At the very beginning of Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty," the audience is told that the movie they are about to see is "based on firsthand accounts of actual events." Then we hear tapes, terrifying if familiar, of those final calls being made by those trapped on 9/11. Then comes the torture.
Connoisseurs of democratic decadence can savor a variety of contemporary dystopias. Because familiarity breeds banality, Greece has become a boring horror. Japan, however, in its second generation of stagnation is fascinating. Once, Japan bestrode the world, jauntily buying Rockefeller Center and Pebble Beach. Now Japanese buy more adult diapers than those for infants.
Quite frankly, I expected better from Gregg Harper and Steven Palazzo, two of the three Mississippi Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives. Both Harper and Palazzo voted against the Tuesday legislation that prevented the fiscal cliff disaster from becoming a reality. That the third Republican, the one who represents Lowndes County, voted no on the bill was as predictable as a two-year-old pitching a fit at the supermarket until he gets candy.
There is an old adage in sports that goes, "Lose the loss, but don't lose the lesson.'' On Wednesday, Golden Triangle Development Link CEO Joe Max Higgins confirmed what had been obvious since the start of the week: The grand, $600 million, 971-job Silicor project will not be coming to Lowndes County.
The beginning of a new year is often a time to look forward and look back. The way the future looks, I prefer to look back -- and depend on my advanced age to spare me from having to deal with too much of the future.
In a few hours, we will be finished with 2012. For better or worse, we will need a rear-view mirror to see 2012. As the old year passes, a new year stretches out before us. That's the way it is with years: No sooner are you finished with one than another shows up to deal with. Without a doubt, 2013 is certain to bring its share of challenges, but with those challenges come opportunities as well.
'Tis the season when columnists write mea culpas, make predictions and list their resolutions. Since my culpas are too vast for this tiny space, my predictions best in retrospect and my resolutions inevitably ignored, I thought I'd list a few resolutions for the rest of the world. These, too, are likely to be ignored, but I'll feel better getting a few things off my chest.
"Can you take care of the chickens?" Carolyn asked. "It's just overnight." "You've gotta be kidding. I don't know anything about chickens." "All you have to do is put them in the chicken house. Open the door and they'll go in." "But what if they don't?" I asked. "They will," she explained. "Haven't you ever heard 'going to bed with the chickens?'"
It is comforting to think of death as a passing rather than an end. In that vein, I prefer to think of Steve Jobs's final words as editorial commentary: "Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow."
Hey, have you heard about this thing called "the fiscal cliff"? Actually, the better question is: Have you heard about anything except the fiscal cliff? Nine months ago, the term had not even entered the media lexicon. And now it's suddenly everywhere.
You'll find little here today about resolutions or sage observations about the year just past or the one before us. Nothing so ambitious. I have only a modest wish on this, the cusp of a new year: that the Minnesota Vikings make the playoffs. And, to do that they have to win this afternoon.
A quarter century. That's a mere blink of the eye in the life of an elephant or a Galapagos tortoise. After 25 years, oak trees may no longer be called saplings. But it's a long time for an opinion columnist. And, frankly, it's a mark I never expected to reach. Sure doesn't seem that long.
As we approach the doom and gloom of the fiscal cliff, its repercussions are mild compared to what was happening here 150 years ago.
In today's world of social media, where everyone's every little thing is on display, it is sometimes difficult to recall a time when exhibitionism wasn't ubiquitous and was, in fact, not admired. Such are the inevitable thoughts upon perusing Kitty Kelley's lovely new book -- yes, lovely -- about John F. Kennedy as seen through the eyes, or more accurately, the lens of her friend, photojournalist Stanley Tretick.
Fifteen years ago, when I moved to northern California, people there often commented on my speech. I would usually just laugh and say, "You know, I never had an accent until I left Mississippi." The brighter folks usually figured out what I meant by that.
The people are sad. If holiday shopping is any measure of public mood, the joy vanished this year. The grade-school massacre depressed everyone, and now our rapid approach to the Fiscal Cliff has many scared and afraid to spend money.
My hottest "hot button" issue is the fallacy of "gun control." Those who wail for "more gun control" need to sober up, step back, take a deep breath, and look at some facts. Don't think it can happen here? Don't bet your children's freedom on it.
Folks familiar with Greek mythology (10th grade?) will remember that it was Alexander who "untied" the Gordian knot in 333 B.C. and, as a result, became known as Alexander the Great. The knot had existed since Gordius honored Zeus by tying it. No one could figure it out.
While the rest of the country is shoveling and shivering, South Georgia is at its loveliest. The camellias are blooming, live oaks keep their leaves and trees loaded with bright-orange kumquats and satsumas are exotically common.
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