Stories for November 2002


Friday, November 29

Why Do These Things Always Start In England?

Dr. S heard this "sport" discussed at length on Fox Sports Radio one afternoon. Another sign that the Apocalypse is imminent? I think the site will speak for itself.

Thursday, November 28

American Hooligans Still Lag Behind Europe's

There have been a lot of stories and sports talk radio jabber in recent weeks about violence at college football games, usually related to fans storming the field after a game and attempting to tear down the goal posts. (Historical note: This is why Mississippi State and Ole Miss started handing out the Golden Egg Trophy 75 years ago.) But U.S. sports hooliganism is still minor-league compared to what goes on overseas.

Wednesday, November 27

BCS Explained, Sorta

Do you want the real story on the byzantine Bowl Championship Series? Check out this column by the LA Times' Chris Dufresne ...

Carolyn Renee Morris

Carolyn Morris—the storyteller, singer, songwriter, connector—is the product of the two strong women who raised her. The 40-year-old South Jacksonian was born in the University Medical Center in 1962 and then bounced back and forth between her feminist mother, Tahira'h Abubakr, and her more traditional grandmother, Gussie Seals. Abubakr raised Morris in New York City and Indianapolis to be politically aware and determined and independent. She visited Miss Gussie, a former sharecropper, back here in Pocahontas and learned the feminine arts. "Otherwise, I'd never have put on a dress," Morris says, laughing softly as she nibbles at a tofu burrito outside High Noon Café.

CHICK: Nice Southern Girls Do Breastfeed

It looked like any other picnic scene you would find in a Chapel Hill, N.C., park on a beautiful spring day. Lots of trees, grass, children, Frisbees, dogs and smoking grills. As my husband and I sat down to eat, an attractive woman sitting across from us deftly produced her breast to feed her baby, while introducing herself to my husband, correcting her 3-year-old and sampling the coleslaw. We were both amazed, but for different reasons. I was impressed at the poise she displayed and her expertise at multitasking. My husband was just amazed that he was able to carry on a conversation with her while pretending to be so interested in his baked beans. It was the perfect way to break him into the world of breastfeeding—gently, at a La Leche League barbeque, complete with beer and spare ribs.

A Stand-Up Guy

I used to attend public events because I felt obligated. Now that I am of a certain age, I attend only those that interest me—and, sadly, not even all of those. When I heard that Clarion-Ledger editorial cartoonist Marshall Ramsey would be speaking during the Millsaps Arts and Lecture Series Nov. 7, I knew immediately I wanted to be there. I've been a fan of Ramsey's cartoons since he joined the paper six or so years ago. My expectations did not, however, prepare me for his performance.

Now, Where is Jackson?

"Now where exactly is Jackson?" was the response when we asked if anti-war cartoonist David Rees could stop by on his 30-cities-in-50-days book tour supporting his new book, "Get Your War On." He found us Nov. 14 when his Greyhound bus deposited him on Jefferson Street. Looking a little discombobulated and worn out from the 4 1/2 hour ride from New Orleans—and from sleeping on some punksters' sofa the night before—the North Carolinian-turned-New Yorker seemed ready for a meal and a bourbon on the rocks.

ART: Of Martinis and Mod Science

Artist Ellen Langford told me recently that she was painting a violin for a symphony fund-raiser. I thought, "That's nice." I was picturing maybe a canvas with a vase of roses, a velvet curtain background and a violin, kind of like the painting over my piano teacher's fireplace. Wrong: She meant literally painting a violin.

Delicate Shades of Folk, by Katherine R. Dougan

Jackson folks might remember Kris Wilkinson from her days with Perfect Strangers, a band formed in the mid-1980s while she was in college at Delta State University in Cleveland. After graduating, she lived and performed in Jackson for a couple of years. Wilkinson, now half of the duo Cicero Buck, is coming back to Jackson Nov. 27, when her tour for her recently released CD, "Delicate Shades of Grey," brings her to Fenian's Pub.

The Turkey (Egg) Bowl

Mississippi State and Ole Miss get together for their annual hatefest on Thursday night. Beware, this Egg Bowl might give you indigestion.

Tuesday, November 26

Kicked To The Curb

Folks, when Dr. S says you're going to lose your job, you had better start packing the boxes. So long, JSU football coach Robert Hughes, not that you will be missed. Dr. S predicts you won't be the last state college football coach to go.

Saturday, November 23

Check Out The Big Brain On Dr. S!

Bloggers, it's been a long hard football season, especially for those of you who based your football wagers (that's illegal in 49 states, you know) on the prognostications of Dr. S. As the Stones once sang, "I'm feeling drunk, juiced up and sloppy, and I only drank 14 beers and 16 shots of Jaeger at the Lounge last night ..." Or something like that. Back on Planet Football, this is the last big Saturday for our state schools, so Dr. S prescribes some predictions .He was a startling 2-4 last week. You have been warned. ...

Friday, November 22

The Turkey Gobbles

Dr. S will be here for you 24/7, slaving away to bring you the sports news and views you so richly deserve. Meanwhile, our raving correspondent Fester is taking Thanksgiving week off. I think the real problem is, they don't have computers in the jail he's visiting. Anyway, the slacker does offer some brief words of wisdom this week.

Go Jackson State!

Sorry, Alcorn. We've got to root for the home team. Tickets are $32, $22, and $17. And, truth be known, the "Braves" part doesn't help anything. Go Tigers!

Matchup Made In Hell

So are you hoping that Ole Miss and Southern Miss will both become bowl-eligible and end up playing each other in a bowl game? (If so, you are one sick puppy. That would be one butt-ugly game with this year's teams.) But don't hold your breath. At least, that's what the Biloxi Sun-Herald says.

Thursday, November 21

Power Yoga: Easy She Sweats

Ropes, straps and other implements of potential torture hang on the studio's walls. The shelves are filled with bolsters, pranayama pillows, blocks, mats and blankets. The hardwood floors are polished, and mirrors cover the back wall. A fountain trickles in the background, and a CD player plays soft music. Tonight, an electric heater keeps the room warmed to a toasty level, a prerequisite for sweat-inducing power yoga.

Tea With Lydy

I've thought often of Lydy Caldwell since she was so horribly murdered in October. But I thought of her often when she was alive, too.

The Streets We Live On

Can the width of our roads actually affect the quality of our lives? That's one of the questions central to the discussion surrounding "infill" and revitalization development in urban areas. It's something, for instance, that local urban planners are discussing in regard to the planned Jackson Metro Parkway and its impact on the surrounding neighborhoods—indeed, its impact on anyone doing business in central Jackson. But the design of a street can affect us on every level—at home, getting to work, heading down to the grocery store or fighting traffic at the mall.

HIGHTOWER: Buy Organic, Buy Local

When 90 members of the Wampanoag tribe joined 50 Pilgrims for the first Thanksgiving back in 1621, they had a cornucopia of food. For three days, they feasted on venison, goose, turkey, eels, lobster, hoe cakes, corn, cranberries, beer, wine ... and so much more. Yet, this abundance didn't require any chemical additives, genetic engineering, pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones or other weaponry of today's high-tech agribusiness industry. Those poor ignorant fools just didn't know how it should be done, I guess.

EDITORIAL: It's the Little Things

The recent unveiling of a new plan for a massive downtown convention-center complex has us worried that Jackson and its leaders will never stop going down the "if you build it, they will come" road for tourism and business. Yes, Jackson needs a smart, useful civic structure to serve exhibition, meeting space and other needs. But no gleaming alabaster and glass structure—no matter how big it is—will ever solve the city's problems in one fell swoop.

Think Global, Shop Local

<i>Vote for your community with your dollars</i>

"There's Johnson's Hardware and Morgan's Jewelry. … They were the little men. … I go back now, and it's as if they've never existed. … There goes the little man."

Down On The NCAA Plantation ...

Mississippi State announced Wednesday that the NCAA has decided it made a mistake two years ago when it said Mario Austin was eligible to play college basketball. Perhaps the NCAA should put itself on probation. Or better yet, give itself the death penalty.

Wednesday, November 20

Dread Descends On Dogpatch

Here's some bad news if you're a Mississippi State basketball fan. As of Tuesday night, State still didn't know if All-Everything center Mario Austin will be eligible to play in Saturday's season opener with Louisiana-Lafayette.

Friday, November 15

Minding the Shop

We weren't stopping at every convenience store in West Jackson. Todd and I were primarily distributing the Jackson Free Press to beauty and barbershops, barbecue spots, libraries and nightclubs—places where West Jacksonians like to congregate and, hopefully, look through magazines. Besides, it was raining torrents, and stopping in front of a strip of businesses made our task a little more efficient and a little less water-logged. But the tiny store at the southwest corner of Jackson State looked too charming to pass up. Plus, it was probably the kind of place that JSU students stop into constantly for coffee and snacks. It would be perfect for the Jackson Free Press.

Thursday, November 14

Changing Channels, Part 1

Dr. S is sick of ESPN talking head Stuart Scott. There are times when Dr. S hates Stuart (usually when Dr. S is watching ESPN). Stuart's act has long since worn thin. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Bob Wolfley sums up the trouble with Stuart in a critique of ESPN's coverage of the NBA:

A Prescription For Disaster

Have you heard that Ole Miss is going to replace the grass at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium with cardboard? That's because the Rebels always look good on paper.

Wednesday, November 13

One Weird Weekend

Fester, our man in the swamp, checks in with some words of wisdom. (Who wrote this, Fester)?

Fester sez:

Saturday, November 9

For Those About To Lose ...

It's not going to be a fun Saturday if you're a fan of the Mississippi's Big 3 college football teams. Much like the stock market, they all appear headed for a fall as they fan out across Alabama and Georgia.

Friday, November 8

Opinion: Iraq Attack Not a ‘Just' War

From my pew near the back of my church, I see the pastor in his black liturgical robe approach the center of the chancel to welcome everyone to morning worship. A prism of colors is visible from the sunlight streaming through the stained glass windows. Behind him on the left is the flag of the United States. On his right is the Christian flag. Standing midway between the two, the minister is a symbol of the Christian dilemma—dual citizenship. Christians are citizens of both the United States and the Kingdom of God and this can, as William H. Willimon, dean of the chapel at Duke University puts it, "cause some tension."

God, Country And Hockey

The Bandits are back this weekend at the Big Barn at the Fairgrounds. Sure it seems like they play a lot now, but wait until their 2-month vacation. You will miss 'em when they're gone ...

Thursday, November 7

Hoop Skirt Dreams

Damn. I'm having that dream again—you know the one with the Goo Goo cluster packages and kudzu floating around a lady in a hoop skirt. I think those are catfish logos, too, but I'm not sure. Maybe this time I can recall all the details when I wake up.

NOT Annoyed, Thank You

We were interested to see that The Clarion-Ledger 'fessed up that a vote for Rep. Chip Pickering in the Third District would not annoy the newspaper. The Pickering campaign, or somebody darned close to it, had been trying to work up a frenzy about the reliable, old Clarion-Ledger being a—eek—liberal newspaper. We told you last issue that the GOP was handing out bumper stickers, proclaiming (wink, wink): "ANNOY The Clarion-Ledger: Vote for Chip Pickering."

Boycott du Jour

That was then.

I recently met David Baria, president of the Mississippi Trial Lawyers Association, for the first time. He was in the lounge side of Bravo Restaurant in Highland Village, lightheartedly holding court with his wife, also an attorney, a couple family members, and various and assorted other confident folks in business suits drinking red wine and martinis. He was boisterous, even as the state Legislature was facing a contentious debate over whether or not to enact civil tort reform—his personal bête noir—in the state. I got the feeling that he and his entourage might gather often in that very same spot; they were clearly a part of the vibrant young professional scene at Bravo.

Dogging Youth

<i>Is Metrocenter Mall's New Policy Good for Business?</i>

When the four young women arrived at Metrocenter Mall Friday, Oct. 25, just after dark, they didn't expect to be carded at the door. Casually dressed in sweats and sneakers, Renata Davis, 20; Stacey Swana, 25; and Danielle Baldwin, 15; came with Andreal Davis, 18, to get her infant daughter's ears pierced. But when they reached the entrance next to Ruby Tuesday's, they met a white-shirted security guard in a big black hat and a member of mall management who asked for their IDs. The weekend before, Metrocenter had launched a new curfew, called the Family First Guardian Policy, that requires people 17 and under to be escorted by a parent or legal guardian from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights.

EDITORIAL: Tort Reform: Let's Punt

Nov. 7, 2002 -- The special legislative session to address tort-reform issues should have ended weeks ago. It's been expensive, ineffectual and has only added to a confusing debate that has lumped corporate responsibility and medical malpractice into the same discussion. And as The Clarion-Ledger reported Sept. 1, the "special session" status may take tort reform a step closer to being unconstitutional, because the Mississippi constitution forbids special laws that protect individual entities if that law could be handled in a more general fashion. Abridging trial-by-jury rights is also a constitutional no-no.

CHICK: One for the People

<i>Bingo goes in search of 'nekkid chicks' in Clinton.</i>

I was listening to Z106 the other day when the disc jockey started crowing approvingly that he had never had a Playboy Playmate on his show before. I soon learned that this particular playmate was from Clinton (the Bible Belt's buckle) and an employee of WorldCom. I tittered to myself because I had quipped months ago when I heard about the "Women of Enron" issue of Playboy that WorldCom would be next. It seems Sherrie Sloane ("with an i-e," her bright voice said when asked for a Web plug) is a graduate of Belhaven College and works as a financial analyst at the shiny-but-tarnished WorldCom digs in Clinton.

Wednesday, November 6

Get ‘Em Outta Here

Dr. S was sad to see that Fester was MIA (marinated in alcohol) last week. But now he's back and he's foaming at the mouth, so let's go straight to our raving correspondent:

Tuesday, November 5

Bullish On MJ? See Him At The Max

Go see the once-mighty basketball/marketing god Michael Jordan in all his glory (i.e., before love of publicity made him put on a Wizards jersey) at the Russell C. Davis Planetarium, 2010 E. Pascagoula St. 10 a.m. Monday through Friday; 2 p.m. weekend days. $5.50 adults; $4 kids and seniors. 960-1550. Not to be confused with "Space Jam." Nikes not required.

Mississippi Showcase

One of the things Dr. S enjoys most about watching an NFL game, besides all of the subtle, tasteful beer commercials, is seeing how many players from Mississippi and Mississippi schools are in the league. Monday night's game between the Green Bay Packers and the Miami Dolphins was a great example. There were six Mississippi players in the teams' starting lineups. The Packers had quarterback Brett Favre (Southern Miss), wide receiver Donald Driver (Alcorn State) and linebacker Nate Wayne (Ole Miss). The Dolphins had defensive tackle Tim Bowens (Ole Miss), cornerback Patrick Surtain (USM) and offensive tackle Todd Wade (Ole Miss). The Packers' Mississippi guys made more big plays than the Dolphins homeboys, so Green Bay won 24-10. Football players, writers and Miss Americas: Nobody turns them out like Mississippi.

Monday, November 4

Only Negative Mississippi Spoken Here

OK, Dr. S tried to be positive when he did last week's football forecast. And what did it get him? A weekend of sorry football. Oh sure, Dr. S went 5-1 picking last Saturday's games. And Dr. S could have told you that TCU was going to beat Southern Miss last week, but Dr. S doesn't work on Wednesdays. But how could he have been so wrong about Ole Miss and State? From here on out, it's no more Mr. Nice Doctor …

Sunday, November 3

‘Miata Station Wagon,' Anyone?

I've known Ms. D. about the same amount of time that I've been writing car reviews—on and off for about six years now. (On and off for the car reviews. Aside from the occasional exile to the living-room sofa, I've been seeing Ms. D. continuously for that entire time.) For all those reviews, there have been only two cars—aside from my Mazda Miata, which is now pretty much her Mazda Miata—for which she has expressed any level of admiration.


Talk about an ironic bumper sticker: "ANNOY The Clarion Ledger: VOTE PICKERING"

Tamale King

Jackson is hungry for tamales. Three businesses listed in the 2002 Jackson BellSouth Yellow Pages have the word "tamales" in their name (Tony's Tamales, 2325 Livingston Rd.; Jack's Tamales, 1056 Old Brandon Rd., Flowood; and Jose's Tamales, 136 South Pearson Rd., Pearl). And scores of restaurants, Mexican and otherwise, have tamales on their menus. They're also sold at bars, pool halls and convenience stores in and around Jackson.

In Search of Alternative Health Care

Jacksonians live in a stronghold of conventional medical practitioners, many of whom will not suggest alternative treatments unless you ask; and some won't, even if you do. If you're looking for complementary and alternative health care in Jackson, you will need serious detective skills, the patience of Job, lots of telephone time and possibly good walking shoes. The choices are not as broad in Mississippi as in other states. Many Mississippians think alternative treatments are weird and "New Age." (Never mind that many are thousands of years old). As a state we haven't exactly opened our arms to alternative practitioners and said, "Y'all, come on down."

Your Vote Counts Here

Imagine a state where moderates have as loud a voice as extreme conservatives. Imagine a state where it's considered cool to be progressive. A state where young people are drawn to politics so they can help people, not corporations. A state where your vote counts.

Saturday, November 2

Just Who Is Clinton B. LeSueur?

The late-model black Jeep Cherokee pulls into the parking lot of Central Mississippi Medical Center in Southwest Jackson. It is covered with green cardboard signs that read, "Who is Clinton B. LeSueur?" and the license-plate frame announces that the vehicle's owner is a Rust College alumnus. An emblem on the bumper shows membership in a Masonic organization. A tall, thin, immaculately dressed African-American man steps out of the Jeep. He is Clinton B. LeSueur and, like his campaign signs suggest, many people in the Second Congressional District wonder who he is.

The Jackass Brays: Are You Listening?

Friends and readers, it's been a busy week for Dr. S. He won't bore you with the details, since he doesn't remember any. But he does recall something about Halloween, martinis and a woman in a cat suit. Then it gets blurry. And Dr. S' head starts hurting. So let's get it on ...

Friday, November 1

Bandits At Home

The Jackson Bandits are home in the Big Barn (aka the Mississippi Coliseum) on Friday and Saturday for games with Columbia and Baton Rouge. Here's the report from the team:

"Twilight," Caroline Herring

When Canton native Caroline Herring takes the stage at Hal & Mal's on Saturday night, she'll be riding in on a gentle wave of "Twilight" success. Singer/songwriter Herring, who now lives in the big alt-country city of Austin, Texas, captured the hearts of Lone Star fans in the same way her hauntingly simple melodies and slice-of-life Southern stories captured the hearts of Mississippians when Herring was a regular on the "Thacker Mountain Radio Show" in Oxford.

Drive-By Patriotism

Now that I have those children and have watched the towers fall, my pacifism has been tested. Like a mother bear guarding her young, I would defend them with force if necessary. But is this war necessary?