Another season of American Idol has begun. The early shows of each season are filled with teasers of the good singers that made it through to Hollywood. However, most people tune in at this point to see the rejects and how they react to being told their effort was "karaoke" or "pitchy" or only to be heard in a lounge on a cruise ship. It has been several years since I watched American Idol, but I never could understand how these singers confused the judges comments with their perceived talent.
When I first started working for this newspaper â€” which was then known as The Benton Courier â€” one of the first assignments I drew was writing the obituaries.
In those days this was a pretty usual practice and, as far as I know, it continues today.
Obits, as a rule, aren't difficult to write. In my rookie days, we had a set style for all obits unless it was a feature obit highlighting the death of a community leader.
All things rural are hot in America right now.
Thanks to shows like Duck Dynasty, Moonshiners and Hillbilly Hand Fishing, life in the sticks is all over the boob tube these days. At any given time, on any number of channels, one can watch city folks learn how to noodle, or watch film crews look for Bigfoot. We can watch moonshine being made, or see a bunch of idiot high school kids in rural West Virginia running wild.
"What is your platform?" asked the beauty contest host of a pageant finalist. "I want to see world peace and an end to hunger around the world." came the response. With all due respect for beauty pageants, contestants or hosts, this particular venue is not the think tank that it appears. World problems are not solved at pageants.
They are solved around the beds of pickup trucks.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a column on public schools versus private schools. Now that the Arkansas 89th General Assembly is in session, I am going to revisit this issue. Educators and parents are on the same team, we are all accountable for student success and need to be a united front, putting students at the center of reform and education.
Would you eat a 9,983-calorie, 3-pound hamburger called a "Quadruple Bypass Burger?" It appears that many people would, and do. One person, in particular, is reported to have been a lover of the meal that packs more calories in one sitting than most people eat in a week. His name was John Alleman. Last week, Alleman suffered a heart attack as he waited at the bus stop in front of the Las Vegas location of the Heart Attack Grill, home of the Quadruple Bypass Burger.
Alleman was 52.
I love this country. It is my homeland and I treasure it. However, we live in perilous times and I fear for the United States. I could pen a lengthy list of all the ways that we as a nation have put ourselves in jeopardy. Our national sins are many and few are the penitents - I mean real penitents, who would actually change their ways, not just talk about the problem.
We've seen the scenario many times on soap operas and TV movies. A woman wakes up in a hospital with a bandage wrapped all the way around her head.
"Where am I?" she asks, looking frantically around her.
"You're at the hospital," says a handsome doctor in a calming voice. "You've had an accident."
A recent column about Southern sayings apparently spoke to a lot of area residents.
For what it's worth, when you write a column like this â€” or any column at all â€” you wonder if anyone will read it. After that, you wonder if anyone will like it.
Through the years I've been surprised many times at readers' evaluations. I may not hear from anyone regarding something I sort of expected to stimulate a response, while something I just threw together in a big hurry without a lot of thought will generate a lot of comments.