For the past eight or nlne years (I have no idea under what circumstances I began) I have accumulated around me an enormous, flowing collection of published Straws In The Wind. Almost from the beginning I fell into the habit of calling this ramshackle and growing mountain of crumpled, torn, dog-eared bits of paper my Vast File of Dynamic Trivia. Somewhere behind it all I had a vague idea that one day, when I pass on to my just reward, I would leave this enormous heterogeneous mess to say, the Smithsonian Institute, or maybe the Rotary Clubs of America, to be preserved for future generations so that one day they will know How It Really Was.
I have never been able to understand those poor unfortunates who turn to Literature, The Theater, The Cinema for universal truths or insights into contemporary life. How can this poor synthetic rubbish ever compare with even the mid-week edition of the average American newspaper, or a typical sampling of Junk Mail that arrives in our mailbox daily for a genuinely accurate reflection of the gallimaufry, the hilarious High Camp comedy that is Life itself?
H. L. Mencken, back in the Twenties, conducted a monthly column in his magazine The American Mercury that he called ''Americana." It consisted of newspaper clippings, etc., gathered from the then 48 states of the Union. Rereading these collections today is like suddenly, magically opening a window offering a clear vision of an earlier age. It is far more meaningful than any of the novels, the plays, the movies turned out during the same era. It is difficult to read two paragraphs of these columns without breaking out into genuine old fashioned belly laughs.
It is my thesis that our time also should be preserved in like manner. Too many authors are spending too much time writing about their bruised psyches, their unending search for a beautiful Identity, the eternal, undying, unselfish love of a Good Woman or whatever, and not enough bothering to even recognize that sometbing is going on out there.