Running Away With Me

I was flipping radio stations on the way home and heard “Just My Imagination” by The Temptations. It’s a song I must have heard a million times,  but sometimes you luck out and you hear a song you know really well with fresh ears.

Such was my drive home.

And I just want to say that this is an incredible song, just beautifully sung. Eddie Kendricks sings so high without that scratchiness guys can get when they up there, and he gives each word a kind of softness to it that even the delivery of the song puts you in mind of a daydream. You can make out what he says, but this is also really a case where his voice is an instrument. What he’s saying is fine, but how he says it is really beautiful. And the contrast with Paul Williams’ scratchy, more earthy voice there on the bridge. Whew, doggie.

I still think “Papa was a Rolling Stone” is my favorite Temptations song, but man, you have to admit this one is near perfect.

Young Mothers

Holy cow, this interview with Lauren Bruce is amazing. I think there’s a lot of overlap between what Lauren is saying and what Kathy says in this post:

You know what I’d like to see? A story about abortion restrictions in red states written by a woman who actually lives in one. I’d like to see more stories about working-class women — women are disproportionately poor — written by actual, working-class women. But most importantly I’d like too see the larger sites at least acknowledge that some of those women are a part of their readership.

I think that, at the least, it’s time we start being more critical about stories about people that aren’t by those people and that don’t include the viewpoints and experiences of those people.

Two Old-Timey Things

1. Google is marking Mark Twain’s birthday with a mess. Huck Finn is making Tom Sawyer paint a fence?! That doesn’t make sense on at least two levels. I just don’t think it’s a compliment to fuck up a man’s iconic work like that.

2. Bridgett reminded me that today is the anniversary of the Battle of Franklin, which was one of the worst losses for the South in the Civil War and is regarded as one of the most colossal disasters in the history of warfare. I believe the Confederates lost more generals in this battle than had ever been (and it still may be a record) killed in a single battle ever. Yes, ever. So, that’s… um… kind of embarrassing. Even worse is that the Confederates basically committed suicide by soldier in order to stop the Union from retreating. I know there are many, many good reasons why the Confederates did not want to let the Union forces get to Nashville. Don’t get me wrong. I’m just saying that when someone is trying to run away from you, it makes them handing you your ass even more embarrassing.

We’re just two weeks out from the Battle of Nashville.

I read Lucy Virginia French Smith (or maybe Smith French)’s diary when she was up in McMinnville and the thing that struck me–well, two things–is that they’d hear of these battles quite quickly (in her case, she said she could even hear the guns from the Battle of Murfreesboro) and they’d always be framed as Confederate victories. Only days later would they learn the truth. It’s weird to think of those false days when they got to live with the idea that they were winning. I wonder if that’s part of what encouraged insurrections like the Klan. They’d felt as true an alternative history in which they’d had great victories. It seemed as possible as defeat.

Second was the absolute terror she felt after Lincoln was assassinated, sure that the Federal army would come into the South and slaughter everyone. And you know, frankly, it was a possibility. A very likely possibility. We don’t hear about it now because it didn’t happen, but Booth was willing to risk the lives of the very people he claimed to be acting on behalf of.