". . . 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

Monday, February 16, 2015

Locally Today Is Not the Best Day for Birthdays

It's Washington's birthday.  It's also another Fashion Week in NYC.

The record low for this date in New York City has been broken, which has been held since 1888 -- when North Dakota wasn't yet state!

Hudson River From Above - U.S. Coast Guard

Manhattan shore of the East River, Monday, February 16, 2015

Hudson-Athens Lighthouse, Hudson River.

Washington's first inauguration, April, 1789
I imagine George Washington in Manhattan on his birthday during his first administration. He'd have had his first birthday as President in 1790. It was probably even colder than today, as the northern hemisphere was still in the throes of the Little Ice Age in 1790. *

Presumably however cold it was on his birthday in 1790 Washington's circumstances were a deal more comfortable than on the night of December 25–26, 1776.
Mr. Washington, hasn't fared well on his birthday NYC today either. See today's NY Times's "George Washington, Slave Catcher."  In truth, this column rather depressed me, as if waking up in frigid temperatures on my birthday after a night of waking el V four times with my nightmares wasn't depressing enough.


*   1790 - 1820 was a period of particularly extreme weather anomalies -- which were significant factors in the French Revolution's momentum, which had already started (1789), as there had been so many failed crops = famine.

No comments: