Has anyone else noticed that when the conversation about cancel culture takes center stage and the cancelers are backed into a corner, the conversation changes?

Take, for example, Clint Cooper's editorial in Friday's Times Free Press, which called out a major newspaper chain for dropping a cartoon strip featuring a character with a distinctly conservative voice.

Some people immediately pushed back against what are legitimate questions with their own questions that go in large part: "Gee, in a pandemic, do we really have time to pontificate about cartoon strips and Mr. Potato Head? Is that all you got?"

Maybe not. This is a serious time.

Still, it sure seems that when the topic turns to our ever-growing federal debt and how we are going to pay for a whopper $1.9 trillion relief plan, the talking points abruptly shift to, say, Confederate statues. The left's own "look over here" move.



Another story in Friday's paper was from Mike Pare, who reported that Hamilton County has its eyes on the McDonald Farm for possible use as an industrial park, commercial and/or even residential development.

I understand the need for all of that as Southeast Tennessee looks more and more attractive to industrial and business prospects. And I suppose that need outweighs the nostalgia for cornfields, hayrides and pumpkin picking.

As a friend reminded me, there's no stopping change. It's right there with Father Time in the rankings of the undefeated.

Still, the potential sale of that gorgeous piece of property reminds me of what the McDonald family has meant to our area and what that farm meant to my family and so many of the families in Hamilton County.


Participation medals for everyone

Oy vey.

Say it ain't so, Boston Marathon: Participation medals?


We have lost so many things in our race to the middle. Kindness. Unity. Knowledge of self and of civics.

Here's another one. Do not undervalue the cost of losing.

Now everyone gets a medal. Everyone. Everyone wants more stuff handed to them and expects to be rewarded for the lowest of bars cleared.

Opportunity is a great thing. We should strive to treat everyone the same at the start of every race. But at the end of race, fourth is way better than 69th or 123rd. That's the very definition of being in a race.

When we go to extraordinary lengths to make sure no one's feelings are hurt, we minimize effort, skill and knowledge.

In that scenario, we all lose a little.


Obit observation

I love the old Southern names you get to see in the obituaries. I also love the nicknames.

They converged in the notice of Marye Anne Sibold earlier this week. She died late last month at age 84.

Her father's name, Dunward Beaumont Monroe, was old-school Old South. Her husband, Dr. Harold Garst Sibold, was called "Honey" by friends and family.

Marye Anne went by Mountain Mama, as a tribute to her deeds and values demonstrated in her life spent on Signal Mountain.

Digging a little deeper into her obit revealed the grace with which she lived.

She had a song in her heart, the Bible in her hand and her family in her focus.

What a joyous life.

Contact Jay Greeson at

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Jay Greeson