BRADLEY MANNING … Secrecy. Spying. Double-dealing on a geopolitical level. Those are things associated with repressive totalitarian governments afraid of their own people. In a democracy, openness and transparency and truth-telling are supposed to be part of the moral fiber of a nation. That’s certainly the case with local governments in Colorado where Sunshine and Open Meetings laws abound. But we as a nation have drifted far from those ideals. It takes a brave patriot to help us see just how far we’ve gone. I believe Bradley Manning is such an individual, and I think history will vindicate Manning’s actions. As it will the actions of Edward Snowden … Manning has endured three years in prison under harsh conditions and now a military trial where (s)he’s been sentenced to 35 years of incarceration. You’d expect to find a broken man (or transgendered woman, in this case). Not so. Listen to his/her own words:” “I understand that my actions violated the law. I regret if my actions hurt anyone or harmed the United States. It was never my intent to hurt anyone. I only wanted to help people. When I chose to disclose classified information, I did so out of a love for my country and a sense of duty to others.” … Those are brave words. The words of a whistle-blower, not a traitor. And listen how (s)he concluded a final statement to the military tribunal that handed down the sentence, addressing the President of the United States directly: “If you deny my request for a pardon, I will serve my time knowing that sometimes you have to pay a heavy price to live in a free society. I will gladly pay that price if it means we could have a country that is truly conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all women and men are created equal.”… As Norman Solomon wrote in Common Dreams, again speaking to the President, “You failed to break the spirit of Bradley Manning. And that spirit will continue to inspire.”
SURPLUS EYES … Norwood made national news (surprise!) in the Sept. 20 issue of The Week (“All You Need to Know About Everything That Matters”) in their “Best properties on the market” section where #7 (photo & writeup) was Steve Cieciuch’s listing for The Valentine Farm, 120 acres featuring a remodeled Red Barn mansion with “10-stall equestrian center and three ponds” ($4,375,000) … Not exactly a price to snore at.
LONE CONE … The amazing artist Meredith Nemirov is having two art shows in the beginning of October showing her new series, Twelve Views of Lone Cone … On Thursday, Oct. 3, the reception will be at the Oh-Be-Joyful Gallery in Telluride (check the Watch calendar for the time) … On Sunday, Oct. 6, her reception for a new shot at the Livery in Norwood will run from 4-6:30 p.m., sponsored by ACES … Meredith just returned from a summer in Spain and should have some great stories, as well as fine new artwork.
POETRY ALERT … The celebrated poet performer and alcohol ink artist Wendy Videlock of Grand Junction will kick off a new Open Bard reading series in Ouray’s Sherbino Theater on Thursday, Oct. 3, sponsored by the Ridgway Chautauqua Society and the Ouray County Performing Arts Guild. Doors open at 6:30 for sign-ups for the open reading part of the show, performance starts at 7 p.m. For more info, contact Beth Paulson or Kierstin Bridger … On the same Tuesday evening as that event (as well as Meredith’s art show) Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer and I will be reading with David Feela at Word Sharks Resurface in Dolores (Montezuma County) at the Sideshow Emporium & Gallery (411 Central) starting at 7 p.m. For more info, call 970.739.4646
WEEKLY QUOTA … “If we assume, as fundamentalist Protestants and conservative Roman Catholics still seem to do, that the gospel narratives are in fact literal renditions of what actually happened in time or in history, then religion has become idolatrous. It has invested the perfection of God in something that is in fact a human creation. By literalizing the Bible, religious people have also unknowingly literalized the world view of the first century that assumed that anything that could not be understood by first century minds must be a miracle, explained only by an appeal to the presence of a supernatural power. So the presumably “inerrant” Bible of Protestant fundamentalism, and the presumably “infallible” theological doctrines of Roman Catholicism, become nonsensical in the 21st century.” – retired Episcopal Bishop John S. Spong
THE TALKING GOURD
The Wild Goose
Whatever lies wild in each of us
will someday fly forth,
And, like the Canada goose, instill wildness
in all of those who would watch.
- Skip Edwards