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louis mayeux
A journalist, poet and all-around handyman in the literary trades, I've been publishing the Bookman for a decade.
Interests: sports, theater, poetry, fiction, journalism, piano, music, writing, movies. My favorite poets include Robert Lowell, John Keats, William Matthews, Turner Cassity. Favorite writers are F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, William Shakespeare, William Styron.
Recent Activity
Jan Morris, whose change from male to female shook international culture in the early 1960s, led a life of extraordinary courage and literary accomplishment. The acclaimed journalist, historian, travel writer and memoirist died Friday at 94 in a hospital near her home in North Wales, according to media reports. Born male and named James Morris, she believed from early childhood that she was female. Despite her conviction that she was of the wrong gender, she as James Morris served as an British army intelligence officer in World War II, was a husband and father, and achieved fame as the journalist... Continue reading
Posted 11 hours ago at Southern Bookman
A bit of good news emerged amid Trump's scorched earth exit and the raging Covid 19 pandemic. The beloved Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and Christmas specials will be shown on public television this year as well as Apple's subscription-based streaming channel. Broadcast on commercial networks for years, cartoonist Charles Schultz's TV classics were to be shown only on the Apple + channel until public outcry resulted in Apple reaching a deal with PBS to broadcast the shows. The Thanksgiving show will air on PBS Sunday, and the Christmas special featuring Vince Guaraldi's haunting jazz score Dec. 13. The shows will also... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Southern Bookman
It's ironic that "Mank" will be presented on Netflix after a brief theatrical run. David J. Fisher's movie examines the eternal inside-Hollywood debate about whether Herman J. Mankiewicz Jr. wrote "Citizen Kane" alone or collaborated with director/star Orson Welles, who received co-credit for the Academy Award-winning script. The movie about old Hollywood will receive its largest viewership on the streaming service disrupting the American film industry, especially with Covid-19 devastating theatrical audiences. Too bad Welles didn't have Netflix: Hollywood after giving the young wunderkind complete freedom to make "Citizen Kane" crushed his directing career. Lately, Welles has had a posthumous... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Southern Bookman
I'm beginning to believe that Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff can win their Senate races, despite Democrats' dismal record in Georgia runoff elections. An alleged GOP feud is encouraging, although the conflict is unlikely to have much effect on Republican voters. Warnock seems likable in his TV ads, while incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler's shrill commercials strike me as ineffective. Sen. David's Perdue's attacks on Ossoff also appear unconvincing. But my hopes for Democratic victories have been repeatedly crushed. Michelle Nunn. Jason Carter. Stacey Abrams. A gallery of dismal Senate candidates I can't even remember. Georgia's Democratic Party over the years... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Southern Bookman
A traveler through space can tell the earth is burning. Super thunderstorms caused by massive wildfires send smoke clouds miles into the stratosphere, Wall Street Journal science writer Robert Lee Hotz reports in his Science Journal column Tuesday. While the long-term effects have not been determined, the smoke blocks sunlight on a planetary scale. The effect is similar to that of a volcano's erupting. Recent massive wildfires, of longer duration and intensity than in the past, are believed caused by climate change. The Australian wildfires last January sent smoke 21 miles above the earth, Hotz reports. The smoke circled the... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Southern Bookman
T.S. Eliot might have found happiness by marrying Emily Hale. Eliot chose instead a disastrous marriage to Vivienne Haigh-Wood. But Eliot deeply loved Hale, a passion mainly carried out through letters he obsessively wrote her, beginning in 1930 and ending in acrimony in 1957. In a major event for Eliot scholars, the poet's 1,1131 letters to Hale deposited at Princeton's Firestone Library were unsealed in January 2020. Hale dismayed Eliot in 1956 when she gave the letters to the library. Under terms of the deal, they were to be sealed until 50 years after her death. She died in 1969,... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Southern Bookman
I was happy while watching the Masters' opening round Thursday to hear Verne Lundquist's reassuring voice. At 80, Verne was back at his regular perch calling action at the par 3 sixth and 16th holes, giving Masters fans a sense of continuity as the tournament unfolds beneath autumn foliage instead of the traditional spring flowers. Because of Covid 19, the tournament's famous "patrons" are also absent, eliminating the roars that for years accented the competition. Along with Lunquist, longtime CBS Masters host Jim Nantz also described play with his soothing voice. Masters watchers also heard the familiar banter and tournament... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2020 at Southern Bookman
Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards doesn't know if the band will ever tour again. The 76-year-old Richards, "laying low" during the pandemic at his enclave in Connecticut, said Covid-19 raises doubts about the aging band performing in concert again. But Richards ended an interview with the Wall Street Journal on a positive note, expressing hope for future appearances by the Stones. "Another final tour," he said with a laugh. A new Stones album is also in limbo, Richards said in the interview with the WSJ, which surprisingly covers boomer rock better than The New York Times. Richards said that he... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2020 at Southern Bookman
One more reason to worry: China's way ahead of the United States in rolling out 5G technology, according to a Wall Street Journal special report. The Chinese can download a movie in 15 seconds, while it takes an American 15 minutes. Movies are censored in China, however. China's huge lead in 5G technology seems like a major national security concern. But, as with climate change, there's no sense of urgency. A strange Veterans Day, on the eve of the Masters beginning. A big story is how Augusta National's fall foliage compares with its usual April azaleas. Will players get a... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2020 at Southern Bookman
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Luc Sante delivers vintage Lower East Side nostalgia in "Maybe the People Would Be the Times." The collection of musical, literary and art reviews, profiles, autobiographical essays and fictional meditations looks back at Sante's days in the gritty New York City neighborhood during the 1970s and 1980s. Before gentrification conquered the area, it was home to avant garde artists, poets and writers and punk musicians who loved the rank air of freedom on the crime-ridden streets. While some of the pieces bog down in self-indulgent, meandering prose, Sante gives a fresh take on often covered subjects such as Patti Smith,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2020 at Southern Bookman
Alex Trebek's battle with cancer ended Sunday, surprising "Jeopardy" fans who'd come to believe that the dapper and genial "Jeopardy" host would go on forever. The Canadian-born TV icon, who died Sunday at age 80, made "Jeopardy" America's daily cocktail party, a throwback to 1960s television. Trebek's "Jeopardy" enjoyed a widespread popularity only eclipsed by pro football. Like Johnny Carson and Walter Cronkite, Trebek was welcome each night in American homes. Recalling Carson, Trebek was a witty straight man. Trebek's cool demeanor complemented the oddball personalities of a series of "Jeopardy" champions. His interviews with contestants were like strange absurdist... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2020 at Southern Bookman
Georgia has at last turned blue, or at least purple. Clayton County, previously known as the home of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and Bulldogs stars Hines Ward and D.J. Shockley, put Joe Biden over the top in overtaking Donald Trump Thursday night. It appears that Biden will be the first Democratic presidential candidate since Bill Clinton to carry the state. Also coming from behind to take the lead in Pennsylvania, Biden's closing in on winning the election. Now I'm sure that for the good of the country, Trump will honorably concede. Right. Watching cable TV's horse-race coverage Tuesday night, I marveled... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2020 at Southern Bookman
Overlooked in the chaotic battle for the White House, the United States on the day after the presidential election officially left the Paris climate change agreement. With millions voting for climate-change denier Donald Trump, the United States abandoned the global commitment to reduce carbon emissions. Trump announced in July 2017 that the United States would leave the 2015 pact that seeks to limit global temperatures. But the treaty required a three-year waiting period for a country to withdraw. If Trump takes back the White House, the United States, with 15 percent of global greenhouse emissions, will commit itself further to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2020 at Southern Bookman
Georgia's at the center of the presidential cliff hanger after years on the margins. Perhaps the home of the late John Lewis can give Joe Biden his illusive presidency. As the Fulton County vote counting continues, I wonder if my mailed-in ballot is among those that might put Biden over the top. My vote could even be the decisive one that puts Biden ahead of Trump. I checked my ballot’s status and found it was accepted. It’s heartening to believe my vote might make a difference. The signs look propitious for a Biden win with votes still being counted in... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2020 at Southern Bookman
Tuesday night felt like a horror movie sequel in which the monster comes back. What a dismal night for the Democratic Party. Even if Joe Biden does eke out an Electoral College victory, his presidency will be crippled by the GOP-controlled Senate. Rather than building their House majority, the Democrats treaded water, losing six members. The GOP's rogue gallery marched on, invincible to Democratic attacks. Oceans of money, ridicule and ethical censure failed to defeat Mitch McConnell, Lindsay Graham, John Cornyn, Kelly Loeffler, David Perdue and Joni Ernst. Even embattled Susan Collins sailed to victory in Maine. Even if Biden... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2020 at Southern Bookman
Democrats hope that Georgia's blue wave arrives at last. Joe Biden's chances look better and better in Georgia, forcing Donald Trump into late campaign appearances in the state. Democratic candidates glimpse victory in the state's two U.S. Senate races. And the party appears on the cusp of retaking the House in the Georgia Legislature. Former state Rep. Stacey Abrams, who fell short of a runoff against GOP Gov. Brian Kemp in the 2018 gubernatorial race, expressed optimism in an appearance on Chris Hayes' MSNBC show Monday night for a Democratic breakthrough. To her credit, Abrams has led efforts to register... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2020 at Southern Bookman
America's day of reckoning is almost here. I mailed in my ballot weeks ago, but will miss voting today with my fellow citizens. For years, I saw election day as a festive civic ritual, no matter which candidate won. But Donald Trump, who openly condones violence, has turned celebration into dread. The United States has experienced voter intimidation through the years. But the country after the civil rights movement had reached an era of free expression of citizenship through voting. Then the Roberts Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, and the GOP, the party of the Great Emancipator, suppressed... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2020 at Southern Bookman
We're losing musical legends at a distressing pace. Soon after the death of Jerry Jeff Walker, supreme country songwriter and performer Billy Joe Shaver died Tuesday in Waco, Texas of a massive stroke at age 81. Willie Nelson acknowledged Shaver as the best songwriter in Texas, and Shaver compositions like "Old Five and Dimers Like Me" go beyond country conventions to achieve poetry. Shaver's wrote 10 of the 12 songs on Waylon Jennings' groundbreaking "outlaw country" album, "Honky Tonk Heroes." The title song, written by Shaver, is one of Jennings' signature numbers. While Shaver never made it big as a... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2020 at Southern Bookman
Halloween came early with Amy Coney Barrett's seizure of a Supreme Court seat. I'm trying to raise my hopes that my worst fears won't be realized. But I'm finding it difficult. Perhaps we can go to the moon - they've found water on sunlit areas there. But just molecules, not ice or liquid. Doesn't sound like much of a beach. Joe Biden's lead in the presidential race is encouraging, but Barrett's presence increases my paranoia that Trump can steal the election through a Supreme Court-engineered coup. I'm also optimistic about the Democrats taking control of the Senate, passing legislation to... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2020 at Southern Bookman
Jerry Jeff Walker's "Viva Terlingua" remains fresh and vital after all these years. The 1973 album brought a new sound to aspiring Southern hipsters like me, making Austin as cool as San Francisco and New York. Recorded with the impromptu Lost Gonzo Band, Walker's insouciant album defied both the refined Nashville sound and progressive rock pretensions. The feeling of a bunch of guys jamming on a front porch derived from a deceptive artistry With era-defining standards like "London Homesick Blues," "Up Against the Wall Redneck Mothers," "Desperadoes Waiting for a Train" and "Wheel," the album set the stage for Willie... Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2020 at Southern Bookman
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon on Thursday marked the 19th anniversary of their ESPN gabfest, "Pardon the Interruption." Covid-19 has brought a new dimension to the program: Kornheiser broadcasting from the attic of his home while Wilbon's stationed in the show's Washington studio, or his places in Chicago or Arizona. A softer, more melancholy Kornheiser, with flashes of his old curmudgeonly wit, has become a cultural icon of America in quarantine. Wearing a jaunty straw fedora in his closing "happy time" segment, and always immaculately dressed in coat and tie, Kornheiser expresses our work-at-home resilience. Enjoying Kornheiser and Wilbon's odd-couple... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2020 at Southern Bookman
I nominate Dolly Parton for the Nobel Prize. Watching the country star discuss her new book, "Storyteller: My Life in Lyrics" on "The Stephen Colbert Show," I realized that she's had a songwriting and singing career equal to that of Bob Dylan, who won the Nobel Literature Prize in 2016. As the book's title reflects, Parton's songs tell stories of love, faith, humor and endurance. Many of her songs give voice to her mountain culture, struggling to hold on to its traditions in the contemporary world. Like Dylan, Parton has created great poetry. Recalling her mother singing old folk songs... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2020 at Southern Bookman
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman took a break from presidential politics Wednesday to fashion one of his fantasies about the brave new economic world. Friedman once again served as the mouthpiece for one of his favorite corporate pals, Infosys President Ravi Kumar, who gave Friedman his "world is flat" theme. Infosys, founded in India but now based in covid-19-staggered New York City, is one of those new age consulting companies that help other corporations squeeze out profits more efficiently by ramping up "worker productivity." Kumar filled Friedman's mind with visions of the post-pandemic world, in which workers will need... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2020 at Southern Bookman
I'm tempted to read new books by Don DeLillo and Martin Amis, although my infatuation with both writers died several years ago. For years, the arrival of a new DeLillo book exhilarated me. But the horrible 2003 novel "Cosmopolis" shattered DeLillo 's spell. His novels ever since, including the Sept. 11 book "Falling Man," read like DeLillo parodying himself. Amis' memoir, "Experience," is high on my list of all-time favorite books, and his early novels merit the critical acclaim they've received. But "Yellow Dog" in 2003 and "The Pregnant Widow" in 2010 were two of the worst novels ever published.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2020 at Southern Bookman
When a major production opened on Broadway, I couldn't wait to read Ben Brantley's review in The New York Times. I almost felt like I was a character in "All About Eve," devouring the newspaper in Sardi's. Brantley connected me to the excitement of New York City's theater world. Along with rendering his judgment on well-publicized plays and musicals, Brantley gave attention to emerging playwrights and off-Broadway productions. With New York's theaters darkened by Covid-19, Brantley left the Times last week after 24 years as its chief drama critic. Co-chief critic Jesse Green remains to write about whatever theater news... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2020 at Southern Bookman