Giles Morris

Giles Morris grew up the son of a Washington D.C. journalist and a Congressional press secretary and claims to be a fifth generation newsman on his father's side, which is hard to get your head around, but means effectively that working with words is in the blood. Prior to taking the editor-in-chief job at C-VILLE Weekly in July 2011, he learned his trade putting in shifts at the Rhinelander Daily News, the Smoky Mountain News, and the Tuckasegee Reader, an online newspaper he co-founded. Giles has also spent time as a high school English teacher on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota and as a community organizer in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood and managed to pick up a masters degree from Harvard Divinity School along the way. His many interests include the great outdoors, jogo bonito, American literature, and whooping it up (occasionally).

Photo: Ashley Twiggs

Editor’s Note: Good, better, best

There’s a climactic moment in the film Friday Night Lights, a Hollywood adaptation of a book that tracks the fortunes of a small high school football team in its pursuit of a Texas state championship, when the coach delivers a halftime speech about what it means to “be perfect.” When I saw it for the […]

Photo: Elli Williams

Caruso Brown: The history teacher

“You can open most any book and read a history of Charlottesville and not get a sense of the African-American presence. Then you hear the oral histories about the thriving communities that existed, like Little Egypt over in the Proffit Road area and many areas here in town where there were five or six streets […]

Photo: Elli Williams

Ryan DeRose: A beautiful mind

You can usually find Ryan DeRose, founder of the digital creative agency Vibethink, standing in front of one of the giant white boards in the company’s Downtown Mall office space, mapping ideas with a dry erase marker. The 27-year-old Western Albemarle High School graduate normally works 80-plus hours a week, all seven days. To say […]

Photo: Elli WIlliams

Gloria Rockhold: Civic butterfly

Tango is the dance of passion: a gendered, structured improvisation of impossible closeness with fluid patternings that prioritize expression and intimacy, and the result of the collision of European and American cultures at the mouth of the Rio de la Plata. Maybe it’s no surprise then, that Gloria Rockhold, co-founder of the Charlottesville Tango Society, […]

Photo: Will Kerner.

Editor’s Note: Soulcraft and the Blue Ridge

My wife and I moved to Charlottesville from the mountains west of Asheville, North Carolina, the narrow Tuckasegee River valley tucked between the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky mountain ranges that was the ancestral home of the Cherokee and one of the last strongholds of Appalachian culture. Apart from overflowing with natural beauty, it’s a […]

Editor’s Note: No answers for Trayvon Martin

Editor’s Note: No answers for Trayvon Martin

“We are a nation of laws and the jury has spoken,” President Obama said in his statement responding to George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the killing of Trayvon Martin. Indeed. The president’s message to the American public was no doubt delivered to tamp down any larger race-based responses (the hypothetical riots that haven’t yet materialized) to […]

Photo: Elli Williams.

Editor’s Note: Are you a local or a native?

A week back or so, I had an interesting exchange with a woman who had grown up here. She was adamant that somebody who came from the county couldn’t say he was “a Charlottesville native,” citing, among other things, the Commonwealth’s practice of separating cities from their counties jurisdictionally and the distinct identity separations between […]

Photo: Justin Ide.

Editor’s Note: Learning about life in the kitchen

My first job out of college was waiting tables at a French bistro near Columbia University in Upper Manhattan. The place was like the U.N. The owner was an Israeli, the head chef a Parisian-Algerian, the dishwasher a Mexican from Guerrero. The bartender was from Dublin, and we had waiters from Delhi, Walbrzych, and Tel […]

Toan Nguyen wants to harness the collective power of small businesses in his cooperative, C'ville Central. Photo: Ashley Twiggs

Editor’s Note: How do you define power?

Power. Hah. It’s a construct. A misconception. A vision of the world with puppet strings. True power is in God’s hands, or it is the electric-water life force that runs through all things, as evident in the beating of the butterfly’s wings as in the groaning Grand Coulee Dam. Power cannot be a human depth chart. […]

Editor’s Note: Across the digital divide

Editor’s Note: Across the digital divide

Editors have always lived inundated by information, but now everyone is. It makes me admire the simplicity of the Lakota, who recorded hundreds of years of history on a single buffalo hide, one picture for each year to cue the memory of a person who had learned the stories over the course of a lifetime. […]

Photo: Jack Looney

Editor’s Note: Parenthood and summertime

A few weeks back I was sifting through perennials at Southern States and one of two women evaluating tomato varieties within earshot of me said, “I love this time of year. Everything seems possible before the heat, the bugs, and the weeds.” The gardener’s spring hopes and fears in a nutshell. As a brand new […]

Photo: Jeff Lack/ICON SMI BAJ/Jeff Lack/ICON SMI/Newscom

Editor’s Note: Sports as a metaphor for life

I have a friend who is a sportswriter of the old school, like Frank Bascombe or George Plimpton. He sees the game as a metaphor for every noble human experience from tragedy to exaltation. In that world, Mickey Mantle’s story is about an Okie who conquers the Big Apple with raw physical talent, then destroys […]

Lou Bloomfield. Photo: John Robinson.

Editor’s Note: Free content isn’t really free

Way back when Playboy started, Hugh Hefner expertly surfed the wave of a sexual and social revolution, selling cigarettes and Scotch via Mad Men-designed print adverts paired with corny profiles of topless coeds and Vargas girls. The setup made enough money to get him rich and to pay for 5,000-word interviews with Jim Brown on […]

Elizabeth Kleberg. Photo: John Robinson

Editor’s Note: Onward Christian artists

As humans, it’s hard for us to know with any sense of certainty where we are in history. The narrative ribbon that connects age to age is knitted with intergenerational strands that are longer than our lifetimes. But there are moments, ripples in our collective fabric, in which societies advertise their own watersheds. Think about […]

Stephen Nachmanovitch and his mentor Gregory Bateson locked horns in a game of chess at the Esalen Institute, Bateson’s cliffside home near Big Sur, in 1979. Photo: Michael Stulbarg. Photo: Michael Stulbarg

Editor’s Note: UVA isn’t a place or a thing

UVA employs almost 15,000 people and another 20,000 are enrolled there as students. Of the people who move to Charlottesville for work, nearly every one of them has some connection to the University. The “town and gown” relationship is a false dichotomy left over from a time when being from town meant your social caste […]

Gregory Bateson–the anthropologist, philosopher, biologist, psychologist, and high priest of cybernetics–died of respiratory disease at the San Francisco Zen Center in 1980. Photo: Barry Schwartz.

Ecology of mind: UVA symposium aims to revive the interdisciplinary thinking of Gregory Bateson

“It takes two to know one.” One of the many riddles that Gregory Bateson–the anthropologist, philosopher, biologist, psychologist, and high priest of cybernetics–left behind when he died of respiratory disease at the San Francisco Zen Center in 1980 after a lifetime of cigarette smoking. Bateson was a titanic figure at 6’5″, intellectually intimidating, capable of […]