Thursday, August 28, 2008


Strange morning. Cool but will be 80º by afternoon. And I imagined as I drove to Java House that fall had already arrived. The sun seemed bleached out and weak, hazy. Fall's certainly near but not here yet... I hope. Current bathroom reading is Art: a world history. I'll be reading it for a year or more I guess. 

Edward Wilson's father was an alcoholic suicide. Wilson, of course, is the author of Naturalist, my current reading. He built up the concept of sociobiology. Wilson's father gave Edward a simple Southern code for life. Of course, these codes are more often honored in their breech rather than in the practice. "Never lie, he told me, never break your word, be always respectful of others and protective of women, and never back down if honor is at stake."

These codes are the reason the South is so full of guilt and shame because no one can live up to such codes imposed from the outside. This code was responsible for Wilson Senior's death if you ask me. Of course, they set the simple, honest man up for the duplicitous man who flaunts the codes in order to get ahead. In Southern churches, the rich leaders of the church team up with the parsons and preachers to dupe the Southern working man. That's why poor Southern men so crazily vote for neocon rich men who will not have a working man's best interests at heart. Until the average Southerner wises up, America will continue to fall behind the rest of the civilized world. You only have to listen to a Republican for a minute and you realize that nothing they believe in will help a struggling family get ahead. 

Also, this code of honor is one of the chief reasons that there is so much gun violence in the South. I can no longer recall the book a couple of Southern psychologists wrote in which they identified these codes of honor as being the reason Southern men shoot each other so often. Of course, Southerners do have the highest rates of suicide, poverty and homicide in the country.

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