Sunday, May 10, 2009

The dying news

I turned in final grades for my two German classes on Wednesday, so I took Saturday off. Around my house, days off are rare enough to always seem like bloggable events. Not much excitement here, though. I took it easy, washed dishes, cooked a steak dinner for an early Mother's Day, hit the hot tub, lay in the hammock and read.

Some of it was even work-related. I'm teaching freshmen composition again in the fall, so I reviewed a couple of textbooks for possible use. This allowed me to read excerpts from "The Communist Manifesto," which I had not read for many years, and from "Wealth of Nations," which I have never read. My most striking observation was how little would have to be changed in either piece to have exactly the same argument today.

I also read Wally McRae's new book of prose pieces. That was work-related, too, since an Outpost review will come of it, but that did not diminish the sheer pleasure of reading his stories. My friend Anita gave me a copy of "The Cowboy Curmudgeon" when I left Texas for Montana, and getting to briefly know the author (who delivered his new book personally to the Outpost office) has been one of my Montana pleasures.

We also went to see "State of Play," which is a political thriller wrapped inside a newspaper reporter's wet dream about the dying of a noble industry. The closing scene has it all: a rumpled, chili-cheeseburger- and Cheetos-munching, knows-everybody reporter flanked by the cute-as-a-button blogger he is mentoring, pounding out a story stuffed to the gills with sex, greed and corporate and political corruption that reaches to the highest levels of Congress, all while the press is holding past deadline at a cost to his corporate overlords of $300 a minute.

Get me rewrite!

Although actually I thought Russell Crowe's lede looked a little weak. Improved versions are welcome.


Chuck Rightmire said...

yeah, a lead might have been better

Anonymous said...

Our gifts of books have been serendipitous. I remember receiving Letters of a Woman Homesteader a month after moving to Minnesota. That day, October 1, 1993, this child of the Gulf Coast was looking out her living room picture window at snow falling and wondering what kind of country she was living in now. Your gift arrived that day; its arrival gave me courage, as did the story of the woman who homesteaded with her young daughter in Wyoming. I wish we could have stayed in northern Minnesota longer. We loved the place.