Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Gandhi was a friendly guy. His name correctly spelled ends in a "hi."

A memory jogger I offer you for free and friendly.

Gandhi has to be the most frequently misspelled really famous world history maker. This isn't good. Publications that are basically well-put together and professional misspell his name so often that the other spelling almost acts as an alternative spelling rather than a mistake.

That is not okay since he is not white, and most of the people I see misspelling his name are. I mean, it is so white--"I love you, I honor you, I think you rock the world even unto this day, and what was your name again?"

The answer is that Gandhi should be in spell check on computers in so that if you spell it wrong it's instantly corrected. Until then, Gandhi was a friendly (among other things) guy. He'd talk to anyone, and often if they were against him, they were afraid to talk to him, because they had seen the transforming power his prescence had on people of all kinds. His name correctly spelled ends in a "hi."

He's down on the Bay side of the Ferry Building in San Francisco, saying "hi" still. There's a good statue of Gandhi walking there, oddly placed. if you were being kind you could say the statue is near the Bay or next to the Bay. That is factually accurate and sounds good.

But if you go there, the strongest impression of where the statue is that it is in the middle of a parking lot. Plopped, without any particular reason even for being in that spot in the parking lot as opposed to any other spot in the parking lot. Whenever I see the statue, I think to myself, they should have put it some other place, maybe very close to where it now is, where the statue and Gandhi would be better presented, presented more respectfully.

I could, however, be wrong about that.

The exceedingly mundane placement of San Francisco's Gandhi statue could be perfect placement. Here are people walking to work in a hurry from the ferry in the morning, and here's Gandhi. Here are tourists seeing what there is to see, and here's Gandhi. Here are people coming out of the chi chi little food shops in the Ferry Building Marketplace with their little food treats, and here's Gandhi, undramatically plopped down in the midst of it all, of us all.

What has Gandhi to do with us or we with Gandhi in our routine moments in our pretty city by the Bay? Every time I see the statue I want to critique its placement in my head again because I don't want to interact with the guy. I don't want to hear what he has to say to me, here, right now, after he says "hi."