I was sitting in the living room one night watching wrestling on TV when someone knocked at the front door. When I opened it, I didn’t recognize the guy at first. But when he said, “Hello again, Pat,” I realized it was a guy from long ago—a high school classmate, Reggie Dwight.
I hadn’t seen him in decades. It took a couple of seconds for my brain to mesh with the moment. “Hey, Reg!” I said. “Great to see you! It’s been—jeez, how long has it been?”
Reggie stood under the porch light, hanging his head, barely making eye contact. After a pause that verged on awkward, I said, “C’mon in! Sit down. Want a beer?”
He said “no beer,” took a few lethargic steps and sank into an overstuffed recliner near the door. Continue reading →
To the optimistic mime, the invisible glass is half full. To the rest of us, there’s no glass at all. Go away, mime. Your Daily Devotional is a lightly-edited entry from my Twitter feed. Follow me at @jefftiedrich
We all love freedom and the Constitution. But is it really that simple?
I’m a huge fan of a good debate. And by “debate” I don’t mean the sort of ginned-up scream-lie-and-spinfests we have come to associate with the term in the past few decades. No, I mean spirited, intelligent, thoughtful exchanges between parties with honest, good-faith disagreements. Lucky me, I tripped across one today.
My new friend – the lovely Christine – recently turned me onto RadioLab, and I’ve been streaming some of their podcasts while I work out. Today I listened to one that’s as fascinating as it is disturbing. It’s called “Eye in the Sky,” and if you’re plotting any crimes I suggest you give it a few minutes of your time before you pull the trigger, so to speak. Continue reading →
I asked my grocer if he had any bok choy and the way he looked at me i may as well have been speaking Chinese. Your Daily Devotional is a lightly-edited entry from my Twitter feed. Follow me at @jefftiedrich
You kids will never know the pleasure of picking up a big old rotary desk phone by its cradle and in anger hurling it through a wall. Your Daily Devotional is a lightly-edited entry from my Twitter feed. Follow me at @jefftiedrich
Southerners have trouble ruling out the possible. What happens to a man to whom all things seem possible and every course of action open? Nothing of course…. – Walker Percy
The Last Gentleman by Walker Percy (image courtesy Goodreads)
At long last the time has come to talk about Walker Percy’s The Last Gentleman both on its own merits as a great Southern novel and in relation to my novel The New Southern Gentleman and about Percy’s influence on both me and on that novel.
As promised, let me talk first about my relationship with Mr. Percy. In 1984 I was a doctoral student completing a creative dissertation which became (several years later) the novel mentioned above. I was in contact with an editor at one of the major publishing houses in New York who liked my work and kept pushing me to write something/anything that would please the new masters of publishing, the corporate entities who were swallowing up the old family owned publishing houses left and right and for whose decision making power they had shifted from editors to marketing departments. He liked my manuscript, but he figured it would not fly with marketing (he was right; the novel only appeared years later from a small, independent litfic house in California). Because of the similarity in the title of my work and the title of Mr. Percy’s masterpiece, he wrote to me and suggested I write to Walker Percy. Continue reading →
I love Shaquille O’Neal. Seriously. He was a great player and is a smart, very funny guy off the court. But damn, is the man delusional.
Shaq got involved in a little Twitter dustup this week with another hoops luminary, former Michael Jordan sidekick Scottie Pippen. Long story short, Shaq thinks the all-time greatest Lakers five would thump the all-time Bulls starting five.
Okay, probably true. The Lakers are the second greatest franchise ever and if you take away Jordan Chicago has … well, not a lot. No disrespect to the Bulls here, but this is just basic facts.
A poll indicates that Saudi citizens seem to find the Islamic State’s repressiveness and barbarism less objectionable than the House of Saud’s corruption.
Saudi citizens may be questioning whether the House of Saud is qualified to be the guardian of holy cities Mecca and Medina. Pictured: King Saud Mosque in Jeddah. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
In a New York Review of Books review of an illuminating new book, Islamic State: The Digital Caliphate, by Abdel Bari Atwan, Malise Ruthven cites a poll that seems to show that Saudi citizens might prefer to be ruled by the Islamic State instead of the House of Saud.
In an online poll conducted in July 2014, a formidable 92 percent of Saudi citizens agreed that ISIS “conforms to the values of Islam and Islamic law.”
My favorite Bible story is when Jesus fed the multitudes with fishes and loaves. After drug-testing those moochers first, of course. Your Daily Devotional is a lightly-edited entry from my Twitter feed. Follow me at @jefftiedrich