TEXAS’ LEADING BUMPERSTRIP SIGN MAKER FUTURA PRESS INC Hickory 2-8682 Hickory 2-2426 1714 SOUTH CONGRESS AVENUE P.O. BOX 3485 AUSTIN, TEXAS drug charge it will, even if police have to supply the drugs themselves. A fatalistic view, but not an unrealistic one. Drug possession is a credible charge *against most any young person these days. And what better way is there for the police to get troublesome radicals out of circulation? Ask most anyone in his teens or twenties and he will tell you that smoking marijuana is a pleasant, relaxing diversion, nothing more. I do not know one person who has used the weed who has had any serious complications. At its worst, it is much more healthful than alcohol. It is not addictive. It does not ruin your liver, make you aggressive or give you a hangover. Scientists don’t yet agree on exactly what marijuana does to the human body. You can find doctors who say pot actually is pretty good for you and you can find doctors who insist it can cause convulsions, insanity and rampant im morality. People who smoke :know, :that the latter allegations are hysterical propaganda, but they agree on the need for more serious research into the.physiolo .gy and psychology of pot. Barring any .svirprising revelations, it ‘should’ be legalized, possibly with restrictions ‘such as those pertaining to alcohol. The country’s inhumane. penalties for marijuana use encourage a cynical disrespect. for the law. And those laws can be used far too easily as a form of political persecution. K.N. A Communication In Defense of ‘Blessed McGill’ My impulse on reading Gaines Kincaid’s review of Edwin Shrake’s remarkable novel, Blessed McGill, in the Nov. 15 Texas Observer is that Gaines Kincaid seriously requires a reply. Mr. Kincaid will understand this impulse as Historical Passion: I believe he has sought to commit literary assassination upon a truly good writer \(“For Shrake has fed upon secondary sources like a starving vulture in a slaughter and William Brammer are obsessed with a sense of literary justice to the point that we believe Kincaid really should read the book again. “What is historical fiction?,” I asked Brammer after we had both read Kincaid’s crippled attempts to draw a parallel of Shrake’s work with Robert Ruark’s Grenadine Etching. “It’s sort of like painting by the numbers,” Brammer speculated. “What did you think of Gaines Kincaid’s review of Shrake’s book?” “Monstrously ignorant, in a mossy sort of way,” said Brammer. “Irrelevant! Completely without pertinence. It’s like carping at Kafka for his inaccuracies in depicting the Great Filing Clerk.” “Do you suppose,” I asked, “that Gaines Kincaid is the murderer of McGill?” “I think he might have liked to have watched.” Robert Ruark’s, book was bad satire of bad “historical” fiction, a two-ton mouse that except for the liberal use of the word fiction deserves no other comment. Using the form of a dead man’s diary found after his death, and the man’s subsequent Beatification as North America’s fii -st \(and only, ‘ according to Shrake, which is to say according to the demands character of fiction named Peter Herstupid enough to look it up \(as two should not be surprised to learn that there never was a Peter Hermano McGill. McGill is a metaphor from Shrake’s abundant mind. He is Modern Man fighting Eternal Savage; self-seeking, vulnerable man being opposed \(though not ers of dust. Shrake might as well have set McGill in downtown Omaha during a Rotary International convention. All those Indians with their customs and cultures which seem to fascinate the very people who miss the point might have been tribes of insurance salesmen or sheet metal workers. The most biting criticism that I can offer of Shrake’s novel is that it is written entirely without the use of profanity, thereby nullifying any historical connection. Since this is a defense not a review of both the novel and the author, I will not guess on Shrake’s intent: larger minds cover that, with the exception of Larry McMurtry’s Leaving Cheyenne, there is probably not a better work of art produced by a Texan. The difference between Shrake’s novel and Kincaid’s presentation of it is the distinction between art and adventure. Shrake did not imitate anyone, he borrowed the words, towns, plows and smells of buffalo grease from a period in which he chose to set his poor McGill. There is a melancholy in the sense that traditional frontier freedom challenges McGill without offering him the same odds that a man might expect crossing Central Park, but Shrake’s talent breaks MEETINGS THE THURSDAY CLUB of Dallas meets each at the Downtown YMCA, 605 No. Ervay St., Dallas. Good discussion. You’re welcome. Informal, no dues. CENTRAL TEXAS ACLU luncheon meeting. We’re moving again. Spanish Village. 2nd Friday, every month. From noon. All welcome. AUSTIN WOMEN FOR PEACE /WOMEN STRIKE FOR PEACE meet twice monthly. Call 477-1282 for more information. ITEMS for this feature cost, for the first entry, 7c a word, and for each subsequent entry, 5c a word. We must receive them one week before the date of the issue in which they are to be published clear in a sort of overpowering humor “when I first saw their bodies \(the bodies ing.” McGill’s only companion throughout most of the book is his faithful mule, Excelsior. Maybe Shrake was saying that man can hardly find God for the blood and greed; but then McGill never really looks. It is God who finds McGill, finds him \(at . friends-turned-savage. McGill’s spirit is no more his own than was his restless human form. He is martyred by Franciscan priests who love him so much they hate to see him wasted on the buzzards. Only his diary lives to tell the tale. GARY CARTWRIGHT Mr. Cartwright is author of a recently published novel, The .Hundred-Yard War. Nov. 29, 1968 15 0#########.####~~4~ MARTIN ELFANT Sun Life of Canada 1001 Century Building Houston, Texas CA 4-0686 .0####AWN4,1141PIPIP41111~#41141141
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