Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The winner is Colorado Springs.

Our winner is, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Congratulations! From the photos on the internets, Colorado Springs looks like a beautiful place, nestled at the base of Pikes Peak.

Colorado Springs is somewhat unimaginatively named, being in Colorado, and near a spring or river, I guess... And it's the home of the unfortunately necessary, Everybody Welcome Festival: A Celebration of Culture and Diversity.

The Everybody Welcome Festival is a new award-winning event which replaces the previous festival of "No _____ Allowed," whereby one entire ethnic, gender, religious or racial group was barred from attending the festival. The excluded group was selected entirely at random, from names entered into a hat. But after three years of a "No White People Allowed" festival, the organizers in this mostly white city lost so much money and were left with so much light beer and potato salad that they voted to eliminate exclusions and welcome everyone, especially white people. Yes, that's a joke, but the Everybody Welcome Festival is real.

As a result of budget crisis, "More than a third of the streetlights in Colorado Springs will go dark Monday [Feb. 2010]. The police helicopters are for sale on the Internet. The city is dumping firefighting jobs, a vice team, burglary investigators, beat cops — dozens of police and fire positions will go unfilled... Neighbors are encouraged to bring their own lawn mowers to local green spaces," like public parks. ... but residents are reminded to please not reshelve the books in the public library because, no, that's non-fiction, that doesn't go there.

The Everybody Welcome Festival runs through Sunday, so go and buy some stuff and help get those street lights turned back on.

A side note: have you noticed the trend to brand everything with a 3-idea progression on an theme? Like the group that sponsors the Everybody Welcome thing, the Colorado Springs Diversity Forum, uses, connect, include, engage. And the Pikes Peak Library District has, seek, engage, transform.

And even the New York Public Library has, discover, connect, get inspired.

Our library uses, confront, attack, subdue. Look, it's on my business card. Okay, I wrote it there in ink just now, but it's there.