Category Analysis

Lazy Summer Movie Fun: Overboard at 30

Today, on my first duty day of the 2017-2018 academic year, I need to reflect on the blissful three months of vacation that have come and gone. It was a pretty chill summer. I spent a lot of time doing absolutely nothing and enjoying the hell out of it. After several summers of hectic activity (caring for ill parents, managing my late father’s unfinished estate business, traveling to Europe and

Continue reading…

Follow the Red Dirt Road: Some Thoughts on Being a Southern Writer

My friend, colleague, and fellow native Alabamian, Gary Walker, wrote an excellent USR essay a couple of weeks ago reflecting on being a writer who just happens to be from the South. Despite others’ expectations that he write about red dirt, hunting, fishing, football, the land, and the people, Gary confessed that he doesn’t really feel motivated to write about Dixie-themed topics. Gary’s admission is a little surprising (after all,

Continue reading…

Blank Pages Along the Beach: Soldiers’ Diaries of the Gallipoli Campaign

“The herdsmen wandering by the lonely rills, marks where they lie on the scarred mountain flanks. Remembering that mild morning when the hills shook to the roar of guns, and those wild Franks surged upward from the sea.”[1] –The ANZAC Book As morning broke on Sunday April 25th 1915, Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC), British, French, Indian, Irish, and Senegalese troops awoke before the sun to prepare for

Continue reading…

On Why We Are Willing to Die

The other day, New York Jets rookie safety Jamal Adams told a group of Jets fans, “If I had a perfect place to die, I would die on the field.” In response, Green Bay Packers tight end Martellus Bennett tweeted, “Look football is great but I ain’t dying for this shit. Lol.” This begs the question of why so many people glorify the early exit. They’ll die for country, family,

Continue reading…

Movie Review: Dunkirk

I was extremely disappointed when Shakespeare in Love beat out Saving Private Ryan for the Best Picture Academy Award in 1999. Granted, SiL was clever and quirky, mimicking Shakepeare’s own rom-coms. It’s also the sort of hip film Hollywood likes to reward with its highest cinematic honor. Despite winning Best Picture, however, Shakespeare in Love appears to have been buried somewhere in the vaults of the Creative Industrial Complex. I

Continue reading…

LADIES SING THE BLUES: A Music Company Production

On a blustery evening not long ago, I found myself witnessing one of the greatest nights of music I have heard in my forty years of playing and following R&B. This concert featured four of the most seasoned, savvy, and inspired vocalists, backed by a cracker-jack quartet, that this listener has ever been privileged to experience. The aforementioned ladies are Lila Mori, Juanita Martin, Erica Brown and Jill Watkins, and

Continue reading…