Sunday, January 1, 2012
Some Thoughts On New Years Day
I have never made a habit of making New Years resolutions and most of the few I ever made did not survive Red Bud and Dogwood Time. The only two I can remember that ever worked are still working. It has been a long time since I smoked or drank. But my real thoughts about New Years Day are more philosophical than personal or purgative as most peoples seem to be. I generally always start the year by revisiting the literary work of some old friends in the field of Appalachian Studies. If I have enough time when I start that reading I might also add a few people outside the field. I try to reread some Wilma Dykeman, Cratis Williams, Don West, Bob Snyder, Albert Stewart, Flannery O'Connor, Faulkner, Hemingway, Pearl S. Buck, Kerouac, Jack London. I always end up sidetracked sooner or later in the reading by mundane responsibilities or new writers who pop up over the horizon. I always try to renew my lifelong commitment to continuing to put up the good fight in defense of Appalachian Culture and Appalachian land and resources. I hope some of you join in that effort as well. West Virginia has just elected a governor whose successes have been rooted in the Logan County coal fields and he learned from the operators not the miners. It might be a good time to look back at the life and writing of Mother Jones, Jock Yablonski, and John L. Lewis as well. Kentucky just re-elected a governor who is committed to expanded gambling which always brings social problems wherever it takes place. Kentucky elected a senator from outside the state who is committed to more right wing radical causes than it is possible for a responsible voter to stay informed about. We are faced with presidential and congressional elections after having been exposed to a group of right wing radicals who held the congress and country hostage for most of the year. They seek to tax the working class and feed the rich without taxing them. Congress needs to lose most of the class of 2010. The Tea Party needs to be repulsed and replaced. Every citizen needs to become fully informed and educated about the political, environmental, social, and educational issues in the country. Every voter who steps in a voting booth this year needs to think long and hard before making decisions. Most of the electoral decisions in Appalachia and the nation over the past year have been wrong. As many as possible need to be reversed.