STEVE BOUSER: Blog Subjects: Hillary, Oscar, Disc Golf...
Excerpts from recent entries on my blog, "Editor's Note," on thepilot.com:
Sinister motives: Last week, a reader left an angry message saying we had removed two sentences from her letter. The reason, she felt sure, was that "you're Democratic down there" and "I'm a conservative Republican."
(You'd be surprised what a variety of party affiliations we have at The Pilot, by the way. I happen to be a registered independent.)
Anyway, when I called the reader back and asked her to read the original letter aloud while I compared it to the published version, it turned out that we had printed every word. She was confused over which original she had sent us.
More recently, another reader e-mailed to ask why her letter hadn't appeared yet. She wondered out loud if it was because it disagreed with one of our editorial positions, implying that it had been censored. Turns out that her letter was way over the length limit and she had been asked to submit a shorter version.
Let me say it one more time: If we decline to print a letter, chances are it's because it's libelous or obscene or too long or because we can't confirm the authorship or have had way too many from that particular writer lately. We don't play games or favorites. Far from suppressing letters that disagree with us or give us hell, we often give them prominent play and name them as Lighthouse Letters.
Well-earned Oscar: I missed too many of the top-nominated films this time around to have much response to the Oscars -- with one big exception. I was rooting bigtime for French actress Marion Cotillard to win Best Actress for her amazing performance in "La Vie en Rose," and she did.
There would be no justice if she hadn't won. Her portrayal of legendary singer Edith Piaf's rise from a teenager in the slums of Paris to an embittered old lady is simply one of the most magnificent I've seen in years.
It played at the Sunrise, and it's out on DVD. Don't miss it, even if subtitled French-language films aren't normally your thing.
Hillary's evil twin: This is going to sound sexist. But too often, unfortunately, when Hillary Clinton tries to be forceful or combative, she ends up coming across as shrill and -- well, rhymes with witchy. So it was in Thursday night's Texas debate with her Democratic primary nemesis, Sen. Barack Obama.
She was doing fine as long as she stuck to her qualifications. But then she abruptly chose to go after Obama on his supposed plagiarism of some speech lines. When you copy someone else's speech, she said, her tone turning brittle and unpleasant, "it's not change you can believe in -- it's change you can Xerox." It was a cheap shot. It fell flat, and she deserved the boos she got.
In the end, perhaps the debate would have to be counted as a draw. But Hillary needed more than that to tip the scales in the coming Texas and Ohio primaries and help her overcome 11 straight losses. It's too bad that at pivotal moments she has turned out to be her own worst enemy.
Spooky spectacle: "Blood on the Moon" was a 1948 "psychological Western" starring Robert Mitchum. I thought of that title last week as I gazed upon the awesome total eclipse of the moon -- the last to be visible in North America until late 2010.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, Earth and moon line up perfectly across a vast expanse of space, casting the Earth's shadow across Lady Luna.
The most striking thing about this one was the eerie, dark-red color of the subdued moon, making it look like some alien satellite of another planet from science fiction.
What a lovely, spooky spectacle.
"Disc Golf, Uh-Huh!": That's the slogan on an orange lapel pin that somebody left on my desk after I wrote several weeks ago about the sport of disc golf and how my elder son Jacob, who lives in Greensboro, had turned me on to it.
At the time of that first writing, Jake and I had played on three courses -- Fayetteville, High Point and Sanford. After we recently learned that a new course had opened in Asheboro, located conveniently between Greensboro and Southern Pines, we met there and played 30 holes. It's a cool course, and we had a great time.
New courses are going up almost daily around the country, and there are now 72 in North Carolina. One of these days, we will add a couple in Moore County. The beginnings of a movement are already afoot.
Steve Bouser is editor of The Pilot. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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