January 6, 2017
“I identify with the millions of working-class white Americans of Scots-Irish descent who have no college degree. To these folks, poverty is the family tradition—their ancestors were day laborers in the Southern slave economy, share-croppers after that, coal miners after that, and machinists and mill-workers during more recent times. Americans call them hillbillies, rednecks, or white trash. I call them neighbors, friends, and family.”
J. D. Vance, Hillbilly Elegy
Harper Collins, New York, 2016
September 16, 2015
A Theory of Hurricanes
“People help each other in catastrophes. But they don’t feel good because they help each other. They help each other because they feel good. I knew a married couple once who were bored with life, disliked each other, hated their own lives, and were generally miserable—except during hurricanes. Then they sat in their house at Pass Christian, put a bottle of whiskey between them, felt a surge of happiness, were able to speak frankly and cheerfully to each other, laugh and joke, drink, even make love. After the hurricane they took a good hard look at each other on a sunny Monday morning and got a divorce.”
Walker Percy in his 1977 novel, Lancelot.