Orientalism: Greek Wedding 2

Elena Kampouris rocked the role of Paris, Toula and Ian’s angst-filled teenage daughter, in My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016). Her father Alexander hails from the island of Kasos, in southeastern Greece. [Her mother is French American.] With a Greek name and a Greek dad, one would think that Elena is truly Greek, right?…

License to Drive

I recently learned about a new anti-government movement called traveling, or “the right to travel.” Included in that phrase is the so-called “right” to drive – without a valid license. Adherents of this movement claim that the right to travel, i.e. drive, is a vital part of sovereignty, “as fundamental to our existence as the right…

Dixie: The Confederate Flag

I was born and reared in Dixie. But I’m not a Confederate sympathizer. In 1862, three of my ancestors left Knoxville to join the Union army in Kentucky. They were later captured and sent to the Confederate prisons Belle Isle (Virginia) and Andersonville (Georgia), where two died. The third was paroled, hospitalized, and sent home.…

Duggar Justice

A fourteen-year-old boy sexually molests his sisters and other teen girls. Then he tells his parents. The dad obstructs justice by waiting one year to reveal his son’s felony crimes to the police. But the police don’t arrest either one. A state trooper just gives the son a stern talk. Three years later, the police conduct…

Duggar Hypocrisy

Josh Duggar, the oldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and a married father of three, resigned from his position at the Family Research Council yesterday after In Touch Magazine revealed sexual molestation allegations from 2006. Then TLC cancelled the Duggar family’s seven-year television program 19 Kids and Counting. In 2002, at the age…

A “Civil” War: Andersonville

In the winter of 1861-1862, three of my ancestors enlisted in Company K in Sevierville, Tennessee, as privates (National). This company was one of ten in the 2nd East Tennessee Infantry regiment, which became Mounted Infantry in June 1863 (“2nd”). Considered traitors on their home soil, my ancestors were Union men in a state that…

Crescendo: Choosing Life

I recently reviewed Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s The Trial of Phillis Wheatley (2003). In one part, I discussed Thomas Jefferson’s racist rejection of Phillis Wheatley as an African-American poet. Gates’ book is an excellent analysis on Wheatley’s mission and legacy, but it misses the point. The root of Jefferson’s “blind spots” was not racism but…