The Monday Melange 05.31.10: L. Frank Baum, Rudyard Kipling, Rick Sund

–American children’s literature nowadays contains almost no violence of any sort, as I am sure you have all noticed.  So where did it all start?  It started with L. Frank Baum and the Oz books.  Notice that prior to this, the Brothers Grimm were not afraid to use violence in teaching the lessons that they wanted to teach through their stories.

–Rudyard Kipling was not afraid of a little blood and gore either.  In the story of Rikki-Tiki-Tavi in The Jungle Book, he has Rikki-Tiki-Tavi kill no less than three snakes in order to save the family that had adopted him.  But in a recent adaptation of the Rikki-Tiki-Tavi story that I had the opportunity to read, there is only one snake and there is no killing.

–Want to be Crocks general manager Rick Sund right now?  Actually, no you don’t, according to AJC sports columnist Jeff Schultz.  Sure he makes a lot more money than most of us will ever see in the course of our lives.  But he is also under a lot more stress than most of us will ever see in the course of our lives.  Not only does he have to hire a new coach, but he has to make sure that Joe Johnson, one of the key pieces of the team, does not bolt when free agency comes up later this year.  And that may or may not happen, depending on who he gets for a new coach.

–Also note that Rick Sund has not been very adept at making good coaching hires.  Over the course of his career as general manager of the Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, and Seattle Supersonics, he has made a couple of excellent hires, a couple of semi-decent hires, and a whole slew of dreadful failures.

–A little bit of history for you:  The northeast part of Tennessee, including Bristol and Johnson City, was once its own state.  This region seceded from North Carolina after the Revolution and existed as the state of Franklin from 1784 to 1790.  It tried to make a bid for statehood but could not garner enough votes.  It was eventually incorporated into Tennessee.  This short-lived state is commemorated by a major street in Johnson City called State of Franklin Road.