We at the Flyer are just back from a week off. I spent much of the time — when I wasn't standing around various overladen tables of food stuffing my face — staring into a fireplace, thinking deep thoughts. At the turn of a decade, a man of my years quite naturally turns to contemplation. Here are some things I thought about:
I believe we should start saying, "That's what she said," after reading a fortune cookie fortune. "In bed" is so played out. Here's an example from a recent cookie: "A big surprise awaits you." See?
I think the media should do some, you know, end-of-the-decade, end-of-the-year "lists." That would be so cool.
The Vatican needs to draft a good left tackle to protect the pope's blind side.
The new Sherlock Holmes movie is good, but, boy, was it loud back in those days. Also, Robert Downey Jr. is impossible not to watch. Except if Rachel McAdams is around.
Starry Nights ... I kept hearing, "Starry Nights is wonderful." "Starry Nights sucks," etc. etc. So I went out at lunch last Tuesday to see for myself. Not impressed.
My retreat into deep thoughts was interrupted when I had to go on WREG's "Live at 9" show. They asked me to talk about what the Flyer was reporting 10 years ago. After looking through a year's worth of dusty newpapers, let's just say it's alot like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, i.e., "Let's do the time warp again." In the first issue of 1999, Jackson Baker wrote that Myron Lowery had turned over the chairmanship of the City Council to Joe Ford. Shep Wilbun wrote an op-ed about his mayoral opponent, Willie Herenton. Herenton had called Wilbun (the County Commission chairman) a "boy" and said school board members were "stupid." Wilbun fired back: "Herenton's pattern of name-calling reflects a mindset that both education and age have failed to evolve."
Oh, Brad. Oh, Janet ... Oh, Willie.
And finally, here are the Top 10 Reasons a Week Off at Christmas is a Good Thing: no alarm clock, pajamas, a morning fire, a second pot of coffee, happy dogs, sunbeams on a wooden floor, a big ol' Gibson guitar, thick socks, a quiet house — and rubbing it in when you run into people who have to work.
Now 2010 is here. It's a fresh start. So, let's get after it and pray that the poor fool who has to look back on this issue in 10 years won't be singing the time warp — again.
The U.S. Civil War ended in 1865, but there are many who will tell you that we're still fighting it and will find evidence of such in Jackson Baker's cover story about the current battle over General Nathan Bedford Forrest's statue and gravesite in Memphis ...
It's deep in a November night in Memphis, and I'm awakened by rain. It's coming down hard, sounding like a million pebbles hitting the roof. The gutter I've been meaning to clean is overflowing outside the bedroom window. A flash of lightning illuminates the room, and I do what I've done since I was a boy: count the seconds 'til the thunder rolls. I get almost to 10 before I hear a distant rumble. Two miles or so. Someone else's lightning ...
In the 14 years I've been the Flyer editor, I've gotten lots of hate mail. It mostly used to come in envelopes filled with pages of scrawled handwriting. I read them and put them in the wastebasket, chalking it up as a natural by-product of writing for a liberal paper in the conservative South. Lately, the angry folks have switched to email, and it comes in waves ...