Wally DuChateau

WALLY’S WORLD: It’s best to avoid the malls

Well, ready or not, it’s time to buy a few gifts. Despite the screwed up economy, most of us can scrape a couple of nickels together to buy special somethings for those special someones – and let’s hope there’s enough left for a contribution to local churches and food banks.

WALLY’S WORLD: Pondering a few seasonal questions

Well, the tree is up, it’s decorated, and perhaps a few brightly-wrapped gifts are scattered beneath it. Friends have dropped by and you may have served an eggnog or two. Impatient 5-year-olds don’t think they can possibly contain their excitement for another two weeks, while awaiting the arrival of the jolly fellow.

WALLY’S WORLD: Some are hip, others square

Thirty or 40 years ago, it was popular to divide the entire American population into two distinct and hostile camps: the hip and the square.

WALLY’S WORLD: Drugs won the battle in the U.S.

The most expensive war in U.S. history is not Afghan-istan or any other Mideast conflict. Neither is it Viet-nam or even World War II. Alas, not adjusted for inflation, our most costly war – more than a trillion dollars - is our war on drugs.

WALLY’S WORLD: Weighing booze vs. marijuana

Well, gang, after at least 60 years of intensive, scientific research, there is still no evidence that marijuana is any more toxic than booze and, in fact, there’s considerable evidence it’s less toxic. Let’s take a moment to compare the two.

Many writers, many options for inspiration

I had a difficult time coming up with this week’s subject. I wasted much of the afternoon making one start after another, none of which materialized into anything.

WALLY’S WORLD: Festive in the streets, solemn in the cemetery

Monday evening, some strange creatures are apt to appear at your front door; scary witches and Frankensteins and green goblins. I suspect vampires will be especially popular. Then again, not all these weird beings will necessarily be frightful. There’ll surely be a few Spidermen and Captain Americas to take the demons to task and protect the fairy princesses.

WALLY’S WORLD: Welcome to the world of higher education

Dear College fresh-man, I’m sorry to hear you couldn’t find employment last summer. This isn’t unusual. As you’re surely aware, America is currently suffering through a rather severe recession and most of our students couldn’t find work during the summer months.

WALLY’S WORLD: Surprises from Scripture

Throughout the duration of this foolish column (more than 10 years now), my editors have always let me explore any damned topic I chose, which is certainly appreciated. I’ve even written about subjects that are generally reserved for other specialized columnists.

WALLY’S WORLD: Pets quickly become family

Well, I was about 4 years old when my father presented me with a cocker spaniel puppy. I was quite delighted by this, but really didn't know what to make of the animal; that is, to a greater or lesser degree, I regarded the dog as a toy, though I certainly realized it was alive. Dad told me to pick a name, so I selected Bob. He laughed and said it was a girl dog. So, quite logically, I decided to call her Girlie. He felt this was a rather silly name and offered other suggestions, but I stubbornly (perhaps a harbinger of a future personality trait) held my ground.

WALLY’S WORLD: Good food moves downtown

One of the best things about living in a metropolitan area is your ready access to a multitude of ethnic restaurants. That’s especially true in cities like San Francisco, New Orleans and New York, which have some of the finest cuisine on the planet.

WALLY’S WORLD: Classic stories make best movies

I have rather mixed feelings about the importance and value of motion pictures; that is, whether comedy or drama, most films are enjoyable, yet remain pretty shallow, passionless and unimpressive. Just as we forget TV shows the moment the set is turned off, we frequently forget movies within the time it takes to walk to our cars.

WALLY’S WORLD: Getting “bell rung” is no laughing matter

Though I was never big enough nor rough enough to play it, I’ve always enjoyed watching football. Apparently, this is true of most Americans. The popularity of the game clearly indicates that football has begun to rival baseball as our “national pastime.”

WALLY’S WORLD: Seems like there’s a pill for all that ails us

One hundred years ago, give or take a few days, the only medicines available in most households were booze and aspirin. The booze was used to induce sleep, relieve pain, treat coughs and colds and to sterilize wounds. Aspirin was used for everything else.

WALLY’S WORLD: America shaky, but still on top

America is the greatest nation on earth. This is true from almost any perspective you care to mention.

WALLY’S WORLD: Children will inherit a different America

A few weeks ago when the national debt was being debated (if debated in the correct word for such camera-posturing and close-minded ideological sound bites) our elected jesters on the Republican side argued (again, if that’s the correct word) that raising taxes on businesses would increase unemployment, a tenet quickly dismissed by the Democrats. Since I lean towards the liberal side of politics, you may be surprised to learn that, in this particular case, I agree with the conservatives.

WALLY’S WORLD: Changes come, even if we don’t always like it

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve examined various generations of American youth; i.e., the “Lost Generation,” the “Beat Generation” and the “Now Generation.” Today, the process whereby new generations are labeled and promoted may be over. Since the mid-1970s, the process has become rather muddled and transient in part because the mass media has become more diffused, especially owing to the Internet, so now it’s more difficult to dictate and control public opinion.

WALLY’S WORLD: Recalling another generation

Last week this silly, little column discussed the various generations of American youth as defined by the mass media. Each was promoted as a new,… Continue reading

WALLY’S WORLD: Changing times brought us flappers and beatniks

From time to time throughout the course of the 20th century, there was a tendency for the mass media – movies, radio, newspapers, TV, etc. – to label and describe the youth of a particular generation. Thus, we had the “Lost Generation,” the “Beat Generation,” the “Now Generation” and perhaps others.

WALLY’S WORLD: Finding a mate takes new direction

The process whereby people, in various societies of the world, select a husband or wife has gone through a major revolution in relatively recent years. Noting important exceptions, like the Muslim culture and areas of Africa and the Far East, it’s a worldwide revolution that, to a large extent, originated in the U.S. and then spread to other countries. At least in this respect, one can say America was the cutting edge. Our influence has changed the world’s social and sexual norms more in the past 50 years than they’ve changed at any other time in the past 10,000 years.