The SamHill Energy
Postmodern Village/EastWesterly Review
by E.W. Wilder
Those in swing states might be so inured to the onslaught of ads from
both campaigns and shadowy 501(c)(3) organizations that they may have
forgotten that it is, in fact an election year. This is the time when
our brave nation sets about, in the most forthright and respectable
way we know how, to elect new leadership--humble public servants dedicated
to unifying our diverse population and selflessly assuring that even
the least amongst us are treated well in this, the most powerful democracy
the world has ever known.
In response to these and other fictions, Postmodern Village decided
to hold a distinctly presidential-themed conference this year, reaching
across the academic divide to those led astray by history and political
science, as well as those still safely in the big tent of literary and
First, we attempted to hold the conference in a place of presidential
note. Mount Vernon, it turns out, is controlled by the Parks Department,
which has it in mind that such locales should be reserved for the public's
enjoyment and preserved for something called “historical significance,”
a designation that seemed quaint in its ancient positivism.
So we settled for Monticello. Not the place once owned by Thomas Jefferson,
of course--same Parks Department issues, and many of us were no longer
welcome after an attempt to “occupy” that locale--but someplace
just as good: Monticello, Arkansas, the “shining star” of
south Arkansas, and, according to its mayor, chock full o' “God
given talent,” “natural resources,” and “great
schools.” Nearly 10,000 people call Monticello home, all of them
enjoying its mean daily humidity of 57%, except for the unlucky few
burdened with air conditioning.
The University of Arkansas at Monticello was kind enough to provide
a locale, with dormitory accommodations made all the more homey through
the wild game catering of the First Assembly of God, a trial run for
their 2nd annual Wildlife Banquet--a down-home dead-beast feast if'n
we've ever had one.
As we settled into the age-old dispute over whether or not the game
we were eating had been shot in the Bayou Metro State Game Area, had
flushed out of the Overflow Wildlife Refuge, or had just walked into
the hunter's backyard, we knew we had chosen the right place.
Papers, Part 1