". . . 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, June 4, 2014

"Our Words Are Our Weapons"

Rebecca Solnit's article, Our Words Are Our Weapons: The Feminist Battle of the Story in the Wake of the Isla Vista Massacre, has been reprinted widely on internet sites.  I think I first encountered it on Slate -- or maybe Salon.  Where, predictably, the vast majority of comments were howls of outrage by men -- personal attacks upon her intelligence and accusations of man hating, rather than any reasoned response to her reasoning.
Rebecca Solnit has had the most reasoned responses to the Santa Barbara killings, or so it seems to me. But she doesn't connect all the dots in this matrix of domestic terrorism that include gun possession and entertainment that 24/7 invades our homes, workplaces and even billboards that show in graphic detail women being humiliated and otherwise violated for the fun of it. Or to sell consumption of everything from beer to chainsaws. Or to be awards provided for being the most violent of all in any fictional simulacrum of combat, including sports.

However, it's hard to see Our Words as effective means when so many men refuse to read them, listen to them or even understand what the words mean.

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