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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
Listening to radio news that the Arctic is melting, I drove through Buckhead traffic. Cars clogged the streets as a scientist said the North Pole's old ice is almost gone. The old ice had been there for years, the woman said on NPR satellite radio. White and mysterious, the ice long believed permanently frozen reflects sunlight back into space. Now, with it gone, the seas will be warming in a continuous accelerating loop. The jet stream is disrupted. Rising seas, extreme weather, the long-term forecast. Humanity shouldn't give up hope, the scientist said, half-heartedly. Emissions must be reduced, but it'll... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Southern Bookman
As The New York Times keeps striking out with its new op-ed columnists, former Times star Frank Rich brings a bright glow to New York magazine. Nearly every week on the magazine's web page, Rich gives witty and insightful answers to questions on policies and culture posed by fellow New York staff writer Alex Carp .Rich's sophisticated perspective gives reassurance that the country will survive the Trump era, and tawdry behavior in Hollywood and other celebrity menageries. In the latest Q&A Wednesday, Rich skewers Trump for his White House debacle with Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. He also... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Southern Bookman
Will Atticus Finch be as big a Broadway sensation as Alexander Hamilton? Aaron Sorkin's play based on Harper Lee's classic novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" opens Tuesday night on Broadway, propelled by a big media fanfare and major advertising campaign. Tickets won't come open until March, according to breathless ads in The New York Times. Along with Sorkin's reputation for dramatic narrative and crisp dialogue, the play is directed by Broadway titan Bartlett Sher, a consistent hit-maker with musicals, comedies and serious drama. The play stars Jeff Daniels, a deft character actor who has achieved enduring stardom in movies, TV... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Southern Bookman
The wonderful Atlanta United's MLS championship brought memories of another title won by a city team: The Atlanta Knights captured the International Hockey League's Turner Cup in 1994 by beating the Fort Wayne Komets. Like the Five Stripes, the Knights received a downtown victory parade. I remember the Knights fondly; I covered the team for the AJC and spent nearly a week of my life in Fort Wayne, Indiana, during the championship series. Good to see the United's win stirred recollections of the Atlanta Chiefs' 1968 title in the long defunct American Soccer League. And what about the Atlanta Crackers,... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Southern Bookman
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times when The New York Times' daily literary critics presented their favorite books of the year. In a roundtable in the Weekend Arts section, the newspaper's Dwight Garner, Parul Sehgal and Jennifer Szalal looked back at the books they read and reviewed during 2018. Returning guest reviewer Janet Maslin stole the show with her witty compilation, avoiding the criticese that marred the comments of Garner, Sehgal and Szalal. A stellar arts writer for the Times before her retirement several years ago, Maslin still does the occasional book review for... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Southern Bookman
The world is on a collision course with disaster. After several years of leveling off, carbon emissions will increase by 2.7 percent this year, according to the latest shocking climate change report. That follows a 1.6 percent rise last year, ending a three-year period of no increases. The emissions jump is "a speeding freight train," according to one of the 100 scientists from more than 50 academic and research institutions who compiled the Global Carbon Project report, according to The New York Times. China, the United States and India top the carbons-emissions list. The Trump administration is abandoning President Obama's... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2018 at Southern Bookman
Visting my neighborhood Barnes & Noble for the first time in months, I was mildly surprised that the store had said goodbye to its music and video businesses. The once vibrant CD and video section, recently augmented by vinyl's fizzled comeback, had been replaced by shelves bulging with toys, puzzles, games and glitzy gifts. Toys 'R' Us died last year, only to be resurrected at Barnes & Noble. Gazing upon the shelves packed with Christmas kitsch, I felt like Jimmy Stewart's character in "It's a Wonderful Life" when Mr. Potter commercializes the town. Books were still hanging on, although I... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2018 at Southern Bookman
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Ben Fountain's "Beautiful Country Burn Again: Democracy, Rebellion and Revolution" sees Donald Trump's election as the triumph of fantasy over reality. The Dallas-based author of the excellent 2012 novel "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" looks back on Trump's 2016 victory over Hillary Clinton from a broad historical and philosophical perspective. Along with summaries of monthly news events that occurred during the turbulent campaign, the book gathers searching, deeply researched essays that Fountain wrote for the Guardian. That a British newspaper would offer such thoughtful reflections on America's chaotic politics shows the deficiencies of the American media. Rather than a blow-by-blow... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2018 at Southern Bookman
The New Yorker devoted its entire Dec. 3 issue to well-known and not so well-known pieces from its illustrious past. What might seem a dubious exercise in nostalgia for a vanished golden age was captivating for an old New Yorker reader like me. While I don't look at the magazine's past with that bright a glow - the late era of William Shawn and the Robert Gottlieb/Tina Brown years were dismal - I discern signs of the magazine hitting the shoals. A Talk of the Town introduction paid homage to magazine founder and legendary editor Harold Ross. Ross would recognize... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2018 at Southern Bookman
The Internet's original promise as an open marketplace of ideas keeps eroding. After online advertising's failure to overcome the collapse of print advertising, media web sites are now turning to paid-content models. More and more free web sites charge for subscriptions. The latest to make the transition are New York magazine, and Charlie Pierce's political blog on Esquire. The sites hope to follow The New York Times and Washington Post's soaring profitability from paid online subscriptions during the Trump administration. The Wall Street Journal's business-oriented subscription site has also been lucrative, while the success of the Athletic's subscription sports site... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2018 at Southern Bookman
All of a sudden, I don't feel so well. Life expectancy in the United States has fallen again, especially for white males. American exceptionalism! U.S. life expectancy has fallen for the third straight year, to 78.6 years. That's the longest stretch of decline since 1915-1918, when World War I was raging and a flu epidemic took 675,000 American lives. The Centers for Disease Control report blamed the decline on rising drug addiction and suicide rates. In rural America, the suicide rate is an astounding 20 per 100,000 people, the CDC said. In urban America, it's 11.1 per 100,000. Thanks, NRA,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2018 at Southern Bookman
The Democrats lost the South again. Mike Espy's substantial loss to Cindy Hyde-Smith in Mississippi's Senate race Tuesday night completes the Democratic Party's shutout in gubernatorial or Senate races in Tennessee, Georgia, Florida and Texas. Like a bad college football team, the Democrats love moral victories. We fought a good fight, they say. One day, one day, .... The Democrats need a better message than that their GOP opponent is reprehensible. It won in Alabama, because Republican Roy Moore was even more distasteful than GOP winners Ted Cruz of Texas, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Ron DeSantis of Florida and Brian... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2018 at Southern Bookman
When Willie Morris returned to Mississippi late in the 20th century, the old magnolia state seemed poised to move away from its rancid racist past to a new era of tolerance and prosperity. Now 19 years after Willie's death, Mississippi is deciding whether to advance toward his gleaming vision for his native state. In the last midterm battle between the repressive GOP and diverse Democratic Party, Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith seeks to hold on to her seat as a Donald Trump puppet in an unexpectedly close race against former U.S. Rep. and presidential cabinet member Mike Espy. Hyde-Smith has crippled... Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2018 at Southern Bookman
The "Cotton Fields to Skycrapers" exhibit at Charlotte's Levine Museum of the New South has a first-edition copy under glass of W.J. Cash's "The Mind of the South." Cash's 1941 book, made obsolete by Southern economic development after World War II, was revered by Southern journalists of my generation. The spirit of the troubled North Carolina newspaperman lives on in efforts by The New York Times, sociology professors and cable news channels to understand those who support Donald Trump, the type of New York carpetbagger once despised in the South. An examination of the South's persistent backwardness, "The Mind of... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2018 at Southern Bookman
Wall Street Journal sports columnist/features writer Jason Gay squeezed a little more juice out of his annual rules for Thanksgiving touch football column. After eight years, the column is as welcome a holiday tradition as the late Furman Bisher's Atlanta Journal columns in which he gave thanks for his life's blessings. Some of Gay's jokes seemed familiar, like listening to an old comedian's oft-told jokes or an aging rocker's golden oldies. But he scored a couple of good zingers off Jon Gruden and Bill Belichick, and found some fresh takes on family humor. Gay hinted that he might be growing... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2018 at Southern Bookman
Roy Clark at first gained recognition as a crossover TV personality whose citified country humor and instrumental talent appealed to TV variety show audiences. Like Glen Campbell, Clark rose to stardom in Los Angeles with an urbanized country sound that reflected the migration from the farm to the city. Clark, who gained widespread fame as the host of the long-running country-fried hit "Hee-Haw," died this week of pneumonia in Tulsa, Okla. While Clark's musical performances brought him appearances on 1960s TV variety shows, he also developed a comic personna of the canny Southern bumpkin, similar to those of Andy Griffith... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2018 at Southern Bookman
Georgia's outrageous incentive plan for Amazon treated owner Jeff Bezos like the king of the universe. Perhaps he is. Bezos, the richest man in the history of the world, received lucrative packages from New York City and Crystal City, Va., to establish Amazon outposts there. But J-Bez rejected an even more lavish package of perks offered by the state of Georgia, which struggles to give its teachers pay raises, limits funding for health care and eagerly enacts welfare programs for wealthy white men. The Peach State's $2 billion gift bag for Amazon included a private airport lounge for Amazon execs,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2018 at Southern Bookman
Not only did Atlanta lose to New York City and Northern Virginia for Amazon's new headquarters. The Seattle capitalist giant chose Nashville over Atlanta for a new regional operations center. Why Nashville, which has repeatedly rejected mass transit that Amazon professes to love? Atlanta has MARTA and a new commitment to regional transportation. Atlanta has the world's busiest airport, and, according to its civic boosters, a highly educated tech workforce. Go Dawgs! Atlanta has.....the ignominy of losing out to Queens. Music City boasts the hip factor that Atlanta has been losing. The Tennessee capital also has a site under construction... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2018 at Southern Bookman
Spiderman, the Incredible Hulk and the Fantastic Four entered my comic book universe late. I'd grown up in the DC world of Superman, Batman, the Green Lantern and, my favorite, Aquaman. Marvel Comics grew popular just as I was crashing into adolescence. I recall reading another Marvel series: "Kid Colt, Outlaw," in my childhood years before the company's superheroes arrived. While I loved Superman, Superboy, Batman and Aquaman, my favorite comic book characters were the combat hero Sgt. Rock and his Easy Company, who foraged across an idealized Europe during World War II. I also read a Dell Comic series... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2018 at Southern Bookman
World War I's shocking death toll is reflected in the high mortality rate of its poets. So many poets linked to the war didn't survive: Wifred Owen, Edward Thomas, Isaac Rosenberg, Rupert Brooke, Guilluame Apollinaire, John McCrae, Charles Sorley, Joyce Kilmer. The poems that brought them posthumous fame were often found in their mess kits, uniform jackets or inside the books they had carried with them to the front. Two famous English poets who did survive: Siegfried Sassoon and Robert Graves, enjoyed long lives, witnessing another world war, the deprivations of the 1950s and the freedoms of the swinging '60s.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2018 at Southern Bookman
That old Rodgers and Hammerstein tune was right after all: There's nothing like a dame. Four is even better, especially when the dames are Joan Plowright, Maggie Smith, Judi Dench and Eileen Atkins. Director Roger Michell's delightfully low-tech film, "Tea With the Dames," captures the four great ladies of the English theater as themselves, seated at a table enjoying conversation, laughter, tea, and a bit of champagne. Old chums Plowright, Smith, Dench and Atkins, arrayed before a stationary camera, share gossip, jokes, laments of aging and career triumphs and regrets. As they laugh and banter with each other, small jewels... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2018 at Southern Bookman
While Stacey Abrams' battle for the Georgia governorship draws national attention, state Democrats can take control of the secretary of state's office and curtail suppression of minority voters in future elections. Incumbent Secretary of State Brian Kemp's voter suppression tactics glare in the national spotlight as he claims a narrow win over Abrams in the governor's race. As Abrams vows legal action over the counting of remaining absentee and provisional ballots, the importance of the secretary of state's office in overseeing fair elections rises. As Abrams forges onward, Democratic Secretary of State candidate John Barrow is headed to a runoff... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2018 at Southern Bookman
The Democrats won the House, but Donald Trump keeps gloating. Why not? He now has a huge cushion in the Senate to counter any Democratic moves against him. The GOP looks to control the Senate for years. Conservative judicial nominees and Trump cabinet stooges will have an easier path to confirmation. Trump's re-election campaign is in high gear. In contrast, the Democrats have a woebegone list of Senate scolds, doddering political has-beens and media flashes-in-the pan who don't win elections. Tim Kaine was listed as a Democratic possibility in a Politico article. Tim Kaine? If he's nominated, the White House... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2018 at Southern Bookman
Stacey Abrams will overcome the burden of Southern history if she wins the Georgia governor's race on Tuesday. Abrams' quest to become the nation's first black woman governor against Brian Kemp's reactionary campaign has resounded with historical echoes. Scholars of the South - such as Vince Dooley, who shamefully appeared at Donald Trump's fraudulent rally for Kemp this weekend - know the themes of progress and regression that course through W.J. Cash's "The Mind of the South," Henry Grady's "New South" proclamation and C. Vann Woodward's "The Burden of Southern History." Kemp represents the region's legacy of white male supremacy... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2018 at Southern Bookman
To counter my dread over the election, I returned to Lincoln's writings. Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and First and Second Inaugural Addresses stand inviolate against today's degraded political discourse. History again calls upon the nation. Will we take another step toward the republic Lincoln envisioned? Or will we succumb to the fog machine of lies and hatred? Along with Lincoln, I turn to Doris Day. "Que Sera Sera." Many believe the election could herald the start of another Civil War. I hope our better angels prevail, as Lincoln appealed for in his first inaugural address. Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2018 at Southern Bookman