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September 14, 2007

MS town seeks posthumous pardon for Johnny Cash

A Mississippi town is trying to obtain a posthumous pardon for Johnny Cash. In May 1965, the legendary country singer spent the night in the Starkville drunk tank after getting caught picking flowers in someone's yard. [BBC]

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Well, I'm brainwashed, but I believe every dot on the map includes people as aware and resourceful as you and me. And therefore nowhere has to settle for shallow and desperate civic actions.

Some dots are abandoned, as soon as possible, by many of the most aware and resourceful- particularly as much of the rural economy has simply gone to hell the last few decades. And one of the only ways many small towns see to save themselves now is through tourism, attracted in part by just such silly festivals.

Yep. Yep. Right you are.

>And one of the only ways many small towns see to save themselves now is through tourism, attracted in part by just such silly festivals.

Yep. Yep. I know that. Wasn't hatched yesterday.

But the only way you can say that's the only resource is if the town has nothing else going for it anywhere. All I'm saying is that more attention and energy should be devoted to finding something more fundamental and lasting to support the town.

Apparently I'm taking this way too seriously. In my defense I find empty, entirely self-serving gestures had to stomach. Lindsay may be right. Johnny may have been bemused by this attention. If Starkville had proposed this five years ago we would know for sure.

Curiously, Starkville's website makes no mention of this pardon. Even more curiously Starkville's list of Yearly Events kicks off with:

"Martin Luther King Celebration
Be a part of the dream. Weekend events include various worship services and a community-wide unity breakfast. (662) 323-5783."

While it's admirable that Starkville officially observes MLK Day I was troubled by my inability to find a single person of color amongst the many photos posted on their site. I freely admit to being a New England Yankee willfully ignorant of Mississippi demographics but surely some African-Americans live there? It's not readily apparent from their web site.

Screw these crackers!

AF

--Screw these crackers!--

Well, none of us can speak for someone no longer with us, but if it were possible to do so, I'd have bet you a case of Brooklyn Beer that Johnny Cash wouldn't endorse any comment like that.

Maybe its a sincere gesture. You never know.

If they were just a bunch of worthless "southern crackers", I doubt if they'd be associated with any Martin Luther King events.

The principal industry in Starkville is Mississippi State University and separating its students from their money. Drunken flower-picking must look like piddling rambunction by today's standard.
Btw, the crawfish you eat (or, like me, don't) comes from crawfish farms, often ricelands in crop rotation -- an aquacultural, artificial swamp, not a real, wild one.

Phantom,

Point taken. I did let my vitriol get the better of me.

I remain outraged at the absence of African-American faces in the multitude of photos at starkville.org. Starkville Demographics indicate that almost 1/3 of the city's population is of African-American. As for Starkville's "MLK Day celebration," it is solely the work of churches and civic groups. The City of Starkville just lists it in their yearly events calendar.

AF

AF

The photos on the site are indeed tone deaf. Especially for a place that wants to open up and attract the tourists. I don't disagree with that.

Phantom

Clearly they're interested in attracting only a certain "type" of new businesses.

AF

I've become quite enraptured with Youtube. There's just an astonishing wealth of material there that would remain largely unseen or unheard without it.

And it is a Sunday after all.

There is something in a Sunday...

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