Friday, August 23, 2013

Notice Me Horton

So, picture me 12 years old and all this stuff is happening. This is so amazing. What's not amazing is the fact I've been insulted and dissed by my Governor. My Governor doesn't believe NC's young people can think for themselves, apparently. He doesn't seem to believe I could possibly be a functional human being.

McCrory didn't have a problem with any groups that supported him during his election or support him now. Yesterday, McCrory was at a CEO forum at a country club. People have been criticizing him for hanging out with his supporters and groups who support him. I think he has a right to do that. I don't consider it shocking or outside the norm of what people involved in politics usually do.

Yesterday, I was in Raleigh doing my own version of "Notice Me Horton" by talking to the press. Let me tell you, nothing can prepare you for the experience of all those cameras at once. I would much rather be here on my computer talking to people where I have a delete button and can take 20 minutes to write one sentence if I want than to have a conversation in front of other people. When you give an interview on-camera, you aren't supposed to look at the camera. There I was yesterday answering questions saying in my head, "Just be yourself," while at the same time trying to look into the two inch space between the cameras. After they film you talking, they need footage to fill in the parts where they will be talking about you. That's when you get to do stuff like take bites of cake and let them film your hands closing the cake container.

The members of the press were all very nice to me. I'm glad I had that experience of all those cameras while I'm 12 years old. Think about what I'll be like when I'm 25. I was just as interested in the members of the press and watching the way they do their jobs as they were in me. I like journalists and I think they play an important role in society. They have the power to amplify people's voices and bring awareness to issues. Even people who have radio shows the Governor appears on who make assumptions about me have a purpose. Yes, I listened to it and at first my reaction was emotional, but logic usually comes in time and now I think it's funny. It was well played to the audience it was intended for, a good attempt at mocking, and not any more mean-spirited than I would have been in setting out to do something similar. I just wish the host would have said the words "Easy Bake Oven."

There were a few other people who showed up yesterday too. They were just regular citizens who believe in what I'm doing. My email is overflowing with messages of support from regular citizens.That's an incredible feeling, to know what you're doing really means something to someone.

I set out to make this whole silly cake thing mean something and I'm doing that. I'm offended at the notion this is all just a media stunt. I'm working hard to try to use the energy generated to do some good. I have a whole life outside of all this too, and I consider my time valuable. What's being used here (by me) is my time and abilities to bring attention to an issue that might otherwise have gotten lost in a sea of much bigger issues considering everything going on in NC right now.

Now it's clear McCrory knows I exist and that I want to have a conversation with him. I can check that one off my list. His response is to dismiss me as a prop, call all this a political stunt, and is disappointed the press covered my story. I guess since he thinks I'm being used as a prop, it's okay for him to do that too in his own way. My invitation is still open to meet with him if he'd like to get to know the real me and give me a chance to get to know the real him. I still think after he hears my brief, polite comments about the two issues, we can find something in common to talk about. He's in front of all those cameras all the time. We could talk about that. Maybe he could give me some pointers.

My mission now is to stand up for North Carolina's youth and McCrory's response motivates me even more in doing that. I bet you a chocolate cake that I won't need a petition to meet with some of my other legislators in NC. I bet that they would be willing to give me and my young friends 15 minutes to talk to them about pre-registering 16 and 17 year olds to vote. I also have no problem reaching out to groups who support some of the same things I support and supporting the things we agree on together. I urge other young people of North Carolina to do exactly the same thing, regardless of if those groups are liberal or conservative.


  1. Dear Madison, I signed your petition and have been following you on my blog, "Moristotle & Co." Today's "Fish for Friday" column leads off with items about your run-in with Governor McCrory, and one of my contributors (Paul Clark, aka motomynd) made a comment that I've come here to share with you:

    So has anyone launched PACs for "Madison Kimrey for Governor" and "Madison Kimrey for President"? So far the Moral Monday protests have accomplished little, but let's keep her encouraged so she will accomplish much.

    Today's Limerick of the Week (at the end of the fish column) was inspired by the cake incident that arose out of your observing the Governor's staff handing cookies through the gate a few weeks ago:

    Marie Antoinette said, "Let them eat cake,"
    and today Art Pope's McCrory does make
        the very same,
        laughably lame,
    monarchically maladroit...mistake.

    Thank you for helping ensure that that mistake will be one that the Governor rues terribly. You have been an inspiration yourself, Madison; you encourage us. Good on you!

  2. Hi Madison,

    you say here better and at more length something I've been saying in my comments on FB with your mom: you are way more a functional human being than McCrory is likely ever to be, or to know about.

    I've been toying with the idea of moving to NC, where I have a number of good friends, but this political turn has given me pause. People like you encourage me to think it may be worth it, especially in the long run.

  3. Ms. Kimrey, it was you whom I had in mind when I commented as you can see below on today's "Fish for Friday" column on Moristotle & Co., in response to Contributing Editor Paul Clark (motomynd's) comment:

    "Since you mentioned Moral Mondays: How about asking someone from that group to write a Moristotle post article explaining what that was all about? While many of us applaud their willingness to carry 'ridiculous signs' as writer Alan Gurganus put it, we would like to know if there was ever a plan to actually accomplish something? Was this protest with a purpose, or just performance art?"

    Here's my reply comment to Paul:

    "Paul, I know a very articulate person who might be willing to write up an explanation or 'defense' of Moral Monday protests, and I am about to send a query about their writing it, even in time for Tuesday, if possible (for the "Tuesday Voice" column).
        Personally, I don't look on Moral Monday so critically as you do. I think the protests have at least the value of demonstrating widespread discontent with the current North Carolina State government, which calls the current administration into 'moral account' at least and challenges them to try to defend themselves, which, in the case of the Governor's dismissing Madison Kimrey's request to talk as 'ridiculous,' has rather diminished what little image he had to begin with. It is GOOD to provide opportunities for the 'emperor' to demonstrate that he has no clothes, don't you think?
        "I mean, imagine if the protesters had sat on their hands rather than going over to Raleigh (and other cities now) every Monday to demonstrate their opposition. The silence would seem to have spoken acceptance or even assent of the atrocities going on over there in Raleigh.
        "I may be wrong, but I think that you yourself have argued that very value on behalf of 60's protests against Vietnam, for example. Argued it against Brother Ed [Congributing Editor Ed Rogers], if I'm not remembering wrong." [Posted by Morris Dean to Moristotle & Co. at Friday, August 30, 2013 12:52:00 PM]

    Ms. Kimrey, would you be willing to write, say, a 750-to-1,500-word article on Moral Monday?
        I'd LOVE to have it by Sunday, so I could publish it under your byline on Tuesday. THANKS! My email address is

  4. Ms. Kimrey, someone else wrote an article ("Tuesday Voice: A day after [Moral Monday]"):

    Thanks to Jim Sadler for laying out the many issues about which tens of thousands of North Carolina individuals have participated in Moral Monday protests against abhorrent legislation in Raleigh. And to Paul Clark (aka motomynd) for the provocative comment that led to Dr. Sadler's response.