Sublime. Trailer for Deadwood, featuring Colter Wall’s Blacktop. There are many things wrong in this ol’ world. This ain’t one of ’em.
Frank Bill has launched Frank Bill’s House of Grit Podcast. I suspect I’ll be a regular listener on those Tuesday nights in the Nugget van. Bill is the author of some serious roughnec fiction, including the story collection Crimes In Southern Indiana and Donnybrook. Donnybrook is now a movie.
One of my maternal lines ended up in Southern Indiana after taking the trail from Virginia into Kentucky and then across the Ohio River. That was a pretty classic frontier migratory pattern and it made Southern Indiana very much an enclave of the old frontier culture of Kaintuck. That culture was steeped in rough-and-tumble fighting — which was so violent and gruesome that it shocked the sensibilities of all sorts of literary folk in the late 18th and early 19th century. Which is where you get a Donnybrook. The novel has one of my all time favorite covers…
The Donnybrook is a three-day bare-knuckle tournament held on a thousand-acre plot out in the sticks of southern Indiana. Twenty fighters. One wire-fence ring. Fight until only one man is left standing while a rowdy festival of onlookers―drunk and high on whatever’s on offer―bet on the fighters.
Jarhead is a desperate man who’d do just about anything to feed his children. He’s also the toughest fighter in southeastern Kentucky, and he’s convinced that his ticket to a better life is one last fight with a cash prize so big it’ll solve all his problems.
Meanwhile, there’s Chainsaw Angus―an undefeated master fighter who isn’t too keen on getting his face punched anymore, so he and his sister, Liz, have started cooking meth. And they get in deep. So deep that Liz wants it all for herself, and she might just be ready to kill her brother for it. One more showdown to take place at the Donnybrook.
As we travel through the backwoods to get to the Donnybrook, we meet a cast of nasty, ruined characters driven to all sorts of evil, all in the name of getting their fix―drugs, violence, sex, money, honor. Donnybrook is exactly the fearless, explosive, amphetamine-fueled journey you’d expect from Frank Bill’s first novel . . . and then some.
It’s really rough stuff and you have to be in a certain mood to read it — at least I did — but Bill is a damn good writer. I’m really looking forward to sitting around his campfire.
While we’re on the subject of mayhem (when aren’t we?), Marilyn and I are thoroughly enjoying Cinemax’s Warrior. It’s suitably pulpy and the San Francisco Chinatown Tong Wars setting is pretty compelling. The dialogue occasionally lapses into anachronism, which grates on me a bit, but overall it’s just good dirty fun. It just got renewed for a second season. Again, rough stuff —graphic sex and violence, etc. — as you would expect from the creative team that brought us the insane-and-wondrous Banshee. Speaking of which, the Irish pub that features in some of the action in Warrior is named The Banshee. Heh! I want to run an Irish pub called The Banshee…
Hey, speaking of banshees. And on’ry mountain folk…
It’s a big BLOCK Dodge, but what the hell… It’s a jaunty version.
Corb Lund is my kinda people. He’s a fine singer-songwriter and his “scruffy Western music from the Rocky Mountains” is right down the Frontier Partisans trail. And he just seems like a right kinda feller as Gary Cooper would say. Mi amiga Lynn Woodward scouted up a delightful Cowboy Crossroads podcast featuring Andy Hedges’ interview with Corb. It was a dose of cowboy culture that i needed like a cold drink of water in the desert…
Sometimes right isn’t equal; sometimes equal’s not fair…
From the other side of Canada: Looking forward to soaking up some Quebecois at the Sisters Folk Festival with La Vent du Nord. The North Wind. I like that. I also like a hurdy gurdy. There’s some Canadian Fur Trade roots in there…
Canada offers the setting for an Outdoor Channel reality show that Marilyn and I stumbled upon the other night — retracing an old Hudson’s Bay Company water route.
With $500,000 dollars at stake, ten strangers unite to conquer a grueling cross-country wilderness expedition that pushes bodies and minds to the extreme. The Brigade – Race to the Hudson is a cooperative competition that forces participants to work together as they travel over 750 miles across the York Factory Express – an historic fur trade route legendary for its danger, isolation and beauty.
They’ll paddle, portage, and hike through treacherous waterways and unforgiving terrain, with only 28 days to complete their journey. They have no fuel and no GPS. If they can pool their skills, strengths and courage and make it to the end in time, they’ll split the cash prize. But if the team unravels, failure is inevitable. The Brigade is not about eliminating foes, it’s about hanging onto every member against the odds.
Frontier Partisan reality TV. There are so many possibilities…
Here’s one for your “Fuck Sakes” file: A big, bright virtue signal from Wisconsin’s Kickapoo Coffee.
From Microsoft News (hat tip to John Cornelius for scouting it up):
The coffee roaster voluntarily opted to change its name before receiving complaints. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Kickapoo released a statement saying it will change its name in 2020, as its use of the term Kickapoo could be considered appropriation of the name of four indigenous peoples’ tribes. The roaster’s cofounders chose the name in 2005 because of the company’s location in the Kickapoo River Valley, but realized that customers outside of Wisconsin were confused because there are tribes in the U.S. and Mexico called Kickapoo.
“By using Kickapoo, we claimed a name that was never ours to take. The decision to use the name, and to continue to roast under it, was an act of appropriation,” the coffee roaster’s cofounder TJ Semanchin said in a statement.
The coffee company has held face-to-face meetings with representatives from U.S. tribes—located in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas—to apologize, according to coffee website Sprudge. The groups were unaware of Kickapoo Coffee name, and the company’s cofounders say it wasn’t criticism from tribes that led them to their decision.
“Holding onto the name was not consistent with our values,” Semanchin tells Sprudge. “Once we allowed ourselves to take the blinders off of some willful ignorance, it just seems like something we had to do.”
The company has not yet announced its new name, which will go into effect in early 2020.
Bah! Now, obviously, these guys can name their coffee company whatever they want, and if they really feel bad about calling it Kickapoo — even if it’s in reference to a geographic location — well, they oughta change it. But making a “thing” out of it tips the hand, methinks. Repatriting Cornplanter’s tomahawk — that’s meaningful; this is just a bit of corporate grandstanding.
My brother has been on a bit of a geographic name-change jag lately. We are still mourning the 19th century purging of the carnally-inspired names given to several bodies of water by horny longhunters — Tickle Cunt Branch; Fucking Creek, etc.
The march of the bland continues.
At least when the name of the local Squaw Creek was changed, they went with something legit —Whychus, which means “the place where we cross the water” in the Sahaptin language. An old map I have in my office labels it Why-chus, so we just went back to its “original” name.