Chalkboard soon forgotten

Worrywarts like Terry Di Cintio– who said in your June 23 cover story, "The writing on the wall: What the chalkboard will really do," that the chalkboard "... will be regularly filled with profanity, threats, and inane scribblings"– and cheerleaders like Mayor David Brown, who hope "The wall will be full of wit and comment and that people walking by will be enlightened and entertained" share one trait. They are way too optimistic.

Unlike a keyboard and the Web, rough slate and chalky rocks just don't lend themselves to writing trash or truth.

Certainly there will be an initial outburst of both profane and witty posts, with some of the witty ones carefully orchestrated by supporters. But that will change. With time, the chalkboard will just sit there, blank and uninteresting. People– vandals and supporters alike– will lose interest and find other outlets for their creative expressions.

Eventually, a new set of politicians who won't suffer from loss of face by removing the chalkboard will find another use for the space. The chalkboard will be quietly downsized, and we will be left with an odd little wall as a monument to bad design and good intentions.

Kevin Cox