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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Cars, Doors, and Much, Much More

It is the absolutely, no-holds-barred perfect morning for Cars in the Park! There is so much going on in Northport these days, though, that quoting from Norma Neve’s latest e-mail seems the most efficient way to get the word out. Here’s the scoop:

Saturday, May 24, 2008 – 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Cars in the Park – Haserot Park
Come and see the many different cars – antiques, hot rods, sports, etc. Vote for your favorite car by 1:00 pm – show awards at 3:30 pm. There will be games, prizes, food and music.
Proceeds benefit the Northport-Omena Firefighters Association.
Free to spectators – held rain or shine. For more info call 386-5234.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Tour de Leelanau
This race features $20,000 in prize money and all kinds of climbs and sprints set against the beautiful Leelanau landscape and it goes through Northport. The men’s race is 109.5 miles and starts in Leland at 11:00 am. The women’s race is 69.5 miles and starts in Glen Arbor at 12:40 pm. The finish is at 3:30 pm at Peshawbestown. The estimated time arrival in Northport for the men is 2:57 pm and 3:13 pm for the women.
Sunday, May 25, 2008 – 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Community Door Project – Haserot Park
This is the ribbon cutting ceremony of the Community Door Project. It is a potluck so bring a dish to pass. There will also be yard games. Sponsored by Y.A.C.apalooza.
Sunday, May 25, 2008 at 7:00 pm
Hymn-sing at Bethany Lutheran Church
Come, choose and sing your favorite hymns. Refreshments following. Everyone welcome.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Memorial Day Service
The annual Memorial Day Service will be held at the Leelanau Township Cemetery in Northport with music at 10:15 am and the ceremony beginning at 10:30 am. Bring your own lawn chair.
Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm
School Programs
The Middle School Drama presents The Magic Finger at 2:00 pm. Come and see the 6th thru 8th graders’ production of this Dahl classic that is full of surprises and witty reversals.
At 7:00 pm is the Spring Music & Drama Program featuring music from the 2nd and 3rd graders and the High School Music Appreciation Class, excerpts from the play Story Theatre by the 4th and 5th graders, and song and dance by Northport’s Musical Theatre Class. Guaranteed to put some Spring in your step.
Presented in the Northport Community Arts Center. Public welcome.
Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 7:00 pm
Future By Design – Steering Committee Meeting
Formerly STDI, now called Future By Design – this meeting is a project planning workshop. The group will break into small discussion groups to focus around specific project areas.
Meeting held in the Fellowship Hall at Trinity Church. Public invited.
Sunday, June 1, 2008 at 7:00 pm
Pastor Karen will give the address at this year’s service, which will be held at the Bethany Lutheran Church. Classes of 2008 and 1958 will be introduced. Members of local church choirs are invited to participate.
Community is invited – refreshments will be served following the service.
Friday, June 6, 2008 at 7:00 pm
Northport Public School Graduation

Graduation will be held in the small gymnasium. Everyone welcome.

My reading, as usual, is all over the map, as are the associations called up by the reading. This association, for instance: Once there was a woman opposed to the development of nuclear weapons. She gained a public following but could not gain access to higher levels of government or decision-makers in the nuclear industry. “It’s because I don’t speak their language,” she thought. Believing in her cause and determined to move it forward, she set about to learn how to talk to her opposition. She attended industry conferences, participated in “game” exercises, and gradually she became linguistically adept and could talk to the big boys and be listened to. Unfortunately, however, she discovered that she could not frame her objections to nuclear weapons within the specialized terminology. I wish I could remember the woman’s name. I’ve never forgotten her story, read years ago in an Environmental Philosophy class at Western Michigan University, and I thought of her when beginning THE ALCHEMY OF RACE AND RIGHTS: DIARY OF A LAW PROFESSOR, by Patricia J. Williams (Harvard University Press, 1991). Teaching a course entitled “Women and Notions of Property,” Williams had students in her class complaining to the dean of the college of law that they were “not learning real law.” Within contract law, as within the larger social contract theory, consent is consent. If a judge offers a defendant a “choice” between prison and castration, her students believe he should be allowed to “choose” castration. Williams writes, “I have some difficulty in getting my students to understand why this might not be good private contract…. It is true that the transaction was structured as a contract. The power of that structure, however, transforms the discourse from one of public obligation and consensus into one of privatized economy.” When a defendant begs to be dominated by the state, Williams argues, the state does not thereby become submissive: what has happened is that freedom has become commodified, something to be bought and sold on the market. The general notion I’m formulating that takes in both of these stories is how specialized languages restrict what can be said in them so effectively that objections to basic assumptions cannot be articulated. Thus to learn the second language is to lose one’s original voice.

Well, I was deep into the Williams book on Thursday morning, but Friday bookstore chores and conversations intervened on Friday morning, and then I forgot to bring Williams home with me again at the end of the day, so between dinner and another successful morel hunt (and setting aside Louis Bromfield for the nonce), I read the first couple chapters of THE BOOKWOMAN’S LAST FLING, one of John Dunning’s Cliff Janeway mysteries. Bruce was disappointed in this one, because bookman Janeway is drawn from the world of books into the world of horses, but as my friends and readers know, this is my notion of a perfect combination! The book is over 500 pages long, but I’m betting I’ll race through it.

Evening light is heart-stoppingly beautiful this time of year, and the new, young, reddish leaves of the old silver maple glow as the sun drops in the west. On the cooling ground, worms from compost burrow down into the garden soil. The worms are as much an addition to the garden as is the compost. Sixteen years ago this ground was almost impenetrable clay. Earthworms are the best silent partners a gardener can have. They are my little buddies.


Anonymous said...

Regarding Language, is Wittgenstein perhaps germaine in terms of his notion of Language games? When we enter a particular "game" we accept certain assumptions and rules regarding language usage. This limits what can be expressed. We can enter whatever "game" that we wish to but in doing so we temporarily accept the rules of that "game". If we question the rules, we shake the foundations. That can be scary. Et...

P. J. Grath said...

Okay, so--. Are W's language games, then, strictly utilitarian, the questioning of their foundations not part of what they're set up to get done? How about Godel's Incompleteness Theorem? Were G and W working on the same question from very different angles, or does the Incompleteness Theorem only apply within the restricted domain of formal language (math and logic)? And (BQ!) when, if ever, and how on earth can we raise ultimate questions, if this is not what language is for? Bergson would say it's not even what intellect is for, that being (for him) also essentially utilitarian. I think the Club has its future work cut out for it here, don't you?

Anonymous said...

We're swimmin' in deep waters here, and me without my water wings, but I'll splash around a little anyway. Isn't the question what the speaker (or writer, or signer, or mathematician or visual artist) wants to do with whatever language that person chooses to use? Sometimes it's to express Self (the poet writing in a dying language), sometimes to express Abstract Concept, sometimes to inform Other (Duck!) sometimes to touch Other, sometimes to exclude Other from a clique or class or professional coterie (entering the game?), sometimes to obfuscate . . .

I suspect there's no limit to what can be expressed - or hidden - but often limits on what might be understood.

Rats. Now I've stumbled on the hearer's ability and willingness to understand. And now I'm going to wade ashore.

Anonymous said...

I think that Gerry is right. I decided to review my W (no not that W) after I wrote my comment and realized that he associated language games with "forms of life". Do some theists feel threatened by questions concerning the existence of evil? Do some mathematicians feel threatened by incompleteness? I'm trying to learn. Et.....

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry if I offended anyone.
I'm in over my head and my water wings have slipped off.

I'll stick to playing the clarinet.


P. J. Grath said...

Clarinet is good, but let's not be afraid to get into deep water once in a while, either. Even if we only dog-paddle, we'll get back to shore with each other's help.