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Born May 18, 1953; got saved at Truett Memorial BC in Hayesville, NC 1959. On rigged ballot which I did not rig got Most Intellectual class of 71, Gaffney High School. Furman Grad, Sociology major but it was little tougher than Auburn football players had Had three dates with beautiful women the summer of 1978. Did not marry any of em. Never married anybody cause what was available was undesirable and what was desirable was unaffordable. Unlucky in love as they say and even still it is sometimes heartbreaking. Had a Pakistani Jr. Davis Cupper on the Ropes the summer of 84, City Courts, Rome Georgia I've a baby sitter, watched peoples homes while they were away on Vacation. Freelance writer, local consultant, screenwriter, and the best damn substitute teacher of Floyd County Georgia in mid 80's according to an anonymous kid passed me on main street a few years later when I went back to get a sandwich at Schroeders. Had some good moments in Collinsville as well. Ask Casey Mattox at if he will be honest about it. I try my best to make it to Bridges BBQ in Shelby NC at least four times a year.

Friday, February 24, 2017

"Barnum and Bailey World"

        Here in Oscar week, these last few days for the first time in a life of almost 64 years I saw Streetcar named Desire in its entirety. Had it for two years on DVD in the house but never partook.

   Powerful film. Marlon Brando was younger indeed and now I understand what changed in Stella from her response the first outcry to the second.

    The Paper Moon song is one quite likely familiar to my Mother but she probably sang it with a different referent. It registered with me. But as  you can see from blogs for the last six months Ive been deep in the weeds of the character of our country. The Hochschild book on white populism in the WJ Cash blog is must read for anybody of integrity in this conversation.  Some of you will want to go back to May to see my onrunning complaints against Rick Burgess and Cliff Simms, Simms now in the Steve Bannon White house.

    And now my Dad's youngest brother Prentice, the last of the six on the Fox side has become a problem. He plays all sides of the fence against the middle and any other location, pretending to be a devotee of the great Baptist of the 20th Century, Carlyle Marney,  but his shenanigans prove him an impostor. I will link this blog to the president of his alma mater, which was also my Dad's and some cousins, Tennessee's Carson Newman. Let his peers judge him, Randall Lolley, Obrien, Bill Self, and he will be weighed in the authentic Baptist balance and found wanting. I'm sorry but the distinction between the politics of Jesse Helms and George Truett, Adrian Rogers and Martin Luther King Jr matters, and Prentice is a clown in this Barnum and Bailey World.

    Lets be clear. Yesterday I had a delightful conversation with four frat boys from the Episcopalian Sewanee School of the South.  They were on the way to Mardi Gras cause I guess young Episcopalian straight Males are interested in boobs too.  Bush 41 biographer and alum Jon Meacham is a visiting proff there. I may crash a class or hallway there cause I want to talk to Meacham about 7 minutes on a definitive moment of 41s career I think he missed, when 41 confronted the Birch Society in 1966 in Harris County with his political future on the line.

   In a random conversation I told them of meeting Harvard lit Critic James Wood at Sewanee about 7 years ago. I have stumbled across his latest collection of essays, The Fun Stuff. For them and especially Uncle Prentice a retired USAF Chaplain, in memory of Marney, definition of the Soul of a Man on page 98.

   I have bigger fish to fry. Rick Burgess and Cliff Simms poster child of a Bama politician, Gary Palmer will have a town Hall meeting tomorrow morning at the Hoover City Hall. I talked to one of his staffers yesterday, a New Mexico native, Texas A and M grad with friends at Liberty University and she is waiting to see this blog. I will likewise bring it to the attention of the Bama delegation as I can.

       There are three Christian martyrs of the 20th Century in bust in Westminster Abbey in London: ML King Jr, Oscar Romero and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Two of them have traveled through Birmingham, Alabama. Of course King, and in 1931 Dietrich Bonhoeffer at the time a great friend of Frank Fisher, then son of the 16th Street BC in Bham; Bonhoeffer coming through on old US HWY 11 on a trip from New Orleans back to NYC then to Germany and sainthood in the Christian church for eternity.

   Here is what Bonhoeffer thought about the politics of stupidity

     The politics of Cliff Simms, Rick Burgess and Gary Palmer are not those of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King Jr. And someone from the center, maybe General Chuck Krulak, former Bama President or Mark Wilson of the Auburn University Living Democracy Project must stand against Jeff Sessions and the Bama Nationalist Party and say as much and say it plain.

     See my Blog on High Noon. Listen to the NPR Fresh Air referent interview.

     Scroll down a little for the blog on Hochschild and Strangers in their Own Country. Listen to the testimony of Methodist Bishop Willimon on his seven years in Alabama and why he stood against Jeff Sessions. Have the Auburn Lee County Literacy/Literary Society have a conversation with Mike Hubbard about Bleaching and the strategy of "Rattfuckin", gerrymandering.

   Bring Nick Saban and Greg Sankey in the conversation per my conversation with Paul Finebaum and Greg McElroy on the political failures of Bear Bryant and his time with George Wallace. Find that here in my blog of October 2012

    The Alabama Southern Baptist Convention is out to lunch on these matters. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to read the blog links that follow and figure that out.

   If you go to Palmer's Town Hall tomorrow, ask him a question framed from these notions. And or read Evan Osnos The Politics of Fear and ask him how god fearing Baptists in Bama at FBC Gardendale and Church of the Highlands became the denomination of Faith Freedom and "Firearms."

     I think these are serious times. My Uncle Prentice isn't gonna do shit about it other than clown around. I'm not gonna devote my psyche, my bearing to it cause an asshole like Donald Trump isn't worth it.

     But I'm not gonna play stupid for the next for years either.

     Here are some links with, first, a couple verses from Paper Moon:

        It is only a paper moon
Sailing over a cardboard sea
But it wouldn't be make believe
If you believed in me

Yes, it's only a canvas sky
Hangin' over a muslin tree
But it wouldn't be make believe
If you believed in me

 It's a Barnum and Bailey world
Just as phony as it can be
But it wouldn't be make believe
If you believed in me

How Atwater's "Nigger Memo" became Cliff Simms and Jeff Sessions and Steve Bannon's Trump White House by a Republican operative of the Midwest with a shout out to the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention

And here is a little something I discovered just today on the Cliff Simms, Rick Burgess, Alabamafication of America


Blogger Randall Balmer said...

Nice work again, Stephen.

3:48 PM  
Blogger Randall Balmer said...

Nice work again, Stephen.

3:48 PM  

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