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The Mainly Annual
EastWesterly Review/Postmodern Village
19th Annual
Conference

Joel R. PootinsettFartin' VanBuren: Breaking Wind and Breaking Spirits in a Panic, the Economics of Public Gas Passing
by Joel R. Pootinsett

Pootinsett's presentation was, possibly, the most fragrant ever for a Postmodern Village conference; though I daresay it was also possibly the most poignant as well. From 18th century obscurantism to 21st century punditism is but a tiny rhetorical step, despite the enormous gap of time. It is also part of the same noxious mental methaniferous cloud.

Daniel Tiger WebsterTipperGore New & Steven Tyler Too: Politics, Celebrity, and the Art of the Comeback
by Daniel Tiger Webster

To “come back” as a Confederate representative seems a bit questionable to us today, but Webster successfully navigates this metaphorical sandbar to show us how Tipper's survival despite her husband's many and quite public defeats makes her as powerful a symbol of celebrity remediation as Aerosmith. We would advise against the spandex pants next time, however, Web.

William Henry Harrison Ford, or Indiana Jones Territory: Fighting for the Rights of the Past, an Archaeological Raid
by Daniel Tiger Webster

After a well-considered wardrobe change, Webster returned with this paper surmising that best way to preserve the past is to make it the subject of continual plunder. We were all impressed with the interactive Temple of Whig he whipped up, which both provided his audience with a little imagined imperilment and made his point a face-melting possibility. When the giant papier-mâché boulder rolled, uncontrolled, down the conference-center's main hallway, however, we made for the nearest biplane.

Edward BricketteWillard Grillmore: the Provision of Palatable Nourishment for Unpalatable Times, Barbecue’s Inverse Relationship to Prosperity
by Edward Brickette

Brickette, a colleague of Pootinsett, presented a paper as tasty as the other's was stanky. With sticky KC-style and tangy Virginia, we ingested the dry-rubbed theora of the Dismal Science. But times, being what they are, have led us to expect, if Brickette's ideas are correct, a future just as smoky and downhome as our present has become.

Givens BeanchanonPolk Salad Annie: Local Foods, the Presidential Vegetable Garden, and the Re-Occupation of Oregon
by Givens Beanchanon

Beanchannon kept up the culinary flavor of this year's conference by serving canapés culled directly from his Portland-area trunk garden. His point about the First Lady's victorious push for the hyperlocal and nutrient-rich kept us optimistic and even more in love with Obama's better half. If anyone could save us, it would be Michelle, 2016.

William L. MercuryFranklin Pierce-Arrow, from Contentment to Collapse: Car Companies, Compromise, and the Lesson of Bleeding Kansas
by William L. Mercury

The current landscape is littered with the scattered hulks of dead automotive marques. And so, argues, Mercury, is our much-vaunted freedom. Kansas's violent entry into the Union marked the beginning of the last time we actually had to think about how that Union should look, and since then, as we've had our heads turned toward movies and the grindstne in front of us, we've slid as certainly as Detroit has died. Sobering stuff. But who will be our economic John Brown?

Papers, Part 2