James Baldwin, an American novelist, essayist, playwright and poet
What an interesting man James Baldwin is!
A television interviewer once asked Baldwin to describe the challenges he faced starting his career as “a black, impoverished homosexual,” to which Baldwin laughed and replied: “I thought I’d hit the jackpot.”
This article at NPR tells us some about this fascinating, talented man and gives us a peek into his newest book, ‘The Cross of Redemption,’ which is a collection of several of Baldwin’s essays, speeches and articles.
He’s a man who has much to teach us on the subjects of race, homosexuality, tolerance, communication and observing so we can advance knowledge and reduce hate and fear.
“You give me this advantage,” Baldwin once wrote to his white audience. “Whereas you never had to look at me — because you’ve sealed me away along with sin and hell and death — my life was in your hands and I had to look at you. I know more about you than you know about me.”
Have any of you read him? If so, do you have a favorite to recommend? I haven’t yet read him, but I WILL!
To Kill A Mockingbird was published on July 11, 1960. The book was adapted into an Oscar-winning film in 1962.
To Kill a Mockingbird is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Harper Lee. It was instantly successful and has become a classic of modern American literature. The plot and characters are loosely based on the author’s observations of her family and neighbors, as well as on an event that occurred near her hometown in 1936 — when she was 10 years old. The novel is renowned for its warmth and humor, despite dealing with the serious issues of rape and racial inequality.
The book has valuable lessons about an evil that needed to be brought into the open and defeated. I’ve heard it said of this time, “We liberated not just black people, we liberated white people.” Surely, Harper Lee contributed to this liberation with her book.
What defeats evil? Is it kindness? Could it be knowledge which seems to tame, if not defeat, fear? Is there a lesson you learned from To Kill A Mockingbird? How do the lessons the novel offers relate to problems in our world today — immigration, embracing the different cultures of all countries, fears of the unknown? What other current issues could we relate to this timeless novel and the lessons it offers?
I’m just checking out WordPress’ new “reblogging” feature.
I’ve always maintained that I’m not “anti” anything, but rather “pro” other things.
Sooo….this is my disclaimer. I’m not anti-Glenn Beck, I’m PRO-REALITY and TRUTH!
via The Glenn Beck Review
Our dear departed friend Steven has entered the world beyond. I could in no way replace him, but I am going to try to contribute more in an effort to keep this blog, which meant so much to him, alive and well.
Since we are all weary at this point, I am going to start with a few non-political topics, ones that meant so much to our fallen leader.
Everyone is aware that Steven was a voracious reader and books meant a lot to him. What better way to honor him than to discuss a topic that was dear to him?
So, what books to you like? What do you stay up all night reading? It doesn’t have to be your favorite or even something “high-brow” that will “wow” us with your worldliness! Just what are you reading now or what would you like to re-read in the future?
So, let’s hear it! Steven will be watching, so provide your reasons for your choice of literature, lest it rain (!) on your head!
William Stephenson Clark
November 22nd is the anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. I was in Mrs. Boyd’s 4th grade class when our Principal shared the news that day. I recall distinctly thinking, “What is going to happen, now?”
The day of the week in 1963 was a Friday. Jackie devoted herself to orchastrating the funernal – she was 33 years old at the time.
My parents wanted me to stay in and watch the funeral. I did, but was happy to get outside to play when I was permitted. I remember we were playing outside climbing trees when a friend came outside and said, “Someone has shot Oswald.”
We replied “no, you dumb ass, Oswald shot, Kennedy!” We were profane in the 4th grade. Little did we know, how crazy things were. I think the killing of Oswald, did much to promote the conspiracy theories advanced afterward.
Deaths of parents can be profound (I have not had one yet), but the death of JFK was the death of the future and hope. It still saddens me greatly. I hope our country never goes through anything like it again.
I recently finished the biography An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy 1917 -1963 by Robert Dallek. I would highly recommend it to those who haven’t read it.
Hey, you bloggers, have memories, thoughts, conspiracy theories, hopes, on this subject?
I have to be in a certain mood to want to read a Jon Krakauer book. Usually, that mood is not a good one. I greatly admire his work which include: Into the Wild; Into Thin Air; and Under the Banner of Heaven. Krakauer’s latest: Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman was definitely worthy of this author’s attention and talents. As I see it, the beat that Krakauer works is the intersection of Men, machismo, and testosterone and the likely result of the collision of these forces is – Tragedy. There could be no better places to mine these ores than in the NFL and the disaster currently called Afghanistan.
In his own machismo struggle, Krakauer took the photo that graces the cover of this latest.
The story follows the divergent timelines of unrelated events. For examples: 1) when Tillman was in highschool, Ramzi Yousef was doing this; 2) when Tillman was in college, Osama bin Laden was doing this.
The forces eventually meet. And predictably not to a good end.
This book troubled me almost as much as the Under the Banner of Heaven did. The intentional deceit perpetrated by our government about Tillman’s death in its unique way made the tragedy worse than in the earlier book.
And… the criminals in this latest book have not been held accountable.
Barbara Ehrenreich is an author of such books as The Hearts of Men which contended feminism ruined the nuclear family; Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, where she exposed the stupidity of the poor are poor because they refuse to work. Her latest book, Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America, takes on optimism and positive thinking. She says Americans are simply too damned cheerful, and she ties this to the mortgage crisis, our media, even our religion.
She says that although Americans stress positive thinking more than any other culture, happiness is elusive if you compare us to other countries.
In an interview with Megan Hustad, Ehrenreich said, “it relates to all this work we do to make ourselves be more positive. Positive thinking is imposed on people in a lot of settings. If you’re in the typical corporate workplace, you are exhorted to be positive. You’re told nobody wants to be around a negative person—which could mean somebody who just raises questions now and then, questions like ‘Isn’t our subprime exposure dangerously large here?’ People were fired for that in ’05 and ’07, right up until the end of the housing boom. You just could not say something like that.” Continue reading
I am sure, like many other folk, I am tearing through Dan Brown’s latest, The Lost Symbol, as fast as many of Brown’s characters must do, because their very lives depend upon it. I bought it when it came out last Tuesday, but did not start reading it until my schedule allowed me to devote serious time to the experience.
Upon reflection, I think my proneness to addiction to “commercial trash fiction” comes from my mother’s side of the family. It is just one of those challenges one has to accept about one’s self.
I’m not going to give anything away here, but Brown has created a villian that is as close to a real monster as anything I have ever seen. This monster will resort to some pretty seriously strange things in his pursuit of being “god-like”.
The book cover indicates that Brown’s The Da Vinci Code was “one of the widely read novels of all time.” I thought, ‘surely not’, but this source indicates the Brown blockbuster was the fifth most read book. The Bible was number one and Quotations from the Works of Mao-Tse-tung was number two.
Have any of you bloggers indulged with the lastest Brown work? Maybe some of our more knowledgeable writer friends will comment on this genre’. Would like to hear from anyone who has an opinion or thoughts about Brown’s (or similar popular writers’) work.
“Why did I sign on to this proposal, if i don’t understand what it does?” George W. Bush is quoted by Matt Latimer in his new tell-all book, Speech-less: Tales of a White House Survivor. Allegedly, Bush asked this question when it almost dawned on him what the bank bail out proposal was supposed to do.
Bush’s stupidity, sounds more astounding than even I had ever imagined. See a brief review here. Thanks to Lilac for this post idea.
Thomas Frank, author of What’s the Matter with Kansas and The Wrecking Crew will be at the Watermark Bookstore (Douglas and Oliver) on September 16th at 7:00 p.m. His second book has come out as a trade paperback and I suspect this is the reason for his appearance, or it could be because he enjoyed the local bloggers so much last time.
The 16th will be a Wednesday night. Maybe some of us could meet there again?
I read a review for a new book written by Sam Tanenhaus (editor of The New York Times Book Review and that paper’s Week in Review) titled, “The Death of Conservatism.”
The reviewer stated the author writes about Conservatives who identify government itself as being with the ‘forces of evil.’ Then the book delves into the obvious question of what their strategy will be since political power can only operate through government.
He concludes that rigid absolutism, personal attacks and reflexive stonewalling will be the death of the Party.
“Of all the important studies of the American right, The Family is undoubtedly the most eloquent. It is also quite possibly the most terrifying.” Thomas Frank
As many of you hopefully noticed the author of this book left a comment on one of Jammer’s Posts encouraging others to read his book which has produced the most in- depth rsearch on this invisible network of fundamentalists. Mr. Sharlet apologized for departing from blog etiquete. I approved his message and I think anyone who has a number 4 on the NY Times bestseller list, can depart from usual courtesy.
I bought the book today and have started it. Guess how many pages into the book before both Sam Brownback and Toddly Tiahrt are mentioned? Yes, that’s right both made appearances before page 30.
These people are scary, as Thoms Frank notes above. Their Jesus has a decidedly “world-conqueror” bent to his philosphy. George W. Bush supposedly found Jesus at one of this group’s establishments.
It is a long book, but despite that short coming it would be a great book-club read.
I am wanting to start a “book club” that has no particular theme. I will send out my street address as that becomes necessary. I and the members need a couple of weeks to read the book(s). The theme can be anything of interest to the group members. Send out an email to get things started. Lend some ideas as to what would work for you…
Thanks for all you do… Steven