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Friday, Aug. 26, 2016

A week of Times

Posted Monday, January 23, 2012, at 7:32 PM

"Well, all I know is what I read in the papers." (Will Rogers, US humorist & Showman (1879-1935) in the New York Times, September 30 1923)

Although he died eight years before my birth, 20 years later my parents still spoke of Will Rogers with a certain sense of awe, as of a family member whose passing was relatively recent. Having heard of him most of my life, there was a natural interest in the recent PBS documentary on his life. There is no real way to compare the popularity and influence Will Rogers held in America from the early 20's until the day he died. Oprah Winfrey comes to mind, but she held dominion over only one realm, whereas Rogers was a star of stage, screen, radio (then with the combined power of TV & Internet), and wrote a daily syndicated column.

Watching PBS got me to wondering, how does somebody find something out of the newspaper on which to comment every day? Knowledgeable I am no Will Rogers (not even a Charles Hear), it sounded like a challenge. Being no humorist but a mere essayist having only The Brazil Times to use, could I find something daily on which to comment in a given week?

This is what I found:

MONDAY -- Naturally there's no paper today because there's no mail delivery, legal holiday. Someday I will have to clean up that rant about the Post Office and put it into a form suitable for print.

TUESDAY -- Reported: The Legislature is close to passing the Smoke-Free Air Bill, "a law to protect workers and patrons across Indiana from the hazards of second-hand smoke."

Our good state Legislature has moved this bill forward with remarkable speed, taking only six years to get to the maybe-it-might-get-passed-after-all stage. The real losers, of course, will be ex-smokers, who enjoy both an occasional whiff of smoke and the opportunity to brag about quitting. Take heart, ex-smoker, it ain't passed yet; and it's only been six years.

WEDNESDAY -- Reported: Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay and new GM Ryan Grigson announce Jim Caldwell is out as coach.

This means there will be a new beginning in Indy; once again our superstar team of gallant and true athletes will return to glorious victory! No, wait. That was last year's prognosis for the St. Louis Rams.

THURSDAY -- Reported: Northview High School celebrating 2012 Winter Homecoming, with the six candidates for Homecoming Queen and King pictured.

It is well deciding between these candidates is left to young folk who actually know them. No old man could choose one girl based solely on pretty, we'd need six Homecoming Queens. And, can we please get a new slate of guys?

FRIDAY -- Reported: Eastman Kodak Company filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection, raising the specter that the 132-year old trailblazer could become the most storied casualty of a digital age.

So, this means that instead of thousands of boxes and files and crates of forgotten photos of unknown people and places no one remembers, we can now accumulate millions of forgotten graphic files of unknown people and places no one remembers on damaged hard drives and lost flash drives and scratched CD's & DVD's.

SATURDAY -- Reported: Republicans in Congress seek unity in election-year challenge.

This, obviously, is not a good idea. If politicians ever honestly wanted to get together and agree on absolutely anything, something might actually be accomplished and the world as we know it cease to exist.

So, that was my week of The Times, where's old Will when you need him?

Showing comments in chronological order
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OK Pardner,

This here news paper aint biganuff for the two of us. You stay on yer side of the fold, and I'll stay on mine.

By the way, thanks for the info on Will Rogers. Most of his stuff should be "public domain" by now and I can start copying it.


-- Posted by Charles Hear on Tue, Jan 24, 2012, at 10:10 AM

Sorry, Charles, but I think you'll find some of Will Rogers' stuff is still under copyright.

As I understand it, the "life + 70 years" restriction on copyright only applies to works published since 1978. Given that he died in 1935, this obviously does not apply.

That leaves us with the 95 year copyright on anything he produced between 1923 and his 1935 death, the earliest of which will not expire until 2018. Of course, anything produced before 1923 is fair game, as those copyrights have already expired.

I guess the moral of the story is, best be sure you know exactly when the stuff you're copying was produced, if you don't want to duke it out with his "estate". Just ask a Beatles, Presley or Mikey J. fan...




IANAL (and Charles is...)


-- Posted by ididntdoit on Tue, Jan 31, 2012, at 11:01 AM

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