Interviews

As I stood at the table to sign in for my ballot, an elegant, middle-aged black woman was just ahead of me. Her voice was subdued but clear, with the deeper timbre of age and experience, her diction betrayed a practice of speaking and a college education. With a sculpted face that had been beautiful and still was, she wore a tailored, perfectly pressed, deep-gray skirt and jacket of fine wool.

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One From Column A, One From Column B

This week’s midterm elections remind me of a story about Ernest Hemingway. A fellow approached him as Hem sucked up a margarita at La Floridita bar in Key West, and said, “Mr. Hemingway, I like your books, but I have a few criticisms. Would you like to hear them?” And Hemingway said: “No. If you criticize me it’ll make me feel bad, and if you praise me it won’t make me feel any better.”

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Mr. Trump the Democrat

Dear Mr. Editor:
Me and the Cowboy Caucus has been reading in the newspapers a lot of nonsense about our president, Mr. Don john Trump, about how he done this and that, and with who, a lot of these whos being of the female persuasion, and how he dodged his taxes and stiffed poor honest working men and women for their wages and so on. These things being so horrible as they is, if even half of them be true, me and the Cowboy Caucus has decided they is only one conclusion to be drew from it: Mr. Trump must be a Democrat.

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Negative Action

If not Yale or Harvard, then where? If you’re in, say, a boardroom with a bunch of people from Yale and Harvard, do you need someone from Appalachian State (which I’m sure is a fine institution) to balance things out? Do things need to be balanced out?

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Family Values

During the furor over Brett Kavanaugh’s spritely march — or was it a dance? — to the U.S. Supreme Court, I was reading Leslie A. Marchand’s biography of Lord Byron, notorious in his day for his bawdy lifestyle, including incest with his half-sister. Yet Byron’s response to his critics was so much cleaner and refreshing than the nauseating shit-show staged for us by Senate Judiciary Committee.

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Potato Chips and Prejudice

One of my few sins is that once in a great while I munch potato chips as I write. Chipless this week, facing a deadline, I cruised to the 7/11 for succor. There behind the counter was a beautiful black man, darker than night, 6 foot 5, maybe 220 pounds. “Where you from in Africa?” I asked, plunking my money down. “Where are you from in Europe?” he asked.

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