Thursday, June 7, 2012

Nature versus Nurture

Just some random thoughts relative to what I've seen and thought relative to MY magic city... If someone did a treatment about Montgomery a la the Wire, what would define Montgomery? What are the things, people, places, that make Montgomery Montgomery? Years ago, we thought the Montgomery Advertiser was a 55 year old, white, Republican male. What would Montgomery be? A black unwed mother. A parisienne immigrant? One of our country's landed gentry? Or, just a regular Joe? Would the piece be in retrospect during the Folmar years? Would the hot spot be The Player's Club or Adams? Who would the main characters be? I think of all the former heads and executives of our local media and the influence they wielded. These are the people who can actually establish the city's priorities and agenda, incite meaningful discourse and call individuals, as well as city leaders to task. Okay, like the WHHY-Y102 DJ that fought for us to keep the David Letterman show in our market. Awesome. The Wire had its drug trade, lost industry and deep political underbelly, good and/or bad. These are the things that make up the day-to-dayness of the city. What would those things be in Montgomery? All of my questions and observations come from a certain psyche and generational perspective. It's a generation that came of age in a time that didn't require the proposal of a bill to deter young men from wearing their pants down around their, well you know. Family Planning clinics were a given, and their funding was not up for debate--at least not publicly. No one in my circle of friends cared about Mormons or Mormonism. They were just the white people brave or caring enough to actually come into our neighborhoods, on bicycles no less. Yes, it totally freaks me out that Mitt Romney is a Mormon. Yes, it's out there. I said it. I probably feel the way Protestants felt about John F. Kennedy relative to his Catholicism during the Presidential race of his generation. I grew up in a segregated Montgomery. My elementary and junior high schools were full of white teachers, but not white kids. Neither were in the neighborhood that my family purchased a home in. I really didn't experience integration until senior high, which was 1982. Remember having secret crushes on cute white boys (I guess this question would only be applicable to straight black women) and not saying anything or acting on it simply because--gasp!--they were white? Is today's Eastdale Mall tomorrow's Normandale? Or would that actually be Eastchase? Who knows maybe the Main Street retail concept works better, I don't know, downtown. Random thought: Staunton, Virginia's branding of their downtown revitalization was one of the neatest I'd ever seen: The Big Dig. In any case, again just rants and raves in relation to where I am and what I've seen. And it all started with Wikipedia. Nature versus Nurture...the relative importance of an individual's innate qualities versus personal experiences in determining or causing individual differences in physical and behavioral traits...The view that humans acquire all their behavioral traits from "nurture" was termed by philosopher John Locke, and purposes that humans develop from only environment influences. Thank you for circa 1972 - 1985 Montgomery County Public School System and teachers.