South Carolina, a state I consider as somewhat serene, cultured and quiet, where people play golf in pastel polo shirts and white-linen chinos, eat crab pots, and enjoy a refreshing toddy on the porch, was one of the more interesting topics this week. 

First, my pal Dan retold a story about a discussion on a Tour of Charleston he and his wife took in  a few years ago.  The guide was relating how a person had to be able to trace their local ancestry back at least 5 generations to be considered a “South Carolinian”.   When asked what you would be considered if you say could only trace your South Carolinian roots back to say 4 generations, the guide replied…”Why you would be “OFF!”,a was anyone who didn’t meet the accepted criteria; anyone OFF wouldn’t be taken seriously and when described, native South Carolinians would describe them as, “well you know, he’s just OFF!”

 Then came the news results and stories regarding the State’s Democratic Primary and the winning candidate, one Alvin Greene, a 32-year-old unemployed and frankly, rather bizarre individual.  Alvin won the primary over a much more  mature well-considered and some say well-known judge and former state legislator, Vic Rawl. 

The losing candidate had campaigned vigorously according to all accounts and while his campaign funds only amassed a bit over 55 of incumbent conservative Senator DeMint’s 3.5 million dollar campaign budget, he was expected to win at least the Democratic nomination.

Alvin Greene won without campaigning, speaking, without staff, without a web site.  In fact he only checks his email once a week or so at the library and doesn’t own a cell phone.

He was also been arrested this past November and felony charges are pending for ” showing obscene Internet photos to a University of South Carolina student, then talking about going to her room at a university dorm.”

This whole store thing is simply mind numbing, stultifying, and bizarre!  So, given the nature of this campaign, I’ve taken the liberty of suggesting  Mr. Greene’s acceptance speech, in a manner that native South Carolinians should appreciate.

“First off, to the Democratic Party of South Carolina,  I ‘m not gonna back off just cause you got that far off look.   Ok, maybe I bit more off then I can chew with that sweet young thing and we got off on the wrong foot, but once she see’s I’m a bonafide US Senator she might not tell me to eff off. 

It’s not like I won Scot Free or got off on Vic’s loss.  So just ease-off and take a load off while I sit on the porch just a chip off the old block, where I might even nod off.  And maybe I’ll just take tomorrow off, I got no boss to tell me off, and  won’t be no skin off your back if I tell you off the cuff just where to get off. 

So I’m not calling this off, and you can call the dogs off.  Don’t try to the bite my head off,  there’s no need to fly off the handle. You’re getting off easy, maybe just off lightly South Carolina, you can;t just write me off!  

It could be worse, you could be Louisiana.”

The lastest new is that Mr. Greene has been certified by the Great OFF State of South Carolina as the OFFicial democratic candidate for the US Senate.  You guys scare the pants off of me!

Much Love,


No matter where I turn it seems we’ve all become, perhaps out of necessity, survivalists; not survivors, but survivalists.   The American Heritage dictionary defines a survivalist as: 

  • One who has personal or group survival as a primary goal in the face of difficulty, opposition, and especially the threat of natural catastrophe, nuclear war, or societal collapse.

It seems to be fundamentally different situation from that of a survivor; which according to the same source is someone who perseveres.  See a survivor’s done it, finished it, defeated it.  A survivalist on the other hand is on the perseverance treadmill, ever vigilant, constantly dealing with threats real and imagined.  The modern survivalist is inundated;  terrorism, BP’s Oil Debacle, the Taliban, the Great Recession, healthcare, identity theft, social oppression  and the cheerleaders of doom and gloom, (not me see Glen Beck.)   Have we evolved from the gun toting, forest deweling, toilet paper hoarding Survivalists and Militias so prevalent in the 1980s and 1990s, or have we all become  more common survivalists, yet more accepted and casually attired?

Consider again the Tea Party;  give Billy and Betty Jo Stump a Smart Phone, a mantra and change the camo into chinos; age them 11 years, add a Sarah Palin badge and viola, instant Tea Party activist!

Lately I’ve been focussed on a new kind of employment the “survival job“.   While I’m far from a coal miner, no need to shake coal dust from my hair, have a Canary at work,  or worry about black lung, I am not what I set out to be.  Neither are many of my friends and acquaintances.   Sometimes, when discouragement sets in, I’ve had to resort to an aphoristic behavior: I read the Desiderata.  It helps me to realize that it’s yet better here in the US then it is in most of the world.  Why else is our primary immigration issue one of influx and not outflow, it’s becuase we have something of value and we don’t want to lose it!  

So maybe as whacky and capricious as those Tea Partiests seem to me perhaps they’re doing some good.  I may just be tired, grumpy and fearful, but I hope to survive being a survivalist, I certainly pray I will.

Much Love! 


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