LINES OF THE DAY

". . . 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

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Downrigging Weekend

Harpoon boat, 1812, and crew



Coming into Port
1812 Flag -- O Say Can You See, From Deck and From Below

View of the Eastern Shore from the Lynx deck, on the Chester River



Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Kalmar Nyckel, The Tall Ship of Colonial Delaware

Ha! the Kalmar Nyckel was back in harbor last night. Both cats are aboard, though the younger, grey one, is the active, friendly feline, prancing about the piers and berths. I went down the pier for a closer look (the north star and the Dipper netted in her rigging). Ran into a volunteer who had just returned from a party close to the campus to relieve the watchman, so that one could have his party turn. 1625 -- that's still the Renaissance, so my guess was right as to her period. She does have cannon, and she was setting them off this AM. What fun! This too was one of my happiest days.

The geese are furious at this intruder, and are complaining loudly. They don't know what's coming! But the staff do at the Fish Whistle, the marina's restaurant-bar on the river front, and are not looking forward to it at all.

We went to the Superfresh Supermarket yesterday AM, just by ourselves, V driving us in our own wheels, for the first time. We're such simple people -- this is the sort of thing that makes us happy. In any case, we felt it wise to stock up on whatever since visitors are already arriving for Downrigging Weekend, and we are not giving up our residential parking spot to out-of-towners. Parking becomes impossible by Thursday. Lucky us though, we live right here by the water front, so we can walk. The reception and dinner after the sail are at the Customs House, ditto. Monday morning we ran into a fellow walking his dog up the middle of High Street, just dancing away -- "Downrigging Weekend is almost here!" he sang. It seems Downrigging Weekend is C'Town's Mardi Gras. Everyone's excited about being able to drink beer in the streets.

This AM he's driving to the Baltimore airport to fly to Cleveland for the R 'n R Hall of Fame gig. We have a rather nasty little storm going on this AM around here -- rain, fog, 45 mph wind gusts -- though it's supposed to be lovely in Cleveland post the midwest's really big ugly damaging storm yesterday.I'll make some breakfast for el V, and then it's back to William Fitzhugh's letters. It's gotten almost comical by now, the blahblahblah that is Virginia's early colonial history. It's always exactly the same -- wonderful, adventuous, powerful, courageous Queen Elizabeth, wonderful, adventurous, powerful, courageous first Virginians of that great race of Saxons mixed with Celtic blood blahblahblah, owning it all, blahblahblah, thinking it all up blahblahblah, not responsible for slavery which like little slave girl, Topsy, in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, somehow "jist grew,"* blahblahblah. We get it all in this in the editor's Introduction to his 1963 edition of Fitzhugh's letters and papers -- just as we still get it in the new 4th grade Virginia History textbook now in 2010.

* As I've learned, though I came to this HBStowe Topsy analogy independently, I am far from the first or only to have employed it. No wonder the slaveholders' 'philosophers' so loathed that little lady born and bred in 'black laws' Ohio -- she could take their own language and o so cleverly, so subtly, show how ridiculous it was, making us all laugh even now. When, that is, we aren't crying and / or so outraged we need to DO SOMETHING ABOUT THESE CONDITIONS.

O yes, among the books in the House's collections, are many that have to do with the south's colonial and antebellum philosophy, intellectual movements, etc. These include every form of publication from gazettes and newsapapers to pamphlets, letters, business papers, as well as books, with bibliographies. Digging so rapidly and so deeply into 3 centuries of all this simultaneously is eye-opening. Even when you already knew so much, it always seems as if you've merely scratched the surface.

Addendum: I love that I am able to generally recognize at least the general era of these vessels even though -- particularly -- because my o so small knowledge of ships is entirely from historical novels** and movies, and it's so gratifying to know tht the good ones do Do It Right.


** Keith Richards loves the Patrick O'Brian novels, and often characterizes the Rolling Stones touring enterprise as a pirate ship.

Monday, October 25, 2010

And What To My Incredulous Eyes Should Appear

Tonight, in the C'Town harbor? (Besides the pumpkin-sized and pumpkin-orange moon rising through the clouds at the top of the Chester River?)
A Renaissance era galleon come to anchor. Downrigging Weekend doesn't start officially until Thursday, but here's a ship already.
A man with his dog was dancing down High Street today, singing, "Downrigging Weekend, here we come!" Evidently this is Chestertown's version of Mardi Gras. Particularly since it includes Halloween.

We're going to take many photos. Maybe one can be the cover for The American Slave Coast. Hopefully. Since shipping plays such a role in this project. So, whether I'd wanted to or not in the past, I'm now fascinated by rigging, sailing, etc. And steam. Most of the slaves went via steam, because it was so much faster. A lot died that way too, considering how often steam boilers blew up.

This is going to be wild. I have the perfect footgear for the privateer, Lynx, sail. I spent a lot of boot leather and back pain to find them. I'm doing this sail right.  I still can't believe I'm going to be sailing on a full replica of that Baltimore Clipper privateer from the War of 1812!   We're going to learn so much important data, first hand this weekend. Ted Widmer is going to be the 'host' for our sail, and the Starr Center's weekend activities.

Ted was the first director of the Starr Center; he and his family used to live in the House. Who knew when we told him at his book party that we'd read the book out loud to each other, that we'd be meeting down here in the future -- we'd never even heard of the Patrick Henry Writing Fellowship then -- or even yet, at this time last year
\
o way can we make the celebrations and observances of our other C'town friends; this weekend we are the totally owned subsidiaries of the Starr Center. As it is they are being very tolerant of all our outside activities (though this morning they were all saying how much pleasure they got out of telling to various people at the College that el V was playing at Lincoln Center, and that he's off to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Wednesday).

We hashed it out at dinner tonight. For the sake of my back, etc. I AM NOT going to Cleveland then, for the R 'n R gig, nor am I going to NYC next week (so he can do something in the apt. alone about CLEARING THE MANY IMPOSSIBLE MESSES OF HIS-HIS-HIS-HIS TOWERS OF STUPHS), nor am I going to New Orleans for the Congo Square conference, plus the two days of him mastering Kiss You Down South.  I will go to NYC for the premiere of the John Guare play, A Free Man of Color, though.

I can get more accomplished on the book, and not do so much house stuff.  I'm about to commit to writing this long study of slavery, the Civil War and the confederacy as portrayed in popular culture starting with the Wister novel, The Virginian, in  popular fiction / historical fiction / film.  I'm ready to do this now.  Whether it will get included in any great length in The American Slave Coast or not, is beside the point, since I'm ready to do it.  As el V says, I can always use it for a paper-presentation at a conference.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

This NYC Visit Is Much More Pleasant Than the Previous

Probably because it's a shorter stay (so I didn't have to carry so much back-and-forth -- though this time we did also have V's two (2!) laptops, the guitar and the guitar stool) el V's performance at Lincoln Center.  Also because we made money.  A lot because el V finally has his glasses replaced!  Most of all because it's non-stop friends.

Tonight it's Chucho Vald├ęz at Jazz at Lincoln Center.  In fact, this visit has been pretty much non-stop Lincoln Center.

We'll head back to C'town tomorrow night.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Loudoun schools remove textbook that claims black soldiers fought for South

Breaking news.

Presumably, she says cautiously, this is just the first of many Virginia school districts to do so.
Evidently the embarrassment of national front page and cable talk shows was too much even for those true born sons of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

However, as the story points out, many districts say they are unaware there's been 'controversy.'  This is also stated:

A state official said yesterday that the book was approved by the Department of Education without the input of a single historian or content specialist.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Virginia 4th Grade History Textbook Criticized

We read a 1957 Virginia history textbook last night, mandatory for all the Virginia grade schools. Guess what? West Virginia is an unfit subject for 4th grades -- nary a mention of it in its history of the Civil War. Nor a mention of the 200,000 + African Americans who fought in various capacities for the Union -- however, almost all slaves happily stayed on the plantation, or fought the Union. How about that? Also, the history of the United States? It's only Virginia history. We also have the 7th and 11th grade texts that are part of that series for Virginia public education, that we got on Inter Library Loan from the U of VA. They are equal to the 4th grade text.


So if you wonder how we get the o'donnells here you go. War on history taught with facts and real information, which has been going on by the right since at least 1950 -- when all those uppity black men came back from fighting in WWII and Korea. If you couldn't get rid of public education all together, then teach lies. They've taught the lies so well that even the people telling the lies don't know they are lies.

Here's the WaPo story on the contemporary version of this kind of so-called history taughtg in the public schools.
 
This is the conclusion of the article, about the person who wrote this so-called history book, who, by her own admission, is no historian:
 
The book also survived the Education Department's vetting and was ruled "accurate and unbiased" by a committee of content specialists and teachers. Five Ponds Press has published 14 books that are used in the Virginia public school system, all of them written by Masoff.
 
Masoff also wrote "Oh Yuck! The Encyclopedia of Everything Nasty" and "Oh Yikes! History's Grossest Moments."

 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Historic Marker of the Mason-Dixon Line

Marker stones, called Crown stones, carved with the Baltimore coat of arms on side, and the Penn coat of arms on the other, were set up every 500 feet to mark the dividing line. This project kept surveyers rich for a long time.  I got some photos of a Crown stone, but because of the age, and all the vegetation around it, including poison ivy, not much can be seen from it.





Centerville Community of Free Blacks: With more contemporary siding now, and it had been linked to the electrcity grid, the house is deserted. C O'D says that this was typical design for these houses in Kent County's free black communities, both before and after the Civil War. The family slept in the loft right up under the roof. One room, plus what as used as a kitchen under the lower part.

You can see more of these in the Kent County Historical Museum publication, Historic Houses of Kent County: An Architectural history, 1642-1860 (1996).



Upper Chester River: Clear, clean, a wonderful place to canoe or kyack. Also a good place for fisherman. I took this photo from the spot where anglers exercise their skills.





So, that's a bit from my Delmarva Sunday Excursion yesterday. couldn't have had a nicer day for this. I couldn't have been provided with better guidance. I also got taken into all these rooms that the general public doesn't get to enter. This is the nicest Sunday afternoon I've had in years. My only regret is that I didn't take more photos. But I was so busy listening and looking. There was much more to the day, that was seen and experienced, than can be blogged.

Maybe the best part were the rural drives to Odessa and then the one back to Chestertown. There are a variety of rural landscapes in just this small area. Horses! Bald Eagles (there's also a wildlife reserve within this little area). I had such a good time.

I watched the end of season one of A Good Wife. V made me dinner -- well warmed up leftovers. Then we went to make fun of the ducks, er widgeon, and have a good night glass of wine at the Fish Whistle. I retired to bed with computer to finish transcribing my notes on William Claiborn.

Odessa underlines yet again, that those who could own slaves and have indentured servants, tended to stay wealthy, influential and powerful generation after generation, as they intermarried. These people still help run Delaware with the Duponts.

Corbit-Sharp House (1774): Odessa, Del. Continued

This stone building is behind the Corbit-Sharp House, looking from the river and the gardens. Perhaps this is where the to-become-very-wealthy Quaker, Corbit, lived after he got his tannery on its feet, but before he built the Philadelphia-style Georgian mansion.

He had four wives, with children by them all. At one time there were 13 children in all living in the house from early 20's to infant. His fourth wife, 16 years younger than he, outlived him for 20 years. Mary was a wealthy heiress from the sophisticated, cosmopolitan Philadelphia, very well educated, and au courant with all the modes. So William improved and expanded the original mansion and grounds according to her wishes. This included moving the kitchen from the basement to the ground floor, with windows.


All Purpose Room, Including Office, Corbit-Sharpe House: This is a true mansion (makes our house look puny), owned by Quakers or not, and it is huge. It hosted many large parties, as well as long-staying relatives from Pennsylvania and Virginia.

In those days people hadn't yet separated certain functions into separate rooms. This one seems to have been a room in which the family ate, but where the Master also conducted business. That desk-bookcase, was made locally, and is a museum-quality piece. I lust-yearn to possess it myself.

The wall paper is not period.

Upstairs there is the 'entertaining room" with chandeliers, mirrors, much satin brocade and a spinnet. Except for the instrument, all of that is the restorer Sharp's idea, and is not right for a Quaker's home of that period, no matter how wealthy.



Hiding Runaway Slave Sam in the Corbit-Sharp House: 1830's. Era of the Fugitive Slave Laws.


Sam had run away from his owner in Maryland, evidently for harsh treatment. Mary Wilson-Corbit was home alone with her daughter Molly, who was about 8 - 9. Sam, who had been chased over the Eastern Shore of Maryland by the slave catchers, came to the House's door, begging for help. The slave catchers were right on his heels. Mary was liable for all kinds of punishment for helping him. She had to make her decisions very quickly. She decided to hide him.

Fortunately the slavecatchers didn't have dogs.
From the Corbit-Sharp House Sam was smuggled to Philadelphia, and from there up to Canada. He got word back to Philadelphia that he had made it --Illiterate, he couldn't write the message; the message of his safety was then sent back to Mrs. Corbit . No one knew about this except Molly, until she told the story to organization of Colonial Dames after the Civil War. Her account is recorded in the group's Minutes.

17th C Appoquinimink, 18th C Cantwell's Bridge, 19th C Odessa

Appoquinimink was named for the Appoquinimink River; it became Cantwell's Corners; in the 19th C, as Cantwell's Corners's economy declined, was re-branded / re-named Odessa, after the great Ukraine grain growing, grain market, grain distribution center that provided for so much of Europe.  (This didn't help.)
This, perhaps the smallest Quaker meeting house in the U.S., the Appoquinimink Friends Meeting House (1785) Odessa, Delaware -- was a stop on the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Line. Runaway slaves would hide in the Meeting House loft.
This Meeting House is still in use, with a meeting every second Tuesday. Typical of the Quakers, my guide K O'D, says, is how well kept up everything is. The gates and paling fences in the brick had just been repainted. The cemeteries had just been re-mowed.

Most of the buildings that make up the Historic Preservation district of Odessa, Delaware, were put up when it was still called Cantwell's Bridge (on the Appoquinimink River), growing up around a tavern, that currently is not open as it is being re-fitted to be an historic foods restaurant. From what I was told by the staff it sounds as though this will be worth visiting all on its own, in order to eat. I felt as though I knew what I needed to know about the Cantwell Tavern though, from my time at the Fraunces Tavern Museum.




Collins-Sharp House (1700): One of Delaware’s oldest residences. It is two separate log and frame houses, joined, one older than the other, a common practice in the Delmarva region up to the Civil War. This is the color it was painted, according to the professionals who determine such things, many of them at the University of Delaware.

Garden for the Collins-Sharp House: The cold frames are out of period, according to the historic gardeners. Glass was too rare and expensive in the 17th c - early 18th c to use this way.  There are hanging bee hives on the porch columns from where the photo was shot. There are traditional standing 'hive' hives scattered about also, made of plaited straw.


Friday, October 15, 2010

The War of 1812, Sometimes called the Privateers' War

This is why.

I'm absurdly excited about going on a sail down the Chester into the Chesapeake on the Lynx, part of the College's participation in the long "Downrigging Weekend," a week from Saturday afternoon. It's a 'private' sail, meaning the Board of Trustees, staff, patrons, benefactors etc. and their families from the Starr Center and selected Washington College people. I have never done anything remotely like this before -- and this is a replica of a period 1812 U.S. privateer out of a Maryland boatyard.  This week I've been reading period accounts published in the local paper about the local burnings, pillagings, killings by the British navy in our area -- and the death of British Captain Parker.  This war, which when taught at all, is taught faintly as a joke in U.S. History, feels personal and terrible.

It's as if I'm ten or 11 again; it's the kind of thing that you dream about and anticipate for weeks when that age, and this is what I've been like  ever since we got the invitation last month.



Our passenger experience will probably be a little different, as we disembark for a reception, followed by a sit-down dinner at the Customs House.

This happens right after el V does The Year Before the Flood and Fats Domino at the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.*  I flat out told him that I wouldn't miss this even for Fats Domino.

How 'bout us and American history, huh?

* The organizer of these events is so knocked out by The Year Before the Flood in general, and the R&B chapters, that's why they determined El V was the right person for this.  That has made him so very happy!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Song of the Wild Goose

Now I've heard the music of geese. They are migrating down here to their traditional Chesapeak winter grounds. The sky is constantly cut by the wavered edge lines of flock flight, day and night. Particularly at dusk, as they wing over the marshes and creeks and fields -- fields let me haste to point out of harvested and yet-to-be harvested corn and grains -- they are a dramatic silhouette against the mauve horizons. They honk. They honk while flying. They honk-chatter constantly on the ground -and water, to and with each other.

Last night we were driven out into the country to have dinner in the home of a couple who live in the historic Kent County village of Still Pond. The village is mostly 18th century, with a scattering of 19th edifaces -- even a couple from the 17th.
Ribbons of geese furled and unfurled as we drove. We could hear them though inside the car.

We sat in the screened in porch before dinner. Still Pond is located among grain fields and a web of creeks feeding into the Chester River. Oh did the geese vocalize, in steps, in harmony, and sometimes out of tune and with dissonance. I wish I could understand what they were saying.

Funny how the Chester River year-round geese's constant blather sounds different from these Canadian geese.

BTW, dinner was 'merely' a plain supper, of entirely local ingredients of course, from the pork roast to the corn out of which the fritters were made. The wine was local, and so was the beer. Even the spice cookies were local, that show up only at this time of year. Merely a plain supper? It was one of the best meals I've ever eaten. I'd put it up there with the best of meals I've had in Spain, Italy, New Mexico and New York.

Well, the after-supper Jameson's wasn't local, I suppose, though our hosts are of Irish descent.

We were driven back to C'town through drifts of fog.
I thought, even now, tonight, geese are flying and honking above the Towers of Manhattan, where I'd hear them if I were there.  They are coming here.  I love it here.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

We Have A Gold-embossed Oxford University Latin Dictionary

How in the world do they expect historians to work when they keep putting crack right next to our desks, in the room on the way to the washer-dryer, the upstairs hallway ... EVERYWHERE!


The J.E. Leo Lemay Library of early America has been moved in, and, oh, honeys. We didn't get to bed last night until after 2 AM because we had to explore.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bloody Bloody Andy Jackson

History Suddenly Got All Sexypants!  (That's a direct quote from the subway poster's banner that's stamped on the six-gun totin' image's ass, ripped right off from the back of  Bruce Springstein Born in the USA album, for the musical, Bloody Bloody Andy Jackson, mashed up with contempo so-called rock 'n roll.  We're contemporary as heck, ain't we.)



Originally musical only, it played at the Public. It's opening on Broadway at the Barnard B. Jacobs Theater.  I cannot express how twitterpated this show has the New York theatrical cognescenti.

History is sexy is very old news over here.

The review in the Times back in April is kind of interesting:

Don’t assume, though, that “Bloody Bloody” is a satire of a single contemporary political phenomenon. When I saw the show last May, it was the grass-roots campaign of Barack Obama that first came to mind. What Mr. Timbers and Mr. Friedman are examining is a fierce emotionalism in American politics that transcends party lines and has existed for centuries. Though the United States may have been founded on the rational principles of the Enlightenment, this show suggests that what really makes it run — then and now — is the crazy, mixed-up energy of enduring adolescence.

Idealism, resentment, a short attention span, a fear of being perpetually misunderstood and a ravenous sense of entitlement are mixed together here in one big, gawky, sexually charged package: America, the eternal teenager. And who better to lead this restless, appetite-driven creature than a red-blooded rock star?
A good description of Jackson, though it leaves out his awful hair-trigger temper coupled with great piety.

That this is opening right now while I'm so busy charting the Clay - Adams - Jackson imbroglios on the national stage in the 1820's seems almost a sign of ... well, surely, not the zeitgeist?

In any case Obama read the wrong book.  Instead of Team of Rivals he should have read a biography of Henry Clay.  The Jackson crew punked Adams - Clay just like the rethugz have been punking the dems for decades now.  It's time the dems start studying history as carefully as the rethugz.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Henry Clay

Is eating my life.

He was born at the start of the War for Independence, 1777, in Virginia, into one of the very old, well connected, influential families. Though his own immediate family was no longer wealthy, he didn't grow up in either poverty or humble circumstances -- unlike the later slant political campaigning put on his background.
He got very rich, very young, partly through his family connections, his personal relationship with Thomas Jefferson, marrying a very well doweried young woman of the wealthiest family in Kentucky, and very much through his native intelligence and astounding capacity for hard work.

He entered politics very early (notice how 'very' charmed his early life is? born into the right family is the most useful element in a person's life, even more so than being very intelligent and working very hard!), serving his first term in the Kentucky legislature in 1803, the year of the Louisiana Purchase.  The Purchase in so many ways advanced the fortunes of Clay personally, his family and that of Virginia families everywhere, as their good friend, the President from Virginia, appointed them to lucrative federal and regional offices. With secure, well-paid positions, more family members had a base by which they moved into the Territories, to Louisiana in particular. There they married into creole families and their businesses and plantations, bought and sold plantations and slaves themselves, and handled all kinds of enormously lucrative legal work, and made other fortunes through land deals.

 
Despite not being legally old enough, not yet thirty, he was sent to fill in a vacated Senate seat in 1806. He returned to fill out another expired Senate seat in 1810. From 1811 on he spent all of his adult life in D.C., in one capacity or another, mostly in the House, including as the youngest ever Speaker of the House, and as Secretary of State in John Quincy Adam's disasterous administration. He was largely responsible for the War of 1812 -- for which he is reviled to this day on the Upper Chesapeake by descendants of the families the Brits burned out back then.
 
Admitting he was gravely ill, at the end of 1851 he put in his resignation to the Senate, to be effective for the first week of September, 1852. He continued working, including arguing two cases before the Supreme Court. The Western Star died at the end of June, 1852, in D.C., the scene of his many triumphs, his mis-steps and mis-calculations, and many disappointments and humiliations, particularly at the hands of King Andrew Jackson and his slick political organization and network of newspapers.

His was the first state funeral in Washington D.C. The honors and rites there were emulated across the nation as his coffin made its way by rail and steamboat -- these routes part of Clay's grand plan of "The American System," back to his beloved Lexington, which was now, unlike in his youth, an economic backwater, thanks to steam. A long grueling journey for his son and other friends, nearly a thousand miles, in what was a brutally hot summer.

When the coffin stopped in Springfield the funeral oration for the Great Compromiser who labored to preserve the Union through compromise after compromise was delivered by Abraham Lincoln. Let us not forget that, though perhaps you cannot say as you can about Jefferson, that Clay lived on slave labor all his life long, Clay certainly lived in many ways via slave labor from the moment he arrived in Kentucky and his brother gave him the young man their father had bequeathed to Henry and taken to Kentucky.

Lincoln modeled himself in many ways on Clay -- as did just about every young politician up-and-coming, particularly if they had a Kentucky connection. But Lincoln's success as a circuit lawyer as well as a story teller in these situations were what Clay was early famous for. (Lincoln also learned about telling stories from his father, just about the only talent that ne-er do well man possessed.)

Slavery was an issue when Clay first entered politics in Kentucky and was a greater issue every decade of his political life. Every decade of his life touches on the Great Subjects that are my area of research, thus I've allowed him to eat my life.

What a picture of the U.S. over these decades I'm getting filled in.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Piety Street Studios

V did four presentations this week, three of them in two days, two in one day.  He is pretty darned beat, except the feedback is so gratifying.

The last one was a history of R&B, with the New Orleans focus, for a class of undergrad Tulane music students.  They. Went. Wild.

Now he's been in the studio all day doing the mixes for the last few songs he didn't get finished mixing in August.  He's in a pretty good mood, despite HIS computer's screen detatching from the laptop body.  Good thing a portion of the royalties have arrived at ye agent's, which they deposit tomorrow so he can draw on these for a new thing this weekend. Then we go back to MD.

I've gotten sick.  Nothing has happened that I was expecting to accomplish while here excep the haircut and seeing a couple of friends.  I'm feeing truly rotten.  And my laptop, equipped with Windows 7, which MS didn't bother to make compatible with older router protocols lost its wireless connectivity.  So I can't get online with it.  I guess I could if I jacked directly into the router or replaced the router, neither of which I feel up to doing or feel like doing at all.  Besides, then I'd have to disconnect the desktop here in NYC from the router, and maybe the new router wouldn't be compatible with this old XP Pro system.  Since I plan to be living mostly in MD for the next few months I don't want to disturb the home system right now.

Gads computer eat our lives because the goddamned manufacturers and developers do shitty jobs at their jobs.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Testing

Nothing would post all day yesterday.  Is today different?

Monday, October 4, 2010

*OFFBEAT* Does Postmamboism -- and His Nness Too, Of Course

Canal Street Gets the Postmamboist Treatment by Zachary Young.

“Postmamboism” is a word you’re probably not familiar with. For writer and historian Ned Sublette, it’s a way of looking at the world.

“It’s a term that I made up to describe what I had done in my three books (Cuba and Its Music, The World That Made New Orleans, The Year Before the Flood),” Sublette says. “I used music to read history.” He describes postmamboism as a “portable theory that places music at the center of understanding and uses music to interrogate other fields of study.” The practice treats music as a lens through which to view other aspects of human society.

This Monday, Sublette will give a talk at UNO in which he will apply his analytical methods to the cultural history of New Orleans – or more accurately, to one specific part of it. The title of the talk is “Uptown and Downtown New Orleans as Musical Plate Tectonics,” and in this metaphor, Canal Street is the fault line.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Tonight, New Orleans

So we'er back in NYC, but Himself leaves for the airport again at 6 PM for New Orleans.

Then to U of SM on Monday night.  Back to NO Wednesday, returning to NYC Friday night.  We'll head back to C'town on Monday.

Whew.

Yesterday was a grueling as expected and feared.  I was asleep by nine AM.  That happens when the day begins at 5 AM, and very much goes on and happens in-between.

So now what?  Is it NYC that's the dream or is it C'town?