Caption: Hills have hoodoo.
Welcome to Haint Week at Goat Rope. If this is your first visit please click on yesterday's post.
For flatlanders, haint is Appalachian for things that haunt.
El Cabrero takes no position on the existence or nonexistence of haints. However, I am prepared to assert that some places have hoodoo, which is just as good.
They say that Appalachians have a strong sense of place, although we obviously don't have a corner on the market. But when I think of hauntedness, I think less about spectral beings than about places.
It seems to me that some places just seem to have hoodoo and others don't. Hoodoo, like the Oceanic term "mana" means some kind of weird immaterial force or quality that has been called "the stuff of which magic is formed."
Some places seem to have hoodoo because of things that happened there. Harpers Ferry is a prime example, almost as if events have left some kind of scar or imprint. So do the nearby battlefields of Antietam and Gettysburg.
Other places, like the sacred New River, seem to have it naturally, although the history probably helps. I tend to doubt whether flatland has any hoodoo, but I'll try to keep my mind open on that point. Maybe if there's water around...
Hoodoo is hard to define but who feels it knows it.
BLOWING UP THE BUDDHAS. Here's an op-ed from yesterday's NY Times about the destruction of the Buddhist statues in Afghanistan by the Taliban. This is pretty un-Buddhist, but El Cabrero is still mad about that.
DEATH PENALTY NEWS. This Reuters story is interesting:
The American Bar Association said on Monday it was renewing its call for a nationwide moratorium on executions, based on a three-year study of death penalty systems in eight states that found unfairness and other flaws.
The lawyers' group said its study identified key problems, such as major racial disparities, incompetent defense services for poor defendants and irregular clemency review processes, making those death penalty systems operate unfairly.
UPDATE ON MEGAN WILLIAMS MARCH. Here's the Daily Mail on the controversy caused by a march planned by outside groups. And here's the latest from the Gazette.
POVERTY AND CLIMATE CHANGE. Low income Americans are likely to suffer most from the effects of climate change and from higher energy costs. Here are suggestions about dealing with this from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING, the world's oldest living animal as far as anyone can tell is a 400 year old clam.
GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: SUPERMUNDANE