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Showing posts from June, 2016

Blurry Pictures, Blurry Mind

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I've been trying to write more. For the past year, I have mostly been working on my doctoral dissertation on true crime and little else. Every once in a while I work on the ongoing novel or a poem or a short story. I write a daily to-do list that always contains a blog post along with job applications, abstracts, and the perpetual expected pages of revision. I seldom get to it, but I usually finish about half of my list.

Today I am working on procrastination by listening to a live Drive-by Truckers set from Charlotte in 2004. It is pretty damn good in short. Maybe I will get around to reviewing it one of these days. In preparation for this post, I looked through my pictures because I hoped that I could blog about some outdoor photos I took. No such luck today. A shortage of funds and time has kept me indoors, slaving away over text I wrote a year ago and sending in abstracts to journals that will undoubtedly reject them. But that is the life. I will be posting some pictures soon a…

Folklore and Fakelore: Paul Bunyan and the American Past

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When I was a kid, we would often go for dinner at Paul Bunyan's Cook Shanty in Minocqua, Wisconsin. I marveled over the large slices of white bread with butter, the tin cups filled to the brim with milk and water, and the manufactured ambience of the old lumber industry that covered the walls. I loved that place and still do; there was something about it that dredged up old memories, remembrances of a past that never existed merging with a real past.

The lumber industry was a major part of American history as the demand for timber rose in parts of the country that had little access to giant timber. At its peak, in 1900, annual production of lumber reached around 35 million board feet and the Midwest was depleted of much of its virgin timber. Major industries, such as railroad and coal mining, depleted resources as the nation entered a period of expansion and technological development after the Civil War.

Lumberjacks maintained a sense of identity and traditional pride even as the…