Oregon's State Flag: the Governor responds!
After much waiting, a few weeks ago I finally received a response from the governor regarding the packet of new designs we sent him for the Oregon state flag! Because I know this will be important to all of you, I will print his message here in its entirety.
Theodore R. Kulongoski
Thank you for sharing your opinion and comments. I appreciate hearing from Oregonians who are concerned about their communities and state. I believe citizen input is vital to a strong and healthy society and I urge your continued involvement.
Still, the State of Oregon is clearly not in Estonia's league when it comes to responding to flag criticism.
So, I put up a graphic masthead the week before last. My main motivation was that the image – it's a mediaeval illustration called "the Chariot of Venus" what I found on BibliOdyssey – cracks me the hell up. But I'll admit it: it was also a half-hearted attempt at making the blog more attractive, so as to... you know... attract more readers.
I am conflicted about trying to "grow" the blog. In general, I consider myself damned lucky to have the number and stripe of readers I already have. Yet, who among us does not want more readers, more attention, more publishers falling all over each other trying to bid high enough to secure a deal for the book tie-in?
To this end, I have wrestled with trying to come up with a sub-title that is snappy and witty and yet communicates what the actual CONTENT of the blog is. If I had one of those, the potential audience member out there who is jonesin' for this kind of content could find us and pull up a chair. Unfortunately, this line of thought leads me to the problem that this blog doesn't really have coherent content, other than "stuff that happens to be interesting to michael5000." And any marketing professional would tell me that the market segment of "people who share michael5000's interests" is a very, very difficult group to target. They would tell me this, just to get me out of their office.
But I digress. The new masthead's approval rating is down around 55%, which is far too low for the standards of this operation. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I am open to extreme measures.
Although the Pope has more or less reacted to the recent decision by the California Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage – he's agin' it – the Church is apparently liberalizing with respects to some other theological issues. According to an AP article that caught my eye in a recent edition of the 'Gonian, the Vatican's chief astronomer (awesome job!) Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes feels that a belief in the possibility of extraterrestrial life does not contradict church teaching.
"Ruling out the existence of aliens would be like 'putting limits' on God's creative freedom, he said. 'How can we rule out that life may have developed elsewhere?' Funes said. 'Just as we consider earthly creatures as 'a brother' and 'sister,' why should we not talk about an 'extraterrestrial brother'?"
Personally, I am disappointed that Rev. Funes apparently did not address Orson Scott Card's hierarchy of alienness in his remarks. Nevertheless, I applaud this step towards peace and genuine friendship among the galaxy's sentient beings.
Finally, I would be remiss in not letting you know that my quilts Labyrinth and Ice & Fire will be on display here in the City of Roses next weekend. It's Labyrinth's public debut. Here's the details:
University Place Hotel
310 SW Lincoln Street
Friday, June 6, 2008, 10 am - 7 pm
Saturday, June 7, 2008, 10 am - 4 pm
Sunday, June 8, 2008, 10 am - 4 pm
Admission is six bucks and no, I'm not able to "put you on the list."