The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, July 23, 1998, Summer Edition, Page 4, Image 4
Nikki FOX Human Nature Take time to smell the flowers FOX is a junior news-editorial major and a Daily Nebraskan columnist. 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 Nebraska? 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. Editorial Policy 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. The Board of Regents serves as publisher of the Daily Nebraskan; policy is set by the Daily Nebraskan Editorial Board. The UNL Publications Board, established by the regents, supervises the production of the paper. According to policy set by the regents, responsibility for the editorial content of the newspaper lies solely in the hands of its student employees. letter Policy The Daily Nebraskan welcomes brief letters to the editor and guest columns, but does not guarantee their publication. The Daily Nebraskan retains the right to edit or reject any material submitted. Submitted material becomes property of the Daily Nebraskan and cannot be returned. Anonymous submissions will not be published. Those who submit letters must identify themselves by name, year in school, major and/or group affiliation, if any. Submit material to: Daily Nebraskan, 34 Nebraska Union, 1400 R St. Lincoln, NE. 68588-0448. E-mail: email@example.com. Haney’s VIEW * 1923-1998 “Americas first man in space. ” Barb CHURCHILL Best of the Century? Multitude of‘best of lists lacking content CHURCHILL is a graduate student in saxophone per formance and a Daily Nebraskan columnist. 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 be represented? And if you want speculative fic tion, current novels or controversial choices, you’ll have to go elsewhere. The Modem Library certainly isn’t providing them. 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.