ERROL CASTENS: Faulkner, philosophy and fall



Your humble scribe offers these codgertations for your consideration:

• Did the architects of Obamacare not learn anything from New Coke?

• Imagine you’re watching a movie. Some man rushes in and screams that the lobby’s on fire and begs some people to grab fire extinguishers and help put out the flames before they engulf the whole theater.

Some moviegoers say the only thing they smell is popcorn. Some say only professional firefighters can determine if there’s a real problem. Some people figure if they keep their eyes on the screen they won’t see any flames. But they’re all mad at the guy who interrupted the movie.

That must be how it feels to warn Americans about the national debt.

• Would someone please explain to me exactly how my life or my value to my community is supposed to be enhanced if I know more about the Kardashian clan or Miley’s circus?

• Went to Oxford Film Festival’s screening of the film adaptation of “As I Lay Dying” this week. Tupeloan Mary Jo Tate’s inquiry about what I thought of the James Franco film finally helped me define my general discomfiture with Faulkner. It’s not that he exposes the seamy side of us all – I’m a firm believer in man’s capacity for depravity and have experienced my own share of dysfunction. What bothers me is that Oxford’s revered patriarch of writers, despite his “I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail” assertion, so rarely portrays any real measure of redemption.

(Then again, maybe looking for redemption in Faulkner is, to paraphrase the honky-tonk song, “looking for redemption in all the wrong places.”)

• The problem with much leftist philosophy is that it assigns ancient wisdom an expiration date.

Leftist philosophy decries marriage and champions commitment-free sex.

It offers government instead of fathers.

It suggests abortion instead of chastity.

It imposes political correctness in place of the balancing values of civility and liberty.

It declares people to be basically good but points to evil as proof that God does not exist.

It declares people to be basically good but offers no solutions when we prove otherwise.

• Now, wash your mind out with this:

Fall’s too beautiful, even before the majority of the leaf change, to stay indoors. Make it a point soon to pick up your shillelagh (What? You don’t have a shillelagh?), stuff a couple of water bottles in your cargo pants pockets and go for an afternoon’s stroll in your woods. (What? You don’t own any woods? Yes, you do: Everyone in Northeast Mississippi is within an easy drive of a state park, state lake or national forest.)

And consider leaving your cellphone on “Do Not Disturb” mode.

Contact Daily Journal reporter Errol Castens at (662) 816-1282 or

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  • Guest Person

    Do they really pay you to write this stuff? It rarely makes sense to anyone that is rational or living in the 21st Century. You offer no supporting information and rarely anything productive. Same tired old Tea Party mindset to just be against something or people should live the way you think they should.
    I would like to suggest that the NMDJ go over to the Middle School and look for writers.

  • jusfolks

    Great article – keep up the good work.


    Alright Mr Errol Castens, being a person from the Right, you have insight from that angle – I can
    appreciate that perspective. However, I’m Left and you don’t have my permission to speak for me.

    ‘Leftist’ philosophy is rooted in the fact that a nation, rising to the level of the United
    States of America, should be the bastion of freedom, equality, and fairness. Realizing we’re human, we’re not perfect, we at least strive each day to make one more step in that direction. This process takes all people LEFT, RIGHT, and EVERYBODY IN BETWEEN!

    Manmade government isn’t God. It doesn’t rule over our individual rights, it protects them the
    best way it can; as flawed as it is. Every individual has worth. No one has ‘special rights’ regardless of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or anything for that matter. Mr Errol Castens, this also means that you don’t have special rights because you are white, male, heterosexual, Protestant, and whatever else you may be.

    For this reason, we protect the individual’s right to hold sway over their own body, their right to enter into a marriage contract, their right to live and pursue happiness equally in a free society. And we dispute with those who would refuse us these rights or take them from us.

    We see basic healthcare as a civil right; supplemental healthcare plans as an option. The
    same as other civilized nations around the world have now: the same as Medicare
    and your Supplement B. This was the original intent before the Tea Party began to disrupt the message and what we would have had if you’d have left it alone.

    The Left, Right, and Everybody in Between have far more common ground: as bad as it may
    seem I choose to believe there’s far more good in the world Mr Castens than
    those of your political bent choose to ‘codgergate’ about.

    • Guest Person

      Where else can one get paid to repost propaganda straight from Tea Party websites. All one has to do is read a day’s worth of my werid uncles email in box to research his work.

      • TWBDB

        Maybe it’s just me but I find it incredibly ironic that Mr Castens portrays the same inability to communicate via platitudes that Faulkner so often displays in his works. Faulkner holds a mirror to his own people to bring them to a state of self-awareness; the first step toward redemption.

  • Kevin

    You butchered “Leftist” thought. It’s called a straw man fallacy of logic. You assert that your opponents hold positions that they do not hold and then attack them for that. It’s really easy to do and its akin to the way 4th graders reason (no offense to fourth graders).