Thursday, June 08, 2006

Defending Marriage

If the goal of the Republican Party (motto: "We'll Do Your Thinking for You") really is to "defend the institution of marriage," would it not make more sense to float a constitutional amendment that would outlaw divorce? Just a thought...


Often it seems the joy of rediscovering something is even better than the pleasure of the original discovery. Lately, I've been enjoying two rediscoveries.

The first is Leslie Charteris's Simon Templar, aka the Saint. I first began reading this long series of adventures in high school, in the 1970s, beginning with Vendetta for the Saint...which, I later learned, wasn't written by Charteris at all. Oh well. Although I often cite Charteris as an inspiration in my own writing--most recently in a South Dakota Democratic Party podcast for which I was interviewed--it had been some years since I had actually dipped into my library of Saint adventures. Most of my collection is mouldering paperbacks, many dating from the 1940s and 1950s, lovingly acquired at a used-paperback shop (actually an adjunct to a now-defunct gun shop) during my high-school years. Several more are from the Charter Books republications of the 1980s. And then there's the odd hardcover, usually adaptations of TV scripts, several of them part of the "triple volumes" published by the Detective Book Club, which I think sank slowly in the west some decades ago.

Following a e-mail conversations with a friend, I recently made a trip up into the attic (whence I managed to acquire a grade-one concussion) and retrived the box containing my Saint paperbacks, which I am now re-discovering. I started again with Vendetta for the Saint, though it is some 30 years out of order, and have now ventured back to the beginning, with Meet the Tiger (aka The Saint Meets the Tiger) and Enter the Saint--the former being really the first Saint adventure although the second is usually credited as such, and is certainly more "Saint-like" than the first. Lots of fun. As I have often said, and repeated in the podcast, Charteris is the first author I ever read who seemed to be having fun.

At about the same time, I find that I have been listening once more to the music of Boz Scaggs, whom I discovered in college when his best-selling album Silk Degrees was released, as well as his less-well-regarded but still very well done follow-up, Down Two Then Left. I have several of his works since then, and find his voice and stylings very much unlike anyone else's. I recently downloaded Silk Degrees from Napster--my original LP being rendered useless by an uncooperative turntable--and find I enjoy it as much now as when I used to listen to it in my room in Swanson Hall all those years ago. In those days as well I recall making the trek to Lincoln, Nebraska, to catch Scaggs in concert there--still one of the best concerts I've ever attended.

Looks like everything old really is new again!