To whom it concerns

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

To: Beth Davis, Vice-President and General Manager, Y98
Smokey Rivers, Director of Programming

Dear Ms. Davis, Mr. Rivers:

I have enjoyed your radio station, and the mix of music you play for some time now. It is with a great deal of regret that I must tell you I can no longer listen to your station, not while your station is demonstrating such a strong political bias as regards the current war in Iraq. Tonight when I listened to your station, I was increasingly unhappy to hear quotes from the President’s pro-war speeches in between the songs, as well as exhortations to attend a pro-war rally. This not to mention so much emphasis on what I can only refer to as ‘patriotism at all costs’. I have to wonder, and already know the answer, do you give as much air time to those who speak out in dissent against this war?

I love this country, and I care very much for the service people who are in harms way. They are one of the reasons I am so against this war – a belief that our service people have been put in harms way for reasons having little to do with the security of this country. I also believe in freedom of speech and as such I would support your decisions to air news of the rally and President Bush’s speech, if you were also willing to provide equal time for those in the community that are deeply concerned about the war and about the lack of unbiased news Americans are getting. In particular, do you give voice to those who are concerned that we are losing our freedom to speak out against the war?

Not long ago, I held a candle for peace only to have a person call me a traitor. Is this the America we want? Is this the America we want our service people to die for?

Being against this war does not mean we’re against our service people, or against this country. It does mean that we believe Americans have a duty to see with both eyes, and to listen with both ears. When the media in the country only plays one song, tells only one story, shows only one viewpoint, no matter how hard Americans strain to see and to hear the truth, they’ll never find that which is kept hidden and silenced.

Again, yours is a wonderful station, and I have appreciated the many hours of good music you’ve shared with me. Perhaps at some time in the future we’ll have the peace to share a love of music together again.


Shelley Powers


Disembodied voices

Before I get into the true topic of this posting, I did want to clarify that, no, I did not take my clothes off and go prancing naked among the poison ivy leaves. I thought it was important to make that clarification.

(In actuality, what got me was what I thought was a harmless dead poison ivy vine that had fallen across the trail – only to find that out that the substance that causes the reaction can hang around on a dead plant for up to five years. Go figure. And no, I don’t have the rash on my ____)

A lively, interesting discussion is brewing between Jonathon Delacour, Dorothea Salo, and Liz Lawley, sparked by Liz’s an Extrovert Speaks. Jonathon responded, curious about how a relationship can occur between an extrovert and an introvert, especially a strong introvert. To Jonathon, an ideal relationship is two introverts …who can intuitively share their thoughts and feelings.

Dorothea responded to Jonathon, referencing her’s and David’s relationahip:

But if I tried to ‘intuit’ his thoughts and feelings on a grand scale, or he mine, we’d be divorced. It just doesn’t work that way. Not even for introverts.

The back and forth continues, first Jonathon, then Dorothea, and Liz has promised to respond later today or tomorrow.

I was particularly taken with this cross-blog exchange not just because it’s an interesting subject – introversion and extroversion and relationships of like and unlike – discussed in an engaging manner by all parties; I was also taken by how much each person’s own unique voice and style came through with their responses. For the first time in the two years I’ve been weblogging (Yup, you heard it here first, two year anniversay), this is the first time I felt like I was ‘hearing’ the people talk. Disembodied voices.

Do I want to join the conversion? I’m tempted because it is so interesting, and Liz, Dorothea, and Jonathon have said much to respond to. But you know, sometimes it’s nice just to sit in the corner and listen.

And look at the pretty daffodils Loren and Sean brought. And try not to scratch.


Subtle touch

I finished W.G. Sebald’s book Austerliz this weekend, having read it slowly over the last month. There is something about Sebald’s writing that forces me to stop, and consider, carefully, what he writes on each page. The writing isn’t complex; quite the opposite – it’s beautifully, wonderfully clear. But it is rich, and subtle; conjuring images meant to be examined carefully as one examines each turn of a kaleidoscope.

This isn’t a book review as I have no interest in ‘reviewing it’. I’ll just share a tiny bit of it.

But I always found what Alphonso told us about the life and death of moths especially memorable, and of all creatures I feel the greatest awe of them. In the warmer months of the year one or other of these nocturnal insects quite often strays indoors from the small garden behind my house. When I get up early in the morning, I find them clinging to the wall, motionless. I believe, said Austerlitz, they know they have lost their way, since if you do not put them out again carefully they will stay where they are, never moving, until the last breath is out of their bodies, and indeed they will remain in that place where they come to grief even after death, held fast by the tiny claws that stiffened in their last agony, until a draft of air detaches them and blows them into a dusty corner.

If, as writers, we learn from other writers then Sebald is my preferred teacher. I want to incorporate what I learn from reading and re-reading his few works into my own writing. Not the actual writing, and not even the style of writing, which is distinctly W. G. Sebald. But his ability to move the reader from image to image, each invoking, initially, the most delicate of response. Never once does Sebald demand anything from the reader. He is subtle, far too subtle for that. It is this subtlety that I want to learn.