High noon in the garden of polite and evil: the ugly truth about "Southern hospitality" (by a guy who grew up there)

I grew up in the South. I have lived roughly 33 of my 51 years below the Mason-Dixon and past the occasional trip for business or to visit friends and relatives I shan’t be going back. The reasons are numerous, but the one I’m concerned with today involves that most sinister of myths. I’m referring, of course, to Southern hospitality. To the idea that Southerners are so damned nice. Polite. Friendly. Cordial. Welcoming.

This is great as marketing and ideology. The reality of things is somewhat more…complex. Continue reading

Nota Bene #117: Wake Up!

“Hollywood is so crooked that Mafia gangsters are entirely outclassed and don’t stand a chance. People in Hollywood are smarter. They have more sophisticated knowledge of money and deals and how to steal legally rather than illegally.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #115: RIP No. 32

“If you’re really pro-life, do me a favor—don’t lock arms and block medical clinics. If you’re so pro-life, lock arms and block cemeteries.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #112: GOOOLLLLLLLL

“Freedom of any kind is the worst for creativity.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #109: You Can't Tuna Fish

“It’s absolutely stunning to me, the contempt in which the network holds the audience. The idea that these people have standards is laughable.” Who said it? Continue reading

When Jesus Attacks! Why don't we care that the Catholic Church is officially whipping Congress?

Part 2 of 2. (Read part 1…)

It’s Time to Separate Church and State, Once and for All

If you recall, anti-Catholic prejudice was once a problem for Catholic politicians in the US. John F. Kennedy went so far as to address the issue head-on in his 1960 campaign – probably because he didn’t feel he had much choice. Here’s what he told the Greater Houston Ministerial Association on September 12 of that year:

I am not the Catholic candidate for President. I am the Democratic Party’s candidate for President who also happens to be a Catholic. I do not speak for my Church on public matters — and the Church does not speak for me.

He went on to assert his respect for the separation of church and state and vowed that Catholic officials would not dictate policy to him. As noted in part 1, the times, they have a-changed. Continue reading

Nota Bene #101: Your Pal, Mike S.

“The guys who are shooting films now are technically brilliant, but there’s no content in their films. I marvel at what I see and wish I could have done a shot like that. But shots are secondary for my films, and with some of these films, it’s all about the shots. What’s the point? I’m not sure people know what points to make.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #100: Il Planetario di Figaro

Wow, 100 issues of Nota Bene! Props to Russ for helping me for a while with this nifty little S&R feature. Never mind all that now, let’s get on with this issue. “What splendid buildings our architects would be able to execute if only they could finally be less obedient to gravity!” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #94: Bear Vs. Ninja

“Overture, curtain, lights Continue reading

Nota Bene #92: Echoblowcation

A few things for you NB readers: Continue reading

Nota Bene #89: Horrors

With apologies to Edgar Allan Poe…

Once upon a midnight dreary, as you quaffed drinks brown and beery,
Came a tapping amid the gloom, upon the closed door of your room.
You spied with thin eyes the tenebrous hall, wond’ring who had the unmitigated gall
To interrupt your sacred rite of getting hammered throughout the night.
But naught was there—just drafty air, which brought a chill to what flesh was bare,
And as it seemed you’d be bothered nevermore, up flew a raven from the shadowy floor.
It flapped about madly, you fell back in alarm—”Woe is me!” cried ye, as it perched on your arm.
Stricken by fear, your soul rendered weak, you rued the dark tidings soon to shriek from that beak.
But the bird of ill omen
Continue reading

Nota Bene #84: Lemmy and the Mets

Perfect cure for a hangover: Continue reading

God's slam poet

So the Rev. Joseph Lowery is among the many fine individuals newly awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for 2009.

The good reverend has had a long and storied career, with a recent highlight being his poetic excoriation of the Bush administration with President George W. Bush himself sitting behind Lowery as he spoke at Coretta Scott King’s memorial service in 2006.

What will the loquacious Lowery say at his Freedom Medal acceptance speech?

I can imagine it’ll go something like this: Continue reading

Ann Coulter would vote for Hillary Clinton? Makes sense to me

Ann Coulter was on Hannity & The Other Guy last night and said she prefers Hillary Clinton over John McCain. Wait, what?

Yes, you heard it right. Check out the vid, which I was made aware of via DownWithTyranny!, props.

Shocked? Puhleez. Why wouldn’t Ann campaign for Hillary? Continue reading

Million-Years McCain and the answer to a stupid question

While CNN et al. were busy going ga-ga over Mike Huckabee’s trouncing of Mitt Romney et al. on the GOP side, Barack Obama was steadily putting a similar distance between himself and the rest of the Democrats in a state that is almost 95% white. Hopefully this at last provides a definitive answer to the dumbest question still being asked by corporate media: “Is America ready for a black president?” Yes, America is ready. Are the media? Are the other Democrats in the race? And for that matter, is the black Democratic establishment? You’ll all be left behind. Get with the times.

Here is Obama’s compelling Iowa victory speech. Continue reading

Nobody Knows My Name: S&R Honors James Baldwin

I found this picture of African-American man of letters James Baldwin in a bio some years ago and it remains a favorite. He’s standing on a concrete islet in the middle of a busy street, his large, somber eyes hidden behind sunglasses, his dress casual, his posture seemingly relaxed; like Miles Davis, Baldwin could appear cool and calm even while volcanic emotions stirred within. It’s not clear where Baldwin’s been, where’s he headed, what he’s reading, what he’s feeling, or if anyone around him even knows who he is besides the photographer. Is his pocketed right hand at rest or clenched in tension? Is he looking at someone or something, or lost in thought? Are his lips in a sly smile, or a pensive frown? Is he in a hurry, or taking his time? Is he in America, or in Europe, where he spent much of his adult life?

Continue reading