the bright sunshine of human rights

Today I finished Carl Solberg’s biography of Hubert Humphrey. I figure if I’m going to be a Minnesotan, I need to bone up on the state’s history, politics, and culture (though it may be a while before I get up the courage to try lutefisk).

There’s a phrase from Humphrey’s 1948 speech to the Democratic National Convention that has stuck with me for years, and it’s referenced in the title of this post. We’ve heard much about human rights in the North Star State this past week, for obvious reasons. I think the Happy Warrior would be proud.

Also, this happened.

He's good enough, he's smart enough, and doggone it, people like him.
He’s good enough, he’s smart enough, and doggone it, people like him.

Sen. Franken gave the address at UMM’s Commencement on May 11. He shook every faculty member’s hand before the speech, and this picture was taken after the exercises. When he was talking to me and two fellow music faculty members, he remarked that the only class he had real trouble with was Music Theory, because “I couldn’t hear modulations. Plus, whenever you had to identify a piece of music by hearing it, if I didn’t know I’d just put ‘Streets of Laredo’ because I thought the professor might find it funny.”

I like it here. There are challenges, to be sure, but I like it here.