". . . 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

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Report on Simon's Tremé From Larry Blumenfeld

In the Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Simon takes on a daunting task in capturing the not well understood and somewhat insular subcultures he's chosen as his focus. With any success, he can achieve something mightier too—an understanding of the essential role musicians play in New Orleans's social order and recovery, as well as the embattled position they often find themselves in. Mr. Simon, a master at portraying systematic dysfunction, will no doubt turn a lens on the curious and combative relationship between the city's culture bearers and its power brokers. (In 2007, Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs took the city to federal court over raised permit fees, for instance; Mardi Gras Indian assemblies have suffered police intimidation.)

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