Between the Lines Book Club: Redneck Comedy

between the lines book club logoWhen I was a kid, I used to watch the “hillbilly” comedy and variety show “Hee Haw” with my grandma. That show has come and gone, but the last few decades have seen a rise in “Redneck” based comedy, with stars like Larry the Cable Guy, and Bill Evengall. The key point of this comedy is that it is “laughing with,” not “laughing at,” by people who are self-identified rednecks.  As Jeff Foxworthy says, “You can’t laugh at a redneck unless you are one, and I are one.”

Jeff Foxworthy made himself famous with his stand-up comedy routines in the 1980’s and 1990’s. His most famous routines involved his “You might be a redneck” routines.  Here’s one of his stand up routines:


Gretchen Wilson, a country music star, had a big hit with this funny but proud song, “Redneck Woman” in 2004:


Trae Crowder challenges stereotypes as “The Liberal Redneck” with heated political commentary (and a LOT of swearing):


Here’s an extra one, because Trae sure can lay it down:



Etta May, who may or may not be a comic persona created by a Yankee, does stand-up based on her family and her life as a housewife:


And this one made me, a Weight Watchers vet, laugh out loud:

Hail President Roslin, So Say We All

Laura Roslin swearing in as President in Battlestar GalacticaLadies and Gentlepersons, allow me to offer, for your considerations, Laura Roslin as the best President ever.

Laura Roslin, a character in the rebooted version of Battlestar Galactica, was the highest ranking survivor of the Cylon attack. Aboard the Galactica, she is sworn in as President of the Thirteen Colonies. A life-long liberal, she has to balance her liberal political beliefs with a draconian situation in which humanity was on the brink of extinction. Although Roslin became ruthless, she never lost her core sense of compassion.

Here are some of the best Roslin lines:

I’m going to be straight with you here. The human race is about to be wiped out. We have fifty thousand people left and that’s it. Now, if we are even going to survive as a species, then we need to get the hell out of here and we need to start having babies.

In war, you can only get killed once. In politics it can happen over and over.

My responsibility as President is, first and foremost, to protect and preserve this fleet and its future. In the end, that outweighs any other consideration. It has to.

I don’t make suggestions, Mr. Baltar. If I wanted to toss a baby out an airlock, I’d say so.

All Hail our President, She Who Takes No Shit. Here she is answering a reporter’s question about her cancer (the character is diagnosed with breast cancer at the beginning of the series):


Happy President’s Day, Karen.


Between the Lines Book Club: American Books About Class

between the lines book club logoThis month we are reading White Trash by Nancy Isenberg. Our monthly meeting will be at Arden Dimick, at 10:30 AM, on Saturday Feburary 24, 2018.

One of the books Isenberg mentions is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, which combines conversations about race with conversations about class. Here are some other books about class in America:

The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck

Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, by James Agee

Deer Hunting With Jesus, by Joe Bageant

Poor White, Sherwood Anderson




True Facts About The Cuttlefish

photo of a tan colored cuttlefish

I’ve been frantically working on an essay in hopes of having good news to post soon. In service to this essay, I’ve been learning about cephalopods –  octopuses, cuttlefish, squis, and nautilises.

Here, for you edification, is a helpful video called “True Facts About the Cuttlefish.” It was made by zefrank1. Thank you, zefrank1, this was indeed edifying!


And here’s one I’ve posted before, but can’t resist posting again:

Between the Lines Book Club: Interviews with Nancy Isenberg

between the lines book club logoThis month we are reading White Trash: The 400 Year Untold Story of Class in America. Nancy Isenberg is an author and a history professor at Louisiana State University. Here’s an interview with her from Salon.

Prefer radio? You can hear an interview with Isenberg at WNYC on the Leonard Lopez Show.

Finally, If you are up for a long video, this is a video of Isenberg at Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute, in conversation with Frank Rich, Writer-at-Large for New York Magazine, and Bill Goldstein, Public Programming Curator for Roosevelt House:



Meet Me At The Library!

Frankenstein's monetser, by Stephanie TaylorFebruary sees me giving talks at several library branches. I would love to see friends and blog readers! Here’s my schedule”



Tuesday, 2/6/18, Folsom Library

Persuasion Book Club Chat

6:30PM – 7:30PM



Saturday, 2/10/18, Arden Dimick Library

Romance, Then and Now

10:30 – 11:30AM

Carrie Sessarego, blogger, will talk about the history of romance as a genre, from the medieval era in which “romances” were adventure stories, to today when romance novels are a billion dollar industry. We’ll talk about how romance changed from the 1970’s to today and how different social movements affect the genre. Finally, we’ll discuss the many subgenres that exist, including contemporary, science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, and historical! Handouts will include a list of book recommendations from Jane Austen to current authors.




Saturday, 2/10/18, Robbie Waters Pocket Greenhaven Library

Frankenstein: The 200th Anniversary

2PM – 3:30PM

In 1818, Mary Shelley crafted one of history’s greatest literacy achievements. Two hundred years later, local artist Stephanie Taylor has created a new interpretation of Shelley’s Frankenstein, bringing her own vision to the story. Taylor’s illustrations have been published within the original work in a limited edition run from the I Street Press. She and Carrie Sessarego will discuss the lasting impact of the book, the process of illustrating the novel, and the public perception of this iconic story it.
A 15-minute Q & A will follow each hour-long discussion. 

Frankenstein's monetser, by Stephanie Taylor

Thursday, 2/15/18, Folsom Library

Persuasion Book Club Chat

1:30 – 2:30


Saturday, 2/24/18, Arden Dimick Library

Frankenstein: The 200th Anniversary

3PM – 4PM





Between the Lines Book Club: White Trash, by Nancy Isenberg

between the lines book club logoOur February Book Club pick is White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America. We will be meeting to discuss this book at Arden Dimick Library on February 24, 2018 at 10:30 AM.

In White Trash, Isenberg explores the history of class in America from colonial times through the present. she looks at class from a historical lens but also examines it in popular culture, in works such as Deliverance, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Duck Dynasty. Topics explored include eugenics, past and current politics, and the intersections of class and race.

Join us on Feb 24 for what is sure to be a spirited (BUT POLITE) discussion!