". . . 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, August 3, 2015

Witches of East End - Second, Final Season - No Spoilers

Along with finishing watching the 6th and final season of White Collar (2014) last week, I finished watching the second, and also final, season of The Witches of East End (2014).

This second season took too much time to get cooking, with a confusing detour to somewhere called Santo Domingo (the capital of the Dominican Republic?), where some bogusity called Santería is practiced by a latina witch, which is as perverted and phony as the Santería found back in some vicinity of the nowherelandia that is the series's East End -- mama witch Joanna kept a concealing spell around East End for a long time, which may explain why we are without a geographic clue.  So it's not surprising the series lost viewer numbers, which got it cancelled -- cancelled with numerous cliffhangers of all kinds too.*

Aunt Wendy, Freya, Joanna, Ingrid.

This series is a cobbly-gook of everything from Buffy to Vamp Diaries.  Yet, due to the focus on the older witches being sisters with different curses there is an intrinsic interest here -- and the people are very pretty.  So it does work to at least a degree.  Especially when it's been as hot and humid as these last weeks have been!

However, during the second third of this cancelled series' second season, James Marsters appears.  He's a supernatural Bad Guy second banana to the Head Bad Guy, the "King of Asgard." Make of Asgard what you will; Asgard is not the least of the preposterosities of this charming show populated by very pretty actors. How not charming?  Joanna, the central witch played by Julia Ormond, with Mädchen Amick playing her sister witch, Wendy.

For Marsters's Tarkoff in East End, no bleached hair, definitely older, still possessed of all of Spike's menace, particularly the signature Spike clenching of the jaw muscles under the Signature Spike cheekbones.  In Witches Marsters sings; also wears a skinny tie.


* Why does it seem impossible for we white (and sometimes African American too), North American writers, whether of novels, television or the movies, to get the Afro-latin religions and African religions right?  Particularly those practiced in the Caribbean? Not to mention forever blathering about the Underground Railroad in the deep south?  "Underground Railroad" was a term not in use until after Justice Taney's disgraceful, criminal ruling of Dred Scott and the 1850 passage of the draconian Fugitive Slave Act. What was called the Underground Railroad operated, principally, for obvious geographic reasons. The southern antebellum slave society by then was a vast, lockdown prison for people of color -- there were no more places to run, thus no slave uprisings any longer, until John Brown. The "underground railroad ran out of the border states to the free states and from there up into Canada, as no one was secure in freedom in the northern states by then thanks to the Fugitive Slave laws and the Dred Scott ruling. Far more recovered and kidnapped free citizens of color were kidnapped out of the north to be returned and sold into slavery in the south than ever got to the north. See Eric Foner, among others for what was and was not the underground railroad.

Or, the travesties in BH's Crimson Angel, with the Ekpe / Abakuá Leopard Society shoved into Haiti . . . in the 1830's yet! when these people from the Cross River region only began to be brought to the Caribbean just before the San Domingue slave uprising began, ending the the trade there -- where it is not now and never was at all.

See amigo Ivar Miller's great 2009 study, Voice of the Leopard, or Ned Sublette's Cuba and It's Music, and most certainly the founding father of all these studies, Robert Farris Thompson's, Flash of the Spirit).

 In the new world the Leopard Society, associated with the practitioners of Abakuá (which doesn't exclude them from practicing other religions as well; syncretization and ecumenicism is all in the Afro Latin world) is found here only in Cuba, and there only in Matanzas, it's stronghold, and parts of Havana. They controlled the docks in Matanzas and Havana. Serious thugs, they were feared in the streets of Havana for a very long time. Their reputation isn't respectable to this day. They are the rumberos who play the rumbas -- and that isn't the ballroom dance competition rhumba, not at all, but something else, very different.

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