Well, Scratch McWherter Off The List of Acceptable Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates

It’s an easy enough question. Say you only have one sibling and he is gay. He’s been with his partner for fifteen years. Your kids love them both, adore them.  They are your only family in the world.

If you and your spouse die, would your kids be better off being adopted by them or placed up for adoption by strangers?

If McWherter had his way, your wishes wouldn’t matter. He’s opposed to letting gay people adopt.

Do you support a proposed ban on unmarried (including gay) couples adopting children?

McWherter does support the ban, and feels that having parents of the opposite sex is better for a child. He says that the Department of Children’s Services reports to the governor, so as governor, he would be responsible for children in need of this service. I followed up by asking if he felt that foster care by an opposite-sex couple was better than adoption by a same-sex couple, and he said that he did.

Yep. McWherter knows what’s better for your kids than you do.  And he’s willing to tear your children away from the only family they know in order to impose his political agenda on the state.

It’s bad enough to see a Democrat being such a balls out bigot towards gay people, but damn, that he’s willing to hurt children in order to advance his anti-gay bigotry?

What can you even say in the face of that?

8. The Brentwood Library

I don’t think there’s anyone in town who doesn’t remember this.  It started bad enough.  When they went to break ground for the Brentwood library, right across the road from the giant, narrow steal diamond of the WSM radio tower, they found Native American remains.  And so construction was delayed while the city and the activists argued over what to do.  It ended up costing the developers a bunch of money, but eventually, the remains were relocated and construction continued.

And then, when they were digging the foundation for the back part of the building, rumor has it that they found more bones.  But this time the general contractor told the workers to shut up about it and to keep building.  No more delays.  Not for dead folks who couldn’t bother to show up when the dead-folk moving was being done.  And so, people say, the Brentwood library went up on top of Native American remains.

It was little surprise, then, when the voices started.  Faint voices you’d hear on site.  You might have a long two-by-four slung over your shoulder, walking down a steal beam and, there, in broad daylight, two stories up, you would hear a woman’s voice, faint, but clear.  Or sometimes, a man’s deep voice, softly singing.

The men who were a part of the crew from the beginning quit, sure that the voices were the dead people.  Even a crew they brought in from Kentucky lasted only three days.

And this was not your typical haunting.  Everyone on-site eventually heard it.  Someone brought their pastor in to pray over the site.  No luck.  Some one else suggested they call in the activists, have them work their stuff and appease the spirits.  But no one wanted to risk being required to tear down the library.  And so, the work continued.

Then, one day, an electrician turned to a plumber and asked, “That voice?  Isn’t that Ricky Skaggs?  Ricky Skaggs ain’t dead, is he?”

And the plumber stopped, cocked his head, and after a second, said, “I do believe you’re right.  That sure does sound like Ricky Skaggs.”

And the electrician looked at the plumber and began to laugh.  “This whole place is just one big radio, ain’t it?  We’re listening to WSM.”

The plumber laughed in return.  “I think you’re right.”

And that seems to be the case.  When the atmospheric conditions are right, the metal in the Brentwood library acts like a giant radio receiver.  So, when you’re alone in the stacks, and you hear faint music, it’s just those same old Nashville ghosts, the folks who always haunt us.

Ooo, About the Ghost Stories

I don’t know if you noticed, but you can find them all in the category “All the Same Old Haunts” under “Ooo, Spooky.”  Or you can click on the map to make it a full page and you’ll see a list of all the titles of the stories and, as they go live, you can get to them by clicking on the story title.  So, if you missed some, you can still find them.

What I’m Learning

I was just saying in an email that the thing that’s kind of blowing my mind about writing these ghost stories and then getting your reaction from them is that, even though I have a master’s degree in literature, I feel like I knew nothing important about fiction before taking on this project and hearing back from you.

It’s hard for me to articulate, exactly, what it is that I’m learning, probably because I’m in the middle of it.  But part of it is this–I feel like I was trained to believe that everything in a story has meaning, and that understanding that meaning, often by using critical tools, is the first task of a good reader. (I’m not saying that that’s what the people who trained me were trying to train me to think, but that’s what I took from it).

But now I get that the most important question, at least the one that matters between an author and an audience is, “Does it work?” When I tell you a story, are you entertained?”

And I’m deeply flattered by all the comments people have made about how real the stories sound. As the person who wrote that, I love it.  I have to be honest with you, though, nothing has prepared me for that reaction, for the delight and concern about it seeming too real.  And I don’t know what to make of it. I’ve sat around plenty thinking about stories that, for whatever reason, don’t seem real and I’ve tried to understand what it is that doesn’t sit right–after all, if it’s all make-believe, why should I find this one thing completely plausible and this other thing somehow outside the bounds of what should happen?

But I’ve never thought about crossing that line the other way, about how unsettling it can be, even when you know a story is made up, to have it feel too real.  Don’t get me wrong, I think that being unsettled is a good reaction to a ghost story.  But this is really interesting to me and not something I’ve ever thought about.  I mean, even when you hear about the initial reactions to, say, War of the Worlds, you study it as a kind of “Oh, look at the idiots! How many there are.” moment. Like how could all these people believe something that is clearly fictional?

But y’all who have said that you know they’re fake and still find it cool and weird how real these stories feel have me thinking that there’s something going on here that’s more complicated than “Only dipshits can’t tell fact from fiction.”

I don’t know.  I don’t know what to make of it.

I just feel like, for everything I thought I understood about stories, it’s done little to prepare me for what I’m learning now.

And I am really enjoying it, I just have to say, really tickled by your delight. I know we’re only a week into it, but this is one of the most enjoyable things I’ve done while blogging and I’m really grateful to y’all for indulging me.

Let’s Do the Time Warp Again!

It’s like Tennessee Democratic leadership thinks “It’s just a step to the left, and then a jump to the right,” is some kind of campaign strategy. I don’t know.  I’m tired of complaining about the Tennessee Democrats.  I would like for them to stand for something even remotely resembling actual Democratic principals, state-wide.  And I’d like for them to behave like there’s more at stake than just getting re-elected.

Let me be frank with you, Tennessee Democrats. The threat of the state going completely Republican and you getting re-districted out of existence for the next decade or two has no weight if you also are going to behave like Republicans.

How could it possibly be worse to be governed by conservative jackasses who are upfront with their conservative jackassery than it would be to be governed by conservative jackasses calling themselves Democrats?

See LeftWingCracker and Andy Axel for more astute observations than I can pull off.

(Okay, wait, before I let this completely go. A lot of babies in this state are conceived in petri dishes. That’s a pretty common treatment for infertility.  Are we now telling parents who’ve had this done that babies who are a result of scientific intervention are bullshit to Democrats?  That there’s something inherently wrong and gross with children brought into being this way?

Are we even going to pretend to be a party that doesn’t have a problem with women?  I ask you that. Or is everything with the Dems going to be a sell-out to this idea that letting women control when, if, and how we have kids is a problem that must be addressed by the legislature.  Is there anyone who even thinks about the wider symbolism of the images we put out?)

The Itch

People, let me just say at the start that, if you are planning on having any type of medical problems, you should just befriend Coble, because she will send you emails like, “Hey, you may not know this, but a lot of people who take thus and such find they have this thing once they come off it.” And you will also experience that thing, but it will not be as scary, because you knew ahead of time it was possible.

So, I’m having some unpleasant things in the wake of the brief steroid stint.  But today I’m here to tell you about one in particular–“the itch.”

Since I went off the steriods on Sunday, I have been awoken in the middle of the night by an excruciating itch. I still have some scabby grossness from the rash, so it would seem to be related to that.

Except for two things 1. The itch is not alleviated by scratching.  No matter how hard or soft I scratch or where on my shin I scratch, it doesn’t help. Because 2. I realized, as I awoke from a beautiful sleep last night to contemplate the itch, it’s the right side of my shin bone that itches.  I can feel the itch along the flat part of the bone above my ankle.  How, I ask you, can the surface of your bone itch?

And, once it’s decided to itch, why does it only itch in the middle of the night?