"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?