The Ledlie Letter
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April 2014

Icon not go on like this. A squib on a computer screen? Yep. A living symbol of an idea, movement or period? True, by definition.  A painting in Eastern Christianity that opens “a window to the divine”?  Sure, that’s where “icon” comes from.  A football player who declares “I am an icon and an entertainer.” No, sorry. You’re not all that entertaining. Come back when you’re an app.

Light from the dark wood.  In a nation of many mental and emotional cases (about one out of five of us is afflicted), Rod Dreher has a classic solution. His immersion into The Divine Comedy, the subject of his engaging essay entitled “Dante’s Path to Paradise,” led him to a startling conclusion. The 14,233-line epic, written under duress in a lengthy exile 700 years ago, is many things, he says, including a self-help book that can save lives. He credits it with saving his.  

No, not “nation-states.” That’s so 14th century.  American governance over the centuries has shifted from state’s rights to federal power. Now the states are evolving into little nations. State-nations, let’s call them, in a coinage that’s bound not to last. For example, Florida’s population is about to surpass New York’s. Georgia has 10 million people, or twice the number of Ireland’s, its ports would make several czars salivate, its three leading universities rank among the nation’s greatest, and its capital is a vast metropolis.  Now these state-nations want some of their power back. Let’s see what happens. 

Prying eyes (a continuing saga). An international businessman we know briefly mentioned his global activities on a digital profile, then, to his astonishment, found an adversary had attempted to unsettle him in a square-off by posting his travel itinerary online for the globe to see. Total privacy is suddenly appealing.

Final editions. When a scandal about a Michigan football player broke, very few looked to Ann Arbor’s newspaper. They read the Michigan Daily at UM. It’s a stretch to say that college newspapers are outdoing their local counterparts, but take note: there are about 1,380 daily newspapers left in cities across the U.S. today. There are roughly 1,800 college newspapers in operation. (Question: what will happen to all those collegiate journalists when they start looking for jobs?) 

3br, 2ba, built-in diaper pail. Chinese parents are no longer merely starting college funds at birth. Some are rushing out from the hospital to purchase real estate, using the rent proceeds to save up for tuition and earmarking the space for Big Baby’s eventual dormitory.  As one American real estate broker noted, “Where we have a one-year or three-year (college) plan, they generally have a 20-year plan.” 

So it is written. So it shall be worn?  A new dress code is in place for this year’s Met Gala. Fashion editor and ball chairwoman Anna Wintour has declared that men will wear white tie and tails. Males in San Francisco, New Orleans and Nashville have long used every opportunity to dress up, while just about everywhere else in the country galas have been subjected to “decades of guys dressing as if they plan to mow the lawn.” (The words are from Guy Trebay of The New York Times.)

Quote to note: “It was a long time ago, and there was beer” – P.J. O’Rourke 

Thanks for reading, 

In April, The Ledlie Group began work for a global manufacturing firm doing business in the Southeast and a century-old law firm.  As always, we are grateful. 

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