Chamblee54

POC

Posted in Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on March 31, 2022

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PG saw a tweet that he agreed with. His reasons for agreement were different from the reasons of the tweeter, Black Girl Dangerous. In any event, this is something that PG has wanted to opine about for a while. It will be a good excuse to write text. Something needs to go between the pictures, from The Library of Congress. Permission to quote the tweets has been requested. If this permission is granted, the tweets will be included. This is a repost.

The tweets were about the expression POC. For those who are new here, POC stands for person/people of color. It is a preferred expression for people who are not of european origin, and use a language other than english. People of color is similar to colored people. The latter expression is considered offensive in 2017.

The fine print for @BlackGirlDanger says “Amplifying the voices of queer and trans* people of color. We don’t respond to clueless white tweets.” BGD responded to the comment by @chamblee54. The gravatar image for c54 has a paper bag over his melanin challenged face. Maybe the comment was clueful. In any event, a reply was made.

As for POC, it lumps too many different groups of people, with too many different experiences, together. It doesn’t say very much. Some POC are oppressed. Some POC are privileged. Many people who claim POC status have experienced little of the oppression that many African Americans face.

This is not the first time the BGD has written about this. There was a post recently, 4 Ways to Push Back Against Your Privilege. Part four is about people who think it is cool to say they are POC, when they haven’t really had the experience. The post is copyrighted. You are encouraged to use the link and see for yourself what BGD has to say.

In June of 2012, a firestorm broke out in Atlanta about a drag queen named Sharon Needles. The linked post tells a bit of the story. PG made a comment. He was criticized by a person, who used the expression “those of us who are people of color” in the diatribe.

PG has heard that this person is of Indian origin. The amount of wealth, education, and privilege possessed by them is not known. They are clearly not of African origin, and might be caucasian. It is unlikely that they has experienced the oppression faced by many African Americans. Why does they make angry statements, with the phrase “those of us who are people of color”?

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Sin

Posted in Library of Congress, Religion by chamblee54 on March 30, 2022


The post below went up seven years ago. It deals with a publicity stunt from the Catholic church, an updated seven deadly sins. The statute of limitations may have run out on this message. The traditional “seven deadly sins” were anger, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.
The site linked above has a page, the seven deadly sins of Mohandas Karamachand Gandhi. The subcontinental fashion icon lists Wealth without Work, Pleasure without Conscience, Science without Humanity, Knowledge without Character, Politics without Principle, Commerce without Morality, and Worship without Sacrifice.
After 1,500 years the Vatican has brought the seven deadly sins up to date by adding seven new ones for the age of globalization. The list, published yesterday in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, came as the Pope deplored the “decreasing sense of sin” in today’s “secularized world” and the falling numbers of Roman Catholics going to confession. The new deadly sins include polluting, genetic engineering, being obscenely rich, drug dealing, abortion, pedophilia and causing social injustice. HT to Fox News. ( aka the eighth deadly sin.)
One reaction is to wonder, what language was used for the list? Phrases like “obscenely rich” and “causing social injustice” can mean different things, and one wonders about the nuance behind the original expression. Now, Just about all of these “sins” can merit comments. Maybe the Catholic church is thinking of moving its headquarters to hell.
polluting We can talk about something where all have sinned, or who should throw the first stone. If you ride in a car, wear synthetic fibers, through away anything, use a less than perfect sewer system (or a functioning one on a rainy day with overflows), then you have polluted.
genetic engineering Here again, there are semantics galore. Much of the food we eat is tweaked by genetic breeding. This is something Euros get twitchy about, that doesn’t concern most Americans.
being obscenely rich This is one to wonder what the original Italian said. Compared to much of the world, a 900sf house is a palace. However, compared to many of the neighbors, it is lower middle class. Perhaps the emphasis should be on greed, selfishness, and how you gain this wealth. The tenth commandment says something about coveting. It is the forgotten commandment.
drug dealing Is there a distinction between legal and illegal drugs here? If you go by the damage that substances cause, then this rule will speak to bartenders and the clerk who sells cigarettes. Not to mention the media outlets who advertise cigarettes and beer, the legislators who condone these substances while prosecuting potheads, and a whole host of others. The legally based war on drugs is a disaster in this country. Do we really need to drag the Catholic church into it?
abortion. If Mary had gotten an abortion, would Christians worship a vacuum cleaner? Seriously, the Catholic Corporation has flogged this donkey, to great profit, for years. If you don’t want abortions, promote contraception and adoption. Catholics should find another gimmick.
pedophilia When you up pedophile in the dictionary, you see a picture of a Catholic priest.
causing social injustice Can we have a better translation of this?

Are Hispanic/Latino People White?

Posted in Library of Congress, Race, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on March 29, 2022


While writing about homicide statistics and police killings, PG noted a quirk in the US government statistics. Hispanic/Latino people were listed as an ethnicity, rather than a race. The individual categories of White/Black/etc. included Hispanic/Latino people, where appropriate. This applies to US Census Bureau population statistics, as well as FBI crime statistics.

One quickly learns that there is no hard and fast rule about what racial category Hispanic/Latino people fall into. It appears to be a self determined choice. Many Hispanic/Latino people see themselves as Hispanic/Latino, and not White or Black, no matter what the Census Bureau says. There are indications that more Hispanic/Latino people chose White on the Census form in 2010, than in 2000. The numbers for 2020 are not yet available.

This is not an option for most African Americans, or for many European Americans. PG is Caucasian, with a Scottish last name. His racial identity has never been in doubt. This classification as White is not a source of pride or shame. It simply is who PG is. Most non-Hispanic Caucasians in the United States have a similar experience.

The Census questions are presented with the Hispanic question first, and the race question second. “NOTE: Please answer BOTH Question 5 about Hispanic origin and Question 6 about race. For this census, Hispanic origins are not races.”

You have to dig a bit to get the Hispanic/Latino race breakdown. You learn that Hispanic/Latino people see themselves, at least with the census bureau, as:
White – 53%
Black – 02.5%
Native American – 01.4%
Asian – 0.4%
Some other race – 36.7%
Two or more races – 06%
Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.

Making Vigilantism Easier

Posted in GSU photo archive, Weekly Notes by chamblee54 on March 28, 2022







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Technology Is Making Vigilantism Easier Than Ever – every new camera, app, device …
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“in my lifetime this is the first time i’ve ever seen this”
animation of children having sex or whatever whatever child porn is i wouldn’t know
jorge luis borges ~ rosicrucian ~ dymaxion map ~ myrna ~ luggage
lavender country ~ amab ~ £ ~ bad comics ~ canceled people
van halen ~ patti smith ~ amputation ~ the magus ~ ucla jobs
quillette 183 ~ matthew wilder ~ transturbation ~ matthew wilder ~ bill pepper
jamie vernon ~ shame ~ baptists ~ @levarburton ~ messe berlin
purple burger ~ covid africa ~ double ~ repost ~
albright ~ buffalo nickel ~ gangsta night ~ Panagiotis Tsaklas ~ control
gop primary ~ phrenology ~ jylin backman ~ freddie freeman ~ repost ~ laverne and shirley
kaepernick ~ jowordle ~ toxic bubba ~ pick up lines ~ contronyms ~ merch
@chamblee54 Don’t allow them to steal your joy! I remember the first time I heard that. A co-worker was a hateful bully. Jesus was his weapon of choice. He was talking to someone about a shouting match he had with a customer. He said “He’s not going to steal my joy.” ~ “You’re talking with a cisgender gay acquaintance … and you immediately interrupt them” This is when I stopped reading the article. Gender issues are not an excuse for rudeness ~ @chamblee54 Lady comedians used to tell jokes about men who would not ask for directions. Now, GPS has made that obsolete ~ On my walk to the gym, i found five bananas, in a bunch, lying on the ground. I picked them up, and carried them. I saw what appeared to be a homeless man, and asked if he wanted them. He took one, gave me a dirty look, and walked away. I wound up throwing the other four away ~ in georgia election officials rejected about 0.6% of all absentee ballots returned in the fall because of incorrect or missing ID information or signatures, according to an analysis by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution of state election data. ~ if you were a fruit, you’d be a fineapple ~ @benshapiro Ukraine will likely cease to exist as an independent polity inside of a week. 8:41 AM · Feb 25, 2022 ~ we talk about evidence-based medicine but that’s no more than what we now call virtue signaling what we used to call hypocrisy ~ @J_T__2_2 The uncensored Chris Rock and Will Smith altercation if you lot are interested. Damn what just happened lmao #Oscars ~ @CaseyBriggs The entire Will Smith moment went to air uncensored in Australia ~ pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library.” ~ selah






g-d is nervous

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on March 27, 2022

Social Justice Dogpile

Posted in Library of Congress, Race, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on March 27, 2022



Hard Knocks #1021 was a recent episode of the RISK podcast. At 46:00, we hear “Black Girl Magic” by Wanda Bowser. There are four characters, three white, one black. One of the three women is black, and the man is white. It begins with Brittany getting Wanda and Nathan to hook up, with Brittany watching. Soon Wanda and Nathan spend lots of time together. Good times are had.

One night, Wanda gets a phone call from Brittany. Nathan got in a heated argument with Laurel, and called her N$$$$$ Lover. Brittany, for some reason, felt the need to tell Wanda about this. Wanda avoids Nathan, until one night when he shows up. After an uncomfortable conversation, “I accepted his fuck boy apology and continue hooking up with him.” This goes on for a while, until Nathan finds a white lady that he likes better. Nathan drops out of school, and Wanda goes on with her life. There are more details to the story. If you like, you can use the link to hear the entire story.

Luther McKinnon Luther Mckinnon “I just listened to Wanda Bowser’s story, and I have questions. What was the context of Nathan saying NL to that girl? And why did Wanda’s gossip happy so-called friend have to tell Wanda, and everybody else?” I foolishly made a comment on facebook. If you want to see the complete comment thread, use the link above.

Wanda Wilson Bowser “Brittany was a pot stirrer. It was something I didn’t realize about her until I was older and could look back at those “friendships” reflectively. I know now that she had deep insecurities as a person and to feel better about herself, she wanted other people to hurt. She damn sure wasn’t telling me to protect my feelings, but she wanted my reaction. We ended up having a big falling out months later about something else and now, 17 years after the fact, we’ve gotten over our shared history and are still politely acquainted as Facebook friends.”

There were a few more comments back and forth. I never did learn the context of Nathan saying NL. Did Laurel lead him on? Was Brittany involved somehow, other than spreading toxic gossip? Did country boy Nathan understand just how bad the magic word was? These issues were never addressed. I was going to let the matter slide, until a fresh round of comments came in.

Raymond Christian Yea this listening to the other side crap has become an over used trop as if any one gives a damn what a bigots motivation is Luther Mckinnon So you are going to label Nathan a bigot because of one comment? Raymond Christian yes, yes I am !!!! Raymond Christian I hope no one bothers to say “but you don’t know whats in his heart” You can only judge peoples actions and words not some cosmic idea about whats in their brain and cant be seen! Luther Mckinnon So, we have a person. A country boy, who wound up hooking up with a black girl. Some how or another, he used the magic word in a conversation. When he uses the magic word, he is no longer a human being worthy of respect. He is a bigot. Did Laurel put words in his mouth? What did she say to get him to say the magic word? Maybe Laurel, and definitely Brittany, are the bigots in this story? If we use the standards of contemporary social justice, dating POC is not a defense against charges of racism. Have Laurel or Brittany ever used the magic word?

We don’t know much about Nathan. He was a tobacco chewing country boy, who had a fling with a black girl. He said the magic word. Suddenly, he is a bigot periah. Nothing else about him matters. He is heard saying a word one time, and he is less of a human being.

Wanda says that the magic word reminds her “no matter the content of my character, I am considered less than a person.” This is what happens when you label a person a racist. That person is the other. You are no longer worthy of your humanity. This label can be applied for the flimsiest of reasons. Often, the person applying the label is just as bigoted.

RISK prides itself on being uncensored. This is one issue that challenges this boast. If a story involves racial conflict, the default is to believe the POC. If a white person falls out of line, then they are deemed a racist. There are no other circumstances considered. They are to be treated as less than human. This orthodoxy must not be challenged. If you challenge this taboo, then you too are considered less than human. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.


Another Story About Race was the story of a facebook conversation. It got ugly after the story was published. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Kevin Allison Luther, the hundreds of thousands who died in the Civil War knew the full weight and meaning of that word. The millions who fought through the Civil Rights movement in the mid-century knew the full weight and meaning of that word. I’m not sure precisely which year Wanda’s story is set, but Rodney King, Amadou Diallo, the Central Park Five… these were stories in the news in all of our lifetimes. Does “country boy” mean “imbecile”? My father is from Meridian, Mississippi. His parents, my grandparents, were people of very modest means and did not go to the best schools. Other Allisons, cousins of my grandfather, were from the Bayou country in Louisiana. Everyone in my family has always known the full weight and meaning of that word. Because we’re Americans. Rich, poor, educated, uneducated, city person, country person… we all know that word and we know it deep down in our souls.

To pretend that calling someone out for engaging in racism is as dehumanizing as racism itself is a fantasy. It ignores all of history and the societal power dynamics we’re still swimming in. And to pretend that RISK! engages in censorship because we don’t present the “other side of the story” is also some sort of mind game. If this guy “Nathan” wanted to come on the show and could speak about these same events with the level of self-awareness and emotional intelligence we look for in the stories we present on the show, he’d be more than welcome to. We see you. We hear you. And what you’re selling, we ain’t buying.

Luther Mckinnon “To pretend that calling someone out for engaging in racism is as dehumanizing as racism itself is a fantasy.” “to pretend that RISK! engages in censorship because we don’t present the “other side of the story” I have said neither of those things. I am concerned about the dehumanizing effect of all labels, both politically correct and incorrect.

Not everyone is as excited about the magic word as you are. POC use it all the time. We still don’t know what Laurel said to Nathan, to goad him into saying something he would regret. Maybe an 18 year old, put under enough pressure, gave in and said the magic word. We have not heard that part of the story, and apparently never will. I am not selling anything. I am trying to explain why I feel the way I do. You are entitled to your opinion.

SugaBusshh Smith Hey RISK!; we all know what Luther is about now. The man is an unapologetic racist. Do you really wish to give the man even more of a platform? I’m not about eliminating free speech, but I don’t believe hate speech like what Luther propagates needs any more of a platform then the presidency.I do wish someone would choose to hit the off button on this guy because his agenda is more than obvious. He is not a casual listener of the show wishing to take part in meaningful discussion. He wishes to spill vile and venom and spread his racist ideology on your group. It’s your choice of course to let him continue this nonsense, but for the mental well being of the rest of us; i truly hope you don’t. (SugaBusshh Smith passed away in July, 2020. Rest in peace.)

It is odd to be called “unapologetic racist” after this thread. At no time did I say anything derogatory about people of color. I said two things: I asked for details about the Nathan-Laurel conversation. I said that labeling people, as racist, was dehumanizing. People feel self righteous about abusing their neighbor over racial values. If someone does not like your racial values, they feel virtuous in attacking you. If you criticize the white savior, you are opening yourself up to abuse.

Have you ever heard that racism is institutional? That you cannot be racist if you don’t have power? This discussion is not about economic opportunity, access to education or housing, or police brutality. This thread is about an 18 year old kid, who said a bad word. When I ask, 17 years later, if maybe he was goaded into saying this bad word, I am labeled a racist. Maybe if I quit asking for details about this incident, I will quit being called a racist. I somehow doubt it.

Have you ever heard someone say “If you don’t like being called a racist, quit being one.”? Don’t believe it. This incident took place 17 years ago. We know nothing of the way Nathan has lived his life. And yet, because he said one word, 17 years ago, he is considered a bigot. Nobody gives a damn what he thinks. Nathan is less than human, because he said one word, during a heated argument.

The psychology of anti racism is twisted. It is similar to the way homophobia works. It is well known that many homophobes are secretly gay, and not happy about it. To take attention away from their own unresolved issues, the lash out at others who they perceive to be faggots. It is an ugly situation, and yet many homophobes feel virtuous in their hatred.

Many people who call others racist are worried about their own racial values. They are afraid that they might be racist. To assure themselves that they are not racist, they lash out at others that they perceive as being racist. The standards of what is considered racist get lower everyday.

On a more personal level, this has been a tough conversation. It is one thing when someone you have never met, who you don’t care about, calls you a racist online. Kevin Allison is someone who produces a remarkable show, RISK. I have enjoyed many episodes online, and had the privilege of attending a live show last fall. I have, until now, had a great deal of respect for Kevin. It is very discouraging to see him participate in an internet dogpile. I will probably continue to listen to RISK, but I will always know about this incident. This is a double repost. Part two is now available.

I Used to Be Charming Part One

Posted in Book Reports, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on March 26, 2022


My current book is I Used to Be Charming, by Eve Babitz. The plan is to have a multi-part dialogue. IUTBC is a collection of magazine pieces. Sometimes the magazine is as much fun as the story. This is especially true for No Onions, a story about Archie, Veronica, and people who don’t to eat onions. The story was in Wet: The Magazine of Gourmet Bathing.

All This And The Godfather Too kicks off the book. Eve gets hired to go to Lake Tahoe, and write about the production. There are magic moments. Eve gets booked into a San Francisco hotel, along with a spy gathering. The phrase employed here is “buggers convention.” When you consider the British meaning of “bugger,” you realize that San Francisco is always a buggers convention.

On page 27, Eve is writing a story for some magazine. She types on single-sided pieces of paper, and writes a number at the top of each page. Eve is an alcoholic space kitten, and forgets page 29. The manuscript goes to Europe. Someone spends $34 to call Eve, and find out there is no page 29. This happens on page 28 of IUTBC.

Mr. Coppola made of ton of money on the first Godfather, and goes around San Francisco buying things. He’s got this office building, which is now a boutique hotel. Mr. Coppola also bought City Magazine, which became a financial quagmire. City Magazine shut down in 1976. Eve said it was not saving the magazine, as much as keeping the Titanic afloat.

Cindy Williams appears at a dinner. She had starred in a couple of movies, and was starting to make a name for herself. The dinner was before Laverne & Shirley. It is fun to read something 47 years after publication, when you know what the author did not know.

I read a 1980 Playboy in the mid-eighties. The article was about the 1980 elections. A press secretary was asked about the zero factor … the way Presidents, elected in years ending in zero, seem to die in office. The man said, this was interesting, but we really are not worried about it. The PS is question was James Brady, who was severely wounded in an assassination attempt on President Reagan.

ATATGT is written for something called Coast magazine. You can buy a copy on eBay for $99. It’s a beautiful magazine, with a drawing of Mr. Coppola on the cover. Eve Babitz is above the masthead.

My God, Eve, How Can You Live Here? appears in City Magazine, “Vol. 8 No. 64 Apr. 30- May 13, 1975 “Inside Los Angeles” Edition.” Eve wrote a survival guide to LA, intended for visitors from San Francisco. “Rent A Car: That’s Rule One.” She calls one road the Raymond Chandler Memorial Parkway. Chandler wrote fun books, about an LA that no longer exists.

My Life In A 36DD Bra appeared in the April, 1976 edition of Ms. Magazine. How this got on the cover of a feminist magazine is anyone’s guess. Eve’s mammaries are part of her aesthetic. “When she graduated from Hollywood High in 1961, Babitz wrote to Joseph Heller: ‘Dear Joseph Heller, I am a stacked 18-year-old blonde on Sunset Boulevard. I am also a writer. Eve Babitz.’ … Babitz wrote a Daisy Miller-inspired novel, which Heller sent to his publisher: it was turned down.”

Her booby broadside has a feminine slant. The men who hit on Eve routinely say that they are really leg man, even when drooling over her chest. Despite sporting enormous breasts, Eve rattles on about how she does not like her ass. This type of anti-feminism can be dangerous. Another article in the April Ms. was TRASHING: The Dark Side of Sisterhood. If you substitute “cancel culture” for “TRASHING,” that article could have been written today.

Eve had her ups and downs, before taking the ultimate downer December 17, 2021. Someone managed to snag an interview in 2019.

LA Mag You went from sex, drugs, and rock and roll to what The New York Times described as a political conservative and supposed MAGA hat owner.
What brought this change about, and where do you stand now?
Eve I never talk about politics. … Although I was so happy [when] my friend Linda [Ronstadt] was going out with Jerry Brown. …
LA Mag All of your writings contain what the press calls “unabashed hedonism.” We’re living in an antihedonist moment now: political correctness and Twitter quash humor/sarcasm/sexual jokes. Sobriety’s rampant. If your books debuted now, how do think they’d go over?
Eve I can’t imagine, and luckily I don’t have to! Also if I were writing now, I doubt the books would be the same. After all, my sobriety is rampant, too!
LA Mag What are you currently doing with your time?
Eve I see my friends; go to [AA] meetings. I am gratefully sober.
I read all the time: books, magazines, everything.

Losing Weight Made Me A New Person—A Novelist appeared in the September, 1977 edition of Vogue. Traditionally, September is the most important issue of the year for fashion magazines.

The story is as much about alcoholism recovery as losing weight. Eve was quite a lush in her day.
Of course, when you knock off the sauce, you eat/sleep/exercise/fuck better, and become a healthier person. And, as we learned in the 36DD story, Eve was already a healthy girl. Never mind that the early alcohol recovery did not last. Eventually, Eve became a cocaine aficionado.

“Her friend Paul Ruscha was once quoted saying, “She’d blown her book advance on coke, fucked up her nose. She called me, begged me to come over. I couldn’t believe what I saw. There wasn’t an inch of floor not covered in bloody Kleenex. The cats were running around high.” … She stopped using in May of 1982. “Everyone has their own reasons for stopping an addiction. It’s hard to say what it is, except you know in your bones that if you don’t stop at the moment you decide, you never will.”

It is traditional for drunken writers … redundancy alert … to talk about the many authors who were raging drunks. Eve even coins a verb … Mailered … to describe this. Stormin’ Norman was as famous for his drunken brawling as his prose. His place in the slobberin’ scribe hall of fame is assured.

When people noticed that Eve was losing weight, and not being drunk all the time, they started pestering her to write a novel. She started pasting notes together. “I thought it was a little greedy of her. After all, I was the one who’d gotten the corpse from the guy in the alley at midnight; now she wanted me to dissect it all by herself, and I hadn’t even finished drinking the blood.”

I was reading the chapter about losing weight in the Walmart parking lot. At one point, I looked up from the text, to see a 300 pound women and her equally porcine husband. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. More “Charming” episodes are available. two three four five

Flannery O’Connor

Posted in Undogegorized by chamblee54 on March 25, 2022

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With one day before it was due, PG finished reading Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor , by Brad Gooch. The author is a professor of English at William Patterson University in New Jersey. He spares no citations. You can see where he gets his information. This is a repost.

Chamblee54 has written before about Miss O’Connor , and repeated the post a year later. There is a radio broadcast of a Flannery O’Connor lecture. (The Georgia accent of Miss O’Connor is much commented on in the book. To PG, it is just another lady speaking.)

Mary Flannery O’Connor was born March 25, 1925 in Savannah GA. The local legend is that she was conceived in the shadow of St. John the Baptist Cathedral, a massive facility on Lafayette Square. Her family did leave nearby, and her first school was just a few steps away. This is also a metaphor for the role of the Catholic Church in her life. Mary Flannery was intensely Catholic, and immersed in the scholarship of the church. This learning was a large part of her life. How she got from daily mass, to writing stories about Southern Grotesque, is one mystery at the heart of Flannery O’Connor.

Ed O’Connor doted on his daughter, but had to take a job in Atlanta to earn a living. His wife Regina and daughter Mary Flannery moved with him, to a house behind Christ The King Cathedral. Mr. O’Connor’s health was already fading, and Mother and Daughter moved in with family in Milledgeville. Ed O’Connor died, of Lupus Erythematosus, on February 1, 1941.

Mary Flannery went to college in Milledgeville, and on to the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. She dealt with cold weather, went to Mass every day, and wrote. She was invited to live at an artists colony called Yaddo, in upstate New York. She lived for a while with Robert and Sally Fitzgerald in Connecticut, all while working on her first novel, “Wise Blood”. In 1950, she was going home to Milledgeville for Christmas, and had been feeling poorly. She went to the hometown doctor, who thought at first that the problem was rheumatoid arthritis. The illness of Flannery O’Connor was Lupus Erythematosus.

Miss O’Connor spent much of that winter in hospitals, until drugs were found that could help. She moved, with her mother, to a family farm outside Milledgeville, which she renamed Andalusia. She entered a phase of her life, with the Lupus in relative remission, and the drugs firing her creative fires, where she wrote the short stories that made her famous.

Another thing happened when she was recuperating. Flannery was reading the Florida “Market Bulletin”, and saw an ad for “peafowl”, at sixty five dollars a pair. She ordered a pair, and they soon arrived via Railway Express. This was the start of the peacocks at Andalusia, a part of the legend.

During this period of farm life and writing, Flannery had several friends and correspondents. There was the “Bible Salesmen”, Erik Langkjaer, who was probably the closest thing Flannery had to a boyfriend. Another was Betty Hester, who exchanged hundreds of letters with Miss O’Connor. This took place under the stern eye of Regina O’Connor, the no nonsense mother-caregiver of Flannery. (Mr. Gooch says that Betty Hester committed suicide in 1998. That would be consistent with PG stumbling onto an estate sale of Miss Hester in that time frame.)

The book of short stories came out, and Flannery O’Connor became famous. She was also dependent on crutches, and living with a stern mother. There were lectures out of town, and a few diverse personalities who became her friends. She went to Mass every day, and collected books by Catholic scholars. Flannery was excited by the changes in the church started by Pope John XXIII, and in some ways could be considered a liberal. (She supported Civil Rights, in severe contrast to her mother.)

In 1958, Flannery O’Connor went to Europe, including a trip to the Springs at Lourdes. Her cousin Katie Semmes (the daughter of Captain John Flannery, CSA) pushed Flannery hard to go to the springs, to see if it would help the Lupus. Flannery was reluctant…” I am one of those people who could die for his religion sooner than take a bath for it“. When the day for the visit came, Flannery took a token dip in the waters. Her condition did improve, briefly. (It is worth speculating here about the nature of Flannery’s belief, which was apparently more intellectual than emotional. Could it be that, if she was more persuaded by the mystical, emotional side of the church, and taken the healing waters more seriously, that she might have been cured?)

At some point in this story, her second novel came out, and the illness blossomed. Much of 1964 was spent in hospitals, and she got worse and worse. On August 3, 1964, Mary Flannery O’Connor died.

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PG remembers the first time the name Flannery O’Connor sank in. He was visiting some friends, in a little house across from the federal prison.

Rick(?) was the buddy of a character known as Harry Bowers. PG was never sure what Harry’s real name was. One night, Rick was talking about Southern Gothic writers, and he said that Flannery O’Connor was just plain weird. ”Who else would have a bible salesman show up at a farm, take the girl up into a hayloft, unscrew her wooden leg and leave her there? Weird.”

Flannery O’Connor was recently the subject of a biography written by Brad Gooch. The book is getting a bit of publicity. Apparently, the Milledgeville resident was a piece of work.

PG read some reviews of this biography, and found a collection of short stories at the library. The book included ” Good Country People”, the tale about the bible salesman. Apparently, this story was inspired by a real life incident. (Miss O’Connor had lupus the last fifteen years of her life. She used crutches.) And yes, it is weird. Not like hollywood , but in the way of rural Georgia.

Some of the reviews try to deal with her attitudes about Black people. On a certain level, she is a racist. She uses the n word freely, and her black characters are not inspiring people. The thing is, the white characters are hardly any better, and in some cases much worse. In one story, “Everything That Rises Must Converge,” a black lady is the hero.

The stories are well crafted, with vivid descriptions of people and places. The reader floats along with the flow of the story, until he realizes that Grandma has made a mistake on a road trip. The house she got her son to look for is in Tennessee, not Georgia. She makes him drive the family car into a ditch. Some drifting killers come by. Grandma asks one if he prays, while his partner is shooting her grandchildren. Weird.

In another story, a drifter happens upon a pair of women in the country. The daughter is thirty years old, is deaf, and has never spoken a word. The drifter teaches her to say bird and sugarpie. The mother gives him fifteen dollars for a honeymoon, if he will marry her. He takes the fifteen dollars and leaves her asleep in a roadside diner.

There was a yard sale one Saturday afternoon. It was in a house off Lavista Road, between Briarcliff and Cheshire Bridge. The house had apparently not been painted in the last forty years. Thousands and thousands of paperback books were on the shelves. The lady taking the money said that the lady who lived there was the friend, and correspondent of, the “Milledgeville writer” Flannery O’Connor. This is apparently Betty Hester, who is mentioned in many of the biography reviews.

PG told the estate sale lady that she should be careful how she said that. There used to be a large mental hospital in Milledgeville, and the name is synonymous in Georgia with mental illness. The estate sale lady had never heard that.

UPDATE: PG sometimes reads poems at an open mic event. His stage name is Manly Pointer. This is the bible salesman in “Good Country People.” This is a repost. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library.” It was written like James Joyce. An earlier edition of this post had comments.

Fr. J. December 10, 2009 at 3:00 pm I am glad you take an interest in Flannery, but to say baldly that she is a racist is to very much misunderstand her. For another view on Flannery and race, you might want to read her short story, “Everything that Rises Must Converge.”
chamblee54 December 10, 2009 at 3:17 pm “On a certain level, she is a racist.” That is not the same as “baldly” labeling her a racist. (And I have a full head of hair, thank you). As a native Georgian, I am aware of the many layers of nuance in race relations. I feel that the paragraph on race in the above feature is accurate.

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Anita Aretha and Elton

Posted in Georgia History, Holidays by chamblee54 on March 25, 2022

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In the early nineties, PG had too much free time. On March 25 of one year, he looked in the fishwrapper, and found a list of famous people with birthdays.

There was an unlikely trio celebrating that day. This would be (in order of appearance) Anita Bryant (1940), Aretha Franklin (1942), and Elton John (1947). All three have been paid for singing. The three have a total of five husbands, with Miss Bryant and Mr. John currently attached (Not to each other). Miss Franklin has good taste in hats.

Several other people have arrived on planet earth on March 25. They include , in 1911, Jack Ruby, the killer of Lee Harvey Oswald (d. 1967) (They don’t say alleged when it was on live TV). 1918 produced Howard Cosell, American sports reporter (d. 1995). Flannery O’Connor (d. 1964) arrived in 1925. 1934 gave us Gloria Steinem. To make room for all this talent, Buck Owens died March 25, 2006. On August 16, 2018, Aretha Franklin was heaven bound.

March 25 is after the spring equinox, and has been Easter. A few noteworthy events have gone down on this day. In 1894, Coxey’s Army departed Massillon, Ohio for Washington D.C. In 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire killed 146 garment workers in New York City. In 1939 Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli becomes Pope Pius XII, to the delight of Adolph Hitler. 1955 saw the United States Customs seizes copies of Allen Ginsberg’s poem “Howl” as obscene. In 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono began their first Bed-In for Peace at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel.

HT and applause to wikipedia. This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.

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David And Elton

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Music, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on March 24, 2022

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On page 327 of David Bowie: A Life, the Live Aid show goes down. “There wasn’t much love lost between David and Elton–perhaps they’d fallen out at some point …” This is a repost.

Elton John says he fell out with David Bowie over ‘token queen’ remark “David and I were not the best of friends towards the end. We started out being really good friends. We used to hang out together with Marc Bolan, going to gay clubs, but I think we just drifted apart…. He once called me “rock’n’roll’s token queen” in an interview with Rolling Stone, which I thought was a bit snooty. He wasn’t my cup of tea. No; I wasn’t his cup of tea”.

1975 was a different time. David Bowie was moving out of Ziggy Stardust, and became the Thin White Duke. At some point he starting doing lots of cocaine. On page 196 of DB:AL, Jayne County has stories. “It was pretty obvious the David was taking coke. He became very skeletal in his appearance and began rattling off speeches that sounded meaningless to the rest of us–strange things about witchcraft, demons, and sexual prostitution in ancient times … weird things that made everyone nervous. He began to get paranoid and accusing people of ripping him off and stealing his drugs…. He had to have cartilage removed from one part of his body and put in his nose because the coke had eaten his nose cartilage away.”

While David was popular in 1975, and had a certain aesthetic aroma, Elton John was a phenomenon. Everything Elton touched went to Number One. Elton was one of the most popular solo acts the market ever sold. Maybe David was jealous of Elton’s success.

By all accounts, Elton did his share of “hooverizing.” In 1975, Elton was officially in the closet, although a lot of people knew otherwise. In one impossible to confirm story, a friend of PG was working in an Atlanta club called Encore, later known as Backstreet. One busy night, he was in a hurry to get somewhere, and bumped into someone. The person he knocked over was Elton John.

The infamous Rolling Stone interview was part of the damage. “Rock & roll has been really bringing me down lately. It’s in great danger of becoming an immobile, sterile fascist that constantly spews its propaganda on every arm of the media. …. I mean, disco music is great. I used disco to get my first Number One single [“Fame”] but it’s an escapist’s way out. It’s musical soma. Rock & roll too — it will occupy and destroy you that way. It lets in lower elements and shadows that I don’t think are necessary. Rock has always been the devil’s music. You can’t convince me that it isn’t.”

Cameron Crowe How about specifics? Is Mick Jagger evil? David Bowie “Mick himself? Oh Lord no. He’s not unlike Elton John, who represents the token queen — like Liberace used to. No, I don’t think Mick is evil at all. He represents the sort of harmless, bourgeois kind of evil that one can accept with a shrug…. Actually, I wonder … I think I might have been a bloody good Hitler. I’d be an excellent dictator. Very eccentric and quite mad.”

Playboy Magazine gave David another chance to talk about Hitler. “I’d love to enter politics. I will one day. I’d adore to be Prime Minister. And, yes, I believe very strongly in fascism.” “Rock stars are fascists, too. Adolf Hitler was one of the first rock stars.” “#54: PLAYBOY: How so?” BOWIE: “Think about it. Look at some of his films and see how he moved. I think he was quite as good as Jagger. It’s astounding. And, boy, when he hit that stage, he worked an audience. Good God! He was no politician. He was a media artist himself. He used politics and theatrics and created this thing that governed and controlled the show for those 12 years. The world will never see his like.”

#77: PLAYBOY: “Last question. Do you believe and stand by everything you’ve said?” BOWIE: “Everything but the inflammatory remarks.” We don’t know whether a jab at Elton was inflammatory. “I consider myself responsible for a whole new school of pretensions–they know who they are. Don’t you, Elton? Just kidding. No, I’m not.”

Seven daily grams of coke (DB:AL, p.223) did not kill David Bowie. He soon moved on to make The Man Who Fell to Earth. People magazine helped out with the publicity. “No role could have suited David Bowie better in his first major movie than that of an inscrutable interplanetary traveler outfitted with human skin, sex organs, Ronald Reagan hair and humanoid pupils to slip in over his horizontal, mismatched feline slits.” Forty years before Donald Trump made the tangerine toupee cool, Ronald Reagan was prematurely orange. Pictures for this deplorable dive into hissyfit history are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

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Loose Cannon

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress, Politics, Race by chamblee54 on March 23, 2022

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Georgia Elections were thrown into chaos by covid 19. One of the results is SB 202. It makes changes in election law. This story details some of the changes. It appears that many of the hysterical “Jim Crow Voter Suppression” claims are exaggerated. This is a repost.

PG has his story from 2020. He applied for an absentee ballot in the July primary. An unsolicited AB was sent for the next three elections, along with dozens of unsolicited AB applications. SB 202 will prohibit this. How will not sending out unsolicited AB suppress the minority vote?

The NPR story does not mention AB applications requiring a copy of the voter’s ID. This requirement would impose a logistical burden on the counties, as well as inviting fraudulent ID copies. This requirement, if it is imposed, would be a mistake.

In some cases, voting is becoming easier. “Earlier law required three weeks of in-person early voting Monday through Friday, plus one Saturday, during “normal business hours. The new bill adds an extra Saturday, makes both Sundays optional for counties, and standardizes hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or as long as 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.”

Georgia being Georgia, SB 202 is getting screwed up. The Republicans are acting in a high-handed matter, and imposing foolish regulations. One of these is a ban on giving food and water to voters waiting in line. The Democrats are screaming RACISM at every opportunity. The public is being poorly served by the process. Many people are completely taken in by the RACISM rhetoric, and think anyone who does not drink the kool-aid is a RACIST.

SB 202 was passed, and the real fun begins. Usually, a bill being signed into law is a boring formality. Thursday was not. For some reason, Governor Brian Kemp signed SB 202 at the Capitol, immediately after passage. This may have been done as a gesture of disrespect to the race-baiting opposition.

State Representative Park Elizabeth Cannon decided to disrupt the bill signing. Rep. Cannon tried to get arrested February 26, but the State Patrol did not comply.

Rep. Cannon made a scene outside the bill-signing. We don’t know what the State Trooper said the her, or what happened before the video started. It is possible that Rep. Cannon had been threatening to disrupt the event. The unusual manner of the signing may have been a reaction to provocation by Rep. Cannon. This is not how government should be conducted.

The charges are on the Fulton County website. “EW-0324353 Willful Obstruction Of Law Enforcement Officers By Use Of Threats Or Violence – Felony … EW-0324354 Preventing Or Disrupting General Assembly Sessions Or Other Meetings Of Members; Etc. (3Rd Offense)” The site does not specify the first two offenses.

The matter is now in the courts … both the court of law, and the court of public opinion. Facebook has been full of nonsense, until the next media circus comes along. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. Bath Suit Fashion Parade, Seal Beach, Cal., July 14, 1918, photographed by M.F. Weaver. WISC. Varsity, 1914, was photographed by Bain News Service.


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Two Thirds Of A Pun

Posted in Commodity Wisdom, GSU photo archive, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on March 22, 2022










Why did the cow cross the road ?The chicken was on vacation.
Knock knock. who’s there? boo. boo who?. Don’t cry it’s only a joke…
It’s six of one, half a dozen of the other.
A man walks up to a horse and says, “Why the long face?”
Two pretzels were walking down the street. one was a salted.
“He who laughs last thinks slowest.”
“Raise your hand if you’re here.”
Two nuns walk into a bar; the third one ducks.
Q: What did the radio say when it was dropped? A: “Ow. That hertz.”
What did the ranch say to the refrigerator door? “Close the door, I’m dressing”
Why don’t blind people skydive? It scares the heck out of their dogs…
What did the fish say when it ran into a wall? dam.
“I see.” said the blind man as he peed into the wind… “It’s all coming back to me now.”
What’s the last thing to go through a bug’s mind when it hits the windshield? Its butt.
You can tuna guitar, but you can’t tuna fish.
What do a duck and a bicycle have in common? They both have wheels… except the duck.
What’s brown and sounds like a bell? DUNGGGGG.
What’s brown and sticky? A stick
When people ask the mortician what he does for a living, he says he is a “boxer”.
What did the shy pebble say?… I wish I was a little boulder! .
What do you call an arrogant criminal falling out of a tower? Condescending.
Two guys walk into a bar… you would think the second guy woulda ducked.
A woman walks into a bar holding a duck. Bartender says, “What’s with the pig?”
Woman says, “It’s a duck.” Bartender says, “I was talking to the duck.”
Why do flamingos always lift one leg when they’re standing?
Cause if they lifted both, they’d fall over!
Q: How many Surrealists does it take to change a lightbulb? A: To get to the other side.
Did you get a haircut? Actually, I got them all cut.
One mushroom said to another mushroom, “Hey – you’re one Fungi!”
What do you call an arrogant criminal falling out of a tower? Condescending.
A dyslexic man walked into a bra …
Q: What do you call a midget, psychic, prison escapee? A: A small medium at-large.
A mule walks into a bar. The bartender says, “Hey, buddy, why the long face?”
“Because my dad is a jackass.”
I have one about the roof but its over your head.
Shall I tell you the one about the skunk? Never mind, it stinks!
There’s nothing like a good joke… and that was nothing like a good joke.
A rabbi, nun, lawyer, mime, and horse all walk into a bar.
The bartender says, “What is this, some kind of joke?”
When’s the best time to eat reindeer meat? …. When you’re hungry.
These stories are borrowed from 22 words. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.