". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Image of Charles Darwin Appears on Wall in Tennessee.... Thousands Flock

A steady stream of devoted evolutionists continued to gather in this small
Tennessee town today to witness what many believe is an image of Charles
Darwin--author of The Origin Of Species and founder of the modern evolutionary
movement--made manifest on a concrete wall in downtown Dayton.

"I brought my baby to touch the wall, so that the power of Darwin
can purify her genetic makeup of undesirable inherited traits," said Darlene
Freiberg, one among a growing crowd assembled here to see the mysterious

You can read full story here.

Then there is this story.

"Gov. Jindal exorcizes arts funds from Louisiana budget," by Christopher Knight, Culture Monster Blog (LA Times) March 30, 2009

When Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal gave the now-infamous televised Republican response to President Obama's Congressional address in February, he mocked the inclusion of "something called 'volcano monitoring' " in the economic stimulus bill. "Instead of monitoring volcanoes," Jindal said, "what Congress should be monitoring is the eruption of spending in Washington."Twenty-six days later, Alaska's Mt. Redoubt began to erupt, spreading volcanic ash all over Anchorage and egg all over Jindal's face.

Now Gov. Jindal has proposed a $26.7-billion state budget for next year that makes painful but necessary program cuts to deal with a $1.3-billion drop in his state's general fund income. According to the Associated Press, "The largest cuts would fall on health care and education programs.... The state's health department would be cut $413 million, or 5%; public colleges would be trimmed $219 million, or nearly 8%; and the education department would lose $141 million, or nearly 3%."Unmentioned by the AP is the fate the Louisiana Decentralized Arts Fund, a competitive program that makes small grants ranging from $500 to $10,000 to arts and cultural projects in every parish of the state. The arts fund will lose just a couple of million dollars -- chump change compared to the big numbers cited above.

Except, that is, when you look at the percentages. WWL-TV reported today the arts fund would be whacked a whopping 83% -- effectively putting the program out of business. The arts, not health and education, are taking the largest cuts by a factor of 10.

Shocking, I know. Who could imagine a Republican politician wanting to wipe out public arts funding? Gov. Jindal challenged arts funding in the president's stimulus package afew weeks back on "Larry King Live."

"Fundamentally, I don't think ... $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts is going to get the economy moving again as quickly as allowing the private sector to create jobs," he said.The governor did not explain how the minuscule NEA boost -- which Congress ultimately approved -- would hinder job creation in the arts, public or private.


K. said...

Cutting the arts budget in Louisiana is like cutting the budget for volcano monitoring in Alaska.

Frank Partisan said...

You said it all.

I'm not certain what form it's going to take, but I expect an organized fightback to these Draconian cuts. You're seeing it starting in Europe.