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 →
“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 →
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.
“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 →
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 →
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 →
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?
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.
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?