Friday, September 06, 2002

Charles Pierce letter to Alterman: (hey, when's this guy gonna write an amusing letter to me, anyway...):

Name: Charles Pierce
Hometown: Newton, MA.
Eric —
Last week, in a teaser regarding a story about the Florida governor’s race, the CNN graphic under Janet Reno’s picture read, “Reno’s shaky lead.” Now, I’d like to believe this was just stupidity, given the former AG’s battle with Parkinson’s Disease, and not the kind of cruel incivility that so offends my gal Annie and the Mickster, but one does wonder. The same impulse leads me to want to believe that the Umbro folks accidentally called their new athletic shoe “Zyklon,” without knowing that Zyklon-B was the gas-of-choice in the death camps but, to do that, I’d have to know the exact number of idiots who passed the name up the Umbro chain of command. Silly me. I still like to believe in unfortunate accidents.
How about Andy who, now that he’s stopped campaigning for mayor of Omaha, will explain the psychology of the American South to us. (The Mickster chimes in with his own take on Guilty Southern White Boys-whom he identifies as anyone from that region who points out that ghettos are not necessarily formalized gatherings of like-minded lazy people.) Now, I wouldn’t know Howell Raines if he sat in my lap-although “Whiskey Man,” his novel, is a fine read and should have occasioned more, alas-but I suspect that guilt is the least of his problems. It’s about renegade culture close to the surface, and about all those gigs Otis Redding played at segregated Southern frat houses in the 1960’s, and about the racial lineup of Booker T. and the MG’s (“Play it, Steve!” and he did.), and about how much Ray Charles loved Hank Williams. Whatever else it’s about, it’s not about guilt. Twenty-five years after Elvis kicked, and Blogistan is still filled with uptight Northern honkies who just don’t get it. Pity.