Jun 28, 2008

Wilf Gregg, who collected crime books -- keeping nearly 7,000 books in an extension of his bungalow -- who, at one point, owned every volume ever published on Jack the Ripper and the JFK assassination, and who owned a series of bulldogs, died at the age of 76, of natural causes.

May he rest in peace.

Jun 24, 2008

The grace and joy of Robert Creeley


He is the only man I ever met who wore an eye patch. This is not completely true, because I have been to a few Halloween parties where there were men dressed up as pirates, but for Robert Creeley it wasn't a costume. He wore it to cover up his messed-up eye.

He was an old and very famous poet, when I met him (at least as famous as a person can be as a poet), and he was wearing an eye patch, which he doesn't do in most of the pictures you see. I remember having the strong impression that Creeley was actually less like a pirate than any person I'd ever met.

He reminded me more of a fast-talking salesman, who has taken a vow of silence, or a one-time braggart, who's renouncing talking. He was just really quiet, speaking humbly, talking softly, but it seemed somehow ascetic.

Read the full column: Words full of holes

Jun 23, 2008

Ordered out

Two months out of prison and 238 miles from home, Jarvis Reddick was ordered out of a hotel shower at gunpoint.

Lying face-down on the bathroom floor, naked, wet and handcuffed, the 27-year-old man, who vowed he had straightened out and would "stay ahead of the Devil," was arrested in the middle of what appears to be a crime spree.

Read the full story @ the Clayton News Daily:
Ex-convict arrested on armed robbery charge

Jun 20, 2008

The plea of Charles Smith

Smith has been described, by those who knew him, as a "black sheep" and a life-long failure, who desperately tried and disastrously failed to redeem himself. He seemed, during the plea hearing, to be attempting, perhaps for the last time, to make things right.

When arrested, Smith reportedly told police, "I did it, and now I'm here to pay the piper and go on down the road." On Thursday, he stood up in the courtroom, and turned around to face the family.

"I just want to say I'm sorry," he said. "I don't know what to do."

Read the full story @ the Clayton News Daily:
Former cop pleads to murder, accepts life sentence

Jun 19, 2008

On the ground near

There were two clues.

The 21-year-old was found dumped on the side of the highway, shot once and left to die.

Clayton County Police responded to Ga. Highway 42, between Fielder Road and Lake Harbin Road on a Saturday afternoon in February 2006. They found Perry Dee Phillips and two very important clues.

"There was," police reported, "a cellular phone, and what appeared to be a right rear floor mat, from a Ford Expedition on the ground near the victim."

Two men were convicted of Phillips' murder by a Clayton County jury late last week. They were connected to the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, prosecutors said, by the evidence the police found and the detectives followed all the way up to North Carolina.

With two key clues, N.C. men convicted of Rex murder

Jun 17, 2008

Could the man

The man said he could outrun a horse.

I was 16 or 17 and living in a little mountain town in California. The annual craft fair festival brought a good number of people to town, but the town fathers and mothers thought maybe things were getting a little dull, and they let this guy promote his health program and challenge a horse to a race.

The local weekly newspaper ran the headline: "Man vs. Horse."

For a couple of weeks, leading up to the big, inter-species race, it was a hot topic of debate: Could the man do what he said he could do? The man was one of these wizened old runners, with stark white hair and a tan that left him looking like jerky.

Read the full column: The lesson of the horse-racing man

Jun 14, 2008

Than has been

"...I'll admit in front that I have a special affinity for things that don't quite fit into any given demarcated category, partly because I'm one of those perennial misfits myself by choice as well as fate or whatever."
              -- Lester Bangs

1. Some things I come back to, over and over: The world is a weirder place than has been represented and I just want to tell stories.

2. I like poetry, but it's hard for me to see how even the most avant garde and post-avant stuff isn't really regressive, elitist, and oppressive. When poetry is for poor people, they're not allowed to call it poetry.

3. I really didn't like Hellboy. I thought the devil-who-fights-to-protect-good-people was uninteresting. I thought the girl who is turned on by violence -- literally, she gets hit and then is on fire and at one point even begs her would-be lover for abuse, saying 'hit me,' 'hit me,' -- was deeply disturbing. But now, I see the preview for the second one, and see Guillermo del Toro has added all the eyes and the weird, underground imagery of Pan's Labyrinth, and I want to see it.

4. I haven't quite figured out how to explain what's happening in the corrupt-the-comic-strip work of Garfiled Minus Garfield & Marmaduke Explained. They do it very differently, and yet both make the work better by insulting it. 'I really do hate this strip,' one of the defacers writes, yet there's kind a devotion there. Maybe that's what fascinates me about it -- the contradiction in the critic's homage.

5. Emergent Christianity is to Christianity as New Age is to Buddhism

6. My favorite piece of philosophy is still the analogy, Man is like a dog tied to a tinker's cart.

7. For me, my Messiah complex is sort of directly related to gloom and despair. The larger my capacity for hope, the less I try to force fixes on things. The less I try to force a fix on things, the more I enjoy and value the weird and the strange, the wild and the surreal.

surviving as a writer in America,
the tradition of public intellectuals thrives
golden age of book ads
is google making us stupid?
mistrail by sodoku
lit tattoo
young j. edgar, seeing red
seized swag
leonard and the rogues
US holds line on free speech
marriage to cease in two california counties
holiday in hellmouth: james wood on god and suffering
graffiti artist's grisly attack on billboards
giraffe is called kosher
foiled by clown
remembering charlie
re-segregating rock
alcatraz -- the hotel
women and taboos in europe
wu-tang clan wants you to play chess
hair art
gerald ford's role in the cover-up of JFK's assassination
how dead would hitler be if it were just him and me in
an ally, pal?

the marvelous and the tedious
bobby kennedy myth
the rise of the obamacons
DYI font fantasies
freak shows in the future for coney island?

Jun 13, 2008

Urged the court

A Clayton County Police detective urged the court to get mental health care for the 24-year-old man charged with murdering his grandfather.

"He needs immediate mental health care," said Detective Steve Rotella. "Attention. Medication. He needs help."

Herbert George Ledford, III, allegedly shot his grandfather in the face and tried to burn down his Panhandle Road home on May 23. While being interviewed by police, he reportedly said his grandfather could have been murdered by "someone in the basement."

Read the full story @ the Clayton News Daily:
Detective wants mental care for murder suspect

Jun 11, 2008

Today, I am 26.

I have, I think, the kind of life people dream about. It is good.


Jun 10, 2008

But with jowls

I had this frog, a pet frog. I don't remember his name now, but he was green and brown. He was lumpy -- warty -- with loose, smelly skin and huge back legs.

I was 8. I found him in the creek. I thought he was the greatest pet ever.

I thought it would be really cool if he was a bullfrog, just because "bullfrog" sounds pretty cool, and sounds like an awesome version of a normal frog. Like, a bullfrog would be similar to normal frogs, but with jowls and the personality of a professional wrestler.

My frog was just a normal frog, though.

Read the full column:
Finding and losing George
Stabbed so many

The front window was broken, they said, and they saw the 20-year-old crumpled by the front door.

"I thought she was lying there hurt," Steve Robinson, the stepfather, told police. "I went to turn on the lights, and that's when I saw all the blood."

According to crime scene and autopsy reports, Calvert's leather jacket was saturated with blood, the foyer was soaked in blood and there were bloody handprints on the wall.

She had been stabbed so many times "her head was almost severed completely from the body by cuts to the neck," the chief prosecutor said.

Clayton News Daily: 8 years later, man pleads to girlfriend's murder

Jun 9, 2008

Described as

Both women act as though they have been betrayed.

Terry described Mosley as someone who abandoned the good work being done in the office, choosing, instead, to further her own career. Mosley described Terry as someone who destroyed a good office with incompetence, turning part of the county's justice system into a joke.

According to Mosley, she decided to run against her former boss back in the spring, while listening to lawyers in Henry County describe cases they won against the Solicitor General's office in Clayton County.

Clayton News Daily: No love lost between solicitor general candidates

Jun 6, 2008

Jonesboro skater

There's this one kid who's skateboarded for 10 years.

He's kind of a myth: None of the seven skateboarders messing around in Jonesboro on Thursday afternoon have ever actually met him, this hero-skateboarder. One of them said he heard the guy got in trouble for jumping his skateboard off the roof of a restaurant over by the mall.

"Ten years!" said one of the skateboarders.

The seven ranged in age from 13 to 16, and they all had skateboards. The oldest of the group, 16-year-old Michael Gavin, has been skateboarding for about three years. The newest skater, the one who doesn't quite have the skater-style assembled, who has a board, but not the skater shoes or the hat, said he started about six months ago.

"Ten years?" said Mark Shacklock, a shirtless 15-year-old who was standing there, thinking about that kid who supposedly snuck up on top of a restaurant with his skateboard, jumped off and then got caught.

"Wouldn't that mean, like, he started when he was 4?"

The others laughed, like they weren't sure if Shacklock was trying to destroy the story, or make it even better.

Read the full story @ the Clayton News Daily
Already involved in violence
You know what the central theme of film noir is: You're fucked.
            -- James Ellroy

1. The story of the 2-year-old boy killed by an ice cream truck reflects my darkest, most futile thoughts about life. It captures all the cruelty and the stupidness. It makes me want to swear at God. The story about the 2-year-old boy who fell out of a fourth-floor window and survived reflects my understanding of gratuitous grace, finding me baffled and blessed.

2. P.D. James' Children of Men may be the most chauvinistic book I've read. You would think that "Men" was really meant to be gender nuetral, but it's not. The men, in Phyllis Dorothy's logic, are consumned by power and the lust for power. When they stop lusting for power, they are meaningless and kill themselves. The woman is flat, un-explained, wrong-headed, silly and merely endured because she has a womb. The only thing she does that makes sense is a moment of vengeful violence, where she seizes power through betrayal. The child, who means "hope," is conceived in betrayal, gestated in the midst of masculine rivalries, and born as a weapon. There is only one child present in the book, the plural object possessed by men in the title seems to be violences, lusts, and power struggles.

3. Is there some sense of betrayal, in fidelity, and some sense of fidelity in betrayal? Is this the perverse core? To read, we have to stray from the text, because the author is dead. Does engagement necessarily entail an estrangement?

4. I think the key to Zizek is, first, that he doesn't believe we can escape, we are already involved in violence and ought not pretend. We have to act, and acting is violent. His Stalinism isn't a game, a put-on bit of philosophical theater. It is an acknowledgement that we cannot exempt ourselves and escaping violence is impossible. I agree with him -- I agree with process of thinking up to the penultimate conclusion. I still don't accept violence.

obama-calm in the swirl of history
man scales NY TImes building, gets arrested
man loves fire truck
searching for mccarthy's 'suttree'
youngston boxer
it's not journalism, it's faux true crime
turning away from jesus - gay rights and the fight for the episcopal church
mccain veep possibility cast out demons
nader's platform
how we read
bonnie and clyde & a short history of movie violence
presidents and facial hair
branding church
how to make horrible web sites
worst album covers ever: all hail kitsch
remembering '68
johnny rotten is fat and fifty
fear, the frontier and fantasy
redacted ridiculousness: 'waterboard'
monkeys move machines with their monkey minds
remembering bush, will we confuse hubris with greatness?
jim webb should be obama's VP
is jim webb too good for veep?
obama's body man
candidates with funny names
the pop. of hell
have blogs been good for books?
a decade in literature
citizen bob and the plotting of a libertarian candidacy
every type of facial hair :one man grows them all
filming mccarthy's 'the road'
woodward, the war and the vagueness of responsibility
why are we paranoid about election fraud?
pound's birthplace
book deals set before headlines are even ready to be ripped
the mars craft
NASA's future
the conservatives protest too much: the water isn't rising
what happened to proportionality in political journalism?

Jun 5, 2008

Eye balls out

A 34-year-old Clayton County high school teacher was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and making a terroristic threat against a student.

Travis Heckstall, a science teacher at Mt. Zion High School, allegedly told one student "he would rip his eye balls out and [urinate] on him, and kill [his] family," according to a Clayton County Police report.

Heckstall allegedly threw a chair and cursed at his class, at about 11:45 a.m., on May 21.

The incident was recorded by students with cell phones, and reported to the school's assistant principle.

Read the full story @ the Clayton News Daily:
Teacher allegedly threatens student

Jun 4, 2008

Officially comment

The search for possible victims seems to be suspended.

Though federal and local investigators believe Douglas Yutaka Rhoades may have molested multiple little girls while impersonating an FBI agent, they also seem to think the case against him is closed.

At the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Spokesman Stephen Emmett said he thought the investigation had been abandoned because Rhoades suffered an aneurysm and wasn't competent to stand trial.

... Rhoades was charged, in January, with the federal crimes of impersonating a federal agent and possessing child pornography. At the time, investigators and prosecutors released Rhoades' photo -- something they don't normally do -- and said they were concerned there were more victims, and they were looking for girls who may have been molested by Rhoades.

That day, Rhoades was apparently injured in prison. He was not at a bond hearing the next morning, and when he did return to court, five days later, he had a swollen, black eye.

No one would officially comment on the injury at the time.

Read the full story @ the Clayton News Daily:
Investigation of alleged molester appears stalled

Jun 3, 2008

The boy was pronounced dead by a state medical examiner and his body was removed from the street three hours after he was run over by the ice cream truck.

Read the full story @ the Clayton News Daily:
Infant run over by ice cream truck

Swisher Sweets

Three men reportedly robbed a Rex Rite-Aid, taking more than $2,000 in cash and $71 worth of Swisher Sweets cigars.

One of the men, allegedly pointing a gun at a woman who was talking on a cell phone, reportedly said, "It's hard times: Just need pampers and money for my kids," according to the Clayton County Police report.
Bo Diddley,who developed an insistant, driving syncopated, beat, was one of the originators of Rock 'n' Roll, is an influencial figure throughout pop, who started playing, as a kid, on a street corner in Chicago with a band called the Hipsters and later, the Langley Avenue Jive Cats, died today of heart failure at the age of 79.

May he rest in peace.

Jun 2, 2008

The mother, the son & the war

Andrew Tucker took a shower when he got home from the war, and then he strapped on a little plastic guitar and challenged his mom to a game of "Guitar Hero."

"Oh, you're going down," she said.

Read the full story @ the Clayton News Daily:
Good to be back home