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The New South

The Southerner looks really good, but I worry about the overuse of the term "the New South."

      At Southern Magazine we often spoke of the Real South — the South that's found amid the tensions of Old and New, Solid and Vanishing, Yellow Dog Democratic and Reagan Republican, etc. The New South, we used to say, stood for change at any price. The Old South for status quo at any price. The Real South stands for good bourbon at any price.

      I encourage you to find your own solutions to the most enigmatic of regional puzzles.

Good luck,

[Linton Weeks is a Style reporter with the Washington Post, former editor of the Washington Post Sunday magazine, and Editor of Southern Magazine, 1986-1989].


      I'd have to say that, generally speaking, your magazine is quite good. Aside from an occasional typo ('Hazelgreen' for 'Hazel Green'), the only disappointment for me was the use of the terms 'progressive' and 'reactionary' in ways that might subtly mislead.

      The New South should have — or make — room for a Confederate sympathizer who believes in and often reads but never thumps the Bible; for one who favors cultural and racial diversity and doesn't fall for the 'science good; religion bad' cant.

      I'm all of the above. A native of Huntsville, Ala., I'm also married to a Peruvian national and very enthusiastic about Hispanic culture. By no means do I wish to minimize the many deeply repugnant aspects of Southern history that stemmed from a religious impulse, but my underlying point can be summed up with the question: Are we as a region willing to acknowledge the role of science and more particularly Social Darwinism in the repression and cruelty perpetrated on ethnic minorities?

      I wish your magazine continued success.

Jon Ivey

For more discourse on the New South, check out Brandt Ayers column in the Birmingham Post-Herald, and Glynn Wilson's letter in response.
Hockey in the South


      While your attribution to the Micmac Indians for the development of hockey is largely correct, here's an excerpt from "The Great Book of Hockey" by Stan & Shirley Fischler:

      In the early 1900s, Micmac Indians living in Nova Scotia claimed to have played the earliest version of the Canadian sport.The Dictionary of the Language of the Micmac Indians, published in 1888, desrcibed an ice game called "oochamhunutk . . . Legends of the Micmacs referred to an Indian ice gameallegedly called "Alchamadijik" or "hurley" (the "hurley" being the hockey stick).

      Hurley, however, was an old Irish field game introduced into the area by Irish immigrants, who came to work on the Shubenacadie Canal near Dartmouth, Nova Scotia . . . although the Indians of Canada have been credited with inventing the field game "lacrosse," descendants of the first white settlers in Canada claim that ice hockey originated in Europe.First, they point to 17th century Dutch painting that depict a game being played on ice with sticks and skates.Next, they point out that "shinny" (unorganized hockey) is directly related . . . ("shinning to your side" refers to the field hockey rule of always playing right-handed).And field hockey was imported to Canada from Great Britain and transposed to ice almost immediately. Even hurley . . . originated in Ireland and was introduced to the Indians."

      The final round of the Stanley Cup starts tomorrow . . . go Buffalo!

Jonathan Taylor

Inaugural Kudos


      Great magazine! I will come back to this often and tell my friends about this site . . . .

      I was a little disappointed by Rutledge's Mardi Gras article. She failed to mention the Mardi Gras Indians and the incredible celebration of Mardi Gras that goes on around the backstreets of New Orleans.

      The converging of downtown Indian gangs and uptown Indian gangs at Orleans and N. Clairborne (complete with many Treme brass bands), late in the afternoon on Fat Tuesday, is truly one of the most incredible spectacles I have ever witnessed and a perfect example of a real true New Orleans working-class Mardi Gras celebration . . . that the millions lining Canal and St. Charles on Mardi Gras are totally oblivious to . . . .

      Rutledge highlights the social and racial divisions, then fails to direct the reader to the more culturally diverse celebrations of Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

      These backstreet celebrations could go into your Secret Vistas section as well . . . along with the incredible culture and music of New Orleans backstreet workingclass neighborhoods that are off the beaten tourist track.

Sally Stevens
The New Orleans Blues Project

      Thanks for the advisory. The new publication looks super! Best wishes to you and the whole team at The Southerner :-}

Sunny Lewis
Environment News Service (ENS)


      Great job! I just finished reading your magazine from cover to cover and found it both entertaining and informative. After spending 13 of the past 15 years in the South, reading The Southerner brought many memories of the beautiful area you are showcasing. Thank you.

SG Pickett
Staff Writer

      Greetings from Boston. Just wanted to say congratulations on The Southerner. I visited the site and it certainly looks — and reads — like an impressive endeavor. No launch is ever easy, or relaxing; but they are always invigorating. So best of luck!


Joni Praded
Director & Editor
Animals Magazine


      What an excellent online magazine you have in The Southerner! I was so impressed — it's very slick. I think it's fabulous. Way to go!

Best wishes,

Wendy West
Publicity/Promotions Manager, Exhibit Coordinator
The University of Tennessee Press


      Looks superb. That 170K graphic on the front page is a bit of a load, though.

      All in all, an impressive launch.

Ian Blackburn

      WONDERFUL! Read the entire magazine, and I can't wait for the next issue.


Nancy Worley


      Thoroughly enjoyed the new magazine! Looking forward to it evolving and getting even better. Nice diversity of articles — love the essays — especially the Secret Vistas. Let's see some South Carolina coverage — volumes of material on this beautiful state of ours.

Cynthia B. Clark
US Department of Agriculture
Rural Development
Columbia, South Carolina


      Congratulations on your new magazine! It's wonderful to see this online . . . . At any rate, you have me now as a loyal reader!

Linda Spinale


      Just checked out the debut issue. Congrats. It looks like a keeper . . . .

Pat Curry


Simply excellent, especially for a first issue. I'm going to send it out to one and all, hopefully igniting many a fiction entry. Nice job with the online mag.

Sean Lovelace

You should be proud (in the proverbial Southern way, of course)! What an excellent job you've done out of the gate with your magazine. I wish you the very best of luck and hope to see this magazine still chugging along when I am, conversely, shuffling along in my old age.

Again, congratulations.

Question for you: I am about to send you a short story, for consideration. But I am also a poet. Are y'all considering running any poetry? Just curious if that too may be a choice of submission.

At any rate, keep up the great work. I look forward to a long, productive future with The Southerner.


Thomas Fortenberry
Managing Editor of Anthem Books

[Editor's Note: Thanks Thomas. We've not decided whether to publish poetry. I would like to hear what readers think. Should we or shouldn't we? Meanwhile, thanks to everyone who sent us comments on the first issue. We hope you like the summer issue even more].
Send Us Your Comments

      To contribute to The Southerner Reader Forum, send your comments to mail@southerner.net. This will be an organized, moderated discussion area for our regular readers. Our hope for the future is to develop it into a cross between a letters to the editor section and an organized dialogue on the Web, although we do not like chat rooms or netforums as they currently exist. We reserve the right to cut and edit submissions. Include the words Reader Forum in the subject line of the message. Sending your comments about the magazine to this e-mail address constitutes permission to publish, although in most cases, we will ask for your permission again by e-mail.

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Copyright The Southerner 1998.