Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Old Postcard Wednesday--Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas

The date stamp on the back of this postcard sent to my grandmother from a friend is May 5, 1944.


OMG, I selected this as something different-looking in my box of old postcards and scanned it ready to post information that I intended to find Tuesday night. First thing that jumped for my attention at the university's official website? That SMU-Dallas was selected in February 2008 as the site for the George W. Bush Presidential Library, Museum, and Institute. I'm speechless. That tidbit of news escaped my radar this year. Anyone reading my blog may have surmised my attachment to the Democratic Party, but I haven't really expressed my eight-year-long loathing for the current president. And suddenly I'm not speechless at all.

I didn't think that there would be a president that I could detest more than I did Ronald Reagan, but W has managed to outdo Reagan in that regard for me. I still get all balled up inside when I think back on the Reagan years and how alien the country's values felt to me under his leadership. So, you can't imagine how strange it is for me to write the next line... I felt a softening in my heart with regard to Reagan after I recently posted the video of Jerry Orbach singing Try to Remember. The info at You Tube mentioned that his performance was at the White House but I didn't see that as pertinent to the crux of my post included with the video. A day or two after posting it I watched the video again and that time noticed Ronald and Nancy Reagan sitting in the front row to the right of the screen. The backs of their heads are visible for just an instant at the end of the song (2:14 in the 2:15 clip). The softening I mentioned feeling had nothing to do with his presidency or legacy, but for the song title in juxtaposition with the Alzheimer's that killed him. That was poignant for me.

Will there come a moment in the future when I might say that my heart goes out to George W. Bush? Hard for me to fathom such an instance, given my total lack of respect for the man (and that's putting it mildly). Notice the countdown widget I have on this blog in anticipation of the end of his final term. Getting down to 110 days and they can't dash away quickly enough for me. It scares me what additional history could transpire in these final days of his presidency that could be included in the George W. Bush Presidential Center, a three-part affair that ". . .
will consist of the presidential library, containing documents and artifacts of the Bush Administration; a museum with permanent and traveling exhibits; and an independent public policy institute."

Southern Methodist University is undoubtedly a fine institution and offers much more than a future presidential center. This grabbed my attention and certainly impressed me: SMU physicists have been intricately involved in the international project at the CERN laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. Click here for the full page including a terrific video of Professor Olness conducting a tour of the CERN lab. The article says, "A large team from the Department of Physics in SMU's Dedman College is involved in the project, including last spring's installation of the 7,000-ton subatomic particle detector they helped build for the LHC."

Hmmmm....to study what made George W. Bush tick as well as a possible explanation of the origin of the universe. The future holds diverse interests at Southern Methodist University.

8 comments:

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Ahh...there's nothing a politician loves more than putting their muddy fingerprints all over history - shure Dubya (as we call him here) will be overjoyed to get a mini-shrine to his ineptitude.

Though he shouldn't count his chickens too soon. A local university spent millions of pounds changing the name of its bar to (political freedom fighter) Nelson Mandella Bar, only to have to re-do it following a campaign by one of the students to re-name it after (children's presenter, entertainer, sometime singer of Australian joke-songs and TV painter) Rolf Harris. They were not amused, but i know which one i side with

All together now: Tie me kangaroo down sport, tie me kangaroo down... (look him up if you don't believe me!)

Jennifer said...

I am finally catching up with your blog after a too-long hiatus. I have to say that I love that final paragraph: "Hmmmm....to study what made George W. Bush tick as well as a possible explanation of the origin of the universe. The future holds diverse interests at Southern Methodist University."

Every modern president gets one of these libraries, even the incompetent ones. It's a level playing field in U.S. politics. ;) Too bad SMU was left holding the short stick.

Lydia said...

DFTP,
I remember that song in the back of my childhood. Never knew a thing about Rolf Harris, though. I just read about him at Wikipedia, plus the separate page about the creation of the song. Interesting his daughter's name is Bindi, the second girl with a famous Aussie dad I'm aware of having that name.

Jennifer,
The only presidential library I've visited is Truman's in MO. I was a kid and remember liking the murals. Would it not be refreshing for some future president to defer his shrine and ask that a library be funded in a developing third world country instead?

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Lydia - i just have to add in agreement to your final response to Jennifer. Rather than funding a memento for himself in the USA he should definately have given it to the third world.

Lisa Allender said...

Hi Lydia--Lisa here, tryin' to catch up withyou.
Hmmmmmm.
Not sure I'd put Reagan (while I do not agree with all his "values", etc., he was actually competent in some areas)in the same incompetent, devastating class as GEorge W.
I think george W.'s downfall is that he TRULY BELIEVES in the stuff he claims--the MIddle East WANTS us there(despite all evidence to the contrary!), there's no man-made global warming(oh, wait--"The jury is still out on that.." has now been changed to:"There is a climate-crisis of some kind going on...."),the economy, and God knows, the illegal/unjust Iraq occupation and war...the list is just endless!
Reagan's failings were just three things:
1) Lack of attention to AIDS crisis
2) Questions left unaddresssed/unanswered about the Arms/ Iran-Contra affair
3) Too much coziness with the extreme religious-right (which as a country, we're STILL not over!!)
Richard Nixon was a huge threat to this nation. He and "Dubya" are in a dead-heat I'd say for Worst Presidents!
Come visit me soon at my blog!

Lydia said...

DFTP,
Thanks for the P.S.


Lisa,
Thanks for visiting, and, Yes, I'll be by soon at your blog.

I agree that the list of horrors are endless with regard to W. On the other hand, where you list the three failings of Reagan I see all three of those as having set us on a path that may be irreversible. All three seem downright criminal to me. He also set the conservative agenda of environmental insanity (seen one redwood seen them all) and set the tone for greed with his economic policy. I also think that his family values crap was a total sham. I also think that he had signs of Alzheimer's in his final term and should have been tested - and with the results being positive he should have stepped down.

Nixon, well. He was so intelligent. And twisted. And secretive. George W. Bush has the last two traits of Nixon's, but lacks the first. I'm not sure which one is/was the more dangerous under those conditions!

lillian said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Sarah

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Lydia said...

@lillian- Thank you so much for letting me know that you've visited my blog! I appreciate your comments. You have left a link about adopting a pet and I wanted you to know that we have indeed done that: adopted three cats and assumed three more strays from the neighborhood, and rescued a 7-year-old Old English Sheepdog. Pets are the best!

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