Sunday, September 11, 2005

Maul Overhaul?

For Daily Mail watchers, last Sunday’s paper (9/4) was unusual. On the masthead, parallel to the name of publisher Roger F. Coleman, appeared a new name, Theresa Hyland, with a new title, Executive Editor. The title and its placement put the newcomer above Raymond Pignone, Editor. Ms Hyland’s arrival was not hailed by a profiling news story. It was signaled by means of a by-lined story in which the Executive Editor describes changes in D M formatting, item location, and offerings. Page 2A will henceforth cover “entertainment” with a different focus (theater, celebrities, music, movies…) each day; obituaries go to page 3A. There will be additional comics and puzzles, plus a Sunday full-page fiction story. In short, the reformed Daily Mail will carry even more canned (syndicated, wire-service) material. There will be even more of those unnecessary, over-sized, space-gobbling page headings (Around the Globe, Greene County, Living Today, Technology, Taste, Books, Columns, Neighbors, Seniors, Business, Schools, Sports, Opinion as well as Page Two). Conspicuously absent from Ms Hyland’s article was evidence of plans to increase the puny supply of local material. Also absent was evidence of determination to decrease the incidence verbal pratfalls, such as “lack of rain has been the single most complaint of the summer” (Dick Nelson, 8/28) and Ms Hyland’s own “In addition to the ‘Family Time Crossword’ puzzle, another addition for the kids is a feature titled ‘Tell Me a Story’.” Indeed, in a picture caption in yesterday’s Maul, a sentence containing two misspellings (“delapidated,” “rehabiliation”) was followed immediately by a challenging concept: “positive asset.” RIP Van Winkle was “the quintessential hippie, the one who made a success of failure by tuning in, turning on, and dropping out.” That’s just one of many incisive comments voiced by ace Saugerties writer John Thorn in issues of hudsonriverbracketed.blogspot.com. And even his nonsense is stimulating. For example, Mr Thorn goes on to say that “By making Rip literally a good-for-nothing [author Washington Irving] created a role model not only for a distant counterculture [Woodstock] but also for art—which, like play, may have no purpose but itself or it becomes no longer itself.” Activities do not have purposes. They may serve various purposes, and art and play serve many. DEMOCRATS’ CONTEST. Barbara Van Kuren, who has been Chair of GreeneLand’s feeble Democratic Party for about as long as anybody can remember, is retiring from that office, and at least two would-be successors have come forward. They are Tom Poelker, long-time Vice Chairman of county Democrats as well as Chairman of the Windham Democratic Committee, and Diane Louis, who chairs the New Baltimore Democratic Committee. Both have circulated candidacy-avowing letters to Democrats who are eligible to attend the County Committee’s reorganization meeting on September 28th. Mr Poelker claims preferment on the basis of natural successor status, along with the vision of a “favorable time for change” in the party’s fortunes and a resolve to “re-energize and rebuild.” Ms Louis complains of “back room” dealings in connection with the choice of successor, cites local success (electing a County legislator against a Republican incumbent!, winning Town contests), and calls for “new leadership with a winning record and a winning attitude.” Catskill’s party leader, Marie Grecco, tells Seeing Greene that both candidates are “fine persons who have worked very hard for the party.” ANALYSED: the blood of 61 GreeneLanders, at a bargain price, thanks to a program called AMBA Wellness that was carried out recently in Catskill’s new Senior Center under local sponsorship of the Lioness Club. The price of $36 for a wide range of tests was, according to Seeing Greene’s consulting physician, “lower than what I can get for myself.” The work was done by reputable Quest Diagnostics of Pittsburgh PA. Only requirement for participation is permission from one’s own physicians, to whom (as well as to the patients) results are mailed. There’s a possibility that another day of testing for GreeneLanders will be scheduled later this year. For information telephone 1 800 234-8888 (=Annual Multiphasic Blood Analysis, of West Amherst NY) or(518) 943-4992 (=Lioness President Joan Young). BUSTED, by State Police and then by Catskill Village Police, for allegedly trying to get Oxycontin from three pharmacies by way of forged prescriptions: Ashley M. Apjohn, 23, of Five Mile Woods Road. At one pharmacy, according to the police report, Ms Apjohn offered a “prescription” that was dated one day later than day of presentation. THE “PEP” in PEP Painting is not a claim about energy. It’s acronymic for Paul, Eileen & Paul Rosenblatt. The latter, Paul Jr, is a Catskill Village police officer and prospective State Trooper. And the senior Paul used to be plump. Not any more. CORRIGENDA. Diane and Amanda Collier are partners in, not just contractors for, Just Leave It To Us ([518]678-5875), whose cleaning/provisioning/servicing business is not confined to weekenders. Serendipity is at 65 West Bridge St, not 45. Our sloppy copy editor allowed “…tipster Anonymous tipster...” to get by. BYGONES. Fifty years ago, according to P.A. Bone in The Greenville Press, Federal agents warned farmer C. W. Van Zile not to sell his Cauterskill Road property (abutting the Thruway overpass) pending confirmation, or the obverse, of reports from airborne prospectors that the place contains uranium deposits. ***”My aunt’s thrift knew no bounds. At Christmas she saved all cards received and the next year crossed off the names of the senders and wrote her own. Considerate friends signed their greetings in pencil so she could easily erase the names and send those cards to her more discriminating list. The envelopes did not fit, of course, as she bought one size at the Five & Dime and folded the cards if necessary. One day I received a letter from her saying she was saving all the birthday cards and holiday greetings we had sent her, and was returning them for us to send her again.” --Edith Cole Silberstein, Our Lovable Eccentrics (Thomas Cole National Historic Site, 2005), ***On this date four years ago, our World Trade Center was obliterated.

4 comments:

John Thorn said...

Oh, Dick. Your inner grammarian has stifled your reason. Play and art may be compelled to serve purposes only when they are in thrall to a utilitarian power (Nazi art, Organized Baseball, and kindred oxymorons). But art and play do not serve willingly, for when they are yoked into service they are no longer marked by the very thing that defines them, independence: art for art's sake, play to no purpose. If you will not accept this seemingly uncontroversial notion on my authority, I recommend Johan Huizinga's Homo Ludens (1938).

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