I really, really, need some fictional, escapist literature for my thought processes to right themselves.

However… when I’ve been at the book stores, or the library… every single fiction book I pick up, I end up putting down. A sneer on my lips… “Tell me a story I ain’t heard before, honey…” *sigh*

It doesn’t help that when I do feel a spiritual pull towards a book… it is, almost ALWAYS, a book like, well, THIS ONE:

I am, officially, a glutton…

…for punishment.

See, I was forewarned about this study by a professor/mentor years ago, on inception…

In the process of research for another project, I came across something called “the white trash studies”. It piqued my interest. Being second generation WT (white trash) myself… I thought, “You know… maybe this is a good thing. Maybe we can stop focusing on race, and get to the REAL issues of poverty, lack of access to resources, class prejudice…”

I mentioned it to Dr. B. She poo-poohed the whole thing. Said their methodology was skewed, and thus their results would suffer a similar fate.

I shrugged, at first thinking maybe it was a racial push-back against the territorial claim for prejudicial rights. But, Dr. B was my favorite professor, so ultimately? I respected her opinion. I filed it as a, well, we’ll see what the output is… because, as any researcher knows… a project does not usually yield real RESULTS, but… it ALWAYS lead to a more refined question.

Then, this year, I found the book, shown above… White Trash (2016). And I started to read it.

I am. Officially. Reading this book. AT ARMS’ LENGTH.

Because… and I will update this as I progress… RULES EXIST, at least in historical research… (and in journalism)…

For posterity, here’s the first, broken commandment:

  1. THOU SHALT NOT USE DESCRIPTIVE ADJECTIVES.

If someone, at some point SAID something, now known to be ‘hubristic’… a historian is NEVER, ever, allowed to SAY it is hubristic.

As Mr. McKendrick (author of On Film-making) would say of the film arts… SHOW, DON’T TELL. Give us the quote, the action, the event… LET US COME TO OUR OWN DECISION. Anything else? Is, well, hubristic. And mildly insulting.


Tune in next week. Perhaps there will be a second commandment broken. Perhaps… they are onto something…?

We shall see.

Cheers.