by Travis Mateer
One of these books cost me a thousand dollars. Can you guess what one? Yes, Coleman’s book about the Tavistock Institute is so coveted and limited, copies online go for as much as $5,000 dollars. I know at least one reader of this post (mother) will be immediately concerned that her financially illiterate son is blowing a bunch of money on…BOOKS!
I’ve already audaciously compared my now-completed writing project to Jack Kerouac’s little road trip story, and personally I think I fucking nailed it, so maybe my Ego is high or something because now I’m going to compare myself to Moses.
But there I was, holding a thousand dollar book in my hand about the LONG project of social engineering that originated across the pond while sitting in an airplane about to take me to New York City, and with all these BIG cities I had blasting through, the LAST city I expected to see, in print, in this thousand dollar book, is the place where I was born 45 years ago: Spokane.
The third book, which cost me less than 30 dollars, opens with a City Council candidate getting interviewed by a newspaper that had already endorsed her opponent. This newspaper, the Spokesman-Review, had some conflict issues, let us say, that became a well-documented scandal. Here’s a peek into something that starts sounding familiar real quick:
Rodgers, in fact, wondered exactly what the Spokesman-Review’s opinion-makers were up to. When editorial page editor John Webster began the interview by asking Rodgers to explain “why you’re coming back for more,” she promptly turned the tables with a question of her own.
“Well, I guess my first question is—you’ve already endorsed Jeff in the primary, so I’m wondering if— why I’m here on your behalf.” She paused. “I kind of feel like the Christian at the Taliban, to tell the truth.”
There is a tape recording of this exchange, made by the Spokesman-Review. On the tape, when Rodgers makes her Taliban comment, there is laughter around the table. In addition to Webster, interactive editor Doug Floyd was there, and so were political reporters Oliver Stanley and editorial board member Rebecca Nappi.
When the laughter subsides, Webster says: “Well, we always do interviews with the candidates. They help us, help us with our writing.”
Where Rodgers comes from, Webster’s reply would be called “fancy dancing.” Rodgers, who is part Blackfeet Indian, grew up on a Montana reservation. Fancy dancing is a ritualized ceremony with elaborate costumes. It’s also a metaphor for doubletalk.
It gets even stranger, in terms of name-resonance, when I read this tidbit and saw the name in bold (my emphasis):
By now most people in Spokane know that, along with former mayor John Talbott and city councilmen Steve Eugster and Steve Corker, Rodgers is one of the elected officials who have worked hard to get out the facts about the River Park Square crisis. Most Spokanites know that RPS developer Betsy Cowles also publishes the Spokesman-Review. What is not generally known, however, is the remarkable lengths to which Spokesman-Review reporters and editors have gone to help Betsy Cowles conceal troubling details of the troubled project. What Cherie Rodgers experienced that day is an interesting example.
What’s going on here? I can’t say for sure, but I know I’m not the only one trying to figure shit out, so that’s where books come in, and I’m talking about HARD COPIES of books because
Moses NOAH (it’s important, when being audacious in personal comparisons, to get your biblical references right–thanks Tony!) didn’t put cave paintings of animals into his little boat, he put the real thing.
Do ya feel me? Maybe a song will help, I know it helps me, and this one is about some road trips I took recently. Please enjoy this tune as I wonder where my recording software lock is, because I got a hankering to record some readings of some interesting material I’ve acquired during my travels.
Thanks for reading/listening!