TRUE STORIES

Buster Poindexter, Richard Dreyfus, and Jennifer Tilly in “Let it Ride” | Paramount Pictures

About a year after 9/11, I had a job interview for a sales-trading position at Burlington Capital, a trading firm in one of the Trump buildings on Wall Street. I’d never heard of them, but since I was relatively new to the City, that didn’t mean much.

I’d moved to New York in late 2000 to reinvent myself after closing the investment firm I’d started five years earlier in Little Rock, Arkansas. …


FAMILY MYTHOLOGY

The Weems Boys on the grounds of the Arkansas State Capital, circa 1967. From left to right: Marlon, Wyatt, Orson, and Christopher. Photo courtesy of the Weems family.

Every family has its stories, tales passed down over generations. These accounts are shared from one family griot to another, each with its heroes and villains. Over time and with each telling, the characters in these stories become larger than life. And sometimes, legends are born. In my family, Wyatt Weems is one such legend.

When I was in elementary school, one day, an older boy approached me on the playground. Once we were face to face, he informed me that he would “get me after school.” For the benefit of the unfamiliar, his statement was the elementary school equivalent…


POLITICS

Cowboy hat from Winthrop Rockefeller’s campaign for governor | Source: The Winthrop Rockefeller Collection

In 1953, the forty-one-year-old grandson of John D. Rockefeller, America’s first billionaire, made a shocking relocation from towny New York to Arkansas, one of the most impoverished states in the country. The news made national headlines. “W.R.,” or “Win” as he was known, was a hard-drinking playboy with an affinity for attractive movie stars and Manhattan’s cafe scene, so it’s hard to imagine a more dramatic lifestyle change.

After moving to Arkansas, the maverick Rockefeller purchased a 927-acre expanse atop Petit Jean Mountain in Morrilton, Arkansas. Overlooking Arkansas’s Ada Valley, the property was essentially undeveloped wilderness. Rockefeller hired construction workers…


POLITICS

Photo by Ian Hutchinson on Unsplash

I have a habit of starting my posts off with an analogy to help drive home my point. But frankly, if events of the last few weeks aren’t enough to scare the bejeezus out of you, no amount of cute storytelling on my part will do the trick. So let’s jump right into the abyss.

Last week in a one-paragraph, unsigned statement via the “shadow docket,” the high court’s process for addressing emergency petitions, the Supreme Court denied relief to plaintiffs challenging Texas’s new abortion law. The new law bans abortions after six weeks. …


POLITICS

Protesters hold signs during a rally to prevent Massachusetts evictions in October. Photo: Matt Stone/ MediaNews Group/Boston Herald

Late Thursday night in a 6–3 decision, the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) struck down the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) moratorium on evictions, ruling the public health agency exceeded its authority. The court’s decision to overturn the federal eviction moratorium, with as many as 6.5 million households on the verge of eviction, occurred during what is known as the court’s “shadow docket.”

For those unfamiliar with this area of SCOTUS activities and why this decision is problematic, the ACLU’s David Cole wrote about the dangers of the shadow docket in a Washington Post opinion piece last August:

[I]n a…


COUP D’ETAT UPDATE

Photo: Markus Winkler/Unsplash

I could be the last person in America to watch The Wire, the HBO crime drama that ran from 2002 to 2008. Although it never won any awards, many critics regard it today as one of the greatest television shows of all time. Despite this, somehow, it didn’t hit my radar until the pandemic sequestered me last year.

One of my favorite scenes in the entire series is from the show’s third season. In the scene, Stringer Bell, a drug kingpin played by a young Idris Elba, chairs a meeting of The New Day Co-Op, an alliance of some of…


THE ECONOMY

Eviction protesters in Boston during a news conference outside the Statehouse on Friday, July 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Before moving to North Carolina, my family rented a lovely townhouse in Edgewater, New Jersey. In addition to the view of midtown Manhattan, Edgewater’s primary appeal was its schools. And since an elementary school was only a block away, we could walk our kids to class each day.

Sadly, our two years in Edgewater were an absolute nightmare, thanks to our landlord. Before our movers could unload our belongings, there was trouble. As we moved in, our landlord showed up unexpectedly. …


THE ECONOMY

Medieval illustration of men harvesting wheat with reaping hooks. Wikimedia Commons

For Father’s Day a few years back, my wife and kids surprised me with a trip to Medieval Times, an immersive dinner theater featuring staged Arthurian-styled games, such as sword-fighting and jousting. Anyone can enjoy the forgotten age of kings and queens for a reasonable price, at least for an evening.

For the next several hours, we sank into the fantasy world of wealthy lords and ladies. As we watched knights battle each other on horseback, the wait staff, dressed as lowly serfs, served overflowing plates of food and poured wine into our faux-jewel-encrusted goblets on demand. …


THIS IS AMERICA

“Holiday Inn — Vincennes, Indiana.” Image: Jordan Smith/Flickr

Hillenbrand Industries is the holding company for two operating businesses. One is Hillrom, which operates in the health care industry, selling and renting hospital beds, furnishings, and other hospital accessories. If you’ve ever needed to spend a night in a hospital, chances are you’ve slept in one of their beds.

Hillenbrand’s other operating business is Batesville Casket Company. Although the name is probably unfamiliar to most people, Batesville is the largest coffin manufacturer in the country, controlling nearly half the U.S. market. Funerals may be uncomfortable to discuss, but it’s a $20 billion industry.

No matter what anyone tells you…


THIS IS AMERICA

Screenshot by the author of the Spouting Rock Beach Association (aka Bailey’s Beach Club) website

Last summer, Democrats rode the wave of what’s come to be known as America’s racial reckoning. White Democrats, in particular, went to great lengths to prove their “wokeness.” First, they paraded through the Capitol wearing Kente cloth, topped off by taking a Colin Kaepernick-inspired knee. Eventually, the attempts by the White political left to show their anti-racist bona fides bordered on pandering.

At the time, I tolerated it as I’m sure many others did. I knew a little performative pandering was par for the course politically. The sight of Reps. …

Marlon Weems

Raconteur. Recovering Capitalist. Bylines in GEN, Momentum, An Injustice, and The Journeyman. Connect: https://linktr.ee/thejourneyman

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