In the last year or so, we’ve become fans of Turner Classic Movies (TCM.) There’s a refreshing innocence and simplicity to the movies they run. We’ve even come to appreciate the artistic merits of B&W movies. Color movies offer visual ‘reality;’ B&W is far more creative because it is not visual reality. Mrs. Side is not convinced, but we are.
Take a look at this still from “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” A Jimmie Stewart classic for sure, and it wouldn’t be nearly as ‘artistic’ if it was shot in color.
Enough of this creative mumbo-jumbo. Playing off the Stewart role, your correspondent, Mr. Side, went to Augusta today to brief the Passenger Rail Advisory Committee jointly chaired by the Maine Department of Transportation and the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority. Or as they’re called in casual conversation, MDOT and NNEPRA.
The Governor was there for most of our presentation, and the Commissioner of MDOT was there for the entire meeting. Besides the “Council” itself, a number of passenger rail Illuminati were also there, including three members of All Aboard Brunswick; Tony Donovan, the founding principle of Maine Rail Transit Coalition, and various others.
We think a few quotes from our archives are appropriate to set the stage for your own review of the material.
Ben Franklin observed, "One of the tragedies of life is the murder of a beautiful theory by a gang of brutal facts.“
Winston Churchill complained, "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.
Here’s the cover chart to our presentation:
You can access the entire PowerPoint pitch here:
We think it’s fair to say that the reaction to our presentation was ‘mixed,’ to state it mildly. A few folks clearly showed body language and various other signs of distress over our pronouncements.
That didn’t stop them from diving into the Frosty’s Donuts we brought with us, however.
Various forms of back-pedaling were also observed in response, such as “this really isn’t about economic benefits” from the main legislative sponsor of the $500,000 “study” to lay out plans for rail expansion to the Lewiston/Auburn area.
We could go on and on, but Frank Lee, after weeks of working on the pitch, we’re Mental Lee weary at the moment. So we’re gonna go for a quick close.
We know for a fact that certain members of the Brunswick Town Council like to refer to us as “Mr. Grumpy.” We’re quite pleased about that, actually.
On the other hand, we know that the vast majority of our readers think of us as Mr. Nice Guy.
After today, we expect the gossip around town will be that we no longer deserve that affectionate moniker.
We hope, however, that at least a few of you will continue to think of us as a ‘puddy tat,’ and we hereby give the Booch and her lady friends permission to take the image above and applique it to their poodle skirts for the next Sock Hop at the Brunswick Station Departure Center.
We sincerely hope that our presentation today doesn’t spoil the fun at tomorrow’s Annual TrainRiders Northeast Gala Banquet in Portland. After all, isn’t full and open discussion how we figure out which best ideas win?