Move on

6:30/5:38, 75/90. Podcast.
Robert Heinlein’s and David McCullough’s birthday in 1907 and 1933, respectively. Heinlein said the therapeutic value of science fiction lies in “its primary postulate that the world does change.” McCullough said history’s “an enlargement of the experience of being alive, just the way literature or art or music is.” WA

My department is still trying to decide how best to weigh in, with the Deciders at our school, on the question of finally changing the name of the execrable building on our campus that commemorates confederate hero and KKK founder Nathan Bedford Forrest. Why is it even a question?!

I’ve said before, philosophers are hard as cats to herd. Some of us just don’t go in for collective action, even when it’s a simple matter of adding your name to a letter. Trouble is, on matters of “heritage” in the South, change doesn’t happen without it. But the world does change, as Mr. Heinlein observed. Eventually even university administrators must “grok” to that. History unfolds. People who teach or “awaken” young minds for a living need to go on record as understanding and supporting that.

So I’ve decided that, whatever the university decides, from now on I’ll be announcing to my students in that building that so far as we’re concerned it’s named for a different Forrest. One whose character and kindliness merit the honor of commemoration. The one whose Mama told him life is like a box of chocolates, and stupid is as stupid does. We don’t have to float around on a breeze, accidental-like. We can embrace change, enlarge our experience, repudiate the worst of our heritage.

That’s all I got to say about that.

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