Category Archives: Audio

I miss Garrison Keillor


Saturday, the radio in our kitchen was on at 6 p.m., and when “Prairie Home Companion” came on… we turned it off.

Instead of turning it up, which is what we usually would have done, ever since we started listening to it out in Kansas in the ’80s.

It’s just not the same without Garrison Keillor. That deep, mellifluous, soothing voice, speaking of things that prompted nostalgia and peaceful reflection on the human condition, was what the show was about. I appreciated that the new guy made a joke in the first show about his high, piping voice, but you know, after a bit it’s not funny. I’ve lost my reason to listen.

Keillor is still writing. But frankly, I’ve never liked his writing quite as much on a page or screen — I prefer to hear him say it. Also, his unspoken stuff tends to be more political, and he’s such a doctrinaire liberal that a lot of stuff he says is a bit off-putting to me.

But… I find that if I can imagine him reading it, I’m fine with it. And this latest piece in The Washington Post yesterday made it very easy to hear the voice. It was gentle, it was kind, it was reassuring, unassuming and forgiving. And when you write in a voice like that, I can handle pretty much anything you have to say. An excerpt:

Face it, Southerners are nicer people

I’ve been down in South Carolina and Georgia, an old Northern liberal in red states, enjoying a climate like April in January and the hospitality of gracious, soft-spoken people, many of whom voted for He Who Does Not Need Intelligence, but they didn’t bring it up, so neither did I.

I walked into Jestine’s Kitchen in Charleston, and a waitress said, “Is there just one of you, sweetheart?” and her voice was like jasmine and teaberry. There was just one of me, though I wished there were two and she was the other one. She showed me to a table — “Have a seat, sweetheart, I’ll be right with you.” Liberal waitpersons up north would no more call you “sweetheart” than they would kiss you on the lips, and if you called one of them “sweetheart” she might hand you your hat. I ordered the fried chicken with collard greens and mashed potatoes and gravy and read a front-page story in the Charleston Post and Courier about a Republican state legislator charged with a felony for allegedly beating his wife in front of their weeping children, and then the waitress brought the food and I dug in and it was luminous, redemptive, all that chicken and gravy could be. If this is what Makes America Great Again, I am all for it….

I thought to myself, “A person could live in a town like this.” I’ve spent time with people whose politics agreed with mine and who were cold fish indeed and now that I’m elderly and have time on my hands, maybe I’d enjoy hanging out with amiable sweet-talking right-wingers. I’m just saying….

Indeed. And I miss hanging out with him on Saturday evenings…

(It’s fun when Yankees find us so captivating. Reminds me of the one year I lived above the Mason-Dixon line growing up. I attended second grade in Woodbury, NJ. I read more fluently than most 2nd-graders, and once a teacher heard me read aloud, she started lending me to other classes to read to the kids. I was happy to oblige. They thought my accent was so charming. They looked upon me as a pint-sized Ashley Wilkes, and that kind of thing can make a certain sort of Yankee lady just swoon.)

To give you chills on a summer’s day: Ralph Stanley singing ‘O Death’

My old friend Richard Crowson, a bluegrass musician who is a master at picking anything with strings on it — would likely disown me for admitting this, but I pretty much knew nothing about Ralph Stanley before he died this week.

To give you who are similarly ignorant a little schooling, I share this:

He was a short, gaunt man in a white cowboy hat and gray suit, his features seemingly chipped from granite with a stony gaze to match. When he sang “O Death” at Wolf Trap in 2006 as part of the Great High Mountain Tour, Stanley’s scratchy high tenor made the Grim Reaper sound like an acquaintance of long standing. This traditional lament had revived his career when he sang it in the Coen brothers’ 2000 movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” but Stanley’s ghostly vocal made clear that the song was older than that movie, older than the whole history of talking movies.

Even in the 21st century, there was an echo in his voice of 19th-century mining and lumbering (his father worked in an old-fashioned sawmill) and of the 17th-century songs that immigrants from the British Isles brought to the Appalachian Mountains. It was in the southwest corner of Virginia, in Dickerson County under the shadow of Clinch Mountain, that Ralph Stanley was born on Feb. 25, 1927. Together with his brother Carter, two years older, Ralph learned the eerie harmonies of a cappella Sacred Harp singing in church and the spry rhythms of old-time string-band music at dances.

“Three groups really shaped bluegrass music,” Ricky Skaggs told me in 1998. “Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys, the Stanley Brothers and Flatt & Scruggs. Everyone who came after them was just following in their footsteps. . . . Ralph’s still out there 150 dates a year; he’s the last of the giants still in action.”…

But he is in action no more. And this video sounded to me like a voice from Beyond when I listened to it over my coffee this morning.

What it does is profound. So I thought I’d share…


Lou Reed as a young man, as seen by Warhol


Reacting to this news

Lou Reed, a massively influential songwriter and guitarist who helped shape nearly fifty years of rock music, died today on Long Island. The cause of his death has not yet been released, but Reed underwent a liver transplant in May
With the Velvet Underground in the late Sixties, Reed fused street-level urgency with elements of European avant-garde music, marrying beauty and noise, while bringing a whole new lyrical honesty to rock & roll poetry. As a restlessly inventive solo artist, from the Seventies into the 2010s, he was chameleonic, thorny and unpredictable, challenging his fans at every turn. Glam, punk and alternative rock are all unthinkable without his revelatory example. “One chord is fine,” he once said, alluding to his bare-bones guitar style. “Two chords are pushing it. Three chords and you’re into jazz.”…

… I happened to remember the above video. It’s one of Andy Warhol’s “screen tests” that he did of various people who hung around The Factory back in the mid-’60s.

Basically, Warhol would turn a camera loaded with a short bit of film (about four minutes worth) onto one of his subjects, and just let that person be for that length of time.

Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips put 13 of those clips to music, and I saw their show at Spoleto in Charleston a couple of years back.

Somehow, their lyrics seem appropriate to express just how old we’ve gotten since Reed sat there drinking that Coke.

For some of Reed’s own music, I include the clip below…

Regarding the end of film

Saw the oddest thing the other day in a TV show. I was watching an episode, from last season, of “The Good Wife.” There was a scene in which a man who has just committed a murder grabs a camera — a nice-looking SLR — and strips the film out, to destroy evidence.

Wow. Who uses film anymore? No one on-screen explained it. (The character was wealthy and quirky, and perhaps that was supposed to imply an explanation; I don’t know.) Anyway, today Roger Ebert brings our attention to this:

At the turn of the 21st century, American shutterbugs were buying close to a billion rolls of film a year. This year, they might buy a mere 20 million, plus 31 million single-use cameras – the beach-resort staple vacationers turn to in a pinch, according to the Photo Marketing Association.

Eastman Kodak Co. marketed the world’s first flexible roll film in 1888. By 1999, more than 800 million rolls were sold in the United States alone. The next year marked the apex for combined U.S. sales of rolls of film (upward of 786 million) and single-use cameras (162 million).

Equally startling has been the plunge in film camera sales over the last decade. Domestic purchases have tumbled from 19.7 million cameras in 2000 to 280,000 in 2009 and might dip below 100,000 this year, says Yukihiko Matsumoto, the Jackson, Mich.-based association’s chief researcher.

For InfoTrends imaging analyst Ed Lee, film’s fade-out is moving sharply into focus: “If I extrapolate the trend for film sales and retirements of film cameras, it looks like film will be mostly gone in the U.S. by the end of the decade.”

I’m a traditionalist, and was slow to give up film myself. But eventually — in the middle of this past decade — affordable digital got good enough. And since about 2005, my excellent Nikon 8008 has sat abandoned in a drawer. Which is sad. It is SUCH a better camera than I use today (in fact, I seldom use my actual “camera” any more, because the iPhone is so good for most purposes), enabling me to control the image so much better. But who can deal with the hassle and expense of buying the film, paying to have it processed (or paying even MORE in chemicals and such to do it at home, which I used to do), and then store the film safely, etc. And now you can see whether you got the shot immediately — and take unlimited exposures…

But it’s still sad…

There are diehard holdouts, connoisseurs who insist that there’s a quality to film that is lost without it, but to my philistine eye, the difference has disappeared. Same thing with vinyl records: But since I got a USB turntable and started digitizing my vinyl a couple of years back, I’m become pretty acutely aware that sound files that started out digital sound better than ones that came from my records. To me. Which probably also indicates I’m a philistine.

Ah, progress…

Area man says he’s not Alvin Greene

My apologies to The Onion for using their “Area Man” gag, but since they stole it from those of us who actually used that lame, unimaginative, oddly comical construction many times without irony in the rush of getting a paper out every day, I guess I’m entitled.

Darrin Thomas

Anyway, even though this is from Rotary before last, I still wanted to share with you the story that Darrin Thomas shared with us when he did Health & Happiness Sept. 13.

Here’s the audio in case you’d like to listen to it.

Here’s a summary: First, he skilfully misdirected us by making us think this was another case of his being mistaken for Steve Benjamin. He’s had a real problem with that, and having confused white folks (at least, I assume it’s always white folks) repeatedly for that OTHER black man in a suit, we thought that was what this was about.

But it wasn’t.

It began with a trip to the supermarket, during which he noticed that an elderly woman standing near the turnip greens was staring at him with disdain — a look he hadn’t seen since he was in parochial school. He turned his attention to inspecting the produce, but when he looked up again, there she was, still staring at him “with this awful look.”

Finally, he decided to inquire. He said “Ma’am, have I done something wrong?”

She shook her head and said loudly, “You’re an embarrassment to our state!”

Flabbergasted, he said, “Pardon me?”

She repeated that he was an embarrassment to the state, and to everyone who had ever worn a military uniform.

He said, “Ma’am, I don’t understand, and I think you’ve mistaken me for someone else.” By this time, several people had gathered around to witness the exchange.

Then the old woman said, “I’m no Republican, but I hope and pray that Jim DeMint destroys you…”

He took a moment to regain his composure, then said “Ma’am, I’m not Alvin Greene.”

She replied, “Yes, you are. [This next part is hard to hear because of the laughter of Rotarians, but I think she goes on to say…] I’ve seen you on TV many times. I know who you are.”

He denied it again, and said, “I can prove it to you. I’m not Alvin Greene.”

She said, “I don’t want to hear it. Get away from me!”

He was stunned, embarrassed and frustrated. He concludes: “Unfortunately, my family won’t eat this week, because I left the entire basket, and simply walked out…” He then conducted a tutorial on “How to distinguish Darrin Thomas from Alvin Greene:”

  1. “I was never in the military.” The closest he got was when he wore a Boy Scout uniform.
  2. “My idea for economic development would never include the creation of an action figure in my likeness.”
  3. “While I did many things to procure dates while I was a student at the University of South Carolina, showing a young lady pornography was not one of them.”
  4. If he were unemployed, yet had $10,000 in the bank, “Please know I would not invest in a campaign.”
  5. “Thanks to my English teacher in high school, Darrin Thomas speaks utilizing complete sentences.”

He got a big round of applause. He deserves it, for being able to laugh at this.

Build a better blog, and they’ll beat a path to your door

One of the cool things about blogging is that so much of the time, you don’t even have to go look stuff up or ask questions in order to provide relevant content for your readers — your subjects will do it for you.

Increasingly, I find that about all I have to do is wonder aloud about something on the blog, or poke a little fun at something I know little about, and suddenly those involved with the issue will be reaching out to shower info on me from across the nation — info from their point of view of course, but that can be helpful. I don’t even have to contact them; they find me.

For instance, today alone, I:

  • Heard from the campaign of the Senate candidate in Texas who I said might be Energy Party material. Responding to my crack that his position lacked details, his campaign sent me a PDF file with more info. But then, inexplicably, they asked me NOT to post the PDF, urging me just to write about it or excerpt it. I wrote back asking why CAN’T I post it, and I’m waiting hear back on that.
  • Got a mea culpa from the author of the release from musicFIRST about the omission I had joked about.
  • Got a phone message from the OPPOSITE side of that issue — the radio people who don’t WANT to pay those performers what they want. Here’s the audio clip of that.

If anything else interesting comes in with little or no effort on my part, I’ll be sure to share it.

Is Bill Clinton wagging his finger at us AGAIN?


Speaking of The New York Times this morning, did you see how it described Bill Clinton’s reaction at being reminded of his attempt to ghetto-ize Obama back here in S.C.?

More Finger Wagging From a Miffed Bill Clinton
Published: April 23, 2008
WASHINGTON — Wagging his finger once again, former President Bill Clinton chided a reporter on Tuesday for what he deemed a misinterpretation of his remarks during a radio interview in which he said the Obama campaign “played the race card on me.”
    Mr. Clinton confronted the issue of race again on Monday when he was asked by an interviewer for WHYY radio in Philadelphia about his remarks earlier this year on the results of the South Carolina Democratic primary. At the time, he likened the victory of Senator Barack Obama to that of the Rev. Jesse Jackson in 1998; Mr. Clinton’s comparison was denounced widely by black officials who believed he was marginalizing Mr. Obama’s victory with a racially tinged allusion to Mr. Jackson’s failed presidential bids…

What I’d like to know is, was he literally wagging his finger — you know, the way he did before? And if you don’t remember, the video is below.

Unfortunately, I have no video on the latest incident, so I’ll just have to assume the wagging was figurative this time. But we do have some nice, clear audio. Be sure to turn up your volume at the end so you can hear him say, "I don’t think I can take any s..t from anybody on that, do you?" (Some listeners hear it as "don’t think I should take any s..t," but I think it’s "can"…)

Now, having listened to that, do you feel chastened? Do you feel guilty for having thought less of our former president, even for a moment? Are you gonna stop giving him s–t now? Are you listening, you Obama supporters? Shame on anyone who would dare question Bill Clinton, as he makes clear in this other video…

Today’s audio feedback

As you know, I keep trying to get folks who send me their thoughts and observations via e-mail either to submit them for consideration as a letter to the editor, or to come to the blog. I’m one of the world’s worst time managers, but as bad as I am, I DO try to limit the amount of time spent on purely private communications. Bring it out into the open, and let’s talk — that’s my approach.

That’s a little trickier to do with those who leave their thoughts at length on my voicemail. Trickier, but not impossible. Here’s my phone call of the day. This lady had a LOT to say about the relative merits of Barack Obama as compared to Hillary Clinton. The short version: She likes Hillary. Obama — well, she manages to compare him to George W. Bush. How? Well, listen. Here’s the audio clip.

As you will see, she explains that she called me to protest, although belatedly, our endorsement of Obama. Apparently, she explained at such length that she overran the rather generous amount of time afforded by my voicemail. Well, her voice will be heard now — at least by those of you who have the patience.

Just another slice of daily life in the editorial department.

Audio: Caller mad at us for ‘supporting a black man’

Folks, here’s audio of the caller I mentioned in my column who was mad about the Obama endorsement purely because we’re "supporting a black man." Here’s a transcript:

"…I need to talk with someone to discuss the fact that y’all are supporting a black man for president of the United States. I am ASHAMED that we’ve got a newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, one of the best cities in America, and yet we’ve got a black operation supporting black candidates, that doesn’t have any more sense of being president of the United States than I do. He may be educated with a college degree, but let me tell you one thing: He has no common sense whatsoever, or you don’t either. And if you feel like calling me, go to it, girl [the message was left on our publisher’s assistant’s line]. I am disappointed and upset that we’ve got a black newspaper right here in the city of Columbia."

If you have trouble loading the audio, let me know. I guess I could shrink the file, but we would lose sound quality — I think.

Anyway, welcome to my world. Fortunately, this caller reflects a minority view. But it’s a minority that we hear from too often.

Mayor Bob says Columbia WOULD provide sewer to Green Diamond

You may have read this morning that Mayor Bob Coble said Columbia would not provide water service to Green Diamond, which "surprised" the developer and gratified Robert Adams and other opponents.

However, Mayor Bob called this morning and left a phone message (click here for the audio) saying that "The city would provide sewer to a portion of the Green Diamond" — the portion north of I-77 — and that would happen as a matter of course, if requested.

But, he said "No one’s asked" the city to provide services one way or the other.

To remind you of where we were in this thrilling serial, Cayce will take up annexing the property tomorrow (Thursday), in keeping with the apparent plan to rush this thing through while everybody’s too busy with Christmas to rise up and stop it.

Audio: McCain talks to bloggers


Here’s audio of John McCain’s conference call with bloggers today at noon. The subject that B.J. was concerned about only came up briefly — when the candidate himself mentioned it.

Topics that were discussed included Pakistan, Iraq, "medical marijuana," health care, the need for a larger military, and the gang of 14.

I basically just wanted to listen in, although I did put myself in the queue for a question. I guess all the others were more eager and got theirs in more quickly, since my turn never came up.

If it had, I would have asked why he seems settled on sticking with Musharraf, when a case can be made that he has delegitimized himself with moderate, anti-Taliban elements in the society — might we not be at a point where Mrs. Bhutto is the only workable option?

I would also have asked jokingly whether he really meant to say Gen. Musharraf is an "ethical type of individual," rather than "aesthetic type of individual."

But no big loss. Here is the audio, if you want to listen to it. It begins in the middle of Sen. McCain explaining that he is in Phoenix because his wife (shown below at an event in Aiken in September) is undergoing surgery for her knee problem…


Katon Dawson’s audio response

Katon Dawson responded to my post about the Democratic Primary schedule, in which he says that a referendum would not be allowed under the legislation that put the state of South Carolina in charge of paying for the parties’ presidential primaries.

Only instead of leaving a typed comment, he left a phone message. Here’s the audio.

Ozmint: “I need the Legislature’s help on this; somebody’s going to get killed” at Corrections


Corrections chief Jon Ozmint came by Tuesday to give his perspective on the recently redirected Senate investigation of his department.

He kept saying he wanted us to take the 30,000-foot view of the situation. Well, this brief post is more like the satellite view — a few sketchy notes, a video clip, and some supplementary material his office e-mailed over when we were done. Look at it and decide what you think; I haven’t had time to digest it or dig deeper, so I have no opinion to offer at this time — beyond our usual position, which is that we’ve got to stop trying to lock up everybody and his brother and not pay what it takes to have safe prisons (that’s the view from the moon, metaphorically speaking).

In a nutshell, he said there were three problems with the way the Senate committee has gone about looking at how our prisons are run:

  1. The Subject. He says there are plenty of legitimate areas for legislative oversight — escapes, assaults, turnover rates, contraband control, gangs —  of the agency. But the Senate staff tried to get into the nitty-gritty of "individual, isolated complaints" from employees and others, and he believes there are more appropriate venues for investigating and adjudicating such matters.
  2. The Method. He said the Senate staffers lacked the expertise to investigate, leading to compromising potentially legitimate investigations. "There was no plan." They took a bunch of hearsay, he says, with no next step such as going to Corrections for more info.
  3. The Motive. He was cagier about this, not wanting to get into placing political blame specifically on individual senators. But he said the investigation "had been hijacked by a small group of senators and staffers."

"And I think those were the three problems that made this the disaster that it was," he said. We went on with a rambling discussion of problems at Corrections, politics at the State House, and various other matters, on and off the record — but the points above are what he mainly came to say. I urge you to watch him saying it on the video, as it helps you appreciate the passion and volatility that Mr. Ozmint brings to his job — whatever you may make of those qualities.

Oh, let me add this. Mr. Ozmint realized I was shooting video during the meeting. But near the end of the meeting, he said he didn’t realize I would publish it on my blog — even though he reads the blog (but, he said, his computer won’t play the videos). I asked him why he thought I was shooting it, and he said he supposed it was to back up my notes. But I have an audio recorder for that. He protested that he wasn’t dressed right. I told him he looked like a hard-working sort with his polo shirt with the name of the department on it. Whatever.

So, extra-point questions here:

  1. Is it fair for me to post the video?
  2. Does the video add any value for you, the reader (and citizen of South Carolina)?

That’s all for now.

Audio: Brownback’s proposal to end the fear of cancer

Here’s an interesting e-mail from someone who was traveling with Sam Brownback yesterday, and sat in on the editorial board meeting, but had a minor question about the accuracy of the way I quoted the candidate in one instance.

I pass it on because I think the attention Sen. Brownback would like to focus on cancer is worthwhile, and I hope it can gain some traction beyond his candidacy — which I’m afraid is probably not long for this sin-stained world.

Anyway, here is the question:

Sent: Thursday, August 16, 2007 10:32 AM
To: StateEditor, Columbia
Subject: Please forward to Brad Warthen

Mr. Warthen,
Your article in 8-16-07 concerning Brownback and the editorial board was I believe mostly fair.  One point I may suggest that you did not correctly high light what Brownback said. he would "end cancer in 10 years"
My notes show, Brownback  was saying, allowing government to loosen terminal cancer patients restrictions on new treatments and drugs and to investigate what will work and this would "end cancer in 10 years."
Your statement sounded like he personally would end cancer.
What did your tape say?????????
Louis Neiger,CLU

Here is my initial response:

You  left out
a crucial word from the quote. My column quoted him as saying he wanted to
"end DEATHS to cancer in 10 years." As I recall, he said he wanted to change
cancer from a terminal to a chronic disease.
I’ll see if I
can find that bit on my recording, and post it on my blog for you. You might
also want to look at the
blog version of my column
, as it has links to additional
— Brad

And, most importantly, here is actual audio of what he said. (By some bizarre coincidence, I did quote him accurately.) An excerpt, for those who have trouble playing the clip, which goes to the heart of the distinction that might have caused Mr. Neiger to think my quote was inaccurate:

This will not end people getting cancer. People will still get it. But you’re gonna be able to treat it as a — what I want to do is be able to treat it as a chronic disease, not as a terminal one.

Audio of Edwards getting folksy with the editorial board

Going back to the point that Aaron raised about the context in which John Edwards got all folksy with us by showing off his boots back in 2004: I can now add some perspective to both his memory and mine — that is, if hearing is believing.

First, let me share with you a passage that I wrote in the very first draft of the piece, a version I KNEW was too long. (The "Director’s Cut" version was one I thought would fit, until Cindi Scoppe told me it was 32 inches, of which I cut six for the print version.) It went like this:

… And we’re talking impressions and memories here. None of these events or observations struck me as anything worth noting in detail at the time, so my notes are sparse. But over time, without my intending it, an impression is formed. Human nature, I guess. But even without all the notes and details, I know exactly how he caused me to think of him as I do…

I had tried to reconstruct as much as I could from notes and the data trail of stories and editorials from the time. I was on vacation, and it was Sunday, but I dragged by daughter and granddaughter to the office with me after Mass to get my notes from the 2004 presidential primaries. I even listened to the beginning of a recording of the endorsement interview with Edwards, but decided after a minute of listening that I must have turned on the recorder after the crack about the boots.

So I searched my notes. No direct quote. I asked Cindi Scoppe, and she said without looking that she didn’t have it. She takes better notes than I do, but she’s a serious journalist — she doesn’t bother with the frivolous remarks that I often think are revelatory of character.

So I went with my best memory of what he said: “How do y’all like my boots?” And Aaron offered his perspective. Today, I decided to listen further in the hope of finding something to add to the record — seeing as how there was so much interest in this column.

And guess what I found at one minute and seven seconds, right at the point at which I was trying to get everybody to settle down from the opening pleasantries and get serious (apparently, tomfoolery had gone on longer than I had recalled)? Yep, it was the actual audio of the "boots" remark, which went like this:

ME: "Well, welcome."

EDWARDS: "Thank you. Have you noticed my shoes?" (general laughter as he props one on the table) "These are my boots that I wear in New Hampshire ’cause you can clomp aroun’ in ‘at snow an’ mess (inaudible), but it don’t exactly fit in Sou’ Calahna."

So right away I noticed two things: One, my memory wasn’t exactly right on the precise words he spoke. That’s embarrassing. But I feel much reinforced in terms of my characterization of the way he said it, and the exaggerated folksiness of it — which, of course, was my point. It sounds even more like an impersonation of early Andy Griffith than I had remembered. And mind you, this was right after he had breezed by the regular folks down in the lobby without giving them the time of day.

There is no sign on my recording of Aaron prompting the remark, but Aaron could well have said something just before that my recorder did not pick up. I trust Aaron’s memory on that.

As for the rest, click on this and give it a listen. I’ll be interested to see how it struck you.

Our fan, Alex Sanders, on BIPEC vs. judicial elections in the OLD days


Continuing to play with audio…

I was talking to Alex Sanders on the phone yesterday, and still had my little audio-recorder setup handy from the conference call with John McCain the day before.

He started praising our editorial criticizing BIPEC’s attempt to influence our state Supreme Court election, but before he got more than a sentence into it, I said Hold on, do you mind if record this?

He said no, and the conversation drifted from his condemnation of BIPEC’s action, to the failed CIA plot, to how much better — kinda — things were in the old days. More genteel, anyway, if a tad … uh … incestuous.

In case you don’t recall all the background, before Judge Sanders was a U.S. Senate candidate and before he was president of the College of Charleston, he was the first chief judge of South Carolina’s Court of Appeals.

Anyway, here’s the clip. Enjoy. (Oh, and for some of our more literal-minded guests, I should point out that conversations with Judge Sanders tend to be highly enriched with irony, much of it self-deprecating.)

Here’s the cutline for the above photo: South Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Toal, second from left,
has a laugh with Alex Sanders, left, after Toal received an honorary
degree during the Charleston School of Law’s first graduation Saturday,
May 19, 2007 at The Citadel in Charleston, S.C. Sanders and Edward
Westbrook, second from right, are two of the schools founders. (AP
Photo/The Post and Courier, Alan Hawes)

One editorial (or the next best thing) coming right up

Fridays are tough around here — finishing up all the weekend pages and such. A week like this is tougher than usual, since we have an extra day’s worth that needs to be done in advance, what with Monday being Yankee Memorial Day and all.

So when a call was forwarded to me from the publisher’s office, from a reader asking that we do an editorial on a subject of her choosing, we didn’t exactly drop everything and do so. Not that there was anything wrong with the subject or the point she was trying to make. In fact, my colleague who is the duty worrier about foodstuffs said "she’s right" — and we went back to work.

But before I go home tonight, it occurs to me that this lady can just do her own editorial — in fact, she’s already done it, and here it is: the phone message she left.

Sure, it’s not technically an editorial, since it’s this caller’s view and not that of the editorial board. But still, it’s something. Think of it as a kind of cool new way to do letters to the editor. Only this one’s anonymous, and we don’t allow that with letters. Anonymous, but — in keeping with our rules around here — within the bounds.

I’m having fun now that I’ve sorta kinda figured out how to do audio on here. And in this instance, I help this lady, it’s put exactly the way she wanted to put it, and I don’t have to check the facts — because it’s her message, not mine.

Ain’t modern technology wonderful?