10 thoughts on “Who’s Got The Small One Covered?”

  1. I’m glad to hear that the public community chalkboard being constructed on the downtown mall is funded entirely by private contributions. I think it is, and will be, less of a monument to free speech and more of a monument to bathroom graffiti and tagging. Public funding would’ve been entirely inappropriate for this project.

  2. Yeah, the idea since conception has been that it would be funded completely by private money. The idea that it’s a monument in a public space tends to lead people — understandably enough — to the conclusion that it’s private.

    I’ll be interested to see if it is a target for tagging. Mudhouse has long had chalkboards in their bathroom, on which people can write whatever they see fit. If they’ve had a tagging problem, I’ve never noticed. Of course, that’s a private establishment that can’t be accessed at 3am. OTOH, the chalkboard will be mere steps from the police station. You’d have to be seriously stupid to tag it. Most of the taggers that I know have more respect for the concept than to deface it.

    By way of disclosure, I built the internet chalkboard thingy, occasionally volunteer a bit of time for the TJ Center, and have been asked to serve on the board of the…erm…board.

  3. Quasi off-topic — I’m appalled that the DP neglected to mention the web address in an article about a website. Had to come here to find out where to go!

  4. I predict that the chalkboard will initially appear to be a vibrant medium as the TJ Center engineers field trips from local schools. Students, inspired by visitors from the center will express themselves on the board with interesting and thoughtful essays. This won’t last very long but it will suffice to make it appear that the chalkboard is a successful interactive monument to free speech. After that it will just sit there and be big and ugly with little or no activity of any substance.

    Waldo, I am a little confused, is the monument publicly or privately owned and operated?

  5. Newser: I just reconnected to the DP article and again couldn’t find the web address. Am I ridiculously blind or is it not there? It would be high irony indeed if it appeared in print but not on the web version…

  6. Progress articles can vary a little between the print and the web version, in my experience. It seems that their system for routing articles about in the newsroom and to the press isn’t connected (or is connected badly) to their system that makes the content available on the website. If somebody fails to send a bit of the print content to Laura Bland, who runs the website, then it doesn’t appear on the site.

  7. Waldo, I am a little confused, is the monument publicly or privately owned and operated?

    The monument is privately funded and will be privately owned and operated. The city won’t even pay for upkeep — the Thomas Jefferson Center will maintain a fund to cover whatever costs may arise.

    I feel that I must point out that I can’t speak in any formal capacity for the TJ Center — I have no affiliation with the organization beyond being a fan and somebody who likes to help them out in whatever tiny ways that I can. I don’t have any special knowledge about this — check out their webpage about it to find out more.

  8. I guess this is a small point in the grand scheme of things, but isn’t Liesel wrong with those repeated references to a vote in 1999? I’m pretty sure I didn’t even live in Charlottesville then, I don’t think Kevin was on the council, and I know Blake wasn’t mayor. Strange. Must be a problem with the clip file or something.

    OK, yep, I just checked Loper’s site. The vote was in March 2001. I know I’m getting old, but I didn’t think it was six years ago.

  9. Waldo…I’ve added a link to the virtual chalkboard site in Liesel’s story. Suggestions for links and other enhancements for DailyProgress.com are always welcome. My contact info is on the “contact us” page of DailyProgress.com.

    See you soon!

    Laura B.

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