Whaz Up!?! Appalachian Roots, Edition (Monday 25 October 2021)

Howdy y’all!

Life rolls on here at Ye Olde Blogge. School is as intense and busy as ever. If anything, it is getting more so as we are fixing to issue report cards and meet with parents. I always love meeting the parents of my students. The meeting times are way too short.

Cambodian #covid19 news. Cambodia continues opening its borders and economy apace. We are officially in the endemic, which doesn’t mean that we’re at the end of the pandemic; it means that the disease is embedded in the society and will occur as it will in those lacking immunity. Vaccination continues with MoH predicting that 100% of adults will have at least one dose. This week, MoE has lifted all restrictions on attending school.

Ye olde blogge news: It’s been mortally airish here in Phnom Penh, meaning that it’s been cool and windy. The rainy season has come way late — thanks climate change. Somehow, I’ve made the time to explore my Appalachian roots with the help of a blog, Blind Pig and the Acorn, their YouTube channel, and her daughters’ YouTube channel, The Pressley Girls. It’s been terrific to hear the accents, recognize the dialect in the phrasing that I grew up using, and see the countryside. I’ve been all nostalgic and missing my mountain granny.

Otherwise this is what I’ve been doing:

Here’s what I’ve been reading on the Interwebs:

  • The Authoritarians Thank ye, kindly, TenBears at Homeless on the High Desert for giving the link to some of the original work on authoritarianism. It has been as enlightening as it has been confirming of what Ye Olde Blogge has posted in years past and will post in the future.
  • People’s Eyes Reveal That Clichés Are Underrated from This was some sobering news for Ye Olde Blogge to read. Research reveals that people react more strongly to cliches such as, You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink, and less strongly to alternatives like, You can’t make your child do their homework. The only hope it gives us is that they didn’t test snarky alterations like, You can lead a horse to water, but you can only drown it.
  • Evacuating Kabul: French Ambassador Narrowly Escapes, Fears Future translated by one of our absolute favorite Francophiles, Carol, over on her blog, cas d’intérêt. I know the libralatsy is tired of hearing about the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, but this story is well worth reading. It caused me to forego some real work, which is always a blessing.
  • It would seem that schizophrenics have a naturally occuring immunity to cancer. I guess nature does value balance. Apparently, some of the same brain chemicals that allow schizophrenics to hallucinate inoculate the body against cancers.

Past, Present, and Future

Of course, we’re talking the calendar and blog posts here:

The calendar: The calendar continues to stagger on despite its anemia. There are literally no important dates on the calendar until we reach All Hallow’s Eve. Well, there you have it. If you’ve got a birthday or anniversary or just got a splinter, let us know about it, and I’ll slap it on the calendar.

icymi: Here’s the week’s haul in blog posts:

  • Wednesday 20 October was a big big day here at Ye Olde Blogge:
  • Saturday 23 october was another big day with two blog posts this time being two aspects of the same story:

Look for these possible posts: Usually by this point in the week, I’ve got completed posts scheduled for posting next week or at least begun. This week, I got nuthin’. I’ve got these ideas, though:

  • Timothy Snyder Speaks: Timothy Snyder the authoritarian scholar who wrote On Tyranny: Eight Lessons for Resisting the Fascisting of America (Ye Olde Blogge’s post on his book) has published an updated edition of the book using examples of our current situation and has been posting YouTube videos of each of the lessons that we will be using in a post at some point.
  • Depression and Anxiety rates are up since the beginning of the pandemic. Other than filing the findings in the “No Duh!” file, we’ll be taking a deeper look especially as it relates to mass psychosis, waves of terror, and resistance fatigue.
  • Midnight in Washington is Adam Schiff’s book chronicling his response to the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s first impeachment and trial. In it he lays out lessons learned as a young federal prosecutor in the case of a wayward FBI agent spying for the Soviets. He notes how the Soviets recruited people who were narcissistic and had weak morals. Sounds a lot like our current crop of GQP politicians, doesn’t it?

Friends of Ye Olde Blogge

It’s always important to say thank you to those who have helped you along the way and be appreciative of those who have done you favors big and small. So, these are some of the folks who have become friends of the blog.


If you’ve enjoyed this review of the week that was and the week to come on Ye Olde Blogge, please consider doing one or all of the following:

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Image Attribution

Beautiful Downtown Athens, Tennessee” by J. Stephen Conn is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

12 replies »

  1. Thanks Jack, back at ya’ …

    For what it’s worth, my only connection being the family migrated out of Mississippi a couple/three generations back, I’m not sure Oregon is much better than Appalachia, or vis a vis. Nice places to be from, to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.

    I’ve visited Mississippi. It’s not even a nice place to visit …

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Bob!

      There are large parts of the Deep South that are not nice, especially if you’re noticeably different than the folks living there. Part of the “fun” of reading Uncle Willie Faulkner and his Yoknapatawpha County is that they were deeply suspicious of the folks who lived in the next county over. “Those people over there, they do it differently… and WRONG!”

      But, I’ve spent a lot of time, albeit a long long time ago, in Appalachia. People there are not well educated, but they are intelligent and capable. My grandmother was a die-hard Democrat, for example. Her faith in the Democratic party was unshakable. The folks in the various videos talking about life in Appalachia are obviously not as well educated in terms of degrees and years in university, but have been studying some of the academic work on Appalachian culture and have an understanding of culture, how it is transmitted, and the importance of preserving these sub-cultures. I may not agree with them politically — thank goodness they don’t talk politics — but the culture is a deep part of me.

      In the 1940’s many white Appalachians left the mountains for the industrial centers of the country similar to the Great Migration of southern Blacks. Many of them did settle in Oregon and the NW of the US, so there is a reason for the feelings of similarity.



    • Howdy Ten!

      I feel like I should tell include my uncle who swore that if a Black person ever set foot inside his church, he’d never go back to it again. I tell this story pretty often, so my apologies if you’ve heard it before. I was eight or ten when he said it in front of me. I was incredulous and asked whether it would matter if they were just asking for directions or needing a drink of water. It didn’t matter to him. Any reason at all. Just one toe. That was a coming of age moment for me.



      • It rocked my world when I realized what my married to an albeit very light skinned but none-the-less half-black half native woman grandfather was basically saying about his wife. He’d use the n-word and I look to g’ma and she’d just roll her eyes. I might have been seven. Damnedest thing was in the early sixties the nearest black person was probably in Portland, 200 miles away …


        • Howdy Ten!

          It is surprising how racism is transmitted intergenerationally through culture, how it gets stopped from being transmitted, and how it gets laterally transmitted between peers. One of my proudest family stories is that of my eight months pregnant mother working at a department store in small town Tennessee on a cold snowy day and she invited the delivery truck driver into the staff room for a cup of coffee while his truck was being unloaded. That afternoon, she was called to the owners office and told that Black people were not invited into the staff room under any circumstances. She quit then and there.

          She was from Pennsylvania and hadn’t been much exposed to racism there.

          Fastforward fifty years and she’s yelling about those damn lazy Messcans because she’d been listening to Rush Limbaugh and his ilk for god knows how long. Very disappointing that.



  2. Thanks for the shout out! I’ll be checking on The Appalachian links. For what this anecdote is worth, my schizophrenic uncle died of cancer at the age of 48. No other cancer in the family before the age of 80.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Carol!

      No problem. Great post. It had me riveted. There are a handful of schizophrenics that have gotten cancer, but for the vast majority who have been in the records, there is virtually none. It is one thing that got researchers interested in looking at it more carefully.

      I was amazed to find that picture of Athens, Tennessee that I used for the feature picture. The downtown hasn’t changed since I was there in ’69 or ’70.

      Because of our family ties and frequent visits, Appalachia has always been near and dear to my heart. Is it your?


      Liked by 1 person

      • I have no ties to that area but coincidentally was driving through over the weekend. I’ve never spent much time there but it certainly seems like a complicated part of the world—full of natural beauty, music, kinship, environmental havoc, opioid addiction, poverty. Simultaneous bliss and misery.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Howdy Carol!

          Yes, there is a lot of misery as well as “good” stuff. One of the problems with modern America is that we often drive the highways but never they smaller roads or state highways so we see the fast food places and rest stops, but not the way people who live there actually live.

          Small town Appalachia — as long as you’re white — is a fun and interesting place. I can’t imagine that many Black Americans are too welcome in many corners of the region. It was my uncle who swore that if a Black person ever stepped foot in his church, he’d never go back to that church again. Shocked me as a child of eight. Still shocks me.



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