Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Sun, Sep 19 2004

It's Ready: American Indian History, Culture And Art At The Smithsonian

Tuesday, September 21, is the Grand Opening of the National Museum of the American Indian. I hear the museum will include areas that have been planted to simulate early living conditions. Live demonstations by Indian craftspeople will be a regular feature. The place sounds fabulous, and isn't it about time we had such a great display of our early American residents? I was also glad to hear that people from various tribes have had a hand in the design, including Douglas Blackfoot from Canada. I love his style because he uses simple patterns to create a series of gliding, powerful curves. His buildings create a sense of natural shadow and light that make them look equally at home in both rural and metropolitan settings.

posted at: 14:12 | category: /Arts and Entertainment | link to this entry



With Painful Change Comes Nostalgia

The recent extremist activities involving separatists in Chechnya have apparently evoked familiar gut rumblings of an old nemesis to Democracy. It's been painful to hear about the unrest and violence. It does seem that no country or region ever comes to democracy without violence and bloodshed, and that is a very sad thing. Our own country's history is full of revolution and civil war, so we can hardly stand back and criticize the general population of Russia for wanting respite from violence.

If what we are seeing in Russia in the last few days is the beginning of some old ways, we have to understand that the general populous there has still not seen the true meaning of democracy and freedom. Change is tough for everyone, but when the change doesn't bring the promised reward on a wide enough basis, it becomes a lot easier to revert to the old, familiar way of thinking. The old ways might seem to us to have dished up a very skimpy plate for the Russian people, but if the old way provided the basic needs of food and shelter and the physical protection from insurgents, people might yearn for these things if what they have now seems uncertain and maybe even unattainable without risking their children's lives.

There have been a lot of reports coming to us that tell us Vladimir Putin and other leaders in Russia are pulling away from the idea of free elections, and are instead attempting to revert to old ways that threaten to take us back to a time that brings to mind frightening images of the Cold War. How far does one have to come before an old era can be viewed, not with longing and nostalgia, but with a view balanced by hope of how great things could be in the future? I believe the Russian people have had at least a glimpse of that hope. The era of the Iron Curtain and the Cold War is behind. We've all come too far this time to just slip backward. The world has moved on to other agendas and other visions. No one country can be that completely isolated and insulated anymore. I hope the Russian leaders will realize that, and will make their coming decisions with a desire to encourage Russia's citizens to aspire to true greatness. It's a new day. It's fine to look back. But in the end, nobody will really go back. Not the leaders of Russia, not the people of Russia, and certainly not the rest of us who interact with the Russian people.

posted at: 11:01 | category: /Politics | link to this entry



How Many Words Per Minute Is That?

The site for National Novel Writing Month is launching a new look on October 1.

They'll have new t-shirts, a place for expanded profiles with pictures, and lots more. But the basic idea is still taking the 30 days of November to write a 175-page novel of 50,000 words.

posted at: 08:22 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry



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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
and cattle rustlin'! Lightning may strike
such varmints when they least expect it!