". . . 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 28, 2011

Could This Not Have Been In *Children of Dune*?

"Several women shouted “dirty government,” leaning from the balconies of their high-rise apartments to hurl bottles down on the police. Officers pounded their clear shields with their billy clubs and chanted in unison.

Then, almost incredibly, a more than two-hour pitched street battle ended with protesters and police officers shaking hands and sharing water bottles on the same street corner where minutes before they were exchanging hails of stones and tear-gas canisters were arcing through the sky. Thousands stood on the six-lane coastal road then sank to their knees and prayed. In Cairo, too, an eerie silence fell in one section of the city at midafternoon, as hundreds of protesters began a prayer session in the middle of the street, according to live images from Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based satellite channel. Protesters bowed their heads as smoke billowed into the air behind them from the skirmishes between demonstrators and riot police."
From the NY Times round-up of news out of Egypt, mostly via Al-Jazeera, though it claims all these reporters on the ground -- they're mostly with Al-Jazeera and other regional orgs. What I read in the NY Times, I read first mostly via Al Jazeera and or Brit publications, so I say that. In recent years our nation's official news gathering institutions and organizations, such as the NY Times, have basically shut down their overseas bureaus as not cost effective, and as cost cutting measures.

This helps fill in the picture, for those who feel confused as to what is really going on in Egypt, as to why it is looked at differently by the U.S. than is Tunis or Yemen, while others, elsewhere laud the idea of -- I quote from a story earlier this week in the U.K. Telegraph -- "Egyptian police have been fighting protesters in intensifying clashes, and demonstrations have reported from Yemen and Gabon – a sign that defiance against authoritarian rulers in the Middle East is spreading." BTW, when did Gabon become a part of the region categorized as the "Middle East?"

As for 'shutting off the internetz can't happen here,' check out this lieberman supported bill which is continuing to gain support.

In hyperlocal news, it's snowing here again. The geese are getting hungry -- they are flying, looking for accessible food that isn't closed off by the layers of snow and ice, and the very weight of stems and branches that are flattened by their casings of snow and ice.  I'm starting to get cabin fever. Also, the winter doldrums seem to have set in very early this year in many of the places I rather depend on to stimulate my sluggish brain.

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