So, I’m watching Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel and they were talking about the freegans in San Francisco and then I’m reading Chris’s piece and I have a question for us here in Nashville, home of food deserts and shitty produce in our grocery stores in poor neighborhoods and I had a thought–why don’t we have fruit trees and berries in our parks? Let people pick whatever apples, pears, blackberries, raspberries, etc. they can. I can see why you might not want people digging up and taking whatever vegetables they might find, but trees and bushes tend to take care of themselves after they get started. Hell, you could plant rosemary and sage, which seem to thrive by neglect.
And what about our prickly pears?
Sure, maybe you’d have to find some way to limit the city’s liability–warning people they pick at their own risk.
But we need vegetation in our parks. Why not have them serve double-duty?
The Tennessee Tea Party is harassing Republican State Representatives because they (oh, god, I just realized that ‘they’ probably equally applies to both the Tea party and many State Representatives) don’t understand how state government works. Ron Lollar, for instance, is being targeted for being a Republican-in-name-only for attempting to kill a bill he’s not even voted on yet (!).
But here’s the interesting thing, from the Tea Party email:
WE HAVE BEEN TOLD THAT THEY NEED TO RECEIVE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF EMAILS AND PHONE CALLS.
WE ADDED SPEAKER HARWELL TO THIS LIST FOR GOOD MEASURE. WE ARE ALSO BEING TOLD THAT GOVERNOR HASLAM IS EXCEEDINLY WEAK…WE NEED TO APPLY PRESSURE TO HIM!
Oh, I have questions, like why these people are so in love with caps lock. But more than that, who is telling them? Who is slipping the Tea Party information about how much they have to harass Republicans? About how weak the governor is? Who could possibly be slipping them misinformation about how Republicans have voted on matters they haven’t voted on yet?
I swear to god, TNDP, if it turns out to be you, I will hand you a hundred dollars and publicly kiss Chip Forrester’s butt.
Ha, obviously, I’m not that worried about the TNDP’s ability to be either that devious or that effective.
This morning they announced they’re sticking Jean Shepard, Reba, and Bobby Braddock in. If you don’t know who Reba is, I guess you’ve just been living under a rock. Bobby Braddock wrote “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” which should have gotten him in had he written no other song, if all he did every day was wake up and sniff his own farts, roll over, and go back to bed, he’s still contributed more to country music just in that one song than most people have in their whole careers. But he’s also written a bunch of other stuff, including “Golden Ring” which never fails to get me choked up in the end. Jean Shepard you may not have heard of, but she and Jeannie Seely… well, I’m sure they wouldn’t think of themselves as feminists. I suspect they’d think, at the least, that label meant a lot of theory and non-leg shaving. But Shepard and Seely are exactly the women that run around town (and have for decades) going “Well, I can so do that. And so can other gals.” Shepard deserves to be in for her on-stage work, but her back-stage influence shouldn’t go unacknowledged.
Look. Here is a perfectly good review of Lucinda Williams’ new album. It lets you know what kinds of songs are on it, what they’re about, and whether it’s a good and interesting listen (apparently so). But you know how I was talking about how strange it is in Jewly Hight’s book that there’s nothing about spouses or lovers or kids unless those spouses, lovers, or kids are the musical collaborators of said women, because the “here’s something about this female artist’s spouse/lover/kids” is so ubiquitous that it’s nearly invisible. It just doesn’t seem strange when a discussion of a female artist’s art is put in the context of her relationships.
And I’m not trying to dog on Blake Boldt in the slightest. I’m just curious, now that the absence of it has brought my attention to its presence, how often I’ll notice.
Listen to songs like “Kiss Like Your Kiss,” a sultry duet with Elvis Costello, and the accordian-kissed “Sweet Love,” and you can see how romantic contentment (Williams married in 2009) has smoothed off some of her rough edges.
Or maybe she smokes a lot of pot now. Or maybe the “I got married and it mellowed me” is a good narrative because people are willing to sympathize with it. But I’m going to keep an eye out for it from here on out–the mention of a female artist’s relationships as being central to her art.
Trope, I have my eye on you.
I am feeling a little anxious about my trip to Illinois. That’s a lot of unmitigated time with my parents. But I’m also really excited. I’m fretting about the book, some, as seems to be my constant state when writing. I’m worried that it’s unfair to churches and ministers and that Methodists, especially, those who have brought me up will feel hurt or betrayed. Not because you can point to anyone and say “Oh, that’s really Joe Smith! I recognize him!” I tried to be very, very careful about not giving specific characters specific traits of people I know, especially because Hannah experiences them as a kind of undulating, undifferentiated mass of people she can’t be a part of.
But I still worry.
And then I think, well, it’s a story about ministers’ kids, specifically a particular Methodist minister’s kid. Let someone else write a book in which the congregations are awesome and the pastor’s family sucks, or in which the pastor is awesome, but his family and church suck.
I don’t know. I’m still not sure it’s very good. I’m worried there are holes I just can’t see. I’m worried it doesn’t make any sense. I’m worried no one will want to publish it or read it.
But I’m still having a shit-ton of fun writing it. When I read it, I feel like, “Yeah, I wish there’d be a strange little book about ministers’ kids like this before.”
And the truth is that I’m not exactly sure what I’m getting at, what I want people to take away from it, so who can say it’s not happening?
I guess I’m getting nervous about asking folks to read it and closer to the time when I’ll want them to.