The Southern Expat Communique: New York observations of a displaced belle

What can a Happiness Index teach us?

Alexa von Tobel is at it again. This time, she is helping us determine whether wealth is tantamount to happiness. What do we learn from her today? In short,

1.   Money doesn’t necessarily make you happy. Duh.

2.   The wealth gap in our country is extraordinary: the top 20% of the country earns 8 times as much as the bottom 20%.

3.   There exists something called the Gross National Happiness (GNH) Index. By god, I think the Bhutanese are on to something by quantifying happiness as a kind of national commodity. Happy people are more productive, right?

Alright, kids, what are you going to do today to improve the GNH of your country, state, city, home? I might just schedule a field trip to Bhutan, Denmark, or Norway to learn from a happy example, you know? Let me know if you want to sign up! In the meantime, I am going to listen to some blues music (which I think is downright inspirational) and pick up a copy of The Geography of Bliss.

Have a beautiful day even if the sun isn’t shining above you!


Farewell to blues legend, Pinetop Perkins…

It’s a sad day indeed when you learn that Pinetop Perkins has left us for good. I’ve been going to the King Biscuit Blues Festival (for a time the Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival) in Helena, Arkansas, since 1997 with few exceptions. Each year, I looked forward to the late afternoon, Saturday performance of the legend that was Pinetop Perkins. I once saw a little 10-year-old girl shove her way to the front of the stage to scream his name as if he were Justin Beiber. He had a hold on a crowd, young and old alike.

Pinetop was essential to the blues careers of many who pre-deceased him: Sonny Boy Williamson to name one notable Arkansan. Pinetop was a key fixture on the King Biscuit Time radio show. The careers of B.B. King and Muddy Waters owe a serious nod to Mr. Perkins and his distinctive Delta Blues style, too.

You will be missed, my friend. King Biscuit Saturdays on the levee won’t be the same without you.

For the Commercial Appeal‘s short tribute, check out the story here.

the levee wall in Helena on a beautiful King Biscuit Blues Fest Day