Op-ed, blogs and columns
Members of City of Jasper government, Global Restoration, GAF Materials and ABC Supply just prior to the Jasper Police Headquarter’s roof being torn off and upgraded.
The City of Jasper Police headquarters on Dixie Street has just received a facelift, and thanks to two roofing supply companies and the organizational efforts of Global Restoration, the city’s new roof is “out of the 19th Century and into the 21st Century.”
Frankfurt Doner & Meats owner Detley Werner and daughter Annette help customers at their downtown Ball Ground store. A spinning roast can be seen in the back corner behind the counter. Doners, a European dish similar to a Gyro, are made from thin slices of this meat.
Detley Werner, the towering silver-headed butcher who owns Frankfurt Doner & Meats in Ball Ground, held his middle three fingers parallel to the floor for a quick lesson in selecting the choicest “unstressed” cuts.
“If you get a pork chop and lay it over your fingers, if it droops down you don’t want it,” Werner explained with a thick German accent and a personality so big it rivals his stature. “If it is stiff and lays flat across, you don’t want it. You want it to fall on each side just a little.”
By David R. Altman,
So, after all the fanfare and the anticipation, the movie Lincoln turned out to be short of extraordinary. Believe what you have read about the performance of Daniel Day-Lewis: it was unforgettable.
As you think aboutcertain public figures, you can't help but associate them with the actors who 'became' them. Clearly, you will no longer be able to look at a picture of Lincoln (and I have one hanging above this keyboard) without thinking of the extraordinary portrayal by Day-Lewis.
This movie appears to have everything going for it, including being directed by Steven Spielberg whose films have generated more than $8 billion dollars and won him two Academy Awards. It has an extraordinary cast, which includes Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Fields.
They also had a subject matter that was taken from a best-selling book by Pulitzer Prize winner Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. Not a bad line-up.
The movie itself dealt with a small section of that book that focused on Lincoln's obsession with passage of the 13th amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States. The entire film took place during the final four months of his presidency. While the movie was incredibly well-done, it lapsed into what we so often see as somewhat predictable, interpretative story-telling and it gave in to the all-too-easy portrayal of the South as not only unlikeable, but downright evil.
According to Kearns-Goodwin, Spielberg told her well before she started the book that he wanted to buy the film rights once it was published. He was anxious to tell the story of the fight over the 13th amendment. And this is what he did. While this film was about Lincoln, it will be remembered by some for Spielberg's decision to (predictably and unfortunately) use his film to portray negative Southern character stereotyping that we have almost come to expect from so many films (the Banjo Boy in Deliverance and the 'Captain' in Cool Hand Luke come to mind). But instead of giving us the magic (and balance) of Ken Burn's masterpiece The Civil War or the human complexities of Gone With the Wind, we instead get the same, sad (and simplistic) characterization of bad Southerners opposing good Northerners.
If you see the film, it's easy to see who the 'heroes' are: everyone surrounding Lincoln. Beginning with the abolitionist congressmen (and they were all white men at the time, since women not only couldn't run, they couldn't even vote back then) to the members of Lincoln's cabinet - all were the heroes in the film.
The 'Southern' contingent was portrayed, at Spielberg's interpretation, only as hate mongers and racists (the character of Alexander Stephens, the vice president of the Confederacy, who was a Congressman from Georgia and later its governor, was portrayed by Jackie Earle Haley (a.k.a. Freddie Kruger) in what most will remember as an extraordinarily evil man representing what Spielberg stereotypically portrays as an extraordinarily evil South.
Blacks in this film are poignantly (and understandably) portrayed by Spielberg as both social victims and military heroes. No one doubts the accuracy of that interpretation. Thematically, slavery is the low-hanging fruit of the Civil War (most scholars acknowledge this and movies love to exploit it). A defense lawyer might call this leading the witness, but it's really more about leading the audience, in this case down the politically correct road.
It's not as if this is anything new. According to a article which appeared on CNN.com, Southern stereotypes "are very longstanding," says David Davis, a literature and Southern studies professor at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. Davis says it's always predictable - particularly in film as well as in many aspects of American life. "African-American caricature has become less acceptable and white Southern caricature has taken its place," Davis said.
No one is denying Spielberg's editorial and, frankly, political license to focus on this aspect of Lincoln's life. In fact, the passing of the 13th Amendment was a crowning achievement for a man who was arguably our greatest president.
But there was no effort made to show the complexities of both sides of this war or even of the debate around the 13th amendment. While I would stop short of calling the film 'revisionist history’ - what a disappointment it was that the greatest film director of our age took the easy (and politically correct) way out; that is, good vs. evil, black vs. white, Republicans vs. Democrats, liberal vs. conservative, victims vs. victimizers. Sound familiar?
While you certainly don't expect slave owners to be portrayed as heroes, you would hope that a man of Spielberg's stature and accomplishment would not give-in to political correctness and take the predictable path of reinforcing the stereotyping of the American South. In doing so, he has not only misses an opportunity to enlighten his audience with the tragedy and complexity of the Civil War, but he further risks playing on the unmistakable (but rarely discussed) fear of a nation already coping with racial tension and political division.
I would have expected more from the man who gave us Saving Private Ryan and Schindler's List. While Spielberg may yet win his third Academy Award for Lincoln, the Oscar will have lost some of its shiny luster; not so much for what the film was but for what it could have been.
David R. Altman is a contributing writer to the Pickens County Progress.
Ephesians 4:21-32 - The Believer’s Guide To Facebook
by Rev. Ben Mock, Mt. Zion Church
Assuming that you really do have an account in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and have been friended by Christ, as He is the ultimate administrator of the whole universe,
Close and delete your former profile, which was totally infected by spam and viruses and worms of your own making.
And sign in to your updated new profile, created and authorized by the Savior, and filtered against malware 24/7. Remember to refresh your page during Quiet Time every day.
Wherefore don’t post anything on your wall you haven’t fact checked, friending only those who respect everyone in your group, even strangers; for remember you can be tagged by anyone, anywhere, at any time.
Be angry, but don’t post it: let not the sun go down on anything you have shared when in a bad mood; neither let the devil access your page. Do not confirm his friend request.
Let him that has pirated and plagiarized and hacked any content or account pirate and plagiarize and hack no more; but rather let him acknowledge the source of all wholesome and useful quotes, keeping your news feed uplifting and encouraging, that you may have something good to say about those who have been targeted and victimized by Facebook jerks.
Let no corrupted files enter into cyberspace through your portal, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace and scrubbed content unto the readers. Keep your tabs clear of all questionable material.
And grieve not the Holy Administrator of social media, whereby you are firewalled and monitored unto the day of having all your history read by the whole world.
Let all tasteless jokes, rude images, cyber-sniping, gossipy chat, and bullying, never be generated from your outbox, with all accountability.
And be kind to your fellow bloggers, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you. Remember, He is your fan, even though you have never done anything to deserve it.
A cat seen flying from a moving vehicle on Cove Road last Wednesday most likely jumped, based on the investigation of an animal control officer.
The calico cat was spotted flying from a SUV November 14 near Cove Lakes subdivision by another motorist. The driver who spotted the flying cat, an experienced animal rescue volunteer, stopped and searched for it while a second motorist got the license number of the SUV when they pulled into the nearby recycling center. The witnesses then called 911.
For the rest of this story see the print or online edition.