In case you missed it, outgoing U.S. Interior Secretary Gale Norton was in Memphis today to formally confer coveted National Historical Landmark status on Elvis' old Graceland home.
"It didn't take Americans and the rest of the world long to discover Elvis Presley," Norton said, "and it is absolutely clear that they will never forget him."
I was and still am somewhat of an Elvis fan. "His Latest Flame?" I lived that story in that song.
But why this house? Sure, Elvis lived there, but by all accounts if those walls could talk, they would speak of hell-raising, wild parties, debauchery, adultery, wild women, guns, pill-poppin' and who knows what else.
And it was a pill-poppin' Elvis who died in that very Graceland of a presumed overdose- the ultimate nightcap for his overpartying ways. He died in 1977, a victim of his own excesses.
Now we honor the place of his death.
I don't have a problem with Graceland being declared a city landmark, or the Sun Records studio where Elvis cut many of his earliest hits receiving national Landmark status.
But Dis-Graceland as a National Historical Landmark? One equal in designation to the sites where Dr. King preached, and Presidents led this nation out of wars against real Axis of Evil powers?
And a Landmark conferred as such by an Interior Secretary who won't show the same degree of respect to sections of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge?
To expropriate the title of an Elvis tune, maybe no "Teddy Bear(s)" there, but there are polar bears. On thin ice, thanks to a global warming that Ms. Norton's Administration doesn't formally acknowledge.