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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (July 23, 1998)
Take time to smell the flowers
FOX is a junior news-editorial
major and a Daily Nebraskan
Last weekend I went camping at a state
park. The park was filled with mainly trails
and historical sites.
The trip was filled with the usual experi
ences of putting up the tent with a few less
parts than needed; around-the-clock attacks
by blood sucking mosquitoes, campfires that
take too long to start and days of not shower
ing and a rock-hard build up of sweat, dirt,
bug repellent and sun block.
But it was worth it.
In the middle of the United States it’s hard
to be face-to-face with nature, considering
that a lot of the original species that helped
define the area are gone. Also it can’t helped
but be noticed that Nebraska is an agricultur
al state. So much of the rolling seas of grass
es are replaced by plowed-under fields of
corn and fenced areas for cattle to graze.
When will the entire earth become like
When was the last time you washed you
car with a bucket of soap and the outdoor
hose in your swimsuit?
When was the last time you laid down on
the freshly cut summer grass to look into the
sky and make shapes from the clouds?
When was the last time that you threw an
insect outside instead of stepping on it (cock
roaches are exempt)?
When was the last time you sat under a
tree, used its trunk to lean on and really felt a
moment of peace and tranquillity?
People need to leave the superficial crap
that defines today as the capitalistic, fast
paced, materialistic, impersonal society.
Don’t get me wrong, don’t quit your college
career to buy a motorcycle and bike down to
a poverty stricken village in Mexico to help
the community rebuild itself.
I’m gearing this toward reviving you own
childhood innocence. There used to be some
thing in each of us that was literally
untouched by the pollutants of human kind;
things that clouded your compassionate and
untainted outlook of life.
Childhood is defined by learning. We
were all wanting sponges of nature, knowl
edge, emotions and experiences of pure truth.
What made it so great to chase the light
ening bug, catch it and feel it in your hand to
finally see where that light comes from? And
what made it so great to do it all night long?
There are simple pleasures found in acts
of childhood. Sometime between then and
now a lot of people have forgotten this.
So please, take a time-out in you summer
time to indulge yourself in playtime.
Unsigned editorials are the opinions of
the Spring 1998 Daily Nebraskan. They
do not necessarily reflect the views of the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, its
employees, its student body or the
University of Nebraska Board of Regents.
A column is solely the opinion of its author.
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the Daily Nebraskan Editorial Board. The
UNL Publications Board, established by
the regents, supervises the production
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the regents, responsibility for the editorial
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“Americas first man in space. ”
Best of the Century?
Multitude of‘best of lists lacking content
CHURCHILL is a graduate
student in saxophone per
formance and a Daily
We’re near the end of the miUenium.
Beware, many “best-of the century” lists
are falling out of the sky, and they may
hurt someone if we don’t do something.
Apparently, every so-called “expert”
in America wants to weigh in on their
chosen medium, whether it be books,
television programming, music, sports,
current events or basket weaving.
What, exactly, is this latest fixation
with “best-of” lists all about? It’s the
newest craze: “Hey, I’m Joe Schmoe,
and my group has put out the “Top Ten
List of Underwater Basket weaving sites
for the past 100 years. Please put me on
the cover of the New York Times.”
Exaggeration? Think again!
TV Guide put out several lists of
their favorite television shows in vari
ous genres. Cinescape has weighed in
with their “Top Movies of the 20th
Century” list, ESPN’s “Greatest Sports
Stories of All Time” have been related,
the “Top 100 Rock and Roll Records”
have been picked by various sources
and the “Top 100 News Stories of the
20th Century” according to the United
Press International and the Associated
Press have been named. And, if all those
lists weren’t enough to convince you of
the latest “best-of” list epidemic, the
top 100 greatest English-language
books as named by Modem Library
were announced on July 21,1998.
But probably the most egregious
example of profitable, born-again list
ing comes to us from the American
Film Institute. The AFI put out a “Top
100 Movies” list this past spring, with a
new wrinkle. The AFI had a significant
print presence, with Newsweek’s spe
cial summer 1998 issue “2000: The
100 Best Movies, Ranked by the
American Film Institute” was com
pletely devoted to the API’s list. But the
AFI also decided to do something a lit
tle bit different. They added television
coverage to the mix.
That’s right. The API, in their infi
nite wisdom, made their list an event by
announcing their favorite movies, with
great fanfare, on CBS-TY
And, if your heart is palpitating and
you feel like you might go mto anaphy
lactic shock because you missed the
API’s special on CBS, don’t worry. It’ll
be on again.
Despite all the other newsworthy
stories in the world, such as the
India/Pakistani nuclear missile crisis, the
NBA lockout, President Clinton’s crisis
of-the-week or even Chelsea Clinton’s
nascent sexuality, API ha^ somehow
conned TNT cable television into pro
moting,API’s list of the Top 100 Movies
every Tuesday night from June 23,1998
onward throughout the summer.
This TNT tie-in proves the “best-of
lists” fad is based on one thing — capi
talism. Otherwise, why would the API
and others, such as ESPN, make hay, or
in their cases, TV specials, out of their
various “best-of” lists?
Is the AFI spuming many popular
science fiction films because sci-fi
films have been viewed as a lesser art
form due to their popularity? And if so,
isn’t this hypocritical, when the AFI has
cashed in on the “best-of” lists craze
themselves with their CBS special and
the series of TNT shows?
But die ATI isn’t the only offender here.
The 100 best English-language books list
also provoked my profound irritation.
There are many previously
acknowledged classic books on this
list, but the problem is in the ranking.
How many of these books has the
Modem Library actually read?
For example, is Vladimir
Nabokov’s “Lolita” truly the fourth
best book of the 20th century? Also,
why is Dashiell Hammett’s “The
Maltese Falcon” on this list? Did the
Modem Library editorial board feel the
20th century detective book craze must
And if you want speculative fic
tion, current novels or controversial
choices, you’ll have to go elsewhere.
The Modem Library certainly isn’t
Bret Easton Ellis’ “American
Psycho” is missing, as are many great
science-fiction books. Robert Heinlein’s
many novels are conspicuously absent, as
are Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451,”
Steven R. Donaldson’s “The Chronicles
ofThomas Covenant” series and current
author Lois McMaster Bujold’s master
piece “Mirror Dance.” The only books
ev er considered controversial are George
Orwell’s “1984” and Aldous Huxley’s
“Brave New World.” However, these
books are now considered part of the aca
demic canon. Do they really need to be
promoted on a “best-of’ list of this type?
The moral of this story is: if you
need a job, create a “best-of” list. Then,
get the print media and/or the networks
behind it. You’ll have it made — you’ll
be on the gravy train for life.
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