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Category Archives: Culture

Summer movies

Dunkirk It’s a good summer if there is at least one summer movie that’s worth going to the theater for. There is one for sure this summer. That’s “Dunkirk,” to be released July 21. We all know this history, but we never get tired of hearing the story retold. At the time, an alliance of […]

Anne of Green Gables

For the past five days, after the chickens have gone to bed, and after being whipsawed during the day by the news out of Washington, I have retreated to the television to watch an episode of “Anne With an E,” a new production of Anne of Green Gables produced by Canada’s CBC and available for […]

Sophisticated propaganda vs. the plain old truth

I haven’t posted anything political for a while. Partly this is because the political drama has moved so fast and reversed so often that it has been a tough target. And partly it’s because the media and the American intelligentsia are finally getting things right. For years, I felt like a voice in the wilderness. […]

Music, politics, and a smidgen of religion

Frankly, I am terrible at shooting and editing video. But I would like to get better at it. The abbey’s new satellite connection to the Internet is super-fast and, for the first time, makes it possible to work with video. Here’s a wee practice video. From the abbey organ, a Rodgers 730, this is a […]

Adult spelling bee. We won!

Some months ago, friends from the Democratic Party mentioned an adult spelling bee here in Stokes that occurs each spring. It’s a fundraiser for the East Stokes Outreach Ministry, which provides food, household items, and other kinds of assistance for needy families. “Count me in!” I told her. Teams of four adults compete for the […]


Ken has been playing in a hockey league in a nearby city. I went to my first hockey game last night. Ken’s team won 7-1. Also, Ken is mentioned in a piece in the April 24 New Yorker. The New Yorker piece is about van dwelling and how it has been commercialized in social media. […]

Location, location, location

⬆︎ Gragg, North Carolina, with Grandfather Mountain (altitude 5,945 feet) in the background If you’re shooting a movie, shooting on location costs a lot of money. But if you’re writing a novel, good locations cost nothing. The author is limited only by what he can imagine and describe. As a rule, I like for the […]

The search for a lost heritage

Ireland’s Immortals: A History of the Gods of Irish Myth, by Mark Williams, Princeton University Press, 2016. 578 pages. Like many people who have worked hard to understand how our Celtic ancestors lived, I regularly grapple with a smoldering fury. No matter what thread to the past we try to follow, we find it broken. […]

Heritage supper

I know I’ve blogged about vegetarian (vegan actually) hot dogs before. Every now and then you’ve got to have one. Last night’s supper on the deck, near the grill, we called “heritage night.” The heritage here, of course, is Southern white trash heritage. The vegan hot dogs come in a can. They’re made by Loma […]

An abbey literary update

Ken’s third book, This Land Is Our Land, has been in the final editing stages here at the abbey and is due at the publisher, Penguin Random House, next week. The book is scheduled for release in March 2018. When the idea for this book was hatched last April, Ken was here at the abbey, […]