The initial criteria for submissions was clearly noted. Who knows what the committee would look for? And why open up a matter of design to an expanded committee, one the size of the county? Too many variables in play. The winner wouldn't be necessarily the best design, but the one that appealed to the broadest range for whatever reason.

The two logos that have been released for public input reflect my suspicions. (I'd link to them, but the newspaper site requires a paid online subscription to read articles. Even the New York Times gives you a number of freebies per month.) They are bland or intentionally folksy. The committee apparently agreed as they have added a third voting option: the current county seal. So you can vote for weak, weaker, or same. I'm glad I stayed out of it. I wonder if they got so few submissions or, probably, they eliminated the ones that displayed ingenuity. It reminds me of the beer-logo fiasco, and what I call the victorious mediocre. The sharp/smart/clever/snazzy is dismissed in favor of material that prefers to blandly identify instead of engage. Or the contest organizers want the design that best fits their unspoken idea. And that makes the contest a dead crapshoot. (Am I just bitter? Maybe.)

I think the "same" option will win. It's the safest choice, and frankly the cheapest. No money will be required to replace the old seal. And that consideration will (and should, right now) trump all others.

Pictures of the Day
Entertainment Weekly and Marvel released the first official stills from next year's Avengers movie, and I can't believe we're getting an Avengers movie.

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