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A Random Walk Down Bull Street: Finding the American Dream in the Midst of a Nightmare

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Last week, during a brief sojourn in Savannah, I found myself strolling down the town’s main artery, Bull Street, which led me to a most intriguing neighborhood by the name of Johnson Square. Consisting of, principally, a small park which is dominated by a monument to Revolutionary War hero Nathanael Greene and several turn-of-the-century skyscrapers surrounding that, it serves as the Hostess City’s financial district. For some reason which I could not exactly place — perhaps it was the vast majority of the buildings’ classic Chicago school architecture, or their close proximity to one another which created the effect of Wall or Market Street-like “urban canyons” — I felt a deep attraction to the area almost immediately, roaming around its sidewalks and alleyways for roughly one hour. Living up to my status as a tourist by snapping as many photographs as my camera’s memory card would hold, I was only interrupted, ironically, by a band of boisterous union activists preparing for a rally featuring former Georgia Governor Roy Barnes, who is hard at work on what is sure to be a futile campaign to win back the Peach State’s chief executive office.

Later that evening, after I had returned to my hotel, I ultimately came to the conclusion that the affection I had for Johnson Square was not necessarily specific to the place itself, but instead for what it represented: capitalism. Being a small business owner, I rarely have the opportunity to witness the free enterprise system in action from a prospective which could be described as anything resembling impartial. It is truly an awe inspiring thing, and something which every American should take the time to do whenever given the chance. Perhaps, if this were to happen, then the voting public would better understand just exactly why electing pro-commerce candidates to everything from the city council to Congress is essential to the well being of society as a whole.

This, as one might expect, brings about the main point of my article; on Tuesday, when you hopefully will fulfill your duty to vote in the midterm elections, please do shove aside all of the partisan rhetoric, social wedge issues, and ideas of personality over principle which have been so unfortunately prevalent in virtually every aspect of the media today. Focus on what really matters, the very heart and soul of United States politics, fiscal policy. Naturally, support whomever you feel is best for the job, but do not forget that which got us into the seemingly never ending recession which we are all currently experiencing; a federal government that overreached in the name of providing a “quick fix” to private enterprises on the brink of failure. Supporting candidates who wish to repeat such madness will only result in an extended period of malaise for our nation. Regardless of our respective political philosophies, I believe that it is safe to say that none of us wish to see that occur.

In just a few hours, it is undeniable that the long held concept of hard work and perseverance resulting in personal success — in essence, the the American Dream — will be put on the line when millions of us show up to the polls from Florida to Alaska. It is my most sincere hope that the American Dream will score a decisive win over the newfound seemingly conventional wisdom of an all-powerful nanny state providing for its citizens whenever things do not go exactly their way. If, as expected, limited government and individual responsibility are the victors on election night, then it is indeed possible that America’s best days might, just might, still lie ahead of us.

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About Joseph F. Cotto

  • Page 1
    should be perspective

    Page 2
    should be whoever

    the the
    should be the

  • Alan, you are correct about my error in typing “pro” instead of “perspective”. I wrote the article very late at night and was practically falling asleep over the keyboard as I did so, which accounted for the mistake. Regarding your comment on my use of “whomever” as opposed to “whoever”, my choice of vocabulary was grammatically correct. A quick search on the matter should prove this to be the case. Finally, after scanning over the article several times, I did not read the words “the the” together in it. Perhaps this obvious mistake, if it did indeed exist, was fixed by an editor shortly after you pointed it out.

  • “the the” has not been fixed. It appears on page 2, in the first sentence of your final paragraph.

    As for the grammatical point, here’s how you wrote it:

    “Naturally, support whomever you feel is best for the job.”

    If you had written, “Naturally, support whomever you like,” that would be correct.

    But by adding “is best for the job,” you create the need for a subject to go with the verb “is.”

    As you must know, “whomever” is objective case. Accordingly, this sentence requires “whoever,” which is subjective case.

  • Alan, now I see that you were correct in pointing out the “the the” error in my article. I must have skipped over it after reading the piece after it was published. As for the whomever vs. whoever disagreement, please refer to this to understand my rationale in using the wording which I did.

    On a side note, it appears that what you wrote a few days back about there not being much interest in midterm-specific stories is true. I wonder if a great deal of Blogcritics readers and writers will actually vote tomorrow, or just return to the Politics section after all is said and done and whine about the inevitable power shift. Time will tell.

  • Baronius

    I hope this isn’t too off-track.

    There have been some organizational changes on BC lately. Are the same editors and editing standards in place? I don’t ask that as a way of insulting Cotto or his article; it just seems to me that “the the” wouldn’t have made it through in the old days.

  • Perhaps Nalle is too pressed for time because of the election cycle. The other day an article was published with a period at the end of the title. It took a comment or two to get it fixed.

  • Baronius (#5), re BC organizational changes:

    The front-page masthead still shows–
    Publisher: Eric Olsen
    Executive Editor: Lisa McKay
    Chief Geek: Phillip Winn

    However, all those folks have left. The masthead is out of date.

    Jill Asher is now publisher of content for both Blogcritics and Technorati.
    Barbara Barnett and Jon Sobel are co-Executive Editors.
    Politics editors remain Dave Nalle and Nils Florman (Clavos).
    Comments editors also remain unchanged.

    However, I’m not sure what you mean by “the old days.” I’ve been around BC as writer and commenter for 12 months, and the editing has always been hit or miss. If you’re lucky, you draw an editor who doesn’t screw up your article; if not, you’re fucked. For an example of the latter, Clavos edited one of my articles by changing the salutation “Mr. President” to “Mr. president,” insisting that the second word must not be capitalized. It’s the inevitable result of having mostly nonprofessional editors at BC. They can’t be called to account, since they’re donating their time and services. Until Technorati opens its purse strings (from which squadrons of moths will fly out) and recruits qualified copy editors, we have to live with amateur ineptitude.

  • “it just seems to me that “the the” wouldn’t have made it through in the old days.”


  • Baronius

    Maybe I am wrong, El B. Things just seem different.

  • “it just seems to me that “the the” wouldn’t have made it through in the old days.”

    Well, they were never huge, but they enjoyed a respectable amount of success in their day.

    [dodges flying tomatoes and runs back to the 80s]

  • zingzing

    oh, doc, that’s a mind bomb, but back to the hanky panky.

  • Irvin F. Cohen

    Cotto – Kudos for a well done piece [Edited]

  • The Caffeine-Free Herbal Infusion Party

    “the the”


    Infected was a pretty good album. Couldn’t come at the rest of it.