Saturday, March 14, 2015

Postcard from Taylor Branch from Selma 2015

Thank you so much Taylor Branch for your postcard and note from Selma 2015. The King Era trilogy ought to be required reading. It motivated me to work for the Southern Poverty Law Center and still informs me. Hopefully my own books reflect a constant awareness of race and justice.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

"South, America" at West Feliciana Parish Library

I love visiting some of the South's smaller libraries--e.g. the West Feliciana Parish Library , an incubator of creativity and passion for reading. So happy to be going there on March 24 to discuss South, America.

Especially when Olivia Pass, one of the librarians, has this to say: "JUST, I mean, JUST, finished 'South, America.' What a wonderful novel! It's clean, meaning no superficial stuff; literate; meaningful; and humorous. OMG! I loved it! Am looking forward to meeting this man who wrote it."

What more can you ask?

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Taylor Branch's King trilogy puts President Obama at Selma in historical perspective

Really stunning that President Obama is at Selma today. Fifty years ago he would have been beaten. For me, the best account of that entire era is Taylor Branch's King trilogy. Can't recommend it enough.

Friday, February 27, 2015

San Antonio boxer Oscar Diaz passes

Very sad news of the death from previous injuries of the San Antonio boxer Oscar Diaz. Covered very well by Gregg Barrios.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Book Club for Ex-offenders is a great model for any community

This Washington book club is the kind of outreach that can make a tremendous difference in a community. And it costs almost nothing to be supported or hosted by a city, county, university or community college. Also a great model for reaching out to veterans.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Mardi Gras in Acadiana

Nice piece and great photos on the rural Cajun version of Mardi Gras. Too bad he leaves Africa out of his references to the origins (okra!) of gumbo. But that's another story.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Is Mardi Gras another Halloween to the religious right?

Apparently Mardi Gras is now getting the same damnation shade eye from the Religious Right as does Halloween. When a stranger observed me today wearing beads and smiled that I had "the Mardi Gras spirit," a woman nearby corrected him to say it was Shrove Tuesday. When I jokingly asked what that was, she stiffened up to say it was the name of the day for Christians. To which I replied, "So is Mardi Gras" and walked off. I encountered a lot of this kind of You're-Going-to-Hell-and-I'm-Not attitude when writing American Voudou, which deals with violently repressive white "Christian" religious/racial intolerance to African theology. I don't think it's an accident that the main city that celebrates Mardi Gras in the U.S. is majority black. Today I got a twinge of that same feeling. The more things change.....

Friday, January 23, 2015

South, America: "reminiscent of the the late and great Larry Brown"

Getting kind words from another writer is one of those things that keeps you typing. Thanks, prize-winning Georgia author Ted Dunagan, and for the 5 stars to South, America  on Amazon.

"Rod Davis, in his latest work (South, America), artfully strings words together slightly reminiscent of the late and great Larry Brown. Set in the Heart of Dixie--the Mississippi Delta, Alabama and Louisiana, with a beginning and an ending in the Big Easy, exposes his readers to hate, love, drugs, murder, mafia and mayhem while he skillfully brings the novel to a haunting conclusion with a possible hint of the resurrection of the beautiful memory he has been abandoned to. Wow!"

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Matt Taibbi is the one too dumb to criticize re "American Sniper"

Matt Taibbi is the one almost too dumb to criticize with this nonsense conflation in "Rolling Stone" of his superficial policy quips and the real-life issues and tragedies that servicemembers face in doing the dirty business of war. In part for sh@itheels like Taibbi and Michael Moore pimping their own rides.

We're down to .5 percent of Americans now actually serving in the military. The logical meaning of that number is hard to overstate. Taibbi is a case study in getting it wrong. Chris Kyle never said he was a hero. But he did what he was trained to do and he died trying to help another damaged veteran. Good enough measure of a man for me.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Paying Attention with Jim Harrison

In his Zen poetry collection "After Ikkyu," Jim Harrison says:
     "I was writing a poem about paying attention and microwaved a hot dog so hot it burned a beet-red hole in the roof of my mouth."
      As for myself, I was trimming my goatee this morning to show how together I was and I forgot to put the length-guard over the blades and mowed down a swath of whiskers so wide I had to shave the whole thing off.
       Back to the sitting mat.