Bill Long (This Page Revised on 9/10/05)
For an essay welcoming you to my site, click here.
2012 Essays (Beginning February 25, 2012)
2010-2011 Essays (Beginning October 14, 2010)
2009 Essays (Beginning July 6, 2009)
Yet More 2008 Essays (Beginning September 6, 2008)
More 2008 Essays (Beginning June 6, 2008)
2008 Essays (Beginning February 28, 2008)
Still More 2007 Essays (Beginning September 11, 2007)
More 2007 Essays (Beginning July 1, 2007)
2007 Essays (Beginning March 3, 2007)
A Few More 2006 Essays (Beginning November 30, 2006)
Still More 2006 Essays (Beginning September 17, 2006)
Yet More 2006 Essays (Beginning July 12, 2006)
More 2006 Essays (Beginning April 13, 2006)
2006 Essays (Beginning December 2, 2005)
Yet More 2005 Essays (Beginning October 12, 2005)
Even More 2005 Essays (Beginning September 8, 2005)
More 2005 Essays (Beginning May 20, 2005)
2005 Essays [To the left are my 2004 essays]
This is the doorway to my most varied "page." It consists of more than 600 essays on book or movie reviews, reflective essays, tributes to people, comments on current events, or musings on the future. I have posted the essays chronologically, and you can swiftly look down the left margin of each of the subsequent pages to see if an essay strikes your fancy. My essays are intended to be more suggestive than final. If you want to do a search, to see if I cover a topic, do a Google search under "Bill Long" and the topic that you seek. This will get you to it as quickly as possible. Each of these linked pages above consists of about 65-75 essays. I desire to write in an accessible style, sometimes with humor, sometimes with sadness, to try to bring light to a most confusing planet in which we live. I hope you find essays here that will challenge and stimulate your own thinking. I try to summarize what these pages do below. Enjoy!
Bill Long (updated 11/30/06)
Types of Essays
There are five types of essays (total of about 600 essays by 11/30/06) on these pages, and you can recognize into which category each falls pretty easily. If it isn't a category you particularly like, I urge you to skip it and seek out something more to your liking. The categories, as I currently view my page, are these: (1) Personal Essays. These range from (rather weak attempts at) poetry to reflections on family, ambition, career and love. Some of them might not be expressed as you would express things. And, they are essays--attempts. (2) Essays on Persons. These are different from the foregoing in that they are my reflections on, tributes to, or expositions of aspects of lives or thoughts of friends or acquaintances (nothing embarrassing, I can assure you!). I want these essays to "do justice" to friends, to tell their stories or portray their personalities positively and in a life-giving manner. (3) Review Essays. These essays are of two kinds--reviews of books/movies, and reviews of talks I hear, ideas I pick up, or museums I visit here or there. The world is bristling with people trying to say things, and I don't think the mainline media, or any media really, always picks up on these ideas. And, when it does, it often does not put the idea in a rich enough cultural perspective to make sense of it. Hence, I try to do that in these essays. Then, (4) I would say that there are several essays here that try to examine and put in perspective current issues in law, politics, or religion. For example, the debate over social security is nicely handled in a new book, but I use the book to frame the issue in an accessible way, I hope. Finally, (5) there are many essays here that are simply about my daily life as it unfolds. My 8 or 10 on Western Diary, in which I talk about a trip through the American West in Summer 2005 are examples of this kind of essay. Some day I think I or someone will arrange these essays into their respective categories and put each on their own "page." But not today.
Examples from the 2004 "Collection"
My 2004 essays, in the list on the left, include two on the passing of Law School colleague Carlton Snow, my trip to CA in early December to promote my new book on the Book of Job and comments on the December exhibit of Childe Hassam's Oregon works in the Portland Art Museum. Those essays also cover George Will's 11/18/04 visit to Willamette University and a review of Brian Hines' new book on Plotinus. The week before that saw two reviews of simplification/tax simplification, a review of Robert Putnam's visit to Willamette and of the life of Ralph Waldo Emerson's aunt, Mary Moody Emerson (1774-1863) and her influence on him and the development of Transcendentalism. On November 11 I attended a lecture on Andrew Jackson's presidency by the noted biographer Robert Remini. My two essays on that appear to the left, also. Other recent essays are reviews of current show at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in Salem and of Justice Rives Kistler's remarks at the first administrative law day at Willamette. Also in the last months of 2004 I wrote about two visits of Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalists to Salem, OR on 10/20 and 10/23: Chris Hedges and David Cay Johnston. Click on the reviews on the left. The Catullus piece was stimulated by some remarks of Mr. Hedges.
Many are more personal reflections than analyses of social issues, though there are some of the latter. For example, I wrote a four-part series entitled "The Real Bill" because I wanted to sort through some things that had been nagging at me for a while. There are also three essays from my July 15-19, 2004 trip to California entitled "Fear of Freezing," "Bless Tony," and "An Artist's Past. These present my thoughts on California, a friend's ordination and a chance meeting with someone who triggers something from my deep past.
On September 27, I posted my article on the Oregon Death Penalty, and on October 9 I posted a reply to the article appearing in the October 6 Willamette Week (p.9) on the Oregon death penalty. My Oregonian piece ran as an Op-Ed contribution on October 7, and my letter to WW should be published on October 27. I think the issue is of signal importance, but I think the Oregon electorate, like the rest of the nation, was so caught up in the Presidential election that the death penalty pales in comparison with it. Perhaps there will be a chance for the issue to emerge after the election, but I think Oregonians will be more interested in jobs and bashing the Legislature (which meets beginning January 2005) than anything else.
I completed my three essays on Dr. Harry Stein's manuscript on Gus Solomon (the US District Court Judge in Oregon from 1950-87) on October 17, 2004. Dr. Stein has given us a significant contribution to Oregon history and American judicial and legal history through this biography. I now know it will be published in 2006.
I wrote all these essays while I was also writing on other subjects on my web site. Hope you enjoy them. I feasted on each one as I wrote it!
Copyright © 2004-2009 William R. Long