Stacey Roberts is an author and history nerd who delights in the stories we never learned about in school. He is the author of the Trailer Trash With a Girl's Name series of books and the creator of the History's Trainwrecks podcast.
The Death of Storytelling
The storyteller has become so important nowadays that the story itself is irrelevant. I always knew Ernest Hemingway was a misogynistic great white hunter and philanderer who liked whiskey and smoking, and many of his books had a misogynistic great white hunter in it, busily smoking and guzzling whiskey on his way to philander. But Hemingway managed to make his stories about something larger. I never knew which of the kids in Stephen King’s IT was Stephen King himself, but it didn’t matter. His stories were so good and so varied they seemed to have been written by a gaggle of writers instead of just one man. John Irving was in fact a prep school rich kid like John Wheelwright, but A Prayer for Owen Meany is still one of the best books ever. Toni Morrison was a black woman for sure, but she was neither Sethe nor Denver in Beloved.
The Problem With America
The problem with America is that we are good people pretending to be bad people. We are like those schoolyard tough guys who protect the small and weak kids when no one’s looking. We threaten and posture and act as if we will truly turn our backs on the weak and helpless among us. In this way, we aspire to a brash, damn-the-torpedoes bravado that no great nation can ever embrace. A mature society sees the world as it is, not as it wishes it to be.
The Greatest Threat To The Republic
Modern American partisan politics is one of the greatest threats to our Republic. George Washington wanted no part of political parties, because he knew that at some point a partisan identity could become more important to a citizen than their national identity. His prediction has come true in our time.
Ted The Drug Dealer
My mother married Ted the Drug Dealer in the summer of 1980, back when he was just Ted the Lightbulb Salesman. He won her over by knocking down some fence posts with his Cadillac.
The Most Important Election Of Our Lifetimes
“This is the most important election of our lifetimes.” Let’s not kid ourselves. I’ve heard that so many times in my lifetime that I’m starting to think I’m immortal. Or maybe politicians are trying out a heightened sense of impending doom to get me to go vote for them.
My Mother The Doctor
I had been spitting blood with an Old Faithful-like regularity all day, but it took a man with white shoes to notice. Larry the Straight Hairdresser: “Carol! Your kid’s spitting blood!”
No One Grows Things In The Ground Any More
Come on--no one grows things in the ground any more. Do they? An ex-girlfriend decided one year that we should grow our own tomatoes. We spent six months and two hundred dollars in order to save three bucks on salads. We didn’t break up over super-expensive tomatoes, specifically, but maybe my pigheaded resistance to amateur agriculture was one of the two hundred and fifty seven things I did that persuaded her to seek out greener pastures.
Public Servant, Private Slave
I’m sold. A sitting member of Congress would be a good thing to own. I could get them to sponsor bills I wanted, vote on ones I agree with, and give me tours of the Capitol so that I might be awed by Federal splendor. They could get one of my children into West Point or Annapolis, but those are just the minor perks. The big deal is the lawmaking.