Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ole Miss

Over at the New Yorker blog, Hendrik Hertzberg opens up the mail bag and finds a couple complaints, including this one, about a recent column of his:

I wish that Hendrik Hertzberg (“Comment,” June 28th), had not been so juvenile as to slander an entire diverse and long-suffering state by inserting the word “although” into his otherwise accurate reference to “Ray Mabus, the Secretary of the Navy, who, although a former governor of Mississippi, is an enlightened and competent public servant.”

His graceful
apology takes note of Mississippi's troubled, complicated, rich history (it's not part of the heartland but part of the "bluesland," Hertzberg notes) and is a pleasure to read.

It reminded me of a less nuanced but still powerful take on the state, Phil Ochs' Civil Rights-era jeremiad "Here's to the State of Mississippi":

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