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McPherson was born in 1943, in Savannah, Georgia. Later, as he writes in “Going Up To Atlanta,” he worked at odd jobs to help support his mother, brother, and sisters while attending a Catholic school where all the nuns were white and the children black, then the public schools, “where all the mean people went.” As a boy he loved comic books but soon discovered the Colored Branch of the Carnegie Public Library, where he learned that words without pictures “gave up their secret meanings, spoke of other worlds, made me know that pain was a part of other people’s lives.” All the while, surrounded by aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends of his father’s, he was struggling with the enigmatic figure of his father. McPherson senior had become the first black master electrician in the state, but only after the racist suppression of his repeated applications to get a license had caused him “irrevocable pain” and led to a drinking problem and a period in jail. At the time, McPherson did not understand the forces that had broken his father. “I had…been working every kind of job to help support the family I thought he had abandoned,” McPherson writes. “During all my years in Savannah, I had never had peace or comfort or any chance to rely on anyone else. I blamed him for it. I was very bitter towards him.”–“About James Alan McPherson,” Dewitt Henry, Ploughshares
This first is from Tim Tebow’s press conference a week ago in which he addressed the concussion he sustained against Kentucky.Testimony: “I think it was very humbling because you know at any moment it can be over.”
Pertinent Scripture: Phillippians 2:8-9And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death-
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name
From The Annals of Forced Comparisons: Malcolm Gladwell on the similarities between dogfighting and professional football, concussions and Michael Vick, with block quotes from Deviant Behavior to make it seem all scientific-like; minor league baseball players and their penises: a memoir; twee sellout filmmaker Spike Jonze photographed as a wee lad doing twee bike stunts
Let us pray. Almighty God, today we pray imprecatory prayers from Psalm 109 against the enemies of religious liberty, including Barry Lynn and Mikey Weinstein, who issued press releases this week attacking me personally. God, do not remain silent, for wicked men surround us and tell lies about us. We bless them, but they curse us. Therefore find them guilty, not me. Let their days be few, and replace them with Godly people. Plunder their fields, and seize their assets. Cut off their descendants, and remember their sins, in Jesus’ name. Amen. –“Fundamentalist ‘Fatwah’ issued against lives of Mikey Weinstein and Rev. Barry Lynn,” Military Religious Freedom
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word “hallway” must have a nautical name. Why didn’t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet he’d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands they’d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you don’t belong to, that doesn’t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isn’t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members — because ocean life pays better than money! — who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Average portion of its yearly household expenditures that a South African family will spend on a funeral:
Neuroscientists were hoping to use rat brain waves to find people buried by earthquakes.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
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Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature