Dog Days in West Virginia
From climate surprises to Lost River, thistles to abortion bans | AUGUST 2022
May you be a dog in tranquil times. | IMAGE SOURCE: The Graphics Fairy
By DOUGLAS JOHN IMBROGNO | Editor, WestVirginiaVille.com
The alleged Chinese saying and curse, “May you live in interesting times” — suggesting it is better to live in uninteresting, thus, untroubled times — has no source in Chinese culture, according to this link. The article notes that the nearest cousin of an actual Chinese saying along these lines is: “Better to be a dog in times of tranquility than a human in times of chaos.”
The thought of being a well-fed Golden Retriever napping in a sunlit house in the Hamptons does seem more attractive some days as America’s 24/7 news cycle churns with endless, chaotic developments. It might be said, this sums up the entire, exhausting four-year administration of the Former Guy and its seemingly never-ending aftermath.
The chaos continued this week with the spicy news of the search probe of Mar-a-Lago’s underbelly. This, though, should be added to the Good News side of getting to the meat of the matter, even if the Cargo Cult of Trump Misfits tries to work itself up into a civil war-worthy froth in the raid’s aftermath.
There was more good news in recent days with the return from the dead of some extremely substantive and important climate, health, and tax features from the Biden Administration’s late, lamented Build Back Better bill. WestVirginiaVille.com has been pretty unrelenting in recent months tracking the state’s massively powerful (for the moment) Sen. Joe Manchin’s defensive blocking of Joe Biden’s progressive legislative aims. So, this is what we now have to say about the nice — and historic! — bit of senatorial jujitsu just executed by Chuck Schumer and Joe Manchin.
Culture & Commentary (some of it cranky)
The rest of this August 2022 issue at WestVirginiaVille.com neatly summarizes the aims of this monthly web feature magazine, whose current draft mission statement is:
“A monthly feature magazine of culture, cranky commentary, and creative multimedia about life and times in the free state of West Virginia.”
That includes original video content such as this brief, soothing (and ultimately fishy) music-video visit to Hoeft Marsh in Cabell County. And a ‘West Virginia Walkabout’ video that traverses from a musical Elkins WV, to a serene Lost River at the state’s eastern edge.
We also keep WestVirginiaVille’s media radar screens sweeping, so they ping on worthy work crafted by in-state creators or those with some Mountain State connection. For this issue, that means a lovely First/Person essay on beauty and self-worth by Angelica Gilleran, reprinted from BLACK BY GOD: The West Virginian. And, then, there’s this single, resonant photo and companion text from the sagacious, Nature-centric Instagram of Water Light.
Plus, we are happy to share another excerpt from the oddball, storytelling ways of Joseph “Billy” Corduroy, on why, curiously, he has four legal first names.
From One-Armed Bandits to Whole Legislatures of them
And if you missed the frenzy when the state’s Republican supermajority tried and failed recently to jam a complete abortion ban into law, check out our Mountain Stage Spotlight reprint of Ian Karbal’s hour-by-hour account of just how dysfunctional — and rabid — that supermajority can be. And how an outraged citizenry delivered a cantankerous, clamorous, volumetric response in return.
Another aim of this site is to hoist back into view narratives worth a second look, which might otherwise disappear down the Internet’s deep, black memory hole. One of the joys of decades of my criss-crossing West Virginia for the Charleston Gazette as a feature writer was encountering wild and crazy characters — the good kind of crazy — such as Gary Mays, the One-Armed Bandit of No. 1 Holler, West Virginia.
Meanwhile, fellow poet Bob Henry Baber recalls in memoriam, the influential West Virginia native poet, teacher, and guide PJ Laska, whom we send off with a poem.
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~ Douglas John Imbrogno | Editor, WestVirginiaVille.com
NOTE TO READERS: Since its founding in May 2020, WestVirginiaVille.com (a project of AmpMediaProject.com), has been a free online magazine of lively, opinionated & alternative writing and imagery about West Virginia. Help us stay in the business of offering ad-free, worthy content. CLICK HERE OR THE ‘DONATE’ BUTTON TO SUPPORT THE CAUSE.