Writing something like a blog after reading so many of them can be somewhat challenging. Some blogs are funny, some are preachy, some are just silly. It seems like most of them are arrogant ways to try to make the author sound smarter than they really are. I hope this does not turn into one of those. I will write about what I know, or what I want to know, or whatever I feel like. I will just write about whatever. This won’t always be consistent or, quite possibly, make sense all the time, but what the hell, I have to start somewhere. Let me start with the title of the thing and we can go from there.
Southwest Mississippi was my “stompin’ grounds” for my early years. Walthall County, McComb, Pentecostal Churches; these things shaped me whether I wanted them to or not. Mississippi…it conjures up so many conflicting images and emotions. Its history is so filled with conflict, hate, peace and beauty, all at the same time, that it is little wonder it spawned both greatness and pettiness. The South I grew up in could fill your heart with beauty one moment and then pistol-whip your conscience with its brutal hatred the next. From the Sunday School teachings that instilled character in your soul to the shocking discovery that practice rarely followed preaching, the Southern experience is truly a unique thing.
A Virginia writer, Joe Bageant, wrote a couple books and a pile of essays on Southern Culture and Class that struck a chord in me. I felt a sense of recognition, belonging, brotherhood, of fatalism and hope at the same time when I read his writing, thus the title of this effort. I am a Son of a Laboring God, one who was born with the full understanding that life was never going to be easy. But also one who can not stop resisting the fatalism so ingrained in the Southern psyche. I am pulled to fight to make it just a little bit easier for people like me and those I grew up with to find a better life.
So, while this running commentary on everything I find interesting will sometimes be abrasive and preachy, it will also be things I find funny and simply enjoyment of culture, life, food, technology etc., etc., and so forth and so on. So feel free to comment, disagree whatever, I won’t delete your disagreements unless they are racist or homophobic, I won’t stand for that willful ignorance or plain stupidity in my space.