Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Cause for Celebration .....

Eric has returned from his sojourn through the Land of Ench-ant-ment, and is once again regaling us with virtual, thoughtful and content-free wisdom at Fire Ant Gazette.

Dodsworth ... A Renewed Acquaintance ...

It was not the kind of book cover that catches the eye and draws the browser in for a closer look, a perusal of the notes on the back of the dust cover, and a more thoughtful consideration of what to buy ... maybe it was the simple title - tastefully set in a simple font on a simple background - that caught my attention, then my hand, then my decision to make yet another purchase from the Friends of the Midland County Library ...
by Sinclair Lewis
Modern Library
A small hardback, a 1944 Random House reprint of a novel from the man who gave us Babbit, Arrowsmith and Elmer Gantry, among others.

An acquaintance of mine from the University of New Mexico, Robert Fleming, once described Dodsworth as Lewis' most fully-developed novel, bearing his own unique style, but one that blended well with the contemporary topics popularized by Henry James, and the older roots of American literature planted by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Yes, it is ... and it's also a darn good story, a critique of American culture and politics, values and desires, with its multitude of contradictions, presented to us in the lives of people we might encounter on any given day, on the 'Main Street' of our town. (photo is a still from a 1936 film adaptation of Lewis' novel)

On a Side Note ... late in the novel, Sam receives a letter from his estranged wife where, in her quest to become 'European' - she dismisses American life as thin, without tradition ...

"Sam laid down the letter and thought of the tradition of pioneers pushing to the westward, across the Alleghenies, through the forests of Kentucky and Tennessee, on to the bleeding plains of Kansas, on to Oregon and California, a religious procession, sleeping always in danger, never resting, and opening a new home for a hundred-million people."

Not a bad image, really ... one very much in keeping with the image I gained from my history books as a child ... are we still allowed to carry that image with us, and be proud of it, today? ... End of Side Note

For me, the purchase represented a chance to renew acquaintances I had made in high school, with Sam and Fran, Tub and Matey, Nande and - of course - Edith ... all in all, it was a pleasant and enriching experience, and I'm the better for it.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Dog-Gone Story Ends Well ...

The stolen dog has been recovered and is in fine shape! Thanks for getting the word out.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Welcome to the Bigs ...

A student at a northern New Mexico college is getting an education in the ongoing efforts by 'the system,' its government and its bureaucrats to rein-in and muzzle a free press that might otherwise report information of value to 'we, the people' ... but not to 'they, our handlers'

NMHU VP tells student newspaper editor not to publish police blotter

LAS VEGAS, NEW MEXICO (AP) - The editor of the New Mexico Highlands University student newspaper says a school vice president told her not to publish a police blotter.

La Mecha editor Rachael Ball says Judy Cordova told her the blotters aren't informative and reflect poorly on the university. The blotter contains incidents of crime around the NMHU campus. Ball published the blotter in her first edition, but left it out of the second one after meeting with Cordova.

Ball says Cordova also rejected her idea to publish a story about a campus security officer who was arrested on suspicion of trafficking cocaine.

Ball says Cordova wants to reduce the negativity on campus. Cordova says she wanted the first edition to be upbeat as a way of reintroducing the newspaper, which hadn't been published for more than a year.

Well, There Goes MY Fifteen Minutes ...

Alas, after many developments, much back-and-forth, my chance for reality TV stardom in West Texas has slipped away ... the producers of said venture, rejected in my own workplace, will stay in the market, but will employ another venue ... watched them at work tonight ... maybe I can get on the next season of 'Biggest Loser.'

UPDATE: The folks at Jessica's Well have picked-up on this story.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Blogging from Death Row ...

It's Friday, and that means Spookyrach at SKEWED VIEW is Cemetery Blogging ... this week's post is out-of-town and out-of-the-ordinary ... well worth your visit.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Totally Terpsichorial ...

An XM Radio discovery this afternoon ... if I were to march to the beat of a different drum, I might select this by Michael Praetorius.