Friday, August 11, 2006

Update on the Bissette Collection at HUIE/Henderson State U; Game Over, Joe; Mealy-Mouthed Martha; RIP Candice

* Just got an email update from one of my fave people on Planet Earth, Lea Ann Alexander, who is honcho of Henderson State University’s HUIE Library special collections, home for two year now (and many more to come, outliving yours truly) of the Stephen R. Bissette Special Collection. My collection has already attracted at least two others -- including my father Richard Bissette’s extensive military collection, and my dear friend and professional compadre Jean-Marc Lofficier’s expansive French and Belgian graphic novel collection, and more -- and it’s great to hear from Lea Ann after a stretch of time we’ve both been mucho preoccupied.

Lea Ann writes, “We have processed approximately 25% of the materials you have sent so far, with an emphasis on documents. Whenever you want to start shooting boxes at us again, we’re ready!

We moved all completed boxes into their new (nicer) home in Bob’s old office on second floor. Looks good.

This morning, I finally got permission to place box inventories on the website. This is huge. I experimented with the first small inventory, and it’s going to work. Hope Warner will be trained to use the Ektron system ASAP, so you should shortly start to see completed inventories show up. For now, at least, the search tool will be Google. We’re thinking that the website will instruct users to search by entering “Bissette inventory (your search terms)” or something like that. Thus, “bissette inventory citro” would retrieve every document mentioning Joe Citro. A user could narrow that by also including terms like “letter,” “draft,” or the name of one of his stories. We’ll refine this as we go along. The only drawback is that we must wait for the Google spider to index terms, so inventories won’t be instantly searchable. This is a minor inconvenience, though, since pretty much everybody knows how to search with Google so should be able to find what they need fairly effortlessly.

Finally, a graduate student has expressed a keen desire to have a look at your dad’s materials. He spent the summer as a museum intern, so we are hoping to harness his new training in organizing this collection. We are working with one of his professors to arrange a project whereby he will organize this collection for credit.

In short, while we have been making progress all along, it will now be apparent to the public as well.”

This is exciting news, especially for those of you who have been writing asking if the collection will ever have an online presences/access.

More updates, links, and pix to follow soon!

* Joe Lieberman’s loopy sports analogy to defer recognition of defeat prefaces the coming election season’s no-doubt loopier sports analogies, so gird your loins and wear your cup.

The defeat of Joe Lieberman in CT is sending shock waves across the nation in many curious ways. No one seems to be noting the lovely irony of the vote split almost perfectly mirroring the “mandate majority” George W. Bush claimed in the last national election -- thus defusing the various right-wing pundits softballing this vote with exquisite clarity.

Note that the CT split wasn’t rendered dubious (did I almost say Dubya?) by untraceable election-booth shenanigans, and more significantly, that an astounding 43% of eligible voters turned out for a primary, which is a higher percentage of eligible voters than turned out for the last national election. Clearly, there is a change in the air, and it’s now deliciously tangible.

* Here in VT, we have candidates like the Republican Martha Rainville simply refusing to engage in any debate, hiding behind her refusal to coherently articulate any sort of perspective or point of view, as if branding herself as the tasteless oatmeal candidate of choice will somehow deflect criticism and win votes.

Philip Baruth is providing meaty daily coverage of the VT election scene, along with more expansive commentary on the New England and national arena. Phil knows his shit, and his daily blog awaits you at
  • The Daily Briefing.
  • Highest recommendation, and as I’m going to be saying weekly, then daily -- if you are of voting age, be sure you’re registered to vote, and Vote. This election is vital, and there is no excuse on Earth for not voting. Period.

    * Alas, sad news for New World devotees like yours truly -- drive-in pic queen Candice Rialson passed away earlier this year, though the news has just surfaced in circles of those who care. Tim Lucas offers a heartfelt eulogy at
  • today’s Video Watchblog. post
  • Tim provides a venue for two of the filmmakers who actually worked with Candice -- one of my fave directors, Joe Dante, and his Hollywood Boulevard codirector Allan Arkush -- to offer some words about this too-little-appreciated drive-in era actress, and I urge you to click and pause a moment this morning in her memory. Home screenings of Hollywood Boulevard are recommended, if possible.

    That’s all for this morning -- have a great weekend. I won’t be posting tomorrow morning, as I’ll be attending the New England Home Movie Day upstate (see yesterday’s post for info), but I’ll see you here Sunday.