Thursday, January 20, 2005

Hail to the Chief, or not

I was pleased to see this letter to the editor today, published by my hometown newspaper, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (in the deeply red state of Texas), and written by my friend of almost 40 years, Paul Tullis. Needless to say, his comments on the Bush inauguration, and what it could have meant for the Tsunami victims, are both necessary, and sadly utopian.

Congratulations to Mavericks owner Mark Cuban for using his high profile to voice what many have been thinking and saying to one another -- that the parties and balls surrounding President Bush's inauguration aren't the best way to spend $40 million.

Coming as it does on the heels of one of the worst natural disasters ever, not to mention in the middle of a bloody war that Bush initiated, the president's bash makes our country appear callous toward the victims of the tsunami and the war.

Laura Bush said in a recent interview that the inauguration celebration should never be canceled, and she chatted about the dresses she would wear to the various events. Perhaps she has forgotten that, in 1945, President Franklin D. Roosevelt directed that his inauguration be a low-key affair without expensive festivities, out of respect for Americans giving their lives overseas.

What a generous gesture it would have been for the Bushes to do the same and take the money raised so far and give it to aid the tsunami survivors.

It wouldn't have raised our government's total giving to the level of some smaller countries, but it would have been a powerful symbol to the world that we have our priorities straight. The president could have offered to return the contributions to those who didn't want their money used for that purpose, but I'll bet most would have agreed to the move and donated even more.


Michael said...

Excellent post--thanks for sharing this!

Michael said...

Dear Dave,

We are attempting to contact innovators in the independent publishing and web-development scene who would be interested in submitting an essay for a special issue of Reconstruction on Theories/Practices of Blogging.

We would appreciate it if you could pass this on to interested writers/bloggers and/or post it.

Thank you for your time and your valuable weblog.

Michael Benton


This is a call for papers for a special theme issue on “blogging” to be published as a threshold issue in the journal Reconstruction. The editors of this theme issue are looking for papers/projects/manifestos on the subject of “blogging.”

Possible topics:
Theorization of the Blogosphere
Blogging Manifesto
Politics and/of Blogging
Aesthetics of Blogs
Activist Blogging
Auto/Biographical Blogs
New Media/Communication Theories and Blogging
New Journalism Blogging
Civil Rights of Bloggers
Global Culture and Blogging
Local Culture and Blogging
Education and Blogging
Gender and Blogging
Race and Blogging
Collective Blogs
Community of Bloggers
Unrealized Potential of Blogging
Critiques of Blogging
Representations of Space/Place on Blogs
Purpose of a Unique Individual/Collective Blog
Audio and Visual Blogs

We are especially interested in the experiences, theories and perspectives of those who actually blog. Feel free to propose other topics to the editors:

Michael Benton (University of Kentucky; founder of the blog Dialogic; editor at Reconstruction) and Nick Lewis (co-founder of the Progressive Bloggers’ Alliance)

Send all queries, proposals and manuscripts to

Deadline for completed essays is June 1st, 2005.

Read below about the journal Reconstruction and threshold special theme issues and their deadlines. The editors expect this issue to fill very quickly due to the importance of this subject.

Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture (ISSN 1547-4348) is an innovative culture studies journal dedicated to fostering an intellectual community composed of scholars and their audience, granting them all the opportunity and ability to share thoughts and opinions on the most important and influential work in contemporary interdisciplinary studies.

Manuscripts may be written from any number of perspectives, and with any end in mind; possible sites for articulations may focus on the urban, the rural, the natural, the social, local and global “culture,” politics, (auto)biography, medicine, the body, science, texts (music, cinema, literature), media (the internet, television), myth and religion.

Information on the preparation of manuscripts for submission can be found at

Reconstruction is published quarterly (January, April, July, and October) and is currently indexed in the MLA International Bibliography.