About 10 years ago, while visiting rural England, I met a genuine Southernphile (and yes, that is a word I just made up). When a young hotel clerk learned I was from Alabama, he engaged me in a long and animated conversation about his love for Southern pop culture.
While his sources were dubious (his favorite movie was Smokey and the Bandit and his favorite television show was The Dukes of Hazzard), his fascination was sincere. What he loved most of all was the band Lynyrd Skynyrd. “I don’t care about the politics,” he said. “They just sound so bloody good.”
Historian Andre Millard found a similar lack of interest in politics, especially the politics of race, among many of the musicians interviewed for his book Magic City Nights. Read more.
Alabama’s senators split their votes on a bill to extend the National Flood Insurance Program through Nov. 30, giving lawmakers more time to consider proposed reforms. The program runs a significant deficit, but it offers citizens access to flood insurance that otherwise is expensive and often not available at all.
Here’s how the senators voted on that and other major issues in the week ending Aug. 3. The House was in recess. Read more.