Satire alert: Scott Walker sells off Bucky the Badger to Geico

Citing the need for more business-oriented solutions to the obvious problem of a highly ranked and otherwise successful public institution of higher learning, the University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker today announced that he is authorizing the sale of the school’s beloved mascot, Bucky the Badger, to online insurance giant Geico. Bucky will replace their former animal mascot, a gecko with a posh English accent known to his friends as “Geck.”

Walker states that this move secures him as somebody who has bravely fixed what wasn’t broken so that it can be broken so that he then can have credit for fixing it. “I’m just the man for this sort of thing.” He noted, throwing down double finger guns.

Bucky issued a statement through his agent today that he’s excited for the new opportunity to make a difference on the national stage. Sources close to the badger report that Bucky is thrilled with the move: “I’m tired of just seeing myself on TV when UW pulls their shit together to get to the NCAA playoffs. That’s, what? Once a year, man, or maybe twice. How am I supposed to bank any serious coin hooked up to an academic institution? I’ve got, like, six cows and 237 cubs to support.”

Former mascot Geck the gecko responded to this news from his loft in the boggier bits of the Thames in London: “Geico and I have had a wonderful working relationship. I’m so grateful for all the time we’ve had. It’s been a few years since they have really needed me, what with their Cavemen and other stellar personnel. I’m looking forward to new projects, and, frankly, more time for myself. I wish Bucky all the best in the future.”


Geico marketing staffers noted that this parting message was typical of the urbane and gracious Geck, and insiders expressed some worries about working with the pugilistic badger. “Have you ever seen that badger crack a smile? No, you haven’t. It’s always been “Fight! Fellows! – fight, fight, fight!” with that guy.”

University of Wisconsin staffers say that there is no plan to replace Bucky, even though it wouldn’t really cost anything, because doing so would interfere with the high-profile austerity symbolism surrounding Walker’s announcement, and potentially undermine the impact of his finger guns.

There is, however, a new plan to have members of the business community sponsor the University with donations that entitle them to have their names engraved on individual blades of grass on the quad.

Sonia Hirt’s comparative land use

So I’ve been reading away on Sonia Hirt’s 2014 book

Zoned in the USA: The Origins and Implications of American Land Use Regulation, and finding it quite helpful. Sonia was one of my colleagues at Virginia Tech, and she’s really a wonderful thinker. She’s from eastern Europe, and she’s from architecture, which means she has a unique way of looking at land use and American practices in a way that helps us see things we normally don’t.

I’m not that far into yet, and I’ve been a rotten reader and have been reading out of order, but so far, she’s focussed in on the American cultural aspects of zoning. I’m never sure how to evaluate these sorts of claims about cultural predilections. They feel apt enough, but then there’s the nagging question of how you seek and formulate evidence, a common enough complaint about cultural histories, where charges of essentialism loom.

The book’s organization is a bit surprising, which is one reason I’ve been jumping about a bit; you start with how American zoning works. This is a very nice chapter for planning students, along with the subsequent chapter, on how other, most European, countries approach zoning. The last chapters have to do with explaining the beginnings of zonings, so that it’s a bit inverted. I think the structure does work, particularly for students.

Zoned in the USA The Origins and Implications of American Land Use Regulation Sonia A Hirt 9780801479878 Amazon com Books