". . . 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

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Strength and Joy in 2017

     . . . . We had a long New Year's Eve, delicious, enjoyable and energizing.

The activities of the children of our friends are the cause of feeling chipper and energized this morning.  Or rather this afternoon -- I got enough sleep too, as we've only recently arisen.  I am not ashamed because everything during this long night that brought in the New Year was both positive and lovely.

     . . . . People are going to fight back.  In fact they have been for quite some time. We aren't paying enough attention.  And the media isn't paying attention at all, even as it wrings its collective hands and wails mea culpa mea maxima culpa and woes is us -- it doesn't change at all except to intensify its naval gazing and complacent self-serving that serves neither itself nor anything else.

     . . . . The revolution will not be online, that junkyard of lies*, commercials, and hate. It won't be on television, the opioid of the eyeballs.  It won't be in podcasts, those audio and incestuous masturbations  It will be in real space, with real people. This is what the Young are up to on so many fronts.  Doing things. Bless 'em!

For a single example -- our old friends' son and his friends, and his girlfriend,  who have recently graduated.

Yes, he's got all the support necessary for a young person just finished with school could have, including his parents' home to live in and all the resources of his parents' friends, which not very many people, particularly the young radicals with their optimism and energy, have -- which makes coming to NYC and other cities like this almost impossible. But this is going on in other places than NYC as well -- this is a very large country.  His girlfriend is working in public health and doing a residency for experience in Australia. She's got the support from her family and family friends that many others don't have as well.

However they are doing things that have to do with the public good and community.

M, like some others, is putting his talents to work in theater. However, theater in this context does not mean the thin content of posing and emoting and singing for personal stardom as in dinner theater, musical theater.

May 1849 Uprising Dresden. Richard Wagner, at the time Royal Saxon Court Conductor, was a passionate participant -- at that time.  Later, not so much.

What it is, is yet another renewal of a very old public, political use of theater, going back at least to the 1700's, of the theater as a form of protest, information and revolution, a center for action. I have been seeing this happening here -- or so it has felt to me who knows nothing of theater really, let us not forget -- for the last few years, and certainly since Occupy Autumn.

In contrast, the theater consists of real bodies in real space, working ensemble, which includes writers, actors, directors, staff, audience and community. In the 20th century, think the Czech Velvet Revolution and Václav Havel, the Open Theatre Festival in Wrocław (what are the progressive young doing in Poland today, one wonders) in the days of the end of the soviet. The theater movements throughout the 20th century in South America in the last century.  Think of the German states in the middle 1700's in Europe, in which both Schiller and Goethe participated. Think of the plays and musical performances that incited riots in the 1840's -60's, helping create the Belgian revolution and the revolutions in France.

     . . . .Repeat: the revolution ain't gonna happen online.

The "digital revolution" has proven to be the overt enemy of democracy, information and freedom. Instead it's the preferred art form of those who support violence, bigotry, coercion, repression and oppression, -- when it isn't being a sewer of pressures to conform to idiocy, buy garbage and attack any dissent to destruction of the planet to women's rights to be authentically human. Other than the great convenience to primary document research -- and even that has severe limitations -- the internet has become an abattoir of hate and destruction.

The Young of our friends are committing to more than this, including radical health care that includes mental health care -- one of our friends' sons is autistic.  He and his girlfriend have opened a mental health community clinic staffed with other recently credentialed certified autistic friends for more severely affected people on the autistic spectrum. What these kids are doing goes on and on.

In this country, finally, music, the arts, and authentic critical discourse are going to be recognized as vital to a healthy society in a way that they've not been in a long time.  Expect to see an explosion of great work.

Yes -- hope! and energy!


*  Just stop already with this fake news bs,  Call this ooze of pus for what it is -- LIES.

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