Dear Tell All: It's no secret that bumper stickers are a preferred method of self-expression in Madison, political and otherwise. However, one of the most popular decals popping up on seemingly every other car are the little round "26.2" stickers, signifying that the owner has completed a marathon.
In the age of the obesity epidemic, I'm as happy as anyone that people are out there exercising, but is it really necessary to boast about it? There are lots of other accomplishments that take as much time and effort, with greater community benefit, but people don't seem to feel the need to insufferably note those for all the world to see. Isn't it enough for you to know that you completed the race?
Bored with Bumper Boasting
Dear Bored: I feel the same way you do, even though I am the Parent of a La Follette High School Honor Student.
Dear Tell All: I'm intrigued by the correspondent you quoted in "No Respect for Steve Jobs" (12/9/11), Lyle L., who says, "Thomas Edison was ruthless, bigoted and egomaniacal, but I still would have wept when he died. Some people's achievements outweigh their human frailties."
I've long felt that way about Richard Wagner. I wonder what other people your readers might weep for despite their faults.
Dear Music Lover: I'd weep for George Washington, who fought for freedom while owning slaves. And for Abraham Lincoln, who freed the slaves while believing black people were inherently inferior. And for John Lennon, who tried to save the world while neglecting his son. And for Mother Teresa, who ministered to the powerless while cozying up to dictators. Indeed, I can't think of a single hero without significant faults - and that includes saintly biblical characters. Remember Moses' temper? Noah's naked, drunken escapade?
Readers, are there any pure heroes out there I'm forgetting?