". . . 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

Friday, February 29, 2008

Jimmy Cliff - Bob Marley

For a discussion of Jimmy Cliff - Bob Marley you may not have encountered before, try Bluegum.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

We Go Indian Chasing With This Guy

Larry's the fellow who wrote the 2500 word piece re current New Orleans and The World That Made New Orleans a few days ago:

Mardi Gras Indian Chiefs Stand Spectacular, Tall, and Proud. Doing Their Part to Keep New Orleans Culture Alive
by Larry Blumenfeld,315728,315728,22.html

"It's amazing how much joy and hope these beads and feathers bring."

[ The Sunday before Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Donald Harrison Jr., Big Chief of the Congo Nation, son of Big Chief Donald Sr., lay on the living-room floor of his mother's house in the Ninth Ward, cutting leopard-print fur in a pattern as he spoke. Nearby, a sofa and chair were covered with beads and rhinestones, along with ostrich and turkey feathers that had been dyed a golden yellow. Harrison was preparing to "mask," to enact the city's least-understood tradition, and these days, perhaps, its most essential: Mardi Gras Indian culture. These rituals, which date to at least the mid-1800s, are an African-American homage to the Native Americans who once sheltered runaway slaves and to the spirit of resistance.

The calendar was pointed in its irony this year: Elsewhere, February 5 marked Super Tuesday. All attention was squared on would-be elected leaders with practiced battle cries, competing to prove themselves fierce and attractive. But in New Orleans, Super Tuesday was Fat Tuesday. Uptown, in the limelight, the various well-publicized krewe parades (a throng that included Hulk Hogan, King of Bacchus) lorded over the city, riding high on floats and tossing down beads. But on less-traveled streets, more in the shadows and announced mostly on a need-to-know basis, Mardi Gras Indian Chiefs, possessors of strictly inherited thrones, asserted their authority. Dressed in 10-foot-tall, 6-foot-wide feathered and beaded suits and accompanied by "queens," "spy boys," and others, they were announced by drumbeats and chants, lending voice and hope to New Orleans residents who'd been all but ignored this primary season. The Big Chiefs competed with words, too. And in a ritual that once frequently did turn violent, they battled to win hearts and minds, competing through elaborate suits to "kill 'em with pretty." The presidential candidates were selling change, but in New Orleans, a city all but ignored by that lot (except for John Edwards, who stood in front of the Ninth Ward's Musician's Village as he dropped out of the race), the message from these local leaders was continuity. ]

Whew! No Lynch Mob Waiting at the Louis Armstrong Intl. Airport

Instead, a greeting in the Times-Picyune, a review by the paper's book editor, Susan Larson.

There will be a follow-up interview run later in the week, by NO's leading African American writer.

It's almost impossible to describe the mingled pleasure and relief this review provided.

It's interesting to see both New Orleans's white reviewers (Berry and Larsen) dismiss the idea that the slaves and free POC's had their own network for transmitting news and information, and did so.

As well there's a live interview on WWOZ in an hour.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Turkish Islam Doing What U.S. Critics Have Said Islam Hasn't Done

Turkey in radical revision of Islamic texts.

This is a most interesting story, from the BBC. If the story ever played in the regional papers and newscasts of the nation here, it could do a lot of good, for us, as well as for those dorkdongs of the Taliban. It states uncategorically, for instance:

[ "Some messages ban women from travelling without their husband's permission... But this isn't a religious ban. It came about because it simply wasn't safe for a woman to travel alone."

Prof Mehmet Gormez ,Hadith expert, Department of Religious Affairs ]

Address by President Raul Castro Ruz

Raul Castro Ruz, President of the State Council and the Council of Ministers

At the closing session of the First Session of the 7th legislature of theNational Assembly of People's Power Convention Center, Havana, February 24, 2008,"Year 50th of the Revolution."

[ The composition of the State Council, which has just been elected by thisAssembly, raised much expectation both in Cuba and abroad. The mostsignificant was clarified by comrade Fidel in his Message of February 18th.There is very little that I can add to what he said except to express to ourpeople, on behalf of the Revolution's Leadership, our appreciation for theinnumerable expressions of serenity, maturity, self-assurance, and thecombination of genuine sadness and revolutionary determination.

I take on the responsibility entrusted to me deeply convinced that, as Ihave often said, there is only one Commander in Chief of the CubanRevolution.

Fidel is Fidel; we all know it very well. Fidel is irreplaceable and thepeople shall continue his work when he is no longer physically with us;although his ideas will always be with us, the same ideas that have made itpossible to build the beacon of dignity and justice our country represents. ]

There is much more, particularly about the economy and the institutions and their composition.

As well, if you have an interest in Cuba you might like to look at this:

[ Questions and Answers about Fidel Castro’s Resignation by Philip Brenner ]

And the article about Cuba that most delighted me, is from the paper of the town where I went to high school.

[ Cuba important to North Dakota economy by Anna Jauhola, Daily News

At a reception for Alimport and the trade delegation, the Cubans and North Dakotans chatted like old friends, talking about their children, sports and other non-political stuff, Dotzenrod said.

The embargo on Cuba by the United States has been in place for more than 40 years and now Castro has stepped down, it is possible the embargo may be lifted, Dotzenrod said. With a lifted embargo, free trade and a new era could begin. Currently, even though Cubans receive free healthcare, education, housing and food from their government, they a poor people. Dotzenrod said the embargo has stayed in place for so many years because of U.S. presidential elections — 1 million exiled Cubans living and voting in Florida have decided the last two presidents. Plus, the embargo has allowed Castro to retain his power by blaming America for the poor state of Cuba.

Despite the flaws in both United States and Cuban government, Dotzenrod said the trade mission was definitely worth the trip. The Cubans were always friendly, he said, and there was never the feeling of hate or animosity at all.

"It was incredibly fantastic," Dotzenrod said. "I'd go back in a heartbeat." ]

When we first starting going to Cuba people back home were shocked. Most of them couldn't have told you where Cuba was located, even (the embargo turned Cuba into the Mysterious Island here in the U.S. until it was re-discovered by US -- U.S. -- in the 90's with the Clinton People-to-People policy. Back home they had this picture that the island was filled with people in grey rags marching in long, lock-step columns, all the time. Now, a lot of them have been there themselves, and they love the place and the people. It's one of those life ironies that no one could ever have predicted.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Creative Campaigning

If this video is playing on televisions in Texas and the Southwest .... (turn on your speakers before clicking to play the video).


It's also right out of the South American political campaign play book.

None of all the very high-priced Hillary people thought of spending any of that nearly 40 million she's spent on the campaign already on something like this.

Look at this, under the site button "NEWS" ... note the DATE:

[ Press Releases
Latino Outreach Campaign Promotes Barack Obama in Key Primary States

May 30, 2007

Nueva Vista Media, has launched an outreach campaign, “Amigos de Obama,” to promote Presidential candidate Barack Obama and motivate Latinos to vote in key primary states. The campaign’s slogan and song: “¿Cómo Se Dice… Cómo Se Llama? Obama, Obama” is featured on the website:, along with downloadable MP3, ringtones and blog. The website’s goal is to organize “Amigos de Obama” groups in key primary states where Latinos could represent the swing vote. ]

Obama's people were already considering the hispanic vote back in the spring of last year. That's almost scary, so well-organized this is. Maybe Hillary should stop talking about how much more experienced she is at running things.

"All Things Considered" at the moment is doing a story contrasting Hillary's and Obama's television ads, though the angle of the story is whether Hillary should go negative or not, in order to re-start her campaign. This ad isn't mentioned, though Hillary's greater experience is invoked in nearly every other statement.

New Orleans - Resistence to Erasure

Larry Blumenfeld on New Orleans’ Refusal to Vanish

[ All politics is local, Tip O’Neill famously said. Hell, every single thing is local in New Orleans—the city that author Ned Sublette calls “an alternative American history all in itself.” Big Chief Harrison figures in the coda to Sublette’s new book, “The World That Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square.” “They refused to cooperate in their own erasure,” Sublette writes of Harrison and his fellow chiefs in their elaborate beaded and feathered suits during the first Mardi Gras following Hurricane Katrina. “They were still men, and these were still their streets.”

Make no mistake, what’s happening in New Orleans today—often by virtue of what’s not happening or despite what mustn’t—is an erasure, growing increasingly willful-seeming as the disaster grows more manmade and less natural. If things go as HUD has ordered and as the New Orleans City Council approved late last year, most public housing units in the city will be bulldozed away. Gone, at least for now. Among the striking images in my two years of post-Katrina reporting from New Orleans was the black Ninth Ward family I came upon during the second anniversary of the storm who stood by and watched as a TV anchorwoman held her microphone in front of their devastated home. “The producer said he doesn’t want us in the picture,” the father told me, holding his baby in his arms. Most Americans can’t see what’s actually in the frame in New Orleans anyway, and how could they without a working knowledge of local culture steeped in history? Where is the outrage down there, the resistance? Listen to Mardi Gras Indians chant “We won’t bow down!” Or fall in behind a brass band as part of a Sunday second-line parade. These are the protests, assertions of future and past in a present barely there at all. New Orleans is two cities now—one inching toward renewal, the other still caught in what, shortly after Katrina, David Winkler-Schmidt of the local Gambit Weekly called “the horrible unending of not knowing.” ]

There's a great deal more of this 2500 word TruthDig article about what is currently happening in New Orleans, prompted by jazz writer, Larry Blumefeld's reading of the book, The World That Made New Orleans.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Presidents Day - Today

The lead in for today's broadcast of NPR's All Things Considered:

"Presidents Day. We consider those powerful political figures Washington and Lincoln, and what this day means for retailers."

Sunday, February 17, 2008

After All, Yesterday

Yesterday was a good day.

It began to be good with the phone call from P heads-upping about the Edwards - Vaquero radio program. It continued to leap ahead to better and better until we finally drifted into sleep, post the post-prandial birthday champagne.

And -- A well-known South American historian was among the surprising numbers of people who heard the Edwards program. Upshot of that is Vaquero goes to NYU to talk about The Book too.
It stays, um -- wintery. It is February, after all, and this year it feels like February, though still not as cold as where and when I grew up. I did find myself missing the traditional heart-shaped birthday cake that my mom always made for my birthday. She had four cake pans shaped like hearts and they were for MY birthday cake -- 4 layers, in pink and white icing, with my favorite red cinnamon heart decorations among others. Mom had many failings, but she was the best when it came to her kids' birthdays, making them unique to each one of us, throwing the best birthday parties for us in the community.

Tomorrow -- Presidents Day. It's still as difficult as it was when I was a grade school kid trying to figure out which President I most admired: Washington or Lincoln?
(Isn't this a relief from the forced preoccupation of these decadent days of ennumerating the ennumerable most despised president and reasons why?)

When in middle school I had assumed at some point I'd know so much history that I'd be able to pick a different president as the one I most admired, instead of trying to choose between these two best-known historical figures whose birthdays fell into the same month as mine, whose images were up as February's decorations all over the school, along with the hearts for Valentine's Day. It happened though, that the more history I learned, the more these two continued to stand out. Funny, that, right?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Damning With Faint Praise

Damning with faint praise?

As another book reviewer, writer and editor says about this review (-- and maybe this may feel not so positive because all the other reviews have been lavish with praise ... ):

[ He mentions a topic and grouses afterwards without making it clear why something bothered him or even stating clearly that it did. But, worse of all, he deploys a fair amount of history in his voice without stating that you dealt with most of that history. What's worse, he fails to mention the most significant aspect of the book: that it is a masterful synthesis of a million books, articles, and documents on early NO history and has no peers as a synthesis of the history of that world. As a reviewer from NO you'd think he would at least want people to know about the world that made NO and point them to the only single volume that does that. ]

In the meantime though, the article is getting lots of hits and is being e-mailed around, we've been told. Also the editor of the book review is a -- neocon!

Is this good or bad? I don't know.

Black History Month - HipHop Nation - Barack Obama

It knocks me out. I may not be sure why, but I think its power has something to do with those historic video clip images interpersed with today's HipHop nation.

And the beats of course.

As well as Master P selling 'history.'

Which tends to confirm my suspicion that there's a terrible hunger out there for history, from people who have been denied it for so long -- such as most of us in this country.

Love, C.

"Moolaadé" - A Film From Ousmane Sembène

Moolaadé played here in the NY Film Festival in the fall of 2004, thus I missed it because we'd moved to New Orleans by then. It was well worth the effort it took to be informed when it became available on dvd, since the NY Times new dvd column neglected to tell us of its recent release.

As with any film made in Africa, every frame pulsates with data, and the colors and the scenes are harmoniously beautiful, filled with so much vitality they snap off the screen, drive through your eyes, drive like daggers through your eyes, burying themselves in your inner vision.

You may associate Ousmane Sembène with one of the first African films made by an African, back in 1966, Black Girl, a b&w feature film that follows a young girl from Senegal who is brought to France by a white family. Filled with homesickness and sadness, nevertheless her perceptions are sharp, perhaps all the sharper for being an outsider and perhaps not comprehending all that is going on around her. Because we are seeing through her eyes we see in a way that perhaps we had not seen previously, particularly the emptiness and shallowness of the life she's been pulled away from Africa in order to serve.

Born in Senegal, Ousmane Sembène is a sophisticated continental intellectual, a writer as well as a film maker, at 80, made Moolaadé, a film about the struggle of those who wish to end the practice of female genital mutilation, with those who are dead set on retaining the practice, which they call "purification" -- though death happens to young girls and girl-children, not to themselves -- in a village of Burkina Faso. Six girls run from a purification ceremony to the compound of a woman named Collé, begging for her protection. She invokes the "Moolaadé," a spell of protection which cannot be broken without bringing terrible retribution upon those who do so. There is much more going on in the village as well, illustrating so well that during any event, no matter how huge, no matter how many people it touches, the world outside is still going on.

Here's an interview with Ousmane Sembène from 2005 in the UK Guardian.

Here's a review of the film in The NY Times.

A biography, bibliography and filmography of Ousmane Sembène can be found on wiki.

Monday, February 11, 2008


January/February 2008 Atlantic Monthly

The Angriest Man In Television by Mark Bowden

[ How David Simon’s disappointment with the industry that let him down made The Wire the greatest show on television—and why his searing vision shouldn’t be confused with reality. ]

This article is interesting for three reasons: 1) it does speak to the deeply critical view Simon has about our current capitalist system that devalues everyone except the fortunate few; 2) the criticism that the show is 'too dark,' which leads one to suspect, at least to a degree, that the journalists, who are getting theirs this final season, overtly presented as a systemic part and cause of the inter-system problem, most deifinitely not part of the solution, are feeling a need to counter that by criticizing Simon; and 3) an analysis of why one should never confuse fiction for reality, no matter how many elements of realism the author successfully transfers to his work of creation -- and why, then, an author who is deeply involved with the evil of the real world, may then, need to turn to fiction, to best present her argument, worldview, vision.


Esquire, January 11, 2008, 5:02 AM

A Newspaper Can’t Love You Back by David Simon

This article too, is about writing, about reality, about getting it right, and the difference between reality and getting right in journalism and fiction. Most of all, it's about the thrill of getting all the information, getting right, and making that information public. That's the thrill of journalism, and there seems to have been nothing else quite like it for Simon, and he's not forgiving journalism for taking that away, for becoming a whore for the systemic national degeneration, lies, and corruption.

One of the peripheral interesting developments for me, re The Wire, is that Richard Price has been writing for the show. He initially made his reputation as a writer with a 'youth gang' novel, The Wanderers, back in 1974. It was also the first novel of his I read, sometime at the end of the 80's, I think. Price had the great fortune that this first novel was turned into a film within a couple of years of publication, which allowed him to flounder around, fictionally speaking, for a while. I say 'flounder' because I read the books he published after that, as I was working for Penguin USA by then, and Plume-Signet-NAL I think, was re-issuing them all. Those next books lacked the snap and the sense of being in the world, so to speak, that you got immediately out of The Wanderers.

Fictionally confused and blocked, with alimony, child support, mortgages, etc., he fortunately displayed an authentic talent for writing movies himself. Among those movie scripts was The Sea of Love, which I liked very much, even if mostly motivated to do so because of the sound track, built around the great "Sea of Love" song, written back in the day by John Phillip Baptiste (aka Phil Phillips) and George Khoury (released in 1959), was performed by many artists throughout the movie, including Tom Waits. Ellen Barkin was in the movie, with Al Pacino, but best of all, John Goodman. The only thing I didn't like about the movie was a sex scene between Barkin (well, her body double) and Pacino -- it went on forevah! which is always a dull time if you aren't one of the principals yourself.

Price also has the rare and lucrative writing talent that works well in the slick magazines, of which there were more then, and they paid very well. In 1992 came the magnificent Clockers.

You might say Price is one of my favorite writers, and I wouldn't argue.

That Price's turned up writing for The Wire is exactly right. The corner boys needing to 'clock' -- Price created that term for his Clockers (which wasn't a bad movie, but which didn't approach the brilliance of his novel) -- which the corner boys from all over picked up, once the movie came out. The Wire's corner boys have to 'clock.'

It's all about the reserach, how good, how true, how real. It's also about not confusing writing journalism with fiction. The world, at least in this country's establishments seems to have given up the true and the facts in favor of 'different information,' if the facts don't suit. Simon and people like us still call that fiction at best, and lying at worst. This is why people like us think The Wire is the greatest writing you're going to find on television.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Black History Month -- Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti

[ Funmilayo Ransome Kuti (1900-1978) is described by many as the doyen of female rights in Nigeria and was regarded as The Mother of Africa, as she was a very powerful force at a time when it was a taboo for women to be heard and as a fighter of womens right to vote. Described in 1947, by the West African Pilot as the Lioness of Lisabi as the leader of Egba women on a campaign against arbitrary taxation of women, that struggle led to the abdication of the Egba King Oba Ademola II in 1949. Her husband, Rev. I.O. Ransome-Kuti, fought for commoners too, and was one of the founders of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) in the 1930s and of the Nigerian Union of Students (NUS).[1] She is the mother of human right activists: Professor Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, Musical legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Doctor Beko Kuti, and their sister Dolupo. ]
To learn more about the lioness of Lisabi, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, there is the book above by Cheryl Johnson-Odim and Nina Emma Mba, or you can go to the Assata Shakur forum, or even to wiki, and a long review on The Angry Black Woman.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

It's New Year's

This week is stuffed with Events of Significance (unless, maybe, you are among those who refuse to bother with the nation's political and economic fate, or consider all of this merely Big Billion Dollar Media Smoke'n Mirrors, nor can I blame you, or, among those, like myself, who go "Football? That's war games by another designator ...." or like a gay friend wrote to me on Monday:

[ A lineup of men, bent over at waist to reveal dozens of spandex form-fitting buttocks, the shoulder pads, dark eyeliner, the vulvic headdress with the fellatio-inhibiting chin guard - you really dont WANT to remove that guard. The enormous men jumping on top of each other in a pile, trying to grab the same little ball - covered in pigskin, a ceremonial re-claiming of the foreskin. It's all just too gay, even for me." ] )

That took care of Sunday and Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Today it's New Year's for our Asian friends.

[ Ha Tran was applying the final swipes on Saturday to a 20-foot Buddhist statue inside a Chinatown temple. It took two days, but Mrs. Tran, a 62-year-old Vietnamese immigrant, lovingly washed every one of the deity’s thousand arms and did the same for its 10 heads. Balanced on scaffolding, she painstakingly removed 12 months of accumulated dust and incense in time for the Chinese New Year on Thursday, her yearly rite for 22 years. ]

There's a slide show of the preparations by the nuns of this Buddhist temple that goes along with the story, that are marvelous to look at. It's delightful that this is going on so close to where I live.

I've been over to Broadway and Canal Streets -- there's such authentic joy in the crowds. If you are fond of dragons, this is the day to be in downtown New York.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

"All On A Mardi Gras Day ..."

. . . is there an election today or something?

It's Mardi Gras -- Zulu's rolled by now. Been a while now since I haven't waked at ungodly hours on Fat Tuesday to go Indian chasin'.

Soundtrack for the day is at WWOZ.

Though we're not there this year, we represent. Passed out Mardi Gras beads to all the people working at our polling spot. Mardi Gras beads always bring bright smiles and cheers from those you give them to, no matter where and when you do it. Which is why we do like we do.

We've got an enormous carton of beads collected from our Mardi Gras celebrations over the years. What better thing to do with them than to pass them along?

Vaquero's all tricked out with hat, cane and beads, stylin' down the streets today. He looks -- just right. He's white guy, but still, da man be kool. We have that judgment from the most sacrosanct authority, the Indians themselves.

Monday, February 4, 2008

NYC's Super Tuesday AND ITS FAT TUESDAY, Mardi Gras

New York's part of Super Tuesday. So, what's going on? I don't know about the rest of the state, but here in NYC, there's this: Weather-wise it's supposed to be raining and / or snowing in NYC in the a.m., but at least it will be warm, so it's really just slop, but it will screw up transportation, because that always does affect rush hours. BTW, "Rush Hour," long ago stopped being an hour, but more like from 4 to 7:30. in the evenings.

So tonight McCain's holding a big rally during RUSH HOUR in Grand Central Station. He's holding another one in Midtown, at 42nd St. during RUSH HOUR tomorrow a.m., which in the mornings tends to be from about 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Our Mayor Mike Bloomberg's, hosting a ticker tape parade for the Giants from the Financial District up to City Hall from 11 a.m to 1 p.m. -- blocking access to at least 3 polling places. Bloomberg's throwing as close to a tantrum as I've ever known him to do (except when voters refused to allow him to build a new Yankees' stadium on the Upper West Side), because there are those who have suggested this was bad planning and bad timing, the ticker tape parade, I mean, not McCain. Bloomberg has nothing to do with McCain's dumb moves, as far as I know.

Obama's got the money to spend ... so much so that he's a big presence here in NYC and upstate. I don't know about television, since I don't have one, but I bet he's spending like crazy there too, since that's where most of the political money does go.

This is supposedly the Billary Kingdom, but the Big O's challenging on the home turf. There are fired up college kids in all the subways handing out Obama lit and pins; I see elderly people on the sidewalks and in the supermarkets wearing Obama stickers; I've gotten mail from his campaign (I've received zilch from the Hil-Bil machine, and see nothing from them on the street, or even on parked cars, though a lot of the cars have Obama bumper stickers -- they may be sorry they took out Edwards so soon ....).

When Obama's campaign can paper the streets like that, as well as do television, in the Hillary state, they've got some real dough all right.

We want saviors. We've been taught by all our entertainment tropes / fairy tales to expect them. As I mentioned to Vaquero passing yet another elderly white gentleman with an Obama sticker, "If he actually gets in the White House, they are going to be shocked to be as disappointed as they are going to be. You'd think by now we'd all have learned not to be so gullible." Kids probably haven't learned it yet. And it's good to have something to feel excited about. It's probably better that all of the world not be as experienced as some of us are.

The polls are all over the place. But what seems to be embedded in the the head to head polls -- at this moment -- as in the one by the WaPo is that McCain's showing as having a very good chance of beating both Hillary and Obama. More and more it's difficult to look at the O's campaign and find no there there.

Like this YouTube:

Governing is NOT in the realm of Musicvideolandia. But I don't like her either, and McCain? Shudder.

Edwards is still on the ballot here. And so is Kucinich and Biden and Dodd. Though that is a wasted vote They say. At this point, in the billion dollar smokenmirrors distraction Big Media entertainment programming that POTUS Campaign 2008 is, one must constantly give oneself good talkings to, to convince oneself that one's vote matters.

What is also worrying is that with Edwards not in the race, well, how about this? Either Hillary or Obama are the nom. One of them picks either the other or -- Richardson, as the VP running mate. That means a woman and / or a black person and someone who represent the latino vote (at least that's the way people who think speaking Spanish means all the same thing). So there's all these fabled white males who -- have NOBODY that's like him. They're gonna vote for McCain. Well, that's one of way of theorizing.

Politics is not my real life, but it so affects my real life. Boston on Wednesday. And I'm missing Mardi Gras for the first time in years, and it hurts.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Fidel Reflects Upon Lula



(Part One)

Friday, February 1, 2008

Reviews for Da Book!

Excellent reviews, so far, from Publisher's Weekly and the Boston Globe. Today we saw the one in the American Library Association's Booklist for February, Black History Month. The surprising part about this review is that it is highly recommended for YA and Teens! I have written about 14-year-old Friend and some others I've heard about loving this book, but still ... content is adult content, particularly the material relating to the inter-state trade and the related context.

As ALA's Booklist online is subscription only here is the review:

[ In the rush to analyze New Orleans after Katrina, this articulate and intensely researched history provides not only an impressive look at its subject but also should serve as a model for any future works on great American cities. As he tracks discovery by the French, colonization by the Spanish, and eventual possession by the Americans, Sublette reveals how each nation implanted its character on the Crescent City’s development. Most startling will be his discussion of the deep Cuban and Haitian connections and the cultural and economic effect these Caribbean islands have on present day society and industry. As the author of Cuba and Its Music (2007), Sublette gives the city’s musical legacy its due and investigates Congo Square with its tradition of late night celebrations rooted in distant African life, which provided a permanent link between the two continents. He finishes with an insightful discussion on the Mardi Gras Indians, significant groups who are keeping New Orleans’s history of slavery and hard-fought freedom alive. Cultural studies and history do not get much better than this, a must read for anyone who wonders why this city must be saved.

YA/C: Critical reading for teens researching the history of American slavery or the city of New Orleans. ]

So, then, Hooray. For these days, yanno, the publishing money is in the YA market, something that didn't exist outside schools and libraries, prior to the boomers having kids, and then, particularly post the first Potter volume explosion. These are also the reviews, as with the Publisher's Weekly one, amazon etc. put up on the book's page. They don't tend to do reviews from places like The Boston Globe, for instance, which had a terrific review of da book last week, I think it was. Supposedly the NY Times Book Review will be running one this month too.


Another *****ed Review:

Associated Press.

I've never been aware of AP reviews before. It's probably the only time Vaquero's gonna be on the same page with Brittney Spears!