American Short Fiction’s managing editor Jess Stoner is reading local newspapers from one state a week and reporting on the big headlines in a better attempt to understand America. As she puts it, “Not to snark, not to make fun of people from unincorporated towns who write letters to the editor, but to share with you a more complicated, less yell-y look at where we are, with the hopes of better understanding where we might be headed.” The first state is Alabama.
I envision a world where I can walk past fraternities without someone screaming sexual obscenities repeatedly in a high pitch as one would a pig. Where women aren’t berated for ignoring the advances of drunken strangers. Where does your entitlement come from, that you cannot see that our silence is a kindness?
Before my trip to the birthplace of Zora Neale Hurston, I had a vague notion of what manner of suffering might make a person accept death. Love, I suspect — or at least companionship — sustained my sister during her initial round of therapies and doctor visits after the return of her cancer.
"The 1973 Sugar Bowl, like this year’s Bowl Championship Series title game, featured Notre Dame playing Alabama for the national championship. Late in the game, [Howard] Cosell uttered some of the truest words ever to travel through a press box microphone: ‘At Notre Dame, football is a religion; at Alabama, it is a way of life’.”
- To Love, or Hate, Notre Dame by Bill Morris