Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 198

Texas Death Penalty

As we are aware, the death penalty still exists in some States across the USA and the heart-strings are a-tuggin’ for poor Texas whose current problem with the death penalty is not ‘shall we abolish it?’, but how do we get more drugs for the executions, because ‘damn, we’re only goddamn runnnin’ out of the killin’ drug’ (I’m just imagining how they say it – that is not a factual re-enactment of a prison warden).

I jest about something that is not really jest-worthy. I guess as a Brit , I just don’t get the death penalty. After all, it was abolished in the UK in 1969.

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But this is the Texan law, and as such state officials confirmed this week that they are again running out of the lethal drug used to operate the nation’s busiest execution chamber.

Luckily for everyone (that’s sarcasm), officials “are exploring all options” for an alternative. Hanging, perhaps?

Interesting fact: the drug they might choose to use is called propofol – this is the powerful anesthetic that contributed to pop star Michael Jackson’s death. Well, if it’s good enough for the celebrities….

Eleven people have been executed in Texas so far this year with the current drug pentobarbital and the state executed its latest criminal on Wednesday. Prison chaps say that two executions are scheduled in September and at least five others are set in the months after that.

In all, Texas has executed 503 inmates since 1982, when it resumed executions after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowed capital punishment to resume in 1976.

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Virginia is second in executions at 110.

32 states in the USA have the death penalty law. In May, 2013, Maryland abolished the death penalty. However, the repeal was not retroactive, leaving 5 people on the state’s death row.

‘Deep divisions that still exist in the Southern culture – a confusing mix of regional pride and shame’

I use this title from a piece by photographer Tamara Reynolds, who was born and bred in the Deep South, but has always been conflicted about coming from that part of the country, which she describes as ‘so rich in painful contradictions.’

In 2011, she set out on a journey of self-discovery to explore her ambivalent feelings toward Dixie, resulting in the Southern Route photo project.

I love these photos – it’s the kind of thing I wish to capture. Just take a look at some of them….

The pictures in Southern Route are slices of life featuring blacks and whites, poverty-stricken towns, stark rural landscapes and visual representations of stubborn Southern pride, like the Confederate flag boldly displayed in Danton, Georgia.

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One of Reynolds’ stated goals in launching the project has been to fight back against offensive stereotypes of Southern as hillbillies, racists and religious fanatics, which have long been perpetuated in films, books and the media.

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‘Although there is evidence of it, I have also learned that there is a restrained dignity, a generous affection, a trusting nature, and a loyalty to family that Southerners possess intrinsically,’ she wrote.

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Back in the UK

So here’s the lowdown of how it’s all working out during my flying visit back in the UK:

Driving – I did it! I drove on the left handside using a MANUAL car on the motorway and through ridiculously narrow lanes! And I overtook on the OUTSIDE lane! I still rate UK drivers as being slightly more into the rules of the road than American drivers – that is all 😉

Coincidences – lovely waiter chappie at the Brasserie Blanc in Cheltenham where I am having lunch with my galfriends says thus, when he sees my blogging business card: I have a friend who blogs about being a Brit in the USA – her blog is called The Queen’s English. So obviously now I am going to contact that blogger and find out more!

Rain – it’s been raining and it feels very, very British, but actually in a sort of nice, rainy, put my woolly-pully on and have a snuggle on the sofa sort of way.

Just cos I liked it!

Just cos I liked it!

Beer garden and curry – as it the Brit way, I sat out in a beer garden this weekend with my Brit chums and then went for a curry. I haven’t had a curry since I’ve been in the States (they don’t get a good rap where we live). It was ace and so confirmed for me that the weekend tradition of British drinking and topping out with a late night vindaloo never dies!

Two fine specimens of the British drinking beer garden culture pre-curry

Two fine specimens of the British drinking beer garden culture pre-curry

British Cotswold pubs are lush – and old, and full of character and I love their charm! This is the Wild Duck at Ewen – delightful!

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Yes, that is two stuffed squirrels shagging :)

Yes, that is two stuffed squirrels shagging 🙂

British bacon sarnies and cups of tea officially rock! There ain’t nuffink like it!

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Yes, that is bacon AND sausage (with HP sauce for sausage and ketchup for bacon)

Yes, that is bacon AND sausage (with HP sauce for sausage an ketchup for bacon)

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2 Responses to Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 198

  1. Pat and Pam says:

    Is the bloke on the right of the beer garden picture gurning? If not, I would hate to see him AFTER his beer and curry bout! 🙂

    Bacon butty — a Brit specialty I like, too, but make mine with plenty of mayonnaise.

  2. Pat and Pam says:

    Just had a look at Tamara Reynold’s site — some lovely portraits there!

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