Monday, November 30, 2015

Dixie Chicks add a second State Fair show

Good news. But no one is ever "made whole again" after horrendous mistreatment. Well, maybe they will be glorious on stage again.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

What Morro Bay Has Instead of the San Francisco Monterey Cypress Tree Tunnel at Point Reyes

A quarter mile long tunnel adjacent to the High School--known as "The Trees."

Is this 1913 illustration the earliest depiction of the murderous David Fanning?

THE MASTER OF THE RED BUCK AND THE BAY DOE, William Laurie Hill (Charlotte: Stone, 1913).

See my "Absolving David Fanning--From Dreck to Rumph," JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, 24 November 2015. I am happy that four days later on 28 November when the webzine announced the 10 most popular articles for the month this one scraped in at 10th place, the ballots stained with cranberry sauce and red-eye gravy!


Carly is carving a few notches in her long gun today?

Does she have any inkling that her lies in a national debate could cause people to die in Colorado?

Friday, November 27, 2015

At 80, my first cell phone--one that takes pictures

Technically this is a "flip phone"--very inexpensive and very small, just right for taking to the beach. First what is left of a seal, looking NW toward Cayucos and the stretch of land gained for the State by Lyons and Gibson two decades ago.
The seal closer up.
Our house, in the middle. Under a lot of potential mud.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


 If the link does not work just type in JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION.

Absolving David Fanning—from Dreck to Rumph

This illustration depicts David Fanning coercing Cornelius Tyson into a deal.

"A Remarkable Horse Trade"  from the book, "The Master of the Red Buck and the Bay Doe", William Laurie Hill (Charlotte, NC: Stone Publishing Co, 1913).

"A Remarkable Horse Trade" from the book, "The Master of the Red Buck and the Bay Doe", William Laurie Hill (Charlotte, NC: Stone Publishing Co, 1913).
I keep promising myself to write on how David Fanning, the Tory guerrilla turned British colonel, became a psychotic murderer off the battlefield in North Carolina in 1782. But was it late 1781? First, I have to try to settle tough questions. Did Fanning really do no harm to any human being in South Carolina?[1] Did he really stage a dramatic public presentation of himself as backwoods Tory savior early in 1781?[2] Did he really learn of Cornwallis’s surrender at Yorktown days before Gen. Griffith Rutherford learned of it?[3] How did he deal, practically and emotionally, with being abandoned when the British evacuated Wilmington, leaving him without ammunition, other supplies, and what he had gloried in, praise?[4] How many people, men and women, did he slaughter in cold blood? We don’t know.
We are still hampered by the absence of wartime North Carolina newspapers, diaries, and ordinary personal records and by flaws in stories that circulated word of mouth before North Carolinians tried to write their own histories, and even after histories were published. Misunderstandings and legends are still being repeated. I’m ready to believe the worst about Fanning, partly because my docket of Fanning’s previously unknown murders keeps getting longer,[5] but in this air-clearing piece I cast doubt on his guilt or absolve him of three different murders or sets of murders.
In 1851 Fanning’s first victims (off the battlefield) were identified by Joseph Johnson:[6] “His first marauding expedition is said to have been to Deep river; and the earliest sufferers from his rapacity and violence, were Charles Spearing, Captains Dreck and Dye.” Fanning “went to Spearing’s in the night, shot him as he ran from the house, took his gun, scoured the neighborhood, and returned to Rains’” (that is, he went back to John Rains’s house on Brush Creek near where it flows into Deep River below Fanning’s frequent base at Cox’s Mill in Randolph County). Former North Carolina Gov. D. L. Swain had provided the text Johnson published, and in 1853 he salvaged it to introduce a valuable paper left by Archibald D. Murphey, the great researcher who died in 1832 before finishing his history of North Carolina.[7] Here Swain named the “earliest sufferers” as “Charles Shearing, Captains Duck and Dye.” That is, he corrected “Spearing” and “Dreck” but did not fix the problem with the syntax and the captains, whose fate was left ambiguous.
The next year Eli W. Caruthers, using some of the late former congressman Archibald McBryde’s notes (as Murphey had done), and assuming that the sufferer “Charles Sherring” must have been an “active and resolute Whig,” dated the attack on him to about the time of Fanning’s raid on Pittsboro (that is, on the Chatham Court House, July 17, 1781). “Sherring” had hidden in a corn crib, Caruthers said. Suspicious, searching in the dark, Fanning fired between the logs, hitting Sherring’s “wind-pipe and the neck bone.” Somehow Sherring kept silent despite his agony, then after Fanning left he rode eight miles to get his wounds dressed by his friend Cornelius Tyson.[8] Fanning had not killed him, after all.
Three decades later John H. Wheeler revisited this story without using Caruthers and without thanking Swain: “One of the earliest sufferers was Charles Shearing, of Deep River, to whose house he [Fanning] went at night, and shot him dead as he fled.”[9] On December 14, 1910 the Siler City Grit quoted Wheeler, without attribution. Ten days later the Greensboro Daily News challenged the quotation. The Daily News had learned the facts of Shearing’s death eight years earlier from the nonagenarian Methodist minister, Louis Phillips, whose family had lived near Shearing on Deep River, just over Chatham County into Cumberland (later Moore) County. Shearing had been “a notorious cattle thief” who slaughtered his stolen cattle on a large boulder which, in 1910, was still called “Shearing’s Rock.” Shearing had been outlawed, after the war, and Ben Elkins and Louis Phillips, the father of the minister, were sent to capture him. Shearing rushed toward Elkins “with upraised hoe, declaring he would kill him,” and Elkins fired, “killing Shearing almost instantly.”[10] After reading the Daily News, the Grit on January 11, 1911 printed Caruthers’s long account of Fanning’s attack on “Sherring.”
"Fanning Loses the Bay Doe" from the book, "The Master of the Red Buck and the Bay Doe", William Laurie Hill (Charlotte, NC: Stone Publishing Co, 1913).
“Fanning Loses the Bay Doe” from the book, “The Master of the Red Buck and the Bay Doe”, William Laurie Hill (Charlotte, NC: Stone Publishing Co, 1913).

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Crucifying Andrea is about as stupid as Oklahoma Presses not printing the word Okie.


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Andrea Quenette is an assistant professor of communication studies at the University of Kansas. Mike Yoder/Lawrence Journal-World

Andrea Quenette is an assistant professor of communication studies at the University of Kansas.

A white professor who used the n-word during a lecture about racism on college campuses was placed on paid leave after her students filed a complaint against her.
Andrea Quenette, an assistant professor of communication studies at the University of Kansas, must stay off campus as the school investigates, she told the Lawrence Journal-World.
Her suspension came two days after five of her students demanded she be fired in an emotional open letter.
“I didn’t intend to offend anyone, I didn’t intend to hurt anyone. I didn’t direct my words at any individual or group of people,” she told the newspaper Friday.
Quenette’s controversial remarks came during a Nov. 12 class for graduate students who teach undergraduate classes. The class met the day after a contentious university-wide forum on race and discrimination, which followed days of protests at the University of Missouri over concerns about the school’s handling of racial issues.
Diversity in the classroom was already on the syllabus, the 33-year-old professor said, and one of her students asked how they could handle racial problems in their own classrooms.
“As a white woman I just never have seen the racism,” Quenette told her class, according to the open letter calling for her resignation. “It’s not like I see ‘n----r spray painted on walls.”
Quenette said it was her way of acknowledging her own blind side. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Damn it all--There go my Woodrow Wilson Fellowship and my Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship

Princeton Students Take Over President’s Office, Demand Erasure Of Woodrow Wilson

Black Lives Matter activists at Princeton University have taken over the president’s office and say they won’t leave until the school acknowledges former U.S. president Woodrow Wilson as a racist and renames all buildings currently honoring him on campus.

Members of a group calling themselves the Black Justice League walked out of their classes late Wednesday morning and assembled at Nassau Hall, where they were met by Princeton president Christopher Eisgruber. The students presented a list of demands inspired by similar lists that have been seen at Yale University, the University of Missouri, and elsewhere.

“WE DEMAND the university administration publicly acknowledge the racist legacy of Woodrow Wilson and how he impacted campus policy and culture,” the students’ demands say. “We also demand that steps be made to rename Wilson residential college, the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and International Affairs, and any other building named after him. Furthermore, we would like the mural of Wilson to be removed from Wilcox Dining Hall.”

The students called on Eisgruber to sign their list of demands, and said until he does so they will occupy Nassau Hall, for days if needed.

“We want to make this as awkward as possible for him,” one activist said, according to The Tab, which has a writer liveblogging the protest. . . .

In addition to their Wilson-related demands, the occupying students also demand that “cultural competency training” be required of all faculty members, and that the school require all students to take classes on the history of “marginalized peoples.” The protesters note that mandatory cultural competency training was voted down last spring because of fears the requirement would trample free speech, but activists say that explanation doesn’t fly and the school needs a “conversation” about the correct meaning of free speech.

“We demand a public conversation,” the demand says, “on the true role of freedom of speech and freedom of intellectual thought in a way that does not reinforce anti-Blackness and xenophobia.”

Unlike some other college presidents around the U.S., Eisgruber has been willing to publicly reject some of the protesters demands out of hand. The school simply isn’t going to eliminate its tributes to Wilson, he said, barely an hour into the protest.

“I agree with you, Woodrow Wilson was a racist,” he said. “In some people, you have good in great measure and evil in great measure.”

Eisgruber did agree, though, with adding courses on marginalized people to distribution requirements, but he said he lacked the power to implement such a requirement.

According to The Tab, as Eisgruber spoke, there were outcries from the crowd.

“This campus owes us everything,” said one student. “We owe white people nothing. All of this is mine. My people built this place.”

In response to Eisgruber’s rapid rejection of the first demand, students for the time being say they will continue their occupation of Eisgruber’s office.

This is very distressing. I may lose two of the awards I was happiest about all these years. In 1959 I quit a good lifetime job as telegrapher on the Kansas City Southern Railroad in Port Arthur, Texas, in order to take a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship to Northwestern University. Will that become the Malcolm X Fellowship? Then in 1962 I was given a Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship. Will that be erased altogether or will it become the Bill Cosby Dissertation Fellowship? Will I get another 1800 dollars for the first one if it is renamed and a munificent 3990 for the second if it is renamed?

Headline Glorifies Terrorist: "Police unsure whether raid killed mastermind."

This morning I emailed the editor of the San Luis Obispo TRIBUNE: "Did you really have to say 


Now, online, the SLO Tribune has:
"Paris attacks 'mastermind' died in raid, French confirm."

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Dixie Chicks to Tour Again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reposting this because the news is that the Dixie Chicks will tour again. In a South which no longer glories in the Confederate flag, in a South which may not after all be solidly Republican, will they get a hearing? Will Apostolic Christian Republicans burn their records? Will any of the country singers speak out in support of them? Will Toby Keith finally apologize for his knee-jerk chauvinistic condemnation of them? Oh, who was the true patriot, Toby or Natalie? Toby, what have you learned in these long years?

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Loving Afterlife of the Dixie Chicks

A few weeks ago I heard Ben Bullington for the First Time, heard "Country Music, I'm Talking to You." Made him sick, it did, what Country Music did to the Dixie Chicks.

I just stopped listening after country fans turned on the Dixie Chicks. I cannot even listen to that clever lyricist Toby Keith after he tried to out Lee-Greenwood Lee Greenwood in Holy Patriotism, when the true patriots were the Dixie Chicks. I understand the holy self-righteous rage. I've been thinking about it in relation to the 18th century Scotch-Irish anger and looking for living people who know how to acknowledge the rage and leave it behind us.

Then just now reading Peter Heller's THE DOG STARS I got to "We loved the Dixie Chicks who wouldn't." Supply the punctuation: "We loved the Dixie Chicks. Who wouldn't?" This in a book published in 2012. I got up and came down to tell Peter Heller how much I love him, backwards, from The Painter to this one. And I find a slur against the Dixie Chicks.

Tyler Kee review 2014 of Peter Heller's THE DOG STARS evoked this snotty comment from Rlc2
rlc2 says:
Ok, update- first chapter done…
Just Wow. This guy can write- a dog guy, a gun guy, a blues guy, pilot- or so good a writer he is in the heads of them all…
Reminds me a little of the science fiction book “A Boy and His Dog” –
Only one tiny quibble- Dixie Chicks…really? …:)
Really, Rlc2, really. People I love love the Dixie Chicks. Brave Ben Bullington loved them. Peter Heller loves them, to drop those 7 words into his book. Tell you who would not love them: Kim Davis and her present husband Joe. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Bobby Jindal. Jeb!Boy. All the "Christians" filled with hatred and self-righteousness. Oh, what has happened to us as a result of centuries of grievances and bitterness and rage! How can we turn away from the taxation of the Church of England and the greed of the landlords in Scotland and Ireland? from the devastation of the Civil War? From religiosity and chauvinism, hollow ignorant "patriotism" when Natalie, God help her, was the true patrio

Monday, November 16, 2015

The 1962 Ustinov BILLY BUDD played on TCM Saturday, Reminding me of an Experiment in Composition in 1988

What Happened When I Tried to Write a Book as Fast as Melville Wrote WHITE-JACKET
On a train out of Strasbourg for Luxembourg I plotted on a manila envelope what I would do when I got home to Wilmington, DE. I had promised to write a book on BILLY BUDD by September and had worked on the Northwestern-Newberry MOBY-DICK instead. I knew Melville had written WHITE-JACKET in 2 months, maximum, and wondered if later on he remembered much about it. I decided as an experiment that I would write the BB book in what time I had in July and all of August. But I had to go to New Orleans first, and there I found a great cache of letters from Oakey Hall, in one of which he casually announced that Melville had written WHITE-JACKET in a score of sittings. I took that to mean that Melville worked for 20 days out of the 2 months--read sources and planned for a day or two and wrote like hell the third day. Well, the weather did not cooperate. It got hot and we had no air conditioning. For 19 days in a row [I am pretty sure it was 19] it was in the mid 90s. People all over the East died. My computer got gummy.
I finished early and sent it off and the publisher (Bobbs Merrill) refused it because it was too long. Northwestern took it as it was. A lot of people liked it. Paul Seydor quotes it in his new book on PAT GARRETT AND BILLY THE KID.
Mike—this is hard to read. I wrote the book between 13 July and 24 August 1988. My computer really did stick in the heat and humidity. And my test proved that in my case, at least, I would not remember a word of what I wrote, whether Melville remembered anything about WHITE-JACKET or not.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

While Jeb!Boy is apologizing to France why not send him to Paris?

Romney did so well in 2012 in England that Jeb!Boy deserves a visit to Paris this week after insulting all of France.
What a crew!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Harrison Hayford and Ernest Samuels Lay Out a Scheme for Hershel Parker November 20, 1961

Found today in my copy of LITERARY HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES while working on the last Historical Note in the final volume of the Northwestern-Newberry Edition of THE WRITINGS OF HERMAN MELVILLE.
As I describe in MELVILLE BIOGRAPHY: AN INSIDE NARRATIVE, I took the qualifying exam in the Spring of 1962, not the Fall, and as luck had it thereby became eligible, the same week, for a new WOODROW WILSON DISSERTATION FELLOWSHIP.