Mostly Redneck (Book Acquired, 2.25.2012)


Mostly Redneck is a collection of stories by Rusty Barnes. It’s newish from indie press Sunnyoutside. Back of book:

In Mostly Redneck, Rusty Barnes expounds on his upbringing in disadvantaged rural northern Appalachia to deliver a mastery of country idiom and setting. In one minimalist story after another, he gives perspective and breadth to the widely misunderstood world of a people who still hunt for food, occasionally join their neighbors for church, and sometimes enjoy it when their city kin step in cow shit.

There’s a story about Saddam Hussein! It’s kind of surreal.

I’m pretty sure Sunnyoutside actually printed this book in-house; I know they own a printing press (two, if the website ain’t lying). Did they make this coaster?—


I tested the coaster, in any case. It works. Here it is, protecting my midcentury coffee table from condensation that might seep from the interaction between a homebrewed black ale and yon glass:


2006 Superlatives

 Best Book I Read in 2006:

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville.

Best Book Published in 2006 that I Read in 2006:

I read plenty of fantastic books this year, but I don’t think any of them were published this year (although I’m sure that plenty of great books came out this year. I’m always playing catch-up). The closest I think I can come is a paperback of Dave Egger’s collection of short fiction, How We Are Hungry, which came out in October of 2005, actually (to plenty of mixed reviews–but I liked it a lot!). I will also read Egger’s What Is the What as soon as possible. Maybe this Christmas break (feel free to send me a copy). Here’s The New York Times Book Review Top 10 of 2006, and courtesy of the American Library Association, the TTT (the Teen’s Top Ten, popularly known as “the titties”).

Least Enjoyable Book I Read in 2006:

God, Dr. Buzzard, and the Bolito Man: A Saltwater Geechee Talks About Life on Sapelo Island, Georgia by Cornelia Walker Bailey (with Christena Bledsoe). I’m sure lots of people would really enjoy this book, in fact, I recommended it to a few of my students. Not for me though.

Most Likely to Succeed:

Ricotta Park will storm the nation (if Nicky Longlunch ever decides to start posting again). 

Most Likely to be President:

Barack Obama?

Best Dressed:

Saddam Hussein always was a sharp dresser–

Saddam Hussein

–but after some {ahem} troubles–


–he had a fabulous makeover! Saddam looking dapper and energetic, yet casual and academic (oh, and seriously pissed)–


Best Movie I Saw in the Movie Theater in 2006:

I’m pretty sure it was Litle Miss Sunshine, although I also enjoyed the movie where Will Ferrell was a race car driver.

Best Movie I Saw in 2006:

The New World (dir. Terrence Malick). This film is beautiful. You must watch it (twice).

Best Album of 2006:

Lots of contenders–M. Ward’s Post-War, Joanna Newsom’s Ys,  Destroyer’s Rubies, OOIOO’s Taiga, Girl Talk’s Night Ripper –all were great (and I know that I’m forgetting dozens)–but The Fiery Furnaces’ Bitter Tea didn’t leave my CD player for months…in fact I’m sure it’s still in there.


Best Song of 2006:

“Star Witness” by Neko Case. Crafted from images that at first seem vague, “Star Witness” relates the haunting tale of a tragic accident. And the worst part of the accident is how mundane the whole scene is to everyone besides the speaker: “This is nothing new/No television crew/They don’t even put on the siren.”

Most Overrated Album of 2006:

The Crane Wife by The Decemberists. The Decemberists are so boring.

Best Live Performance of a Musical Group:

The Fiery Furnaces at Common Grounds (Gainesville, FL). One of the best concerts I have ever attended. The kids danced as The Fiery Furnaces deconstructed their songs, rearranging them into new suites, punching in and out of different albums. The true rocknroll.

Most Disappointing Live Performance of a Musical Group:

Wilco at The Florida Theater (Jacksonville, FL). Wilco didn’t seem to know that they were playing in a theater. Jeff Tweedy seemed completely annoyed at the crowd for not boogeying to the jams. Wilco’s performance came off like a simulation of a band that was really “into” the vibe–like they had watched films of themselves to improve, like a football team or something.

Best New Product:

Okay, boxed wine is nothing new, but in 2006 I started gleaming the cube. Boxed wines stay fresher longer than wine from a bottle, and are generally much less expensive. This summer I found my habit–which a prejudiced few might think declasse–validated by the cultural elite. I attended a pre-wedding party in a cave in the south of France this summer; Damien, the winemaker (it was his cave) served us box after box of delicious wine, trumpeting the superiority of the box as a vessel. So see.

Worst People of 2006:

Check out my previous post for some superlative hatin’. 

Man of the Year:

I wasn’t on the committee this year. I understand that they might have met in Orlando this year. This guy John Griffis heads the whole thing up. I’m sure he has a MySpace account. I really don’t know who won. I think this guy Andy won.

Woman of the Year:

The woman of the year is my darling wife Christy, of course.