Danny Duncan Collum, a Sojourners contributing writer, teaches writing at Kentucky State University in Frankfort, Kentucky. He is the author of the novel White Boy.
Posts By This Author
We Have Met the Enemy . . .
I Read the News Today, Oh Boy . . .
Beginning of the Middle of the Muddle
Not many meaningful public rituals in America remain.
The Digital Clock Will Not Turn Back
''Of the making of books, there is no end" goes a moth-eaten quotation. But maybe there is after all. At least that's the war cry of the latter-day Luddites.
A Pioneer of Pop
Live from Mt. Olympus...
The Atlanta Summer Olympics descended upon media-mad America like a vast mind-numbing, soul-sapping fog. The Olympic telecast, in any season, is like the Deep South heat so much discussed at the Atlanta games: It is there, and it won't go away. Mere mortals are powerless over it.
The other Leap Year staples—the Democratic and Republican political conventions—were once like this, too. The coverage was gavel-to-gavel and wall-to-wall for at least four days per party on all three networks; even political junkies got sick of it. Now the conventions get, maybe, an hour of prime-time per night. This is all part of an inexorable process that will lead to the banning of all not-for-profit activities by the year 2020.
The word from the sales department is that politics doesn't pay, at least not over the counter, in public. So the conventions are off the screen. There is no commercial payoff to Jefferson's ideal of an informed and enlightened electorate. Like all other values without price, that ideal is out the window in the Free Market Era.
The Olympic Games used to carry an aura of unsightly non-profit, touchy-feely ideals. The Games were inherited from the ancient Greeks. Every four years their best athletes climbed to the home of the gods, Mt. Olympus, to offer the finest of human performance.
The Games were revived at the turn of this old century with a lot of mush about international brotherhood and something called "amateurism." That was supposed to mean running the race or playing the game for the pure love of it. Excellence for its own sake and perfecting a skill simply for the joy of a job well done were suitable goals.
On Edge With the Unabomber
For weeks this spring I was obsessed with the (alleged) Unabomber.
Not for the Faint of Heart
Why, Pat, Why
If Pat Buchanan had not roared, grinning and sweaty, through the American political scene this year, someone would have invented him
If the Truth Were Told
Richard Nixon got his 15 minutes of media redemption last year...from the grave.
ER's Missing Ingredient
I confess to being a year behind the curve on this whole ER thing. I know it's supposed to be the bright hope of network drama-dom.
When the mode of the music changes, the walls of the city quake.
A Culture in Common
We hear a lot today about how divided we Americans are on matters of culture.
Reaching Beyond Remote
Writers of various sorts, you may have noticed, sometimes take a notion to cast aside their particular genre or discipline and Just Write About Life
Going to X-Tremes
It's tough to be a conspiracy nut these days, because the conspiratorial worldview has gone positively mainstream. Nobody's sure anymore who's a nut and who's not.
Are PBS and Cable Like Cain and Abel?
It was inevitable that our de facto federal ministry of culture would be among the first and most visible targets when Newt Gingrich, the Trotsky of the Hard Right, took the House.
Nature and Grace
America Circles the Wagons
After 25 years missing and presumed dead, the Western movie genre has enjoyed an amazing resurrection in the past few years.
For Whom Crime Pays
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The Little Train That Couldn't
In 1936, Charlie Chaplin made one of the very last silent films, Modern Times.