". . . 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, December 8, 2012

Not Snowing - But It Should Be!

It warmed up -- high 40's to 50. The sky and air feels as though it could snow, should snow, as the daylight fades and the temps fall. But it is not, nor is snow predicted.

They got quite a bit in Central - Northern New Jersey earlier this week. It's a lot colder there than here, of course; more like New England than Manhattan, weather-wise.

A whole different world of New Jersey than Atlantic City, as we see it in Boardwalk Empire. One of the very many things I like about Boardwalk Empire is that seasons and weather are as much a part of the mise en scene as everything else. And of course, I like how central women's roles are, and the things that women are interested in, particularly freedom, their dreams of aspiration.

At the start of season 3 one of the female primaries goes down to the Shore beyond the Boardwalk to witness the landing of an aviatrix who flew non-stop across the continental U.S. You see the women speculating about her with interest and some sense of, if she can do that .... while you see male characters making fun of the pilot, speculating on how easily they could f*ck her if they wanted to. One of the characters who got killed was an artist, a painter, who had dreamed of going to Paris, who was so excited by the news of the art that was being made in France. Temperance, suffragette and women's reproductive health are part of of the matrix within which Boardwalk Empire's narrative and characters operate, as well as other historic events and figures. But for women, their complete lack of knowledge of their bodies, their lack of reproductive advice, health care and information, do in more than one of them, in more than one way. Yet, they dream. More of them live than die. They have agency and they seize it whenever, wherever, and however they see an opportunity. None of them are the same.

This is a very well written, well-structured, gorgeous arc series. A Tulane amigo provides part of the narration of the history of speakeasies, gangsters and jazz at the end of season 2's dvd collection.

As with Treme, I watch this now, as I have been doing since Sandy hit us so badly, with sad knowledge that many of the locations for scenes no longer exist. The lovely house on the Staten Island shore that stood in for the New Jersey Shore house where a primary character, his wife and son live*, for instance, was destroyed by Sandy.

I finished watching season two of Boardwalk Empire and have now got started on season 3. Will slow down now, as el V gets back tonight from his whirlwind of activities in New Orleans in time for dinner. The next two or three days will be made up of wrapping Kiss You Down South , doing Christmas cards and so on. And then, the ordeal of the Post Office. I would have had this all finished by now, except the mailers are up in el V's office, and he needs to sign the cds -- and he's been just too busy to deal with even bringing home the mailers, much less anything else to do with Christmas. Yet, we will have dinner Monday night with a friend from out of town, his musical niece and her husband.


* Not mentioning characters' names because perhaps someone who reads this hasn't seen those episodes yet and won't want to know who before hand.

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