Sweeney Agonistes
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Into regional studies of the Southern persuasion Scared of Slog commenters Knows way too much… more »

Sweeney Agonistes finds it odd that the bourbon made the headache better, not worse.
Nov 10, 2014 Sweeney Agonistes commented on In a Museum Organized by Geography, Where Do You Put Objects Without a Country?.
I've loved your writing on this sampler -- it's great to see such deep diving archival research on Slog.

May I suggest that "mongrel" is not a great descriptive word to use when referring to products stemming from imperial encounters in Asia? "Hybrid" would get the same point across without the troubling connotation of miscegenation(/mongrelization).
May 2, 2014 Sweeney Agonistes commented on What Was the Last Piece of Music that Gave You the Chills?.
Last December, seeing Andrew Bird at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago. He opened up "Headsoak" with a borrowed verse from the Staples Singers' "Too Close" that is possibly the single most perfect moment I will ever experience.
Apr 24, 2014 Sweeney Agonistes commented on Mayor Murray: "Currently We Have Not Reached an Agreement" on a Minimum Wage Deal.
Is Ed Murray what happens when Seattle tries its hardest to produce a George W. Bush?

Does Ed Murray paint?
Aug 29, 2013 Sweeney Agonistes commented on IRS to Recognize Same-Sex Marriage for Tax Purposes, Regardless of Where the Legally Wed Same-Sex Couple Resides.
@12 and 13: Congratulations on being part of the problem! I am sure you feel very good about your life choices and the privileges you were born with. Really. That's great for you.

Roll Tide.
Aug 29, 2013 Sweeney Agonistes commented on IRS to Recognize Same-Sex Marriage for Tax Purposes, Regardless of Where the Legally Wed Same-Sex Couple Resides.
Reasons to live in Alabama:

1) It's gorgeous, straight up. There is not a bad season to drive on US 78 between Birmingham and Tupelo, Mississippi, but fall is the best. (It's mountainous. And in the spring, it's covered in wildflowers -- red and purple and yellow carpets all along both sides of the road.)

2) There are many badass local organizations working to bring about progressive change to the state, especially in Birmingham and Montgomery.

3) UAB and UAH have incredible, world-class medical science and space programs.

4) Taking advantage of this new fed policy will piss off all the right people in Alabama.
Aug 1, 2013 Sweeney Agonistes commented on The Worst Jobs We’ve Ever Had.
In high school I worked as a cashier at Kroger (the parent company of QFC). The area is on the border of suburb and exurb of Atlanta, and even today is a place where nice country folks, mostly blue-collar and not rich, live warily around the SUV-wielding, McMansion subdivision-dwelling imports. My coworkers were mostly high schoolers; they weren't bad. Store management, however, told us in no uncertain terms that if we didn't join the union, they'd find other high schoolers to take our place. An all-union shop was, and is, a rare thing in Georgia, and it soured me on unions for a long time (I would have joined voluntarily but balked at being told I had to if I wanted the job). I still don't think very kindly of the particular union that I joined.

When Bob Barr was trying to find a new seat in the U.S. House after he got gerrymandered out of one, back in the early 2000s, he was one of the SUV-driving horde, buying a McMansion near the Kroger in order to establish residency so he could run again. He came through my line, bought $300 worth of groceries, wrote a check -- and yelled at me for not running the check through the machine fast enough. His wife then yelled at him for yelling at me. I vote progressive and always have (which in exurban Atlanta was difficult); when I got to clock out for my break I went out to my car and called my mom so we could cackle together.

The politest customers were always the construction workers who came in to buy cases of Natty Light. My least favorite customers -- other than Bob Barr -- were the SUV drivers. Two that stand out: the man who yelled at me for not being able to intuit that he was red-green colorblind and thus I was supposed to run the card reader for him (he didn't ask me to do this, just yelled at me), and the man who came through my line right after a woman with a baby paid for milk and eggs with WIC vouchers who saw fit to spend a good five minutes telling me how welfare was evil and if he ran things women like her wouldn't be able to shop in places like this. At the time I was making ten cents over minimum wage.
Jul 18, 2013 Sweeney Agonistes commented on Police Reports Illustrated: The Waitress and the Boiling Water.
Yes. More of this sort of thing. Excellent.
Jul 11, 2013 Sweeney Agonistes commented on This Is Why I Read the Obits.
Oh yeah, and maroon communities like @2 is talking about were more common in the eastern part of the South. Whites took control of present-day Mississippi relatively late (treaties with Creek, Choctaw, and Chickasaw mostly happened in the late 1830s) and settlement for agriculture happened even later.

Even the Delta -- which is on the opposite side of the state from Starkville -- wasn't cleared for plantation agriculture until after the Civil War. Frederick Law Olmsted's travelogues, compiled nowadays as The Cotton Kingdom, describe frontier conditions in 1850 in that part of the U.S. South -- no infrastructure to speak of, much less plantation agriculture. Olmsted does address maroon communities in the Carolinas, though.
Jul 11, 2013 Sweeney Agonistes commented on This Is Why I Read the Obits.
@8: Because the school colors are maroon and white. Hail State, I guess.

(Hotty Toddy.)
Jun 18, 2013 Sweeney Agonistes commented on The Song I Listened to Over and Over Again After I Had My Heart Broken for the First Time.
In August 2005 my cousin died on the way home from our grandmother's funeral (hit by a truck); we were both twenty and grew up together. Her name was Rachel.

The only thing that got me up and out the door all that fall was that electronic squawk at the beginning of Wilco's "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart." I am amazed my roommate didn't try to set my copy of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot on fire.