Archive for the ‘Cultural Issues’ Category

Appalachian Scribe NEWS ALERT

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007

We can all sleep easier tonight knowing that Larry Birkhead is Anna Nicole’s baby’s daddy.

Southern Assimilation

Sunday, March 4th, 2007

Dr. Greg Weeks links to this story from NPR concerning country music’s newest fan base – Latinos, and how they have helped revive country music radio stations in places like Los Angeles where country was previously declining. Dr. Weeks notes:

At one point, the reporter went to a festival, and approached a family that looked like a typical group of American country music fans–pick-up truck, cowboy hats, and listening to “Sweet Home Alabama.” Turns out they were Salvadoran, spoke no English, and said simply they liked country music because it was “bonita” and “alegre.”

On the Road to Serfdom

Friday, March 2nd, 2007

A majority of Americans now favor government mandated health care for everyone, even if it means higher taxes. Personal responsibility had died. Americans want the government to provide for them. The government will continue to get bigger and bigger. Americans want it, but someday they’ll see the error of their ways.

I fear for this nation’s future.

Fighting Snobbery with Anna Nicole

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

Covering, you know, real news stories as opposed to Anna Nicole Smith is a form of snobbery. Or at least, that’s what Fox News host John Gibson would have us believe:

GIBSON: Now I submit to you that that is a real, honest-to-God drama. Now it may not fit the high-minded views of a lot of news professionals, people who think that their news program is just another part of Foreign Affairs Quarterly. That only a certain kind of news is worthy of their discussing. Those people are snobs. They’re people who, when they see a story, go, “Ew, icky. I don’t want to do that.” I did this for years. I’ve been doing a long time. I’ve approached many stories and said, “That story isn’t worth our trouble.” It has always been a mistake. Always. Every single time I did it. So when I see people like this guy —

[CLIP ANDERSON COOPER] There’s a war on, there’s a war on, there’s a war on.

GIBSON: Oh, there’s a war on, there’s a war on. Maybe, just maybe, people are a little weary, Mr. Cooper, of your war coverage, and they’d like a little something else. Maybe that’s why they all thundered to this story.

[CLIP ANDERSON COOPER] There’s a war on, there’s a war on, there’s a war on.

GIBSON: My complaint about this is what you’re listening to when you hear that guy lecture the audience, is you’re listening to news-guy snobbery. Essentially saying, “I’m better than you. I know what you want to hear about, but I’m better than that story. I’m too high class for that story. I won’t stoop to what you want to hear about.”

I’m not playing that. People want to hear about the Anna Nicole story, I’m happy to tell them.

No doubt about that, Mr. Gibson. That’s about all you tell them. It’s amazing that I find myself in agreement with this guy most of the time, yet I still can’t stand him. His news show (I’ve never listened to his radio show) is one of the most worthless on television, as it’s simply an hour devoted to whatever sensationalism happens to be playing on whatever given day. If anything, Gibson shows his own snobbery, or at least the fact that he is woefully out of touch, in insisting that “real Americans” want to hear about Anna Nicole Smith instead of Iraq. Americans aren’t stupid, Gibson.


Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

I can attest to the accuracy of this study:

Today’s college students are more narcissistic and self-centered than their predecessors, according to a comprehensive new study by five psychologists who worry that the trend could be harmful to personal relationships and American society.

Read the whole article. I don’t think many people will disagree.

Smokin’ Ruling

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

The Supreme Court gets one right:

The Supreme Court today discarded a $79.5 million jury award against the Philip Morris tobacco company, the latest in a decade-long series of ruling that limit punitive damage verdicts against corporations.

It’s good to see that there’s still room for personal responsibility.

Anna Nicole Saga Enters Day Four

Monday, February 12th, 2007

So Fox News is showing photographs of the inside of Anna Nicole Smith’s refrigerator. All the contents are helpfully labeled. A caption at the top of the photo reads “Death Fridge?”

I could get up on my high horse, but I won’t. I’ll just ask a simple question. Do we really need to see the inside of Anna Nicole’s refrigerator?

Multilingual Oklahoma

Friday, February 9th, 2007

Advocates of making English the official language of Oklahoma have run into a roadblock: Native Americans:

American Indian leaders, citing a desire to preserve their native languages, urged state lawmakers Thursday to defeat “English only” legislation that would declare English Oklahoma’s official language.

In a letter to lawmakers, Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chad Smith said the measure, approved on Wednesday by the House General Government and Transportation Committee, “is really just an ugly symbol of intolerance.”

I doubt that the legislators even thought about this, and I doubt that the intention is to be intolerant toward Native Americans. But the problem can be solved by simply declaring the various Native American languages the officials languages of Oklahoma along side English.

From Ink to Pixels

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007

The world’s oldest newspaper has ceased printing and moved completely to online format:

For centuries, readers thumbed through the crackling pages of Sweden’s Post-och Inrikes Tidningar newspaper. No longer. The world’s oldest paper still in circulation has dropped its paper edition and now exists only in cyberspace.

The newspaper, founded in 1645 by Sweden’s Queen Kristina, became a Web-only publication on Jan. 1. It’s a fate, many ink-stained writers and readers fear, that may await many of the world’s most venerable journals.

Print papers will likely remain with us for years to come. As much as I love the Internet, there is something to be said for actually holding a newspaper as you read it. I find that I generally get more out of print editions than I do from online editions. Still, this is probably the result of conditioning: for most of my life, I never read newspapers online. Those younger than me have. If these readers don’t have a special attachment to paper newspapers, they might well eventually disappear.

Americans Online

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

An interesting study from determines where Americans spend most of their time on the Internet:

Via Foreign Policy’s Passport