When I heard the other day that Columbia County has 14 chapters of the Red Hat Society, that was a pretty good sign of how weird the world can be.
Imagine that: More than a dozen chapters - three in little ol' Harlem alone! - of an organization built around a line in a poem, and resulting in older women socializing while wearing garish colors.
If men did this, we'd call them golfers. Or gay.
Speaking of which, word came the other day that DC Comics is getting ready to have Batwoman make a comeback - and she's going to be a lesbian.
The original Batwoman was killed in the comics in 1979. Good thing; she'd probably now die from embarrassment. Also, I hear the new Batwoman costume will be purple with a red cape. (Just kidding, ladies!)
That's almost as strange as the Columbia County school system hiring a guy to come in to talk to students and parents about the dangers of teen sex, and then a couple of weeks later allowing two teens who had sex with underage girls to march during commencement exercises. To thunderous applause from the audience.
Come to think of it, that's not so weird. It's just inexplicable.
It's a mystery
Speaking of inexplicable, why is it that everyone tip-toed around the obvious regarding the recent festival organized to honor James Brown?
The James Brown Soul of America Music Festival was a monumental flop, to virtually no one's surprise. There were ample warnings that it would be; the first sign was that James Brown's own "birthday bashes" of a few years ago were never big hits.
Musically, people in this area like to say they like "The Godfather," but he just isn't that popular here as a performer. We take his talent for granted, and can't forget his criminal record.
The second sign, and third, ad infinitum, was the involvement of Charles Walker Jr. Even though everyone knows he's dumb as a bag of hammers, had zero experience in running special events and can't seem to keep his stories straight, seeing everyone try to handle him diplomatically has been astonishing.
Would someone please explain why he would be taken seriously? On anything? Ever? He couldn't be more ridiculous if he dressed in purple and wore a red hat. While golfing.
Bone up for debate
Speaking of being taken seriously, John Hayes has a good many supporters in Columbia County as he seeks to unseat County Commission Chairman Ron Cross in the July 18 Republican Party Primary.
Mostly, he's banking on anti-Cross sentiment. Cross has made plenty of people mad, which is to be expected. People in his position are active or passive: They either have ideas and work to implement them, or they keep their head down and protect the status quo. Making waves makes enemies.
To make something of himself in this race, Hayes is going to have to do a better job in the second of two planned debates. He faced Cross at Grovetown Middle School May 25, and to be charitable, Hayes' repertoire needs work.
Repeatedly, Hayes prefaced his answers to questions with the phrase "It's simple" or "It's real simple"; obviously, public policy isn't "simple" at all, and such answers are hardly inspired.
He also delivered the unintentionally funny line of the night. To the question of what is the county's greatest asset, Hayes answered schools - adding, "We're in a school right now." Wow, really?
He'll have an opportunity to polish his delivery before facing Cross and critical commentators again at 7 p.m. June 22 at Lakeside High School. (It's a school, too.)
(Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. E-mail comments to email@example.com.)
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