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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 11, 2008 / 4 Adar II 5768

Flying into the past

By Paul Greenberg


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I stooped to get aboard the little Chautauqua jetliner, full of trepidation. Not because of any fear of flying but because I was headed to Richmond to give a talk about Robert E. Lee. What next, fly to Rome to talk about the pope? The cause of my uneasiness: a bad case of laryngitis. An awkward ailment for a guest speaker.


But the show must go on, maybe with a little help from a cough suppressant, cough drops, sheer faith and that universal elixir for emergency use, a sip of Irish whiskey. The last also helps a speaker's anecdotes flow. The blarney must be aged in.


A story: Just the other day, for obscure bureaucratic reasons, I had to have my fingerprints taken, for maybe the first time since the Army. (The modern state has its always-encroaching requirements.) But it seems the prints didn't take the first time, so I had to go out to state police headquarters here in Little Rock to try again. When I did, the fingerprint lady, who must do this all day long, asked if I'd had much contact with paper in my life. Oh, only for about 50 years in the newspaper business. That explains it, she said. Paper tends to wear off the ridges that make clear fingerprints possible.


I have no idea if that's true, but it did give me a strange sensation of power. Like the Invisible Man. Then, when this case of laryngitis struck, I envisioned the headline my embarrassing little catastrophe might inspire in my favorite journal, the satirical newspaper The Onion:


Man With No Fingerprints
Arrives in Richmond
With No Voice


Yes, an awkward position for a guest speaker. But no Southerner can resist the temptation to talk about Robert E. Lee, even with a raspy voice.


When I began writing an annual tribute to General Lee on his birthday, it was back in the '60s and I was editorial page editor of the Pine Bluff Commercial. Even then there was something daringly 19th century about devoting an editorial to the general on his birthday. Especially for a supposedly modern, up-to-date newspaper in the newest New South.


Folks in town thought of their local daily as a liberal paper solely, because of its stand on the race issue. Which was the only issue that really counted back then in the still one-issue, one-crop, one-party South.


In reality the paper's oh-so-courageous stand in the bad old days amounted to little more than a respect for the law, our fellow man and simple decency. Which of course is never simple. It was enough to get us tagged radical in some quarters. Ah, those were the days. I miss 'em. Things were so simple. For one thing, back then the racists seemed to be of only one race.


But even then, I was aware that, by running a piece on Lee's Birthday, we were committing a small act of defiance against the bland, unquestionable, chilling spirit of modernity.


Remarkable thing, modernity. It is the ideological equivalent of white-out. It can take the blasphemous, the profane, the supposedly daring or disgusting that's now supposed to be art, and immediately convert it into the utterly boring. How does it do that? Maybe it's the modern, now the post-modern, soon to be the post-post-modern, absence of any continuity. If there's no shared past, no common standard, there's no meaningful way to depart from it. Isolated from any past standards, the shocking becomes simply the meaningless.


Now I was flying into that other country that is the past, swaying in the little jetliner, looking down on this cold, dank, windy day through the Confederate gray clouds, thinking of what I would say if my voice should ever return.


It did, just in time. This being Virginia, and Richmond at that, my hosts could not have been more understanding, or gracious. The hot tea and home remedies flowed. Before leaving, I even got to touch a few time-honored bases — the stately Tuckahoe Woman's Club, the Jefferson Hotel restored to its old grace, and Monument Avenue with all its demigods in place. It's all still there. Civilization yet lives. Yes, Santa Claus, there is a Virginia.

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JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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