Thursday, April 10, 2008

Beauty, Democracy, Consumerism, Chaos, and 'Rightiness'

The Grand Junction Free Press has distinguished itself the last two days on a couple of different fronts.

First, they printed
two gorgeous photographs on the front pages of Tuesday's and Wednesday's editions; one of Dewey Bridge ablaze on Sunday night, and the other the winning photo from the MOG Outdoor Photo Contest.

Photo by Sean Davis

Photo by Jeremy Cooper

The contest photo was taken by one of my son's friends. I've seen some of his other pictures, and he's really got a talent. Best of luck to him at college next year.

These examples really don't do the pictures justice.
The layout of each day's front page in conjunction with these photos made for something that was mutually complementary.

Another interesting thing in the Free Press today was Marjorie Asturias-Lochlaer's column about the political process as it relates to the presidential election, her past support for Ralph Nader, and how she has difficulty understanding how a vote for Nader in 2000 or 2004 could be considered a "wasted vote" for a candidate considered a "spoiler". Her analysis was riveting:
"Since when did voting your conscience mean 'throwing away your vote?' I thought throwing away your vote meant not voting at all. If a voter feels that neither of the candidates on offer by the two major political parties addresses her needs, then why shouldn’t she be free to vote for a third candidate? Why should she be forced to choose one of the bigger names simply because that name is the lesser of two evils? When did voting become such a political calculation rather than a way to express one’s support for particular issues? Is that what our so-called democracy has become?"
Marjorie's column in the March 26 Free Press addressed the issue of conspicuous consumption in this country, specifically in relationship to one wr
iter's experience with attempting to buy just what was 'essential' for a year. This is something that has interested me for a long time. Marjorie summed it up quite nicely:
"The Grand Valley is a great petri dish in which to observe our rapidly reproducing materialism. Despite a crippling housing shortage that has seen rents and mortgages jump to unsustainable levels and salaries that — conversely — haven’t risen to meet the rising cost of living, companies offering premium services and products continue to open and thrive in this bubble economy. Storefronts offering hot tubs, Pergo flooring, granite countertops, private catering services, Botox injections and 8,000-square-foot McMansions are popping up all over the valley and doing quite a brisk business. We may not be able to find a doctor who can see us in less than six months, if at all, but we can at least enjoy our three-car garages while we wait."
I located Marjorie's blog. I'm sure that being prolific and fast on your feet are two of the benchmarks of a successful freelance writer, and she's got these both down pretty well.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading her posts. They made me feel as if I knew not the first thing about writing, especially about when you're trying to do it for a living. This was a good thing, though. I'm going to be reading it regularly from now on.

Check out Marjorie's blog, and her column, when you get a chance. The Free Press has got a good thing going with her. I hope she sticks around.


As of tonight American Airlines is canceling hundreds of flights to inspect wiring harnesses on their entire fleet of MD-80 aircraft. This has created a good deal of consternation among passengers and workers alike.

My brother Dave is a technical specialist for American, based at their maintenance facility in Tulsa. The MD-80 is his aircraft. I tried to call h
im today. I'm betting that he's up to his eyeballs in alligators right now.


In Rick Wagner's blog today his picture was changed to the following:

This reminded me of someone else:

Yes, in your heart you know he's right...extreme right.

Paging Stephen Colbert....Have a great day.

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