Under the Microscope III

The Public Is Concerned About the Environment

What about the press and politicians? The Big Picture by Glynn Wilson As the 2010 election season gears up around the country and in the state, as a trained and credentialed public opinion researcher as well as a journalist who has covered public opinion research for about 30 years, I am always looking to see…

Saban Pledge of Excellence Could Save Us

From the economy to the environment, success depends on commitment… The Big Picture by Glynn Wilson Now that Alabama’s achieved the ultimate success by winning the national football championship, and everybody by now should be aware of coach Nick Saban’s famous mission statement about “excellence” that made it possible, don’t you wonder what it would…

New Year's Resolutions: Do Not Suffer Fools

Under the Microscope by Glynn Wilson CRESTWOOD TAVERN — Someone asked me last night after about the third Southern Pecan Brown Ale if I had made any New Year’s resolutions for 2010, and if so, did I plan to write about them? Since I hadn’t given it even a whiff of a thought, I said…

Merry Christmas: I Mean It…

Under the Microscope by Glynn Wilson Historically, Christmas is one of my least-favorite holidays. This year, however, I am trying to gin up some hope with a little Christmas cheer. Why? Because I think we need the break, for one thing. There are a lot of poor people suffering immeasurably this year due to the…

A Nick Saban Hoodoo Wink?

Tom Campbell Saban flashes a knowing smile and wink after Ingram won the Heisman Saturday night… Under the Microscope by Glynn Wilson Somewhere in the great divide between religion and science there exists the uniquely American game called football — and the practice of voodoo. Nick Saban knows a thing or two about football, and…

Alabama Teaches Character and Class

Paul “Bear” Bryant’s image casts a shadow over Tuscaloosa and all of Alabama. One spot stands open on the walk of fame, for the next coach to win a national championship. Will it be Saban? This year? Class. It’s been awhile since we’ve heard that term used in the way Florida quarterback Tim Tebow did,…

Natural Respite Amongst A Confederacy of Dunces

Glynn Wilson A scene from the Wind Creek State Park campground on Lake Martin… Under the Microscope by Glynn Wilson WIND CREEK, Ala. — In the early morning hours before even the ducks awake, while the noisy campers are still asleep in their gas guzzling RVs and the lake is so calm it looks like…

Nonsense May or May Not Sharpen the Intellect

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back Under the Microscope by Glynn Wilson Here’s a story about a psychological theory perhaps only a political animal like Karl Rove could love. I’m sure he’s familiar with the story of the invisible pink unicorn. In Tuesday’s New York Times, there is a perfectly fine social science story interpreting…

The New York Ring

Malcolm Gladwell and the limits of New York liberalism In “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Finch (played by Gregory Peck in the 1962 film version) sought to expose Jim Crow to the world, not change it overnight. by Glynn Wilson Just when I thought the South and race had been reduced to comedy and thus removed…

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Again

This Time With The Web Press Under the Microscope by Glynn Wilson The crickets fill the night air outside with their incessant mating tune, playing their bent legs like tiny violins. Otherwise the suburbs appear to be locked down and fast asleep, as the Homeland Security Department and the Birmingham Police like it. The headlines…

Where Do We Go From Here?

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Under the Microscope By Glynn Wilson We haven’t celebrated Father’s Day around here in a very long time. Why? When my father died on that March day in 1973, my world changed in ways good and bad, in ways I will never fully grasp. As for his world and this country, things were so different…

On the Human Drive for Fame and Immortality

Under the Microscope Since man is mortal, the only immortality possible for him is to leave something behind him that is immortal… This is the artist’s way of scribbling “Kilroy was here” on the wall of the final and irrevocable oblivion through which he must someday pass. – William Faulkner, from Lion in the Garden,…

The Conservative Revolution is Over

Just Not Quite Yet in Alabamaland… Under the Microscope by Glynn Wilson You know conservative talk radio must by dying when attack machine shock jocks toss insults at us smart people in their desperate attempt to get anyone to pay attention to them. Most of the country is yawning and putting their kid pictures on…

Don't Worry, Be Happy…

Under the Microscope by Glynn Wilson Here is a little song I wrote You might want to sing it note for note Don’t worry be happy In every life we have some trouble When you worry you make it double Don’t worry, be happy… — A Bobby McFerrin song The rain is coming down steadily…

Sunday Column in Progress

Like any news organization, we are interested in the views of our readers. So while we sip java, listen to the debate on ABC’s “This Week” and try to decide between a “snappy, happy” Sunday column like the Newhouse boys, verses a substantive one that might depress some people. The underlying question is this: Is…

The Peace Sign Goes Mainstream…

Where’s the symbol for quiet? Under the Microscope by Glynn Wilson The first rose-breasted grosbeak of the 2009 bird migration season shows up on the backyard feeder this morning as I sip a cup of hazelnut brew and contemplate the state of the world coming up on a decade into the new millennium. I can’t…

Science Wins Over Religion in Scopes Monkey Trial?

Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species Turns 150 The Big Picture – By Glynn Wilson – DAYTON, Tenn. — Forty-three years after the death of British naturalist Charles Darwin, whose 200th birthday is being celebrated far and wide this year, a few men were sitting around in a Rexall drug store across from the…

Understanding the Corporate Press and American Democracy

Under the Microscope by Glynn Wilson A couple of weeks ago, when not one single Republican took up our new President Barack Obama’s call for “bipartisanship” to vote for his stimulus package to aid the faltering economy — a measure backed by virtually every economist in the land as a needed step to avert a…

Damn the Pride of Men

Under the Microscope by Glynn Wilson The history of the Civil War has never really interested me that much compared to the American Revolution. Neither has the Great Man theory of history interested me nearly as much as the study of science and nature. But just like in life we can’t ultimately escape death or…

Here's to a Happy New Year in 2009

It’s the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth and the 75th anniversary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Under the Microscope by Glynn Wilson I can’t wait for 2009. When the ball drops and the calendar changes at one minute after midnight this Wednesday evening, Thursday morning, I’ve got a feeling the world is…