As our readership has happily increased and the archives are filing up, we occasionally revisit one our longstanding series. Today, it is the Town of Brighton.
Over the years, my fellow Brighton High School graduate and our political commentator Bruce Kay has on one or two occasions waggishly referred to our town as Pax Brightonia. Apparently, Pax Brightonia is a play on the terms Pax Brittania and perhaps Pax Romana, the extended periods when the British and Roman empires held sway.
I believe Bruce was implying that Brighton has a certain imperious undertone. At one time in Brighton’s history, Bruce might have been right that it was an upper crust, homogeneous locale. But today Brighton is Monroe County’s most diverse town: ethnically, racially, religiously and economically. Brighton is home to many progressives who — not choosing to live in an outer ring suburb — are actively engaged in city life.
Anyway, who says Pax Romana was so bad? In Scene 10 from Monty Python’s Life of Brian, Before the Romans Things Were Smelly, the Judean rebels are plotting to overthrow the “Roman Imperialist State.” The rebels have a discussion on what the Romans have ever actually done for them. Quickly, the rebels realize the Romans have done a lot for Judea:
REG: All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?
XERXES: Brought peace.
REG: Oh. Peace? Shut up!
So maybe Pax Brightonia isn’t so bad.
Below are most, but not all, of our Brighton stories by category.
Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College.
I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, and the CITY. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism.
Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones. So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join.
I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.”
Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.