Wednesday, October 31, 2007
6:22 pm cdt
I am disturbed by the re-emergence of the desire to remove Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn
from school classrooms.
Any true study of this American classic will reveal that the "n-word" is used to degrade not the people to whom it is directed,
but rather to the people who use it.
I have found a wonderful article that addressed this in Time magazine, which can
be reached through this link:http://www.time.com/time/reports/mississippi/phillips.html
There is a Russian proverb that states, "Not a word can be omitted from a song." One reason for this is that the
original meaning of the song can be forever lost. If it is a teaching song, or one written by a person with first-hand
memory of an event, or knowledge on a subject, then the information is corrupted, never to be shared with later generations.
So to with longer pieces of literature, which can provide a deeper, more complex version of a thought, idea, or event.
As a snapshot of a moment in time, it can describe related emotions, outcomes, and repercussions of that event. In ignoring
it, it demonstrates a willing decision for ignorance rather than knowledge.
In Huck Finn, Twain is not glorifying this period in history, but rather emphasizing what was wrong with it. Twain
had a unique ability to provide social commentary with an accutely critical eye. If this is lost, is not passed on to
later generations, then the lessons that can be learned from it are also lost. And we are diminished by it.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Relief from illness
1:48 pm cdt
I am in the throes of my second cold of the season. As I lay in bed last night, shivering yet sweating, I thought
of my grandparents' house.
Grandma and Grandpa lived in a two-story wood frame house in a very small town in East Texas. It had a lot of character,
a lot of memories within its walls. Cubby holes for hide-and-seek, boards that creaked at night, bright windows in every
room. The required quilt on the back of the couch. Good smells from the kitchen....but I digress....
They slept in separate full-size beds sitting not three feet apart. Very Ozzie and Harriet. As very small
kids, my brother would sleep with
Grandpa and I would sleep with Grandma any time we came to visit. Both of them
snored, often quite thunderously, but as kids who loved their grandparents very much, it was still quite a treat.
Their house was heated by small gas heaters in each room. At night, the heaters were turned way down for safety's
sake, so it could become quite cold in the room. But there were large quilts to cover us, thick and heavy and warm.
As warm and toasty as an embrace.
I remember a few times when I was sick, my body chilled yet my head hot with fever. The warm quilts a comforting
weight upon me, pulled up to my neck. The cold air in the dark room soothing my brow. My grandparents' and brother'd
rhythmic breathing as they slept. I'd sink back into the feather pillows and knew I'd soon be well.
Think I'll curl up with a weiner dog and take a nap now....
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
8:40 pm cdt
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