Danny Duncan Collum, author of the novel White Boy, teaches writing at Kentucky State University in Frankfort. 

Posts By This Author

Once Was Lost

by Danny Duncan Collum 08-01-2010
Lit: A Memoir, by Mary Karr. HarperCollins.

A Virtual Monopoly

by Danny Duncan Collum 07-01-2010
A titanic struggle is being waged over the future of the internet.

Johnny Cash's Final Songs

by Danny Duncan Collum 06-01-2010
The man in black shows us how to die.

Corporate Blocks on Broadband

by Danny Duncan Collum 05-01-2010
Will one-fourth of our citizenry be left in the digital ditch?

High-speed Internet service arrived at our home this week. We’re only one decade late for the 21st century, and the rejoicing has reached the heavens.

We live in a mostly rural county of about 35,000 people, and for most of us the only alternative to dial-up is satellite service, which is high-speed but not as fast as cable broadband. Satellite is also unreliable in bad weather and very expensive.
My family’s digital leap forward came thanks to a local wireless company that started several years ago to provide high-speed business access for some of our big farmers. They began by putting transmitters atop grain silos, offering free service to the silo owner in lieu of rent. Now they have some real towers, and one of them can hit our hilltop home. If we lived in a valley, we’d still be out of luck.
All of this is not just a personal problem. Almost 10 percent of the U.S. population still has only dial-up, which, at this point, is almost unusable for anything except text e-mail. Add in the folks with no Internet connection at all, and you have one-fourth of our people left in the digital ditch. Those folks are not just missing the piano-playing cat on YouTube. The disconnected are also, for example, unable to take online college classes or download many public documents that are no longer readily available in print. And, increasingly, they simply don’t know what is being talked about during election campaigns that are often driven by online video postings.

The Voiceless Majority

by Danny Duncan Collum 04-01-2010

I have a relative up in the Rust Belt who owns a small machine tool company and watches Fox News.

Prosperity Pedagogy

by Danny Duncan Collum 03-01-2010

My oldest child is applying to colleges, so there’s been a lot of talk around my house this year about the underlying purpose and real value of education.

America's Rebel Artist

by Danny Duncan Collum 02-01-2010

Was Jack Kerouac a keeper of visions or a self-destructive individualist?

Behaving Badly

by Danny Duncan Collum 01-01-2010

Our politically mad times.

Fat Cats and Failed Systems

by Danny Duncan Collum 12-01-2009
Capitalism: A Love Story examines a "filthy, rotten system."

Seeing is Believing

by Danny Duncan Collum 11-01-2009
Creating a better world first requires an act of imagination.

God's Word for the Pint-Sized

by Danny Duncan Collum 09-01-2009
Vacation Bible Schools isn't nearly as bad as, say, the Inquisition.

Long Live Gravity

by Danny Duncan Collum 08-01-2009

Smart people concocted a fantasy empire based on investing in other people’s debt.

Family Reunions

by Danny Duncan Collum 08-01-2009
Two multimedia projects see Africa as the planet's musical heart and soul.

Changing Our Minds

by Danny Duncan Collum 07-01-2009

When I began writing this column back in 1985, my page could hold up to 1,000 words. Over the years that number has shrunk, first to 800, then 700.

How to Save Journalism

by Danny Duncan Collum 06-01-2009
Can a government-subsidized press save democracy?

Dying a Slow Death

by Danny Duncan Collum 05-01-2009
The future of Appalachia -- and the planet -- depends on unseating King Coal.

Against the Tide

by Danny Duncan Collum 04-01-2009
Major record labels haven't adapted to the wired age -- and they're losing.

America in Black and White

by Danny Duncan Collum 03-01-2009
Does the Obama era herald a post-racial United States?

The Digital New Deal

by Danny Duncan Collum 02-01-2009
Will President Obama deliver on his promises of media reform?

The Battle Over the 1960s

by Danny Duncan Collum 01-01-2009
Can Obama move us past the culture wars of the last 40 years?