Poetic justice: Last winter some high school students in Vermont entered the home where poet Robert Frost spent many of his summers. Holding a raucous party, they smashed china, soiled carpets and burned furniture. Part of the students’ court-ordered punishment was to take a class on Frost’s poetry, in which the teacher tried to connect Frost’s poems to the students’ lives (insidehighered.com).
Post-Baptist? Nearly one out of five Georgians was a Southern Baptist in 1970. That ratio is now down to about one in ten. The shift is due to a flattening in denominational growth and rapid growth in Georgia’s overall population (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 15).
Suspect nuns: About 12 nuns in their 80s and 90s were turned away from the polls in South Bend, Indiana, on May 6 because they don't have state or federal identification bearing a photograph. Indiana's photo ID law is the strictest in the country. It was challenged by the state's division of the American Civil Liberties Union, but the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law in a decision issued shortly before Indiana's presidential primary (AP).
Trained in satire: Comedian Al Franken intends to be taken seriously as a Democratic candidate for the Senate in Minnesota. "A satirist looks at a situation and sees the inconsistencies and hypocrisies, and he cuts through the baloney and gets to the truth," he says to those skeptical about his candidacy. "I think that's pretty good training for the Senate, don't you?" (Atlantic, May).
Golden Rules: Playwright George Bernard Shaw detected a flaw in the Golden Rule: "Do not do unto others as you would have them do unto you," he said; "their tastes may be different." The late Richard Graham had his own take: "You shouldn't do unto others what you wouldn't want done to you" (Washington Monthly, January/February/March).