Author Archives: John Idol

John Idol grew up in the Blue Ridge, attended Appalachian State University, served as an electronics technician in the United States Air Force, and took his advanced degrees in English at the University of Arkansas. He spent most of his years as a teacher at Clemson University, and held positions as president of the Thomas Wolfe Society, the Nathaniel Hawthorne Society (for which he served as editor of the Nathaniel Hawthorne Review), and the Society for the Study of Southern Literature. His books include studies of Wolfe, Hawthorne, and a family history, Blue Ridge Heritage. In retirement in Hillsborough, North Carolina, he takes delight in raising daffodils and ferns, and in promoting libraries. Idol hopes one day to awake to find that all parasitic deer and squirrels have wandered off with Dr. Doolittle. Author Photo: Lindsay K. Apple

Hang Ten: Displaying the Ten Commandments

Out to Pastoral by John Idol BURLINGTON North Carolina—(Weekly Hubris)—1/15/12—Few documents stir up as much controversy as the Ten Commandments. Few have such an interesting history. The story begins in the book of Exodus and, presumably, will have no ending, since the original source of the commandments will repose in the New Temple in the […]

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An Imaginary Conversation in the Family Graveyard

Out to Pastoral by John Idol BURLINGTON North Carolina—(Weekly Hubris)—1/16/12–My great grandfather, John Nicholson Idol, returned to his native North Carolina from Appomattox, having served in the Army of Northern Virginia under General Lee as a Tar Heel Sharpshooter. He found no suitable work near his home in The Piedmont and so headed to the […]

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Inside a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA): A Personal Journey

Out to Pastoral by John Idol BURLINGTON North Carolina—Weekly Hubris)—1/9/12—Why a non-smoker, light drinker, and only slightly overweight man with low blood pressure and non-elevated cholesterol should be hit with five TIAs in just over a year is something of a puzzle to me. Puzzle or not, I have to deal with them, driven by […]

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World Population: What The H%&L Are We Going to Do With 8 Billion People?

Out to Pastoral by John Idol BURLINGTON North Carolina—(Weekly Hubris)—12/12/11—The earth’s population topped 7 billion during this month, adding, by net gain, another 70,797,877 mouths to feed—or some number near that. Roughly, 53 million persons claimed their six feet of earth, or something less, if they chose cremation or burial at sea or, possibly, an […]

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The Chapel Hill Police Department Loses Its Cool

Out to Pastoral by John Idol BURLINGTON North Carolina—Weekly Hubris)—11/28/11—Heavily armed with assault weapons and decked out in military gear, a cadre of 25 officers from the Chapel Hill Police Department recently moved against occupiers (dubbed trespassers, and rightfully so, for they had intentionally broken the law) of a vacant building on the city’s main […]

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Spoiling for a Fight: An Overview of America at War

Out to Pastoral by John Idol BURLINGTON North Carolina—(WeeklyHubris)—11/21/11—Born in battle, our nation has a yen to turnplowshares into spears, spoiling for a fight time and again in its history, embroiled in battles minor and major some portions or wholes of 155 years out of its 226 years as a nation. We’ve outdistanced our nearest […]

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A Blasphemous Account of My June 17th “Accident”

Out to Pastoral By John Idol BURLINGTON North Carolina—(Weekly Hubris)—11/7/11—I follow the lead of Greek playwrights, unknown authors of Medieval mystery plays, and dramatists and other writers of the Renaissance and modern period by putting words into the mouth of God in the following essay. Really, as you’ll see, I have no other choice if […]

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Occupying Wall Street and Other Bastions of Wealth and Power

Out to Pastoral by John Idol BURLINGTON North Carolina— (WeeklyHubris)—10/24/11—My grudge against robber barons dates fromthe mid 18th century, when Johann Eitel ventured down the Rhine River on his way to Pennsylvania. Like other migrating youths of the time, his money pouch became lighter and lighter at each baron’s toll gate. The barons enriched themselves […]

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Hup 1, Hup 2, Hup 3: Let’s All Tap the Money Tree!

Out to Pastoral by John Idol BURLINGTON North Carolina— (Weekly Hubris)—10/10/11—A recent headline on the first page of the news section of the Raleigh News and Observer informed followers of sports in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) that money rather than fans had been favored in a new, lucrative contract with ESPN. In a deal […]

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The Pleasure of Washing Dishes

Out to Pastoral by John Idol BURLINGTON North Carolina–(Weekly Hubris) —9/19/11—I’m challenging myself to write an essay, in the manner of two masters of the form, Richard Steele and Joseph Addison, to do an interesting piece on an apparently uninteresting subject. What more unlikely a subject is there than . . . dish-washing? If my […]

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