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Porthole ends 48 year hiatus;
riots, hunger strikes to cease
by Dick White
When I stopped writing this column for the Mississippi State student newpaper, The Reflector, upon graduation in 1961, all hell broke loose. Riots ensued. There were nightly panty raids on Magruder Hall, in those days the women's dorm.

People went on hunger strikes. Unofficially, 13 suicides were attributed to PDS (Porthole Deficiency Syndrome). Some of the madness continues to this day. It is out of a sense of duty to those loyal readers (the seven who are still living) that I am honoring an eleven year old promise to revive the Porthole.

For the benefit of former readers, who at this stage of life are living in a world of nostalgia, I have made the appearance as close as possible to the original, within the fonts and other web constraints I have to live with.

There is one change for the better. This column was always relegated to the top right corner of the editorial page, with the top left being reserved for editorials (mostly written by the editor), purportedly of more importance. Well, guess who's in charge now, Mr. Harley McNair? Porthole. Top. Left. Page one. Where it belongs.

I guess a few words are in order for those whose empty lives have never experienced the Porthole in all its glory. You have questions, of course. What is this column? Where did the name come from? What does it stand for? Why would anybody in their right mind read it? Yada, yada, yada.

I'll start with the name. For most people today, a porthole is simply a window in the side of a ship. But in the 50's and 60's, portholes on either side of the hood were a decorative element of Buicks. Some had 3 portholes. The classier models had 4 (that's my story and I'm sticking to it). Thus, the Fourth Porthole title was indicative of the elegance, style and class of the column.

Strangely, portholes in Buicks disappeared about the same time this column did. Oddly enough, as I was on my way to reinstate this column, I saw a Buick Lucerne in the post office parking lot that had four portholes. Coincidence? I think not. Buick obviously was aware of my promise to reinstate the column.

As for what this column is and what it stands for, I have already mentioned that it was an editorial page column during my younger days. Today it would be called a blog.

Usually, it was my commentary on campus life at Mississippi State University and life in general. Today, I am distant from the MSU campus so I can only rely on second-hand information and will not be likely to discuss that. I am, however, in my 10th year as a senior at the University of South Carolina, so they are fair game. But the collegiate flavor of this commentary is mostly a thing of the past.

The column was insightful. Often, it was also inciteful, in that it was the impetus for many student revolts. It offered satire, as will this entire website. It was, on rare occasions, funny. (The intent was that it always be funny, a goal that proved to be elusive.) It brought plagiarism to a level rarely seen before or since. It offered advice on a wide spectrum of issues. In short, I was, and am, The Sage.

But I digress. You are looking for a purpose, a goal. You want to know what this column stands for. In a word: nothing. I was, and continue to be, a vocal proponent of Avoidism, a concept created by author Roger Price. Simply put, it is the steady process of avoiding anything and everything. And that is why you will keep coming back for more. You will be haunted by the question "What is Dick White avoiding today?"

Since I no longer have a deadline, it is unlikely that this will be published every week (OK, cheering at that statement is totally uncalled for). And future editions will typically be much shorter than this introduction (again with the cheers?). But this column, and the other content on the site will be updated as the spirit moves me. So check in often. You know you want me. THE PORTHOLE IS BACK!!!!!!

Obama to appoint
czar czar
Obama Picture

Stung by the Van Jones debacle and increasing criticism of his vetting process, the president has promised to silence his critics. MORE

Dems add amendment for animal coverage to bill
The health care bill picked up new support today in the House of Representatives with the addition of a provision to extend coverage to pets. MORE Cat & Dog Picture

Adobe breaks whiteant site;
White is undaunted

So years ago I was developing a website for a subsidiary, White Ant Interactive. A key feature was an animation that is now broken thanks to the latest Shockwave plugin from Adobe removing the streaming audio that I used.

I guess that goes nicely with all the broken links. But does that keep me from linking to it? Not on your life. Take a look if you'd like. Who knows, maybe you have an old Shockwave player. IT'S RIGHT HERE.

Swine Flu

DickWhite.com Relics

Here are some leftovers from "Dick White the Home Page". They are pretty much in their original (junky) format and will be updated before being relegated to the archives:

Geek Glossary for Normal People
This was one of my futile attempts at humor and I will keep adding terms until somebody cries "uncle". VIEW

Deke's "I Need A Life" Book
Also sadly out of date. I did add one entry at the top and plan to bring this out of the 1990's soon. The e-mail link for suggestions has been removed and will be replaced with a new feedback mechanism. VIEW

Hi, Twinkie!! XOXOXO

Nessie in Montana?
Nessie Photo
Recent visitors to Big Sky country have been startled by numerous appearances of what many described as "Loch Ness type monsters" in the lakes of Glacier National Park. This photo was supplied by Dalton Prescott, one such visitor, who asked to remain anonymous. A ranger from the National Park Service, when confronted with the photo, sneered "That's nothing but the hand of another person drowning in Lake McDonald. I wish I had a dollar for every drowning that has been reported as a monster." He was unable to explain the eerie red sky.

This Space Intentionally Left Blank.

At least it was until I started typing

in it. Now it's just another mess I'm

going to have to explain.

World's Number 1 Website Dick White Random Sanity
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