Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Populist Thoughts for the Day:

A few weeks ago, I filled out a form to express an interest in working as a volunteer for my hometown riding's NDP candidate during the upcoming election campaign. Only moments ago I received the call. My political world seems teeming with possibility. Not for my own advancement, of course. Writing, not politicking is my vocation. My political world seems teeming with the possibility for change. I really believe in this party (well, except for its lack of a feasible fiscal plan, but you can't change things from the outside, right?); I know it can make a difference as the Official Opposition at the very least. And I know I can make a difference by working for the party, by spreading the word.

And I know the party stands a real chance of gaining ground in the next few months (partly on its own accord, partly because of the Tories' bungling and their attempts to privatize the province's electricity provider. They later back-pedaled on the issue due to the public outcry, which was exacerbated by provincial NDP leader Howard Hampton's speaking tour and lobbying efforts).

I can't wait to begin!

(Somewhat) Elitist Thoughts for the Day:

There is an aura--to use Walter Benjamin's term--about the original work of art. The work of art is mystical, it is hallowed. We vest in it power and authority.

For me, though, there is equal value in a copy that has passed from many hands.

Today I am reading a first edition copy of Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own (yes, my little local library has a first edition Woolf--I was just as shocked as you should be!)

Holding that book in my hands, my long fingers gingerly turning each leaf over, I cannot deny the pull of this article. Woolf's words alone, though both intelligent and engaging, do not hold me rapt. It is this book, this copy.

Pausing between paragraphs, I look up to stare out the window, to wonder who held this book in their own hands only to think and do as I am doing now. To wonder who else, turning these pages, envisioned Woolf's England, walked with her across the campus, attended luncheon in her company.

This copy has history. And it is that history which, according to Benjamin, gives us cause to revere the original article.

This copy is hallowed, mystical. It has an aura. And it has me in awe.

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