A Bitter Southerner Founders’ Party Afterward

BitterSouth CocktailLast night, as we wound our way through the wrought iron at the Margaret Mitchell house on the occasion of that legendary dame’s birth, the temperature swooned. Was it the signature BitterSouth cocktail concoction I’d barely coughed down? Or her ghost, dizzy to see denizens of a gentler, if not genteeler, South celebrating on her lawn?

I got invited to St. Simon’s by a stranger.

Spoke with a writer and his musical wife who are taking their two children with them on weekend quests to Georgia’s coal mines, uncovering our black energy backstory.

I got to rub elbows with developers and digital artists who are taking lessons learned from the big media phenomena, those crumbling empires, and applying them to the agile incarnation of The Bitter Southerner. (If you haven’t seen it, take a moment. Here’s one of my favorite stories, The Pentecostal Serpent, which was called out a couple weeks ago by the New York Times. A little closer to home for me, literally since our house sits on the site of a Confederate fortification, is Fletcher’s very physical story on The Many Battles of Atlanta.)

I don’t “agree with” every story–which is one of the best parts. I strongly agree that every story well told deserves a place for the telling. I strongly believe the South hasn’t shared it’s share of stories, with enough variety of voice and perspective. Did you know Tim Cook, Apple CEO, was born and raised in Mobile, AL? Seems like South-ness is something hushed up when I want to hear it sing.

I worry about not having a strong fourth estate–about not having broadly informed and free journalists who s educate citizens on the backstories and barricades of our age. These feelings of mine are part of why Jean-Luc and I are “founding members” at The Bitter Southerner. There’s a quiet cultural revolution going on, and BitterSouth’s simple, story filled, advertising-free site is one of the flags. They aren’t political–they’re cultural. That may be the most profound politics of all.