According to Sam and Jim Commenting on things that irk us off, make us laugh out loud or just seem too weird too believe According to Sam and Jim: My apologies to Plato

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My apologies to Plato

Kevin Murphy of Reuters news service reports that the new population center of America is a little spot-in-the-road named Plato, Missouri.  
 America’s population center is determined each decade by the U.S. Census Bureau, which calculates the mean center of our country’s population as being the place where an imaginary, flat, weightless and rigid map of the U.S. would balance perfectly if all 308,745,538 residents were of identical weight.
Huh? If we all were of identical weight wouldn’t we each weigh about 300-plus pounds or would we be 90-pound weaklings in dire need of Charles Atlas?  And mean center? I’m assuming the Census Bureau is alluding to the word approximate and not implying that the good people of Plato have a cranky streak.
It’s interesting that Plato is located near the Mark Twain National Forest and Fort Leonard Wood, and is the birthplace of Josh Senter, a screenwriter for Desperate Housewives.
Holy metaphysical kismet government bureaucrats!  At the very center (core) of our population you have a town named after a Greek philosopher who argued that knowledge was a matter of recollection, and not of learning, observation or study. Next door you have a forest named after Mark Twain, who wrote, “ Training is all there is to a person. We have no thoughts of our own, no opinions of our own; they are transmitted to us, trained into us.” And this place is home to Mr. Senter, who grew up on a farm with four sisters, which no doubt provided ample training to write about desperate women. Nearby is an Army base where engineers and other troops are trained to save us from the disintegration of democracy, which Plato and Twain say would lead to tyranny. Plato, the town, sounds like Nirvana.
The town folk of Plato population, 65 or 109, depending on what report you read, appear to be proud of their new distinction. Talk is, those good villagers have decided to erect a 12-inch Missouri stone marker to celebrate their new notoriety.  They’ve been stuck out in the country where hardly anybody noticed them for way too long. This should be good for business. After all, a stone monument, flag and picnic table brought some much-needed attention and business to Edgar Springs 25 miles northeast of Plato. Edgar Springs was the former population center (it moves every 10 years when the new census figures are tallied).
Sam and I wonder if the people of Plato might also entice more business their way by offering “delicacies” as Plato called them - “perfumed oils, incense, prostitutes, and pastries.”  Hey, Plato advocated it, I didn’t! Rock monuments are fine, but they’re not all that exciting. 
I tried to find out how Plato came to be named after a Greek philosopher, but drew a blank. Anybody out there know? Maybe the town should have been named Twaino. Sam and I are curious about the naming of Plato. Anybody got a clue? I think it was founded in 1874. Get back to us good buddies.

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