This Week’s Various

As always, unless otherwise noted, all pics here copyright Deep Fried Kudzu. Ask me before using in any fashion. Thank you.

The NYT writes about The Making of ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’: …set in a mythologized bayou area called the Bathtub, a harsh utopia that is cut off from civilization by an imposing levee but pulsating with natural beauty and the raucous, defiant spirit of its inhabitants. At the core of the film is the tiny heroine, Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis), and her magical way of making sense of the mysteries around her: the absence of her mother; the failing health of her father, Wink (Dwight Henry); and the apocalyptic storm that’s threatening to wash her world away.

With its story of a community facing a devastating flood (and, later, a forced evacuation) “Beasts” has resonated with many early viewers as a Katrina allegory. But while “Glory at Sea” grew directly out of New Orleans and the hurricane’s aftermath, “Beasts” has its roots farther away, on the southern fringes of Louisiana. When developing the idea for his film, Mr. Zeitlin traveled outside of his adopted hometown in search of real-life cultures that live on the front lines of storms and coastal erosion. “When you look at the map, you can see America kind of crumble off into the sinews down in the gulf where the land is getting eaten up,” he said. “I was really interested in these roads that go all the way down to the bottom of America and what was at the end of them.”

Louisiana Contemporary — a new, juried exhibit at the Ogden — deadline early July.

Australian ABC comes to Alabama, and they learn how to say ‘ball’…among other things (start audio at the site with the purple bar).

Fannie Lou Hamer, Ruleville MS Post Office
The AP reports that a life-size statue honoring Fannie Lou Hamer will be unveiled in Ruleville, in October.  “She was perhaps best known for describing her feelings about the oppressive segregation she had grown up with in Mississippi by saying: “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.”” She was worlds more than that too.

The Times-Picayune fired Brett Anderson, but not really.  Mignon Faget came up with a ‘Save the T-P‘ pin.  Jazz funeral for the paper.  (Added on Sunday:) And in regards to the new jobs, I think we’d all like to consider ourselves a ‘discussion leader on high-value topics’ as they put it.

The Washington Post reviews, likes the new Craig Claiborne bio, ‘The Man Who Changed the Way We Eat‘ — I read most of the book last week; pretty good.
The Music Box art/music installation in New Orleans is looking for a new home.

From the press release:
Fifty years after his death, novelist William Faulkner is finally getting his wish for “The Sound and the Fury,” the 1929 novel widely considered his most difficult reading experience.
Employing multiple, shifting points of view—including that of a mentally disabled narrator—the book long has presented challenges for readers and scholars. At the time, Faulkner lamented the fact that publishing hadn’t yet devised a way to graphically represent in color the time-shifts and changes of narrators.

Now, Mississippi State University English professor emeritus Noel Polk and co-editor Steven M. Ross have done just that.

The color-coded, limited edition of 1,400 is a Folio Society release. Orders of the 320-page publication may be completed at

The NYT writes from Donaldsonville and the River Road African American Museum and the Freedom Garden there, which features plants that would have been familiar to slaves:

Put another way, it’s easy enough to find white colonial re-enactors, in bonnets and breeches, picking a tidy row of carrots. But it’s a loaded act for the black culinary historian and heirloom gardener Michael W. Twitty to don a period costume, as he will this weekend as part of a Juneteenth demonstration at Natchez National Historical Park, in Mississippi. In a similar spirit of historical restoration, Mr. Twitty, 35, compiled the African American Heritage Collection of heirloom seeds for the D. Landreth Seed Company.

Among the 30-odd plants are the long-handled dipper gourd, the white cushaw and the West India burr gherkin. What historical gardeners like Mr. Twitty and Ms. Hambrick-Jackson hope to demonstrate is how these plants were instrumental in African-American survival and independence.

I’m going to see Michael Twitty speak here in Alabama later this month, and I’m bringing my Little Sister because I think they might be related!

Howard Finster's Paradise Gardens, Summerville GA
Finster’s Paradise Garden has received a $445k grant from ArtPlace America, and the money is projected to make possible almost all elements of the restoration of the art environment that were outlined by an Atlanta architecture firm.  This is a listing of all the grants ArtPlace just made.  Very nice.

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