The US Represented Weekly Update

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Hello USR readers,

We should start by mentioning that we’re upgrading again by adding more bandwidth, which means our site will be running faster and more efficiently within the next few days. We want the time you spend on our site to be pleasurable and trouble-free. Of equal interest, we’ll be building a new music section over the next few weeks, and we’ll keep you posted regarding this exciting addition.

We had another fine week of contributions. In Sandra Knauf’s Zera and the Green Man, Chapter 10, “Thinking of her mom and how they’d taken care of the chickens together brought an emptiness that Nonny could never fill, no matter how great it was to see her again. Zera directed her attention back toward the chickens. It’s funny that they didn’t cackle when I came in. Normally, their feathers would be ruffled when someone unfamiliar entered their territory. But they’re acting as if they remember me too, just like Merlin did, as if I’d never left.” In “Therapeutic Child Abuse and Effecting Change,” Ricky Linder points out that a number of residential treatment programs are abusing teenagers throughout America, and this needs to stop through active systematic measures. Eric Stephenson’s “Ten Reasons to Appreciate Science” points out that “Being superstitious and dismissive of the mechanics of the physical world is no way to go through life.” Lindsay Deen’s “Tradition” speaks intimately to the importance of family connections. Kyle York’s “Celebrity Lies Within” points out that “Celebrities’ worth comes mainly from the fact that we pay attention to them. They exist to reassure us that spectatorship is meaningful. But that in turn makes us want to become spectacles. By flattering our moral sensibilities, celebrity culture only dulls them.”

“The Whole Ruth” is Sandra Knauf’s charming biography of an extraordinary woman. Sandra says, “Ruth Stout was one of the best-known authors in American garden writing in the last century, but, more than that, she was a free-thinking, self-reliant, original. For those of us who have been around a few decades, I ask: can you think of any other woman, born in the Victorian era, who would declare she wasn’t into the Women’s Movement (of the 1970s) because she felt that ‘she had been liberated from birth’?” Jerome Parent’s “Prayers, Cribs, and Pine Creek High School” argues, “It is parents, often Christian, who are afraid of any ideas outside of their own religious beliefs, and who have brought so many successful lawsuits against schools, that has led to every school having lawyers on speed dial.” 

In “Daughters of the Light,” Sandra Knauf discusses Bill Cosby and the need for women to stand up against sexual predators. She says, “Vampire slaying is scary business, but we now know only we can save ourselves. We’ve waited and hoped and we’ve been disappointed with our romantic delusions for centuries. And, you know what? Rescuing shouldn’t be put on men. That task resides in all of us, male and female, as we all can be victims.” In “Welcome to the No-Slacking Zone,” DeLyn Martineau describes a place where “those who choose to become educators will benefit from an added incentive to succeed—my extra-detailed scrutiny of their work, and their work ethic.” Jeff Cleek’s Dick & Rosie pokes fun at the Military-Industrial Complex, and in Eric Stephenson’s “Vicious Pixie,” “Abby played her rock star role perfectly and “pretended she didn’t care because at least she could still stare into the mirror in the morning and gaze at her young, beautiful face and find something gentle in her eyes when she was alone.”

Finally, we’re placing Emily Badovinac’s Deep Red on hiatus for a while so Emily can finish the novel as skillfully as possible. The text has become intricately layered and richly complex, and she wants the final movements to reflect excellence. In the meantime, we’ll run other Friday features, and Emily will also be writing other pieces for the site. Also, we’ll repost each Deep Red chapter on an ongoing basis, beginning with Chapter One.

The USR Staff