I ask this of YOU because I can never remember what was best. I got a couple of requests to list the best books of 2013. I failed to think of anything all that good. On movies, I’m sticking with MUD. More soon, but give me some PROMPTS.
It was a FESTIVUS MIRACLE that our readers weren’t all that disappointed by POSTMODERN CONSERVATIVE this year. I assume that Flagg and Michael Davis (who’s not THAT Michael Davis) will be brought on by FTs people at the beginning of January. Lots of blog changes, I’m told, coming in January. And sometimes, I admit, we are a little slow in “moderating” comments, but that’s because the “moderators” are the bloggers.. I try to check at least twice a day, but it’s not my full-time job. Occasionally, comments get lost in spam, usually never to be found. Don’t be afraid to try again. Very LONG comments tend to be spam fodder.
We could also go the route of top 10 lists for 2013: Obama’s top ten unconstitutional thoughts and actions. The top ten most delusional moments in Republican thoughts and actions. The top ten best episodes of BREAKING BAD. The top ten PRAISE MUSIC hits.
That returns me to WHITE TRASH STUDIES. Charlotte Hays, who is very white, speaks almost too much truth about WHITE TRASH RELIGION. The old view was that said religion was PENTCOSTAL, FUNDAMENTALIST, or SNAKE HANDLING. That’s because said believers were too emotional, too gullible, and too uncivilized. But those qualities can be found today among post-Christians who believe in BEING SPIRITUAL—as opposed to being religious, and so who proudly express their disdain for “organized religion.” But those spiritual folks tend to know a lot less about the actual BIBLE than the FUNDAMENTALISTS and such, and they don’t compensate for that ignorance with real knowledge about any other great book that might teach the truth we can share in common. Organized religion is, in so many ways, CIVILIZED, and what goes on in church is civilized enjoyment. It’s too hard to experience the truth all alone, unless you identify BEING SPIRITUAL with just BEING ME. And there’s nothing less rational and more self-indulgent than that.
So the general Southern view is that one feature of not being white trash is having a “church home.” That rule admits of exceptions. William Alexander Percy and a lot of other Southern Stoics (and Epicureans such as Mr. Jefferson) didn’t have any such home, and the Percys just about couldn’t find a man of the cloth to say a few words at Will’s funeral. Still, Attcus Finch made sure that his kids got to the Methodist Church, and the magnanimous and generous George Washington even made it a point of seeming at home enough in church himself. To be civilized without being religious requires a lot of intellectual exertion and careful reading. The Southern Stoic, for reasons I’ve already explained, would rank “being spiritual” lower than “being religious.” And he would rank “Praise Music” lower than real hymns, although the nice white kids who so sincerely sing it aren’t trashy, and maybe their religion remains organized and even doctrinal enough.