I think Northampton is the perfect environment to host a spin-off of Henry Golkamp’s typewriter installation.
Reported this morning by NPR, Goldkamp, a poet by night and construction worker by day, set up typewriters in cafes and bookstores and diners all across St. Louis so that denizens of the city could react and respond to a simple question: “What the Hell is St. Louis Thinking?”
In the article, written by Erin Williams, Goldkamp says, “What better defines a city than the inhabitants themselves?”
The perfect balance between performance art and a town hall meeting, Goldkamp’s “What the Hell is St. Louis Thinking?,” is a brilliant idea. In a time when the everyday man’s, or woman’s, voice is being drowned out at the national level, Mr. Goldkamp has made it easier for the hoi polloi to be heard.
Northampton, MA is the New England hotbed for speaking up against government policies, protocols, and projects. If you don’t like something the government is doing come to Northampton and speak your mind, nine times out of ten there is someone on the stoop across from you rallying against the same thing.
Perhaps a project similar to this would stop the tagging of historical buildings on the beautiful main street, or inspire more street art like the mural of the women of Northampton through the ages. Either way more free speech means more sharing of ideas which leads to growth and diversity, and we never can have enough of that.
On a grander note, Mr. Goldkamp, if you need help installing comment boxes here, I’m your woman!