Childish Gambino, "This Is America"Childish Gambino/YouTube


The election, ‘This is America’ and what we are reading

• We’re among the more than 100 million people who have watched Childish Gambino (Donald Glover)’s “This is America” video again and again. And again. It’s now No. 1 on the Billboard top 100 and has earned analysis and dissection from sources such as Psychology Today, The Washington Post, The Atlantic and The New Yorker, to name only a few. Elegant, violent, charming, terrifying, it’s a commentary on race in this country we need to pay attention to. (We also watch Glover on Community, which if you haven’t seen in contrast to “America” speaks volumes to his flexibility as a performer, as does his role on FX’s Atlanta.)

• Thumbs up to the City Club of Eugene, the Lane Education Service District, Lane Workforce Partnership, and Eugene Chamber of Commerce for working together since 2013 to offer a course for teachers about work in the local economy. This winter, 13 employers hosted 16 teachers on site visits so the teachers are better able to connect kids to careers. Two employers and two teachers described this innovative program to the City Club on May 11. They talked about the skills the students need: writing, listening, speaking, reading, computing and more, plus “soft skills,” such as coming to work on time, establishing eye contact and greeting others with civility. It’s impressive that local employers and educators are using their own soft and hard skills to help our kids move from school to work.

• What we’re reading: Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling by Amy Chozick. (HarperCollins Publishers, 2018). Most of us are tired of reading or even talking about Hillary Clinton, but this book is different. It’s a tale told by a brilliant young journalist, working first for The Wall Street Journal and next for The New York Times, of her 10 years covering this woman who hated the press — to her great disadvantage. Maybe this book is meant mainly for journalists, or mainly for women, but it offers insight into how Donald Trump became president. Ironically, this same press that Trump also hates deserves a good share of the blame.

•  Eugene won’t have an auditor — elected or otherwise — following Tuesday’s election. But the fact that nearly half of voters supported Measure 20-283 shows a crisis of confidence in the City Council. If councilors were doing their jobs and overseeing the city manager, no one would be talking about performance audits. What defeated the elected auditor was the council’s “auditor lite” initiative, which lost overwhelmingly but bled just enough support from 20-283 to be sure that neither proposal passed.

You like reading Slant? So, apparently, do the editors at The Register-Guard, which since its purchase by GateHouse Media has begun a new column on its Sunday editorial page called “Short Takes.” Written by members of the RG editorial board, it features pithy little items, very much like this one, about current events and politics. We’d kvetch about imitation and flattery, but “Short Takes” seems to be a regular feature at other GateHouse newspapers around the country.