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So how do you explain how you’ve written ten good essays in ten days or why you haven’t written a damn thing for over two weeks? Are you so glib that all you have to do is to sit at your keyboard and be amazed how a two-thousand word report on car batteries just flowed through your fingers and is a literate work of prose that hardly needs any revision? Or why you’ve dried up and can’t complete a sentence despite just returning from an exciting trip abroad and hanging out with all kinds of interesting people.
Jeff Being Jeff
Warren Zevon’s “Play It All Night Long” comes to mind when reading The New Mind of the South, the recently published book by journalist Tracy Thompson. The New Mind of the South,an engaging and edifying work, illustrates that for all the changes the South has experienced in the last 50-60 years, old ways and long-held beliefs still die hard. Much of the book’s content could be discussed at the Dew Drop Inn, the shelter Zevon created for fellowship and lubrication.
When Folks Made Do
A crisis or two from disaster … That’s how most folks live. Modern conveniences have spoiled the self-reliance right out of us. Thanks to stores like Kroger and Publix you can get most anything you need. Ease, however, extracts a price.
We’re nowhere as self-sufficient as our grandparents were. They lived in an era when folks made do. Not us, we drive to the big box grocery stores and plop down a credit card or sign a check. That’s how we keep life moving forward. It’s a tenuous way to live.
O, come all ye faithful. The latest must-see Florida attraction to compete for your tourist dollars is The Holy Land Experience. It is comfortably situated in the Greater Orlando-Kissimmee theme park district chock-a-block with hotels and “family dining” style restaurants. Owned by mega-giant Christian broadcasting network TBN (the T is for Trinity), this biblical theme park features a recreation…
What We Craved
“All of us are beggars here,” wrote the 19th century psychologist William James as he ruminated on the enigma of existence, on the human as well as on the larger cosmological level. John Holt uses the quote in his book Why Does the World Exist? that I am now reading. As Kathryn Schulz wrote about Holt’s book in a New York Magazine review last summer,
“Mind, matter, abstract ideas: Where does all this stuff come from?”
Too Much Magic
It is all too tempting to dismiss James Howard Kunstler as a doom-and-gloom pessimist but the nagging questions he leaves us in his books and blog, are pretty insistent in their demand that we prove him wrong. This exercise, to have any meaning, would have to be done by what Kunstler calls, “reality-based adults.” Good luck finding such individuals and pray to the god (small cap) of your choice that they are successful. You might be such a person. Kunstler’s conclusions are too dark for my sunny disposition so I beg, someone, please demonstrate the flaws in his argument.
A few years ago, a small mob of us had converged on Greenwood’s on Green Street in Roswell for a Thursday evening dinner. It’s a down-home place, noted for being the home of (among other things) an infamously rich chocolate pie. Normally, dinner at Greenwood’s involved a considerable wait, but with the economy being what it was at the time we had no trouble getting a table for our party of twelve.
It was after dinner, as we waddled with leaden bellies back to our car, that I noticed a powerful flowery scent, a scent that enveloped us like a cloud. Honeysuckle!
Worthy of Comment
Also on the Dew
Tuesday morning, you may have heard, there was an explosion in a maintenance shed at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport here in the Big Peach. It killed the power to Concourse D, so officials evacuated the folks there to Concourse E. When the power was restored, everybody went on their merry ways. But lawdamursy, did Twitter ever light up. I used "Atlanta airport" and "Hartsfield" as my search terms ... and you seriously wouldn't believe all the "OMG WHAT IS GOING ON IN ATLANTA" tweets. Especially after some poor soul thought a minor explosion at the airport would make a good cover for Read on →
"Nothing but the best for our students." "Education is key to the future." "Our students must compete with the brightest in China." You've heard remarks like this before, often from educators and elected officials. But the reality is far different from these remarks. We've found that a majority of the counties in Georgia provide less than the state-mandated 180 days of instruction for their county students. Can you imagine that you could provide "nothing but the best" by shortchanging the number of days students are in school? It's happening. Take a look at the adjacent map. The orange counties are providing 180 days of instruction. Read on →
There’s something about being a writer that leads people to confide in me. Think about that. Why tell a writer, a person who uses life itself as raw material, your deepest secrets. But tell me they do, and sometimes their secrets break my heart. Through my writing and books, I meet a lot of people. Some become friends. I’ve come to know women who confided in me just how much they hated their father. They had reason. So they say. Several told me how hard life was with an alcoholic father. Others talked about how abusive their dads were, and some fel Read on →
Could there be a more appropriate monument to the War in Terror than the wasteful and counterproductive prison camp at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base? At a cost of $4,360.00 a day per prisoner, it is among the most expensive lock-ups on the planet and surely the most expensive for inmates who are neither deposed heads of state nor leaders of defeated rebellions. (For that amount you could book a Premier Suite at the Ritz Carleton Central Park and still have a thousand dollars left over to pay for dinner!) The cost in international reputation cannot be calculated in dollars but there Read on →