Not Good

You know something bad is going on when you turn on the television at 8:30 p.m. expecting to see Bill O'Reilly and instead Shepherd Smith is talking to eyewitnesses. Uh-oh. That was how I found out about the rush hour bridge collapse in Minneapolis last night that sent many cars into the Mississippi River.

Like most other people, my first question was whether Muslim terrorism might have been involved. After all, Minneapolis was where the "Flying Imams" were based and also where Muslim cab drivers have caused trouble by not taking fares who had alcohol with them. Homeland Security says that there's no indication that terrorism is involved. We'll have to wait to see what the National Transportation Safety Board learns from their investigation.

Still, it's an awful thing for the victims and their families. Who knows how many people are still in cars trapped in the river? Might any of them still be alive? It's just a matter of them being in the wrong place at the wrong time, the same sort of thing that could potentially happen to any of us.

Yesterday, I was thinking about blogging about an article I read online about "the world's worst poet," a 19th Century Scotsman named William McGonagall. The article notes that his poetry was so bad that "he carried an umbrella with him at all times as protection from the barrage of rotten tomatoes he faced wherever he recited." Despite this fact, McGonagall himself remained firmly convinced of his own poetic genius, placing himself second only to Shakespeare. The most interesting thing about the article, in retrospect, is that it mentions that his most famous poem was about a railway bridge over the Tay River that collapsed in 1879. Yes, I read an article that mentioned a bridge collapse yesterday afternoon. And that's not the sort of thing that happens every day!

Anyway, the article about McGonagall notes that his fans (yes, there are bad poetry fans!) are trying to get him honored in Scotland, but the Scottish literary mavens are having none of it. He died in 1902, but more than a century later, he is still remembered and revered (by some). So here's the question of the day: Would you rather be completely forgotten a century after your death or be remembered as being potentially the worst person ever in your field?