We have, I think, a particularly entertaining issue for you this week, based on two feature stories with plenty of personality and deviating from the course of our normal fare. You might call them weird. They are both the meanderings of a single person; one is a reflection on politics and the other is a reflection on the public lives of dead bodies. I assure you they are not discussing the same topic.
It is certainly not my intent to call Dave Blaska weird, but he is different. He was a longtime member of the Dane County Board who recently gave up his seat involuntarily. During his 12 years representing the 7th District, the officially conservative Blaska was often in the middle of board battles and always willing to comment on the body's activities, whether directly involved or not. He was open with the press, which we appreciated, and, like yeast, always fomenting some action on the board.
Now he graces our pages with far more than a quote: He has given us a retrospective on his legislative career in the form of 12 lessons learned, one for each year of his service on the board. If he had included a lesson from each year his grandfather, father and brother served in public office, and they all did, he could have written a book.
For something completely different, we have "Wanted: dead or alive" as our lead arts story. Perhaps you've noticed the proliferation of dead bodies on TV these days - Kent Williams sure has. Our inquisitive critic has taken it upon himself to ask the question why all these autopsies and dissections, funeral parlor situations and other types of slice 'em, dice 'em procedurals. He follows a trail of morbidity back through time and across mediums, including art and literature. At the end he offers his hypothesis, and it's not a bad one. That's what I like about many of Williams' inquiries; he may start from a strange place, but he always arrives at an interesting conclusion.
An interesting conclusion: That's what I could use at this point in this column. But if I told you any more about these two essays there wouldn't be much point left in you reading them. So I'll be content to say that I like it when we can serve the reader the unexpected and expose them to opinions and thoughts that they might not encounter in the course of their normal affairs. We're certainly doing it this week, hearing from two cats whose forte is the unique perspective.
Glad to be of service.