Editorial: Tribune ThumbsPublished 4:00pm Saturday, June 28, 2014
To Wind Down Wednesday.
With its return to Broadway this year — and with Broadway looking all new — Wind Down Wednesday this past week was better than ever, with what seemed to be increased numbers, more vendors and a good deal of momentum at the start of summer. This event is a prime example of how a downtown ought to be a city’s cultural center. This year it is proving to be the case multiple times, like with Eddie Cochran Weekend, Wednesday night farmers markets, multiple theater attractions and the “White on White” open house at the Albert Lea Art Center. Wind Down Wednesday and downtown go together like peanut butter and jelly. The organizers ought to give themselves a big pat on the back, and the sponsors can sit back and relax with the inner satisfaction that they are making Albert Lea a great place to live.
To Gary Oldman.
The British-born actor and star of the summer movie “Dawn of The Planet of the Apes” gave an interview to Playboy in which he defended director Mel Gibson’s drunken rant in 2006 against the Jews and defended Alec Baldwin’s occasional homophobic statements. Oldman said people need to get over political correctness. (To be sure, we read Oldman’s comments in USA Today and British tabloid Daily Mail.) In the interview, Oldman argues that “everyone” has made racial slurs or made homophobic comments at one time or another.
He’s absolutely wrong. Sure, some people who look down their noses at the racist behavior of Gibson and a few other fallen celebrities are hypocrites, but what Oldman doesn’t realize is that as generations pass fewer and fewer people think that way, even in moments of frustration. It’s plain wrong, preposterous and pretty much brainless to use the N-word, make anti-Semitic comments or throw out disparaging remarks about homosexuals. The vast majority of people do not need to put down entire segments of people to make themselves feel better.
Oldman later apologized for his comments. And apologized. And apologized. And apologized some more.
To modern-day coffee choices.
Remember when buying coffee was stopping at a gas station and pouring burned coffee from a carafe that had been sitting hotplate for an hour or two. The choices were unleaded or regular, as people called decaf and not decaf. Was that the 1980s? The 1990s? It wasn’t that long ago. Nowadays, coffee drinkers know quality. Convenience stores offer a wide selection of choices for coffee drinkers, from all kinds of places were coffee beans are grown. Albert Lea gained a Starbucks in 2006 on East Main Street and lost it in 2008 due to an anti-freeway corporate bias. However, since then, it has gained a distinct downtown coffee shop called Prairie Wind Coffee and a Caribou Coffee on Bridge Avenue near the Interstate 90 interchange. Considering Kwik Trip, Hy-Vee Gas, Korner Mart, Trail’s Travel Center, Love’s Travel Stop, Shell, SuperAmerica, Prairie Wind and Caribou Coffee, along with workplace offerings provided by 4 Seasons Coffee and the varieties now available at many slow- and fast-food restaurants, getting a cup of coffee can be difficult decision these days.