Is Your Opinion Worth Our Time?

Last month a professor at East Tennessee State University read a column I wrote on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and thought enough of it to invite me to speak to her journalism class. She asked me to speak on what I think makes a good op-ed. Of my own writing, the column that caught … Continue reading Is Your Opinion Worth Our Time?

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Do We Remember: ‘We Have Had Our Fall’

H.L. Mencken hated the South. My first meaningful encounters with Mencken's work came while we were in Dayton. Mencken approached his coverage of the Scopes Trial — and Dayton and its people — with the same quick-witted ferocity he was famous for. In reading over his attacks of the South in Ralph C. Wood's Flannery O'Connor and … Continue reading Do We Remember: ‘We Have Had Our Fall’

Learning About My Christ-Haunted People

Ralph C. Wood is a guy I've heard a lot about. The Baylor professor has shown up multiple times in writings of others I follow and in some casual conversations with friends. The book I keep hearing about is his Flannery O'Connor And The Christ-Haunted South. This week, I began the book both because: • O'Connor … Continue reading Learning About My Christ-Haunted People

The South, Memory, and Meaning

I miss the South these days, which are odd days to miss it, since it’s being smothered by wet heat like a hot towel in a sauna. Nevertheless, the South is my home, and I miss her. I blame Warren Cole Smith for reminding me. To mark the forty-sixth anniversary of Flannery O’Connor’s death, in … Continue reading The South, Memory, and Meaning

Westward Reneaus

This is the longest I’ve been away from Tennessee in my entire life. Kind of weird. Julie, Jesse, and I have been out West for about a month. Already we’ve seen the morning sun glow on red rocks that jut from the ground. Two nights ago snow started falling, so walking to work since then … Continue reading Westward Reneaus

Scopes isn’t cause for celebration

As happens in the newspaper world, this weekend I wrote an editorial in The Herald-News that may have assumed too much. While I know the overwhelming majority of folks who read our newspaper don’t keep up on the blogosphere, I figured I’d take advantage of modern communication and clarify a few things. The editorial I … Continue reading Scopes isn’t cause for celebration

New Scopes Photos

The Smithsonian Institution Archives announced Thursday it will upload never-before published photos from the Scopes Evolution Trial held in Dayton, Tennessee, in July 1925. They'll be available at the Smithsonian's Flickr page on Friday, July 8. It's a pretty cool find. Take the time to check it out. Look for more information on the release … Continue reading New Scopes Photos