Tag Archives: south carolina

Celebrating secession? Maybe you’re in the wrong place

Today the intesphere was full of much head-shaking and guffawing in disbelief at the news about the South’s plans to honor the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War — a fight, as most will remember, the South surely lost, though the wounds, as the popular narrative goes, are still a little raw. The internet chatter was on the obvious cognitive dissonance of it all: that a conflict so many in the other part of the country classify largely as a battle over the right to imprison and enslave other human beings would be celebrated at all, let alone with a blind eye turned to that particular aspect of the war. As the Times wrote:

The events include a “secession ball” in the former slave port of Charleston (“a joyous night of music, dancing, food and drink,” says the invitation), which will be replicated on a smaller scale in other cities. A parade is being planned in Montgomery, Ala., along with a mock swearing-in of Jefferson Davis as president of the Confederacy.

To readers in the North, all this adds up to some mind-baffling historical doublespeak and cultural insensitivity, like celebrating the anniversary of the Dred Scott decision or hitting a pinata made out of broken Indian treaties.

I spent four years living in South Carolina as a local government reporter; another half a year living in Raleigh in between transferring colleges. I got to travel all up and down the coast of the Palmetto State and its neighbors, from the Spanish-moss framed squares of downtown Savannah to the Supreme Court steps of Columbia; from the Watermelon Festival of Hampton to the barn-sized dining hall/gas station/general store/karaoke bar/emporium of wonder known as Harold’s Country Club in Yemassee , and I realized something that I must share with you, fair readers; something that, once I checked and double checked my math, stood my preconceived notions about regional identity and historical traits on their heads. Disbelieve if you will, but I stand by my argument:



Here it is: I came across way more Confederate flags in New Jersey than I ever did in South Carolina or North Carolina. Continue reading

(belated) Friday Happy: SC Second Congressional District All-Star Edition

All this Joe Wilson news has sent my nostalgia gears into overdrive! I’ve been wrested out of my always frantic, rainy, gray Brooklyn bubble to remember those long, hot summer and fall days in Beaufort County, South Carolina, where I spent four years working for The Island Packet, sharing an occassional boat ride with our formerly innocuous congressman or dodging the all-too-common bison stampede or raging alligator attack.

I just booked my first flight down to Hilton Head since leaving for the wedding of some good friends from the paper, who also informed me this week that they, along with just about everyone else I knew at the paper, is quitting and going elsewhere, partly due to the terribly depressing situation that is this specific iteration of the industry’s death throes.

So for Friday happy this week (yes, I know it’s way past Friday), I’ve complied an all-star list of Second Congressional District related items, as an homage to the friends, talented writers and unique personalities I encountered down there, and because it’s the only time that district has made national news for a political, non-missing persons-related story in many years.

First, Joe Wilson (real name Addison)! The memories we had together! The days spent on the phone, the thumbs ups he gave to constituents at public meetings, where — make no mistake — the people loved him. His reelection is not in doubt, and, in all likelihood, is even more assured after his outburst (just mire through the comments on this AP story the Packet ran if you need proof)

So here are two of our favorite Joe Wilson pictures of all time. Credit goes to Jay Karr/Island Packet.



constituent services

constituent services

Continue reading

Sit back down, have a beer, and feel sorry for art

hootieVia Jeff Vrabel from Island Packet/The Guide staff reports, also starring Other Tim and Justin

Island Packet — Although it’s been more than a decade since Hootie and the Blowfish’s “Cracked Rear View” brought them national fame, the band members still turn heads in South Carolina. And their latest project is a partnership with the Columbia City Ballet for a performance telling the story of the group’s formative years using dance, dialogue and live music. No, really.  No, really.

But odd as it may sound, the tickets are selling. “We’ve always felt like maybe South 
Carolina’s best export and we’ve always tried to carry that with some pride,” said drummer Jim “Soni” Sonefeld told the Associated Press this week. There are also these plentiful …

Reasons To See The Hootie and the Blowfish Ballet

  • Should be way more successful than “Edwin McCain’s Nutcracker.”
  • The company will include lone a black dancer surrounded by lots of white people.
  • Weird cameo by Dan Marino.
  • Extended sequence lifted directly from the Bob Dylan Ballet.
  • It’s not often you see so many people at a ballet with baseball caps on backwards.
  • Supporting it also will finally give light to other long-awaited representations of white ‘90s culture, including “Friends: The Musical,” “Starbucks LIVE!” and “Watching VH1 On Ice.”
  • Mikhail Baryshnikov performing the “Dance of the Sugar-Plum Blowfish.”

    And the rest of the uncensored list:

  • It’s finally the answer to the question: what dances on tip toes and sucks?
  • It contains a preview of the Deep Blue Something opera
  • Band has desperately been trying to spread “Hooter and the Blowjob” jokes to two art forms
  • Things that will make you cry:  the Dolphins; poorly executed pirouettes