This Week's Various

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Reconstruction of Asa Carter: remember the NYT best-seller 'The Education of Little Tree'?  From the doc's website:

...The book was met with great critical acclaim and was lauded for its authentic portrayal of the American Indian experience. It was also credited with being the seminal work of Native American literature.

In October of 1991, The Education of Little Tree was number one on the New York Times bestseller list. ...Steven Spielberg and Robert Redford started a bidding war for the rights to bring Carter’s gentle, New Age-tinged message of multiculturalism and environmentalism to the big screen. For thousands of New York Times readers, then, October 4, 1991 must have brought an unpleasant surprise.

An op-ed piece announced the critically acclaimed Cherokee memoir as a fake. Forrest Carter was really Asa Carter, a professional racist who pounded out inflammatory speeches for George Wallace, including his infamous call-to-arms, "Segregation Now! Segregation Tomorrow! Segregation Forever!" He founded five chapters of the Ku Klux Klan, whose members brutally attacked black citizens throughout Alabama. In fact, Carter's racist beliefs were so extreme that in 1970 he split with his old boss, Wallace, accusing him of being a "sell out to the Negro." Even his new first name, readers learned, had been taken from Nathan Bedford Forrest, the Confederate Cavalry General who founded the original Ku Klux Klan. Articles on Little Tree’s identity appeared in Newsweek, in Time, in Publishers Weekly. Fans of the book were shocked, as were friends of Forrest’s in his later Texas years, for whom he would, after a couple of drinks, perform Indian war dances and chant in what he said was the Cherokee language. For people across the country, the exposure of Forrest Carter was an occasion for soul-searching.

Carter’s story illustrates not just American schizophrenia about race—but also the mutability of American identities. The Reconstruction of Asa Carter asks not just how Carter could be two people at once, but also why so many Americans, both Carter’s circle of intimates and the hundreds of thousands of Forrest Carter’s fans, fell in love with his portrayal of his Cherokee self.

Wow, wow, wow.

Next showings: 11/4 at UVA and 11/6 at USA in Mobile for the South Alabama Film Festival.  Cannot *wait* to see this.

This week, at the blog for the National Endowment of the Arts, one of their posts was by Malcolm White, executive director of the Mississippi Arts Commission, about Mississippi's Creative Economy.  The report (which found that about 61k Mississippians are in the creative sector) can be read here.  Nice, nice, nice.

My pic of the world's largest boll weevil, in Enterprise AL (which I don't think made it to the film...):

Boll Weevil Monument, Enterprise, Alabama

The Southern Circuit Independent Filmmakers Tour is making its way through right now, and among the films is my friend, Amy Elliott's documentary called "World's Largest":

Desperate for tourism, hundreds of small towns across the U.S. claim "world's largest" things, from 15-foot fiberglass strawberries to 40-foot concrete pheasants. World's Largest visits 58 such sites and profiles Soap Lake, Washington’s five-year struggle to build the World’s Largest Lava Lamp. By documenting these roadside attractions, World’s Largest captures the changing, perhaps even vanishing, culture of small-town America.

The tour schedule is here.

Does anyone know why the Mississippi Museum of Art is not listed as being accredited by the American Association of Museums?  It's not a size thing, because I've been to plenty of these museums, much smaller than my beloved MMA (seriously, it is wonderful.). Also, last year the MMA won the 2010 National Medal for Museum and Library Service -- it's the nation's highest award for these organizations.

Oh!  And earlier this week I posted about crowdsourced curation -- the MMA is asking for people to help digitally curate their SOCIALmixedMEDIA Invitational, "...weigh in on the pieces currently on display in the album, and add your own by posting it to our Facebook wall, sending to us via twitter, or emailing...an art exhibition by and for the people!" -- their FB page is here.

Our sweet, sweet Shugie just had his birthday; one of his presents from Mimi and Papa was made by the same artist and company that makes this similar very smart puzzle in the MOMA shop.

Beginning November 5, the Huntsville Museum of Art will show 'In Company with Angels' featuring seven iridescent stained glass windows created by Louis Comfort Tiffany, each with an angel.  They were created in 1902 for a Swedenborgian church in Cincinnati and were taken out when the church was demolished in 1964 for highway construction.

Is this the most expensive home for sale in Mississippi?  At $15MM, probably.  Walter Place in Holly Springs is on the market and (heart aflutter) yes there are lots of pics.  Grant occupied the house during the War, and later it was a quarantine for yellow fever patients.  14k square feet, 12 bedrooms, 12 baths, and a couple of 1830s cottages are included, one that used to belong to one of my relatives (Polk).

My birthday is coming up.  Just saying.  You know.

The Clarion-Ledger wrotes about our family friend Lesley Silver's 40th anniversary of her Attic Gallery in Vicksburg.


November 4 is the last day for the Automata: The Mechanical Sculpture of Steve Armstrong exhibit at the Tennessee Valley Art Association in Tuscumbia.

The Blacksmith and Fine Craft auction at the John C. Campbell Folk School in NC is taking place November 5. Wonderful.  eBay auctions begin November 1.

For Halloween, here's a link to what the artist Jessica Wohl (whose an instructor right now at Sewanee) installed in the abandoned Mountainaire Hotel in Hot Springs.

I've been meaning to mention this forever, but if you've ever wondered how someone who purchased a Damien Hirst medicine cabinet would feature it in their home, or decorate around it, the answer is in the September issue of Veranda.

The City Hall subway station in NYC hasn't been used in decades -- but it's just gorgeous:

(both above: courtesy bitchcakesny on Flickr, used with Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, thank you!)

I got the *best* email this week from Don Veasey, who is now my favorite library archivist of all time:

Because you showed interest in the past about Birmingham Public Library publishing Mrs. (Kathryn Tucker) Windham's manuscript about Gee's Bend, I thought I should send you this bit of news.
We still have not published the book but we have done something that brings us closer. The library's web site now has transcripts of her interviews with some of the people there. The link.

I hope you approve.
Oh yes I approve!  Her interview with Indiana Pettway -- how she sometimes would bring the cooking pot in the field with her, how she broke water in the field and kept picking until it was quitting time, the religious vision she had that she shared with the church in order for her to join, and a story about a snake with a belly full of chicken eggs who got caught in a jug handle...

Beginning November 7, some of the Gee's Bend quilters will be at the Alys Stephens Center with Groupe Bogolon Kasobane, who are the mud cloth masters of Bamako, Mali.  Both groups will be "working simultaneously on their art pieces during the course of a week-long residency in the Alys Stephens Center lobby November 7-11.  Lunch-time discussions and special events will explore each art form and the artists that practice it, the similarities between the art, and cultural memory patterns included in both groups' artistic expressions. Plus, there will be hands-on educational activities throughout the week."  More here.

...and now about KTW, from the Alabama Booksmith in Homewood:
"The Alabama Booksmith will celebrate the publication of Kathryn Tucker Windham's last book, SHE, as well as her remarkable life and contributions to readers around the world.
Special guests will include her children, Dilcy and Ben, Roy Hoffman, Dolores Hydock and many others. Two copies of 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey signed by Kathryn Tucker Windham will be raffled and auctioned with 100% of the proceeds to benefit her beloved Selma Library.

We'll show the video of Kathryn talking about her friend Harper Lee on the 50th anniversary of the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird. There will be copies of Kathryn's previous titles, CD's and DVD's. Our grandest party ever! Don't miss it!"

The WSJ interviews John Besh on his new cookbook, My Family Table, which comes out on November 1.  John talks about Viking, Shadyside pottery, copper pots, and thinking of opening something like Eataly for New Orleans.

The November issue of Bon Appetit has a travel guide for Lafayette.

'Tis the season: Alinea's video (the music is a bit over-the-top, tho) for 'Chocolate, Pumpkin Pie':

MoMA tells the AJC that the High got the 'best of the best' when it comes to their loan of works for the 'Picasso to Warhol' exhibit, and that they haven't done this sort of partnership before, but they're hoping that it will help their increase their national membership rolls, for one (plus with the High previously paying the Louvre $6MM+ for a three-year contract, MoMA probably got a pretty nice figure, too).

I've been thinking about being a Nick Cave soundsuit for Halloween.


Garden and Gun Magazine just did a little feature on readers' "favorite classic Southern brands": Cheerwine, Duke's, Krispy Kreme, White Lily...

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Let's Eat

Favorite Restaurants:
1. Commander's Palace, New Orleans LA
2. Arnaud's, New Orleans LA
3. Antoine's, New Orleans LA
4. Doe's Eat Place, Greenville MS
5. Root, New Orleans LA
6. Chez Fonfon, Birmingham AL
7. Taylor Grocery, Taylor MS
8. Ninfa's on Navigation, Houston TX
9. Lusco's, Greenwood MS
10. The Dinner Bell, McComb MS

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