Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Triva--a bit of Chritmas, a bit about food, my iPhone, and a rant against editing Mark Twain

This is Santa Mac, my newest Christmas decoration--Santa for obvious reasons, Mac for my father, R. N. MacBain, who was always called Mac but never wore a kilt in his life. Jeannie picked this up somewhere and said when she saw it she just knew I had to have it. When I was taking Christmas down, I was hesitant to pack Santa Mac away, so now he's on my bookshelf. It's okay to talk about Christmas one more day since tomorrow is Advent or Twelfth Night. I have also excused the people whose outdoor lights are still up on this basis. More about Twelfth Night tomorrow.
Betty and I went to Hot-tubs last night--she heard me rave about it and wanted to go. I had the sliders again, gave one to her and still only ate one and a half. Those little cups of complimentary beans are filling. When we looked at the menu, we really meant to split white chocolate blueberry bread pudding for dessert, but when it came to it, we just couldn't. Next time I'll remember: Life is uncertain--eat dessert first. The people at the next table had the bread pudding and Betty asked me if we could ask them for a bite but I nixed that idea. We had a nice young waiter who ended telling us he graduated from TCU in '09 and played football with members of the team that won the Rose Bowl. That strapping young man said the victory made him teary. Nice to see young people not afraid to cry, from joy or sadness, and admit it.
I've been in appointment mode--a haircut, the dentist, and today the audiologist. But the absolutely exciting, neat thing about all this is that I can take my new iPhone. In waiting rooms I can read e-mail, check Facebook, and even read the currenet book on my Kindle. I can't tell you how excited I am by that (okay, I know half the world is ahead of me) or by the fact that I'm learning to do all those things and more on the phone. A most appreciated gift.
Heard on the news tonight that there's a move afoot to make Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer politically correct. One "scholar" has rewritten the works, changing the n-word to "slave." Can you not just hear Mr. Twain's reaction? My own is pretty vehement. You don't change classics, for starters. And I always remember my good friend C. L. Sonnichsen, the below-the-salt dean of southwestern historians (honest, that's how he described himself), who claimed if a word or thought or action was true to time and place, it belonged in the work. Elmer Kelton used to say we couldn't blame our great-great-grandparents for plowing up the prairie because they didn't know any better. Well that same generation used the n-word freely, and we should recognize that its use gives us a clearer picture of the culture. Another scholar was quoted tonight as saying the use of the n-word illustrated exactly what Twain wanted us to see in those books--that folks as different from each other as could be were able to form strong and important relationships. Edit Mark Twain? The mind boggles.

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