J. Max McMurray, 1908-1966

I just finished reading a charming novel called The Far Bayou by J. Max McMurray, who lived in Roanoke, Alabama and was a distant cousin of mine--by way of one of my great grandmothers on my father's side.


Published in 1951, it's a slice-of-life story set in the bayou country near Mobile in South Alabama, and weaves together the narratives of about a dozen very distinct characters in a small rural settlement over the course of about a year.


It's not the Southern Gothic you get from the likes of Erskine Caldwell and Flannery O'Connor with all their comically debased and deformed characters; Max likes his characters too much for that. It's more like Truman Capote, I suppose, in that sense. Very readable, and at times elegant.


I never met him, that I know of. But it's kinda cool to know I share a certain artistic bent with another old nut in the family tree. I would quite like to find out more about him, so I put out the word on Facebook, where I learned some more from another cousin of mine from that side of the family.


Goodreads has a bit on him. The writeup notes he was born in 1908 and died in 1966, and that his parents were William Harmon McMurray and Correna Eldorado Reaves. I learned that William was the brother of my great grandmother, and so Max was my grandmother's first cousin.


As far as I can tell, Max lived in his parents' house in the 1950s on Chestnut Street in Roanoke. And I am led to believe that that's the house where my mother stayed for a while when she was first married and my older brother was an infant. So that would have made them housemates, and would account for how my parents got their author-inscribed copy of The Far Bayou.


The funny part is that, according to the Goodreads entry, The Far Bayou is collected nowadays because the dust jacket was the work of some famous book designer in New York--and my copy no longer has the dust jacket.


Max supposedly worked on, but never published, a second novel. It would be VERY COOL to find that manuscript. I'd also like to find out who owns the copyright of The Far Bayou now, as I would like to publish the book. As I understand it, the copyright belongs to the author and his heirs for 70 years after his death, but it seems that Max had no children, and the company that published the book, Rinehart, is basically out of existence.


Here's the Goodreads link. You can see a picture of the famous cover there.

A while back, I posted links to articles about ivermectin and EXO-CD24 as potential treatments for the Wu-flu. Previously I had posted links to articles on HCQ/Zn, famotidine, REGEN-COV, and some others. And I doubted the inerrancy of the government health bureaucracy.


I have, you see, a curiosity about such things. I seek no bureaucrat's approval of this curiosity.


On Farcebook, I received from a certain expected corner these (paraphrased) responses:

  • IVERMECTIN IS FOR HORSES, NOT PEOPLE!

  • POISON CONTROL HOTLINES AND ICUs ARE OVERLOADED WITH IVERMECTIN OVERDOSES!

  • PEOPLE WHO AVOID VACCINES AND DIE ARE GUILTY OF STUPICIDE!

  • MY MOM DIED A LONG TIME AGO BECAUSE SHE CHOSE PRAYER OVER AN INHALER! THAT'S "STUPICIDE!" RELIGION IS STUPID! THIS IS THE SAME THING!

  • YOU'RE A SCIENCE DENIER!

I suppose there are ways to engage in reasonable discussions of these topics, but a) not on Farcebook, and b) not with people who willfully distort, deny, or ignore what you've said.


The "horse paste" line is linked to actual cases in which some people have gone to farm supply stores, bought livestock de-worming products with ivermectin in them, and self-medicated against COVID. This is not a smart thing to do. But for the FDA and its devotees to pretend that that's the only issue with ivermectin is mendacious in the extreme.


And it's not just them. Recent articles about podcaster Joe Rogan's experience with using a cocktail that included ivermectin and monoclonal antibodies (like REGEN-COV) to quickly recover from a bout of COVID focused on the horse-paste angle and the FDA's objection to it, rather than on the worldwide, long-term use of it to treat parasitic infections in humans.


This article also focuses on Rogan's advice to young people ("like, 21 years old") against taking the vaccine, even though he also said in the same show that he thought the vaccines were safe.


These articles and Farcebook comments/memes all fail to mention, not just the human formulation and use, but the fact that scientists have over the years remarked on its anti-viral qualities and safety. They fail to mention the studies that have been conducted and published on its use in COVID treatment during this pandemic. And they certainly fail to inquire as to whether the people who take the "horse paste" do so because they know the FDA has come out against ivermectin and will therefore not be able to get it from their doctor or hospital. (Lot of DIY-ers in this country.) My guess is, if they could get the human formulation over the counter or from their doctor, they would.


I have not advocated using horse-paste ivermectin as a COVID treatment. (I haven't even advocated using ivermectin as a COVID treatment; I've just shown an interest in the studies into it.) I have not advocated prayer instead of medicine. I have not advised against getting the vaccine. (I got it, myself.) I did, however, say that an effective treatment would lessen the "need" for a vaccine, and certainly for coercive vaccine passports and the like, which I think is an objectively true statement.


I made the point that when the health bureaucracy and its Big Med/Pharma cohort work to deny people alternative remedies, and instead insist on the approved remedies that are objectively not working, then they may as well be telling family members, "Well, at least mom's death had FDA approval."


One commenter said that's wrong because of the FDA's "compassionate use" authority, to which also can be added "right to try" acts in individual state laws, which override the FDA and leave such decisions to doctors. What this ignores, and willfully so in my opinion, is how the highly regulated business of doctors and hospitals uses the FDA as a liability shield. If it were so easy for people to get their doctor to prescribe ivermectin, let's say, then they wouldn't have to go to court and get a judge to force the issue. Doctors use the FDA to protect themselves and will rely on FDA-approved treatments--even when they objectively do not work and the outcome is the patient dying.


To point this out is not to deny that the FDA has a reasonable role to play. And it does not make anyone a "science denier."


But what does it make you when you make some claim about hospitals in Oklahoma being overrun with ivermectin overdoses, and then this news comes out? Still think you're the guy who's all science-y? Of course you do.


Because that's just how you self-identify.


UPDATE: And here is what it looks like when the fake news goes viral. I have no expectation that the correction will go so viral. In fact, "correction" might be a little misleading for what's needed in this case. Retraction with heartfelt apology would be better. And getting suspended from their beloved social media platforms would be best (well, getting locked in the stocks in the town square would be best), but none of that will happen.



In the early part of the 20th Century, primitive tribesmen in the South Pacific saw Westerners come into their islands, build airfields, and receive airplanes from the sky that disgorged all kinds of goodies that made life so much better for the tribes. To them, it was magic, for, as Arthur C. Clark observed in 1962, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."


And so when the Westerners left, the Melanesian tribesmen would put on earphones (or coconut shells) unconnected to any working radio, and they would mimic the behavior of the air traffic controllers in the hope that those great birds would come out of the sky with their cargo of blessings an inaugurate a new era of bounty. It was a religion called the "cargo cult."


There is a hint of the cargo cult in the "nation" we built in Afghanistan over the past 20 years. Only, instead of an airstrip and some radio equipment, we supplied the Afghan National Army with a staggering amount of actual, working, lethal military equipment--all of which is now in the hands of the Taliban, as the ANA seemed barely to rise above cargo cult status in its command of all that stuff.


How staggering? This staggering.