Everyone knows Rinehart, who was born and raised in the area and runs one of Eagleville’s few surviving businesses.The stranger came up to the counter and asked for him by name.“Well, that’s me,” said Rinehart.Rinehart was behind the counter of the Square Deal, his “old-time country store,” as he calls it, on the fading town square of Eagleville, Missouri, a tiny farm community 100 miles north of Kansas City.The Square Deal is a fixture in Eagleville, a place where farmers and townspeople can go for lightbulbs, greeting cards, hunting gear, ice cream, aspirin, and dozens of other small items without having to drive to a big-box store in Bethany, the county seat, 15 miles down Interstate 35.Ordinary journalism, fiction, departmental memos, etc. are not eligible, nor are parodies: entries must be non-ironic, from serious, published academic journals or books.Deliberate parody cannot be allowed in a field where unintended self-parody is so widespread.
Judith Butler, a Guggenheim Fellowship-winning professor of rhetoric and comparative literature at the University of California at Berkeley, admired as perhaps one of the ten smartest people on the planet, wrote the sentence that captured the contests first prize. Bhabha, a leading voice in the fashionable academic field of postcolonial studies, produced the second-prize winner.
Monsanto already dominates America’s food chain with its genetically modified seeds. Just as frightening as the corporation’s tactics–ruthless legal battles against small farmers–is its decades-long history of toxic contamination.
Gary Rinehart clearly remembers the summer day in 2002 when the stranger walked in and issued his threat.
Your mileage may vary (humor is subjective, and all that).
But Blanchett delivering these intimidating texts, and completely changing the internal context from which each text emerges, is so breathlessly inventive that it's nothing less than totally entertaining, even in sections that don't completely work (there are a couple).