Wednesday, September 16, 2009

LABELS (WCHL Commentary)

We are back in silly season, also known as campaign season. There is nothing wrong with you if you thought of this as a season without end, because it does seem that way. What you can depend on in silly season is the use of lots of labels to describe people or their positions. These descriptive terms or epithets are hurled for a purpose; as the hurler hopes that the label will resonate with those who read or hear it. They don’t have to be accurate or appropriate; the goal is to paint that picture with a short phrase or word that will stick.

But how are label hurlers sure that everyone will get the meanings that they intend? Just last week a local reporter labeled some candidates as “pro-business.” Wow! Is that a good thing or bad thing? Each of us decides, but do such labels really capture who candidates are? Do we call elected officials who disapprove a business project “anti-business?” Makes you wonder, doesn’t it.

Then we have an editor of a local paper who seems to love writing columns that seem designed to poke a finger in the eyes of many readers. He had another one of those interesting labels the other day: “Einsteins of liberal elitism.” Hey, it’s a free country so he’s as free to write as he wants, just as I am free to adopt a new label for myself: “former subscriber.”

And in case you might be so inclined, you can’t in this case come back with “YOU LIE!”

Monday, September 7, 2009


Fall is in the air this week and on Saturday, Kenan Stadium and the campus will be alive with the sights and sounds of football. But it doesn’t stop at the edges of the campus – the entire community is enlivened by home football. Saturday is the first of seven home games, including a first time Thursday night game on October 22d.

Each game is an opportunity to welcome thousands of visitors to our community and show them some Tar Heel hospitality. Last year, eight Chapel Hill area organizations united to produce the “Touch Downtown Chapel Hill” campaign with the shared goal of bolstering the community, hometown spirit and economic activity during football weekends and that effort continues this year. The economic impact of one football weekend in Chapel Hill is $6.7 million, according to a recent study.

It’s good and smart that both UNC and our local businesses are working hard to get the message out that we value and appreciate the business that both new and seasoned fans will do in our community when they come to a game. The “Touch Downtown” will strive to encourage football fans, both residents and visitors, to start early and stay late in the Chapel Hill area after the game ends and enjoy nearly 100 restaurants, 50 specialty stores and a mile of family cultural attractions.

I think we all understand that a rising tide lifts all boats, so we will all benefit from being a warm and welcoming community. Sure, there are inconveniences but let’s focus on the benefits to UNC and our entire community. GO HEELS!