". . . 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

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It Took Only Seven Months

For Coleman to conced the election to Al Franken.

If the Minnesota (r) gov will actually deign to confirm then, Franken (d), he might just manage to enter the Senate by the time it like all of D.C. goes on a 6 week -- or is it 8 weeks? -- vacation, like they always do.

During which a catastrophe will take place, and nobody's working.

This nation is just f&cked.

The Spell of Fireflies & the Anasazi -- Science and History

It's very, very easy to speak firefly, so says Dr. Sara Lewis, who is fluent in Firefly, and thus ought to know.

[ " . . . this meadow is the stage for an invertebrate melodrama, full of passion and yearning, of courtship duets and competitions for affection, of cruel deception and gruesome death." ]

Also, "Steve Lekson’s new book offers a kind of unified theory of the Native American population movements that have puzzled Southwest archaeologists for many years." Not everyone agrees with his theories, however (back again, to an entry a few days back that dealt to a degree with, Febvere, father of the Annales school of history, and his decree that one MUST begin with a theory), and an interesting perspective on this concept of theory and history the piece does provide.

[ " .... With all the ambiguities involved in interpreting patterns of dirt and rock — the Anasazi left no written history — archaeologists have been more comfortable focusing on a particular culture or a particular ruin. Dr. Lekson is constantly reaching — some say overreaching — to make connections between isolated islands of thought. Scheduled for publication this summer, his new book, “A History of the Ancient Southwest,” will go even further, offering a kind of unified theory of the Native American population movements that have puzzled Southwest archaeologists for many years.

“Steve has definitely been the one who has dragged us kicking and screaming into ‘big picture’ archaeology,” said William D. Lipe, emeritus professor of archaeology at Washington State University. “In many ways, Steve’s ideas and publications have driven much of the intellectual agenda for Southwestern archaeology over the last 20 or more years.” That does not mean, Dr. Lipe added, that he buys the idea of the Chaco meridian." ]

Monday, June 29, 2009

We're Having Fun Now!

It's been a long time since I've had this kind of fun, historical, alternate history fun.

With certain problems, such as 'office' resolved, at least for the rest of the summer, I can get back the Biesy stud farm below Peak Tarníca. The Lovari are providing the music for the haying.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Only Thing I Have To Say About Michael Jackson

Or even want to:

One of my amigas had the contract for designing and creating the costumes for the extravaganza series of show scheduled to open soon London.

Will she get paid?

If she doesn't, she may lose her house.

Collateral Damage from diet drugs ain't so collateral.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The New Acropolis Museum

If I have this correctly, the New Acropolis Museumofficially opens tomorrow in Athens.

Last week there was an article about it in the NY Times art section, with a slide show. It's one of the most breathtakingly lovely buildings ever created. This ediface is also harmonized with its location, which faces the Acropolis itself.

A fine place for the Elgin Marbles, and Greece is again demanding their return.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Marvelous Review for How I Spent My Summer Vacation

You can find the review over here on SONIC BOOMERS: The Boomer's Guide to Music and News.

He writes that Lissa's voice contains "sultry playfullness." I love that. It's so true.

"Her voice has a timeless quality to it, impossible to pigeonhole into a single style or time zone. What really comes across is her inner beauty, a sultry playfulness that makes it seem no matter what comes her way she’ll take it to the sunny side of the street."

Monday, June 22, 2009

Elijah Wald Reading Tonight in New York

From How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n Roll.

New York:
Monday, June 22, 7 p.m.
163 Court St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Positive Side Effects of the Flu

Bet you didn't think there were any! And you would be correct!

However, as I slowly crawl back to life within the perimeters of cranky and irritability, with windows that open ever a bit wider for encompassing focus, there are books (for some reason I have lost all desire to watch anything).

First, 3 essays by Toni Morrison: Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination -- The William E. Massey Sr. Lectures In the History of Civilization 1990. "She discusses the 'Africanist' presence in the fiction of Poe, Melville, Cather and Hemingway." Considering how much Leslie Fiedler's "Come Back to the Raft Again, Huck, Honey," and Love and Death in the American Novel have shaped my thinking about American fiction and American thought in all areas (I spent my sophomore undergrad year reading every novel Fielder discusses and even mentions in LADITAN I could get my hands on -- it even sent me to the rare books room of the university library to gaze upon first editions of Pamela and, particularly Clarissa, which was the Richardson novel Fiedler was really interested in -- and which taught me that you cannot divorce our fiction from our history, our morality, our sociology), I'm shocked this hasn't come my way before. However, better late than never, and all thanks to ithiliana, who tipped me to this book that she's used in her courses.

Then there's the collection of essays, Life In Renaissance France, published in the 1920s! written by Lucien Febvre, who was the mentor and teacher of Fernand Braudel, trans. into English and published here only in 1977. Febvre was a co-founder of the journal, Annales d'histoire économique et sociale (since 1946, the Annales: Economies, Sociétés, Civilisations), and thus the name for the school of historical study and writing, the Annales.

I have problems with some of this because I am in the 21st century. To start with, this is all about MAN / MEN, The Man, The Men. He makes statements that are ridiculous to any woman, such as it didn't matter to parents that so many of their children died, since, so many children did die, as did so many who managed to survive infancy and childhood, and the ways to die were so very many. So no grief. It was just what it was. Another problem I have is that he insists that the study of a historical subject must begin with a hypothesis, a theory, and that the student, the researcher then approach all the avenues and materials with the view of supporting this hypothesis. I cannot agree with this, for as we have seen a thousand times, this way false interpretation is rife, starting with ... MAN / MEN and mothers didn't grieve for their lost infants and children.

Still it is fascinating to see the beginning of this movement that was determined to move the teaching of history in the universal French pedegogical system out of the purely chronological -- to illustrate the chronology with its comparative works, to illuminate the history, the past, which is a different way of life, a different way of seeing, than ours. We've been doing this one aloud before bedtime.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Iran Protests

I've wondered just why so MANY of those signs held up by valient protesters in Iraq are written in ... English, not Farsi?

I recall the staged phony event of the the Iraqis toppling the Saddam Hussein statue -- and so many other staged stunts that were phony baloney from conception to broadcast in this nation.

Not to mention "orange" Ukraine, and the mess we fostered in Georgia ... today we have "green" Iran.

Here we've got those ridiculous code colors too. To whom are these systems so dearly beloved?, to foster dissension and foster control?


[ The World That Made New Orleans by Ned Sublette (9781556527302-CL/9781556529580-PB) has been awarded the New Orleans Gulf South Booksellers Association Book of the Year Award for 2008. This award, voted on by the local independent booksellers, goes to the booksellers favorite book of the year. ]

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

BRIC Meeting Calls To Remove U.S. Dollar As Global Reserve

We're not hearing about this much over here.

This is where Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is -- at this summit. In spite of the uprisings at home.

Recall what happened in Georgia, about which so much remains muddy?

Is there possibly some connection among these events? I'm not making any statements or declarations, but I distrust anything that brings certain sorts together, that include certain very strong lobbies here in the U.S., for us to intervene militarily. You know who those usual suspects are.

[ YEKATERINBURG, Russia – The leaders of four major emerging economies — Russia, China, Brazil and India — apparently failed Tuesday to reach consensus on reducing the dominance of the U.S. dollar despite growing calls for an alternative global reserve currency.
The four, seeking a greater role in global financial institutions, held the first summit of the so-called BRIC grouping after two days of meetings of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, another group that Russia has sought to use to reassert its role on the global stage.

Moscow tried to mount a new challenge to the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev pushed his call for more global reserve currencies.

"No currency system can be successful if we have financial instruments denominated in just one currency," Medvedev said. "We must strengthen the international financial system not only by making the dollar strong, but also by creating other reserve currencies."

He said that new ones will take long time to emerge, but that "The main reserve currency, the dollar, has failed to serve its purpose."

Now, imagine what your life will be like with the U.S. no longer the global reserve currency.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"The Coming Insurrection"

Paul LeClerc, the president and CEO of the NYPL system, attended last night's anniversary gala for the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. Vaquero found himself with some f2f time with him, who is an affable gentleman. Whereas then, he also found himself presenting a sorrowful description of the concerted efforts of the right for the last 4 decades to make extinct in this nation intellectuals as a profession and a class. Oddly, in this room filled with brilliant, achieving intellectuals, none of them had thought of what is going on quite like that before.

France, however, never forgets the force that intellectuals are.

See full story here.

[ By 5 o’clock a crowd of more than 100 had gathered. Their purpose: to celebrate the publication of an English translation of a book called “The Coming Insurrection,” which was written two years ago by an anonymous group of French authors who call themselves the Invisible Committee. More recently, the volume has been at the center of an unusual criminal investigation in France that has become something of a cause célèbre among leftists and civil libertarians.
The book, which predicts the imminent collapse of capitalist culture, was inspired by disruptive demonstrations that took place over the last few years in France and Greece. It was influenced stylistically by Guy Debord, a French writer and filmmaker who was a leader of the Situationist International, a group of intellectuals and artists who encouraged the Paris protests of 1968.

In keeping with the anarchistic spirit of the text, the bookstore event was organized without the knowledge or permission of Barnes & Noble. The gathering was intended partly as a show of solidarity with nine young people — including one suspected of writing “The Coming Insurrection” —whom in November the French police accused of forming a dangerous “ultraleftist” group and sabotaging train lines.

Intellectuals and artists have been under siege in this nation since nixon, when first we heard coming from the Oval Office the howling accusations of 'elite and effete' as battering rams and trebuchets issued against criticism of the rulers. It has been war on thinking, on the intellect, as a wedge to divide and conquer. It has been the strategy for the progressive dumbing down and debasement of discourse until the average person can no longer tell truth from lies, and weary of it all, no longer gives a damn. It does prgress from that that now the average person can no longer think of anything other than where the next mortgage payment is coming from. They have won the war, and we allowed them to, so worried have so many of us been that somebody might get something for nothing, that we might have to give up calling people 'nigger, kike, cunt, retard, chink, wop, etc.' whenever we felt like it, that someone else might get a slice of the entitlement pie -- the pie that all of us bake, but evidently have now enabled only an increasingly small number to eat.

[ “The book is important because it speaks to the total bankruptcy of pretty much everything,” one man said after the group left the bookstore. “We’re living in a high-end aesthetic with zero content.” ]

Monday, June 15, 2009

King Cake Crypt

This is a Louisiana audiophile's blogspot that someone like 'K' might find of interest.

Iran's Electoral Protests

So far most of the information on Iranian election protests has come from the corporate media. Recall, they have an agenda. They lie. Not every time. But so much of the time.

Here's a different take. This is a non-professional, Greek American living in California. I am not saying she's right. But I am saying that I've heard what she says from others who are far closer to the Iranian ground than she is. And certainly closer to it than I am.

One of the reasons I've tended to be a bit, at least, skeptical about the reportage from the NY Times and the London Times is because of this story in today's NY Times, and others like it -- "A World of Risk for a New Brand of Journalist."

Look at this blatancy of advocacy for the way of life, of doing things, by the old, corporate media, a trashing of new media under the pretext of reporting on the young investigative journalists tried, convicted and imprisoned by North Korea -- not least, this is in the section titled Media and Advertising, not even World News:

[ At a big news outlet or a wire service, “they have resources that they can call upon to come to the aid” of journalists, said Robert Mahoney, the deputy director of the Committee to Protect Journalists.
For example, he said, “they have access to the airwaves that is not to be underestimated.” When Alan Johnston, a reporter for the BBC, was kidnapped in Gaza in 2007, the network held rallies, organized petitions, arranged for a simulcast on competing networks, and placed advertisements in newspapers to put pressure on his captors and call for his release. He was released after nearly four months in custody.

Major outlets are also able to call on their existing diplomatic and military contacts for help.

“All that is fairly easy when you have a big organization standing behind you,” Mr. Mahoney said. “You have a huge treasure of resources behind you.”

Conversely, smaller outlets may not have as much support. The Committee to Protect Journalists found that in 2008, at least 56 of the 125 jailed journalists worked for online outlets and that 45 of the total were freelancers.“These freelancers are not employees of media companies and often do not have the legal resources or political connections that might help them gain their freedom,” the committee reported.

To this we say two words: Daniel Pearl. He had not only the the big corporate 'news' interests on his side, he had a variety of intelligence organizations too, including that of Pakistan and India, and the U.S.A.

However, the NY Times story concluded with this:

[ News distributors are known to come to the aid of freelancers, as they did this year when Roxana Saberi was charged with espionage in Iran. The BBC, ABC, Fox News and National Public Radio released a joint statement and worked behind the scenes to secure her release. She was freed last month. Through a spokeswoman, she declined to comment, but she has said in interviews that she wants Ms. Ling and Ms. Lee to know that “you are not alone.”]

Thursday, June 11, 2009

How I Spent My Summer Vacation In "The Austin Chronicle"

Review of How I Spent My Summer Vacation and an interview with Lissa Hattersley. The interview, in my humble opinion, gives far too much time to her brother, rather than bringing out Lissa's informed and interesting experiences and opinions on what it is to be a woman without a powerful, wealthy, male backer trying to make music on her own terms.

Interview by Margaret Moser here.

Review by Roul Hernandez here.

Monday, June 8, 2009

"The Madness of Buddy Bolden"

American Legacy Magazine's Summer 2009 Music issue is now available. It includes the ground-breaking feature by Vaquero, "The Madness of Buddy Bolden," which gets to the bottom of that.

Why Newspapers Are Despised & Not Bought

They give us this shyte instead of information about the economic and legal crises that are knocking USians to our knees every day. Oh yes the big corps like Halliburton are STILL doing biz as usual, while there are fewer jobs every day.

The NY Times reports from Witchita KS the terrible dilemmas of the men who are determined that women shall die. Wait a moment, while I cleanse from throwing up.

[ "This city of 358,000 people, once the focal point of protests because of four abortion clinics — most significantly Dr. Tiller’s, which provided rare late-term abortions — last week had no abortion facility open for business, no target in chief, no immediate reason for this network of anti-abortion forces to be based here.

“I don’t know what the future holds,” said Troy Newman, the president of Operation Rescue, one of the most well-known anti-abortion organizations. Seven years ago, Mr. Newman moved his organization’s national headquarters, its leaders and his family from Southern California to Wichita to focus a national spotlight on Dr. Tiller, whom he described as “the flagship” of the country’s abortion business." ]

[ "Although Operation Rescue worked for years to close down Dr. Tiller’s clinic, his death was never the outcome Mr. Newman wished for, he said. Of the man charged with killing Dr. Tiller, he tearfully said, “This idiot did more to damage the pro-life movement than you can imagine.” ]

[ "Mr. Newman had always hoped to close. Still, he said, if it closed now it would be no victory for Operation Rescue." ]

[ "Still, even some anti-abortion advocates wondered whether donations and interest levels might drop without the tangible presence of Dr. Tiller and his patients. There was backlash to face, too, they said. Some callers have been blaming the groups for the killing, a notion their leaders said was inevitable but absurd.

Scott P. Roeder, a Kansas City man charged with murder in Dr. Tiller’s death, was not a member of Operation Rescue or a contributor to it, Mr. Newman said. But the authorities found a slip of paper with the organization’s name in Mr. Roeder’s car when he was arrested, as well as the name of one of its leaders and her telephone number. He had also met Mr. Newman at least once.

“I have been racking my brain to see if there was something I could have done,” Mr. Newman said of Mr. Roeder." ]

[ “Good God, do not close this abortion clinic for this reason,” he said. “Every kook in the world will get some notion.” ]

Can you believe this insanity???????? & the Times is reporting their utterances with all due respect, as if they aren't criminals and are rational.

The story leads with a huge photograph of these people at Dr. Tiller's funeral, a circus of hate and violence, the same circus of hate and violence they've been running for over 30 years.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

John Maxwell: Cuba, the OAS & the US

This venerable Jamaican activist, writer and commentator writes the history of Cuba and the U.S. in a few words, history he observed personally. BTW, he never misses a column despite being in the Netherlands, where he is being treated for cancer.

Full column here.

[ The older I get the more evidence seems to accumulate that the greatest enemy of world peace and popular enlightenment may be the profession of journalism.

Somebody once said that generals are always prepared to fight the last war, but the truism seems to fit at least as well when applied to journalists.

Take the New York Times editorial on Thursday; it begins, portentously:

"For 50 years, the Cuban people have suffered under Fidel Castro's, and now Raúl Castro's, repressive rule. But Washington's embargo - a cold war anachronism kept alive by Florida politics - has not lessened that suffering and has given the Castros a far-too-convenient excuse to maintain their iron grip on power."

Anyone who knows anything about the history of the last 50 years might be forgiven for total bafflement. ]

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The History of Women's Reproductive Health and Control in the U.S.

Is bloody as a Civil War battlefield, though not every victim died. However uncounted millions did die, in prolonged bloody agony from lack of contraception, too many pregnancies, too early pregnancies, too late pregnancies, and from the unsanitary practices of male doctors who had seized the lucrative childbed from midwives for their own.* Many victims died of 'shame,' socially and economically, along with their children, after being coerced by their employers to providing them sexual services along with doing scullery duties, scrubbing floors and emptying chamber pots and laundering their dirty clothes. Many died socially and economically because their brothers, cousins, fathers, uncles, grand-dads, neighbors, friends of the family coerced or seduced them. We will not even mention the emotional trauma.

Second wave feminists know this history as a matter of course. Third and fourth generation feminism often does not.

Here's a bit of it, in today's NY Times, featuring as villain, of course, that constant warrior against anything that hinted of sexual activity, and particularly anything that would interfere with women's god-ordained destiny to be pregnant until she died of it, Anthony Comstock. Our Heroine is the great predecessor to Margaret Sanger, Ann Lohman, who called herself Madame Restell. Comstock hounded her to death.

*The male physicians even made it illegal for anyone but themselves to purchase or acquire forceps.

Abortion Wars, the First Time Around

Friday, June 5, 2009

Dr. Tiller's Important Job

From The NY Times, accounts of the lives of women and little girls.

[ The 9-year-old girl had been raped by her father. She was 18 weeks pregnant. Carrying the baby to term, going through labor and delivery, would have ripped her small body apart.

There was no doctor in her rural Southern town to provide her with an abortion. No area hospital would even consider taking her case.

Susan Hill, the president of the National Women’s Health Foundation, which operates reproductive health clinics in areas where abortion services are scarce or nonexisistent, called Dr. George Tiller, the Wichita, Kan., ob-gyn who last Sunday was shot to death by an abortion foe in the entry foyer of his church.

She begged.

“I only asked him for a favor when it was a really desperate story, not a semi-desperate story,” she told me this week. Tiller was known to abortion providers — and opponents — as the “doctor of last resort” — the one who took the patients no one else would touch.

“He took her for free,” she said. “He kept her three days. He checked her himself every few hours. She and her sister came back to me and said he couldn’t have been more wonderful. That’s just the way he was.”

Other patients of Dr. Tiller’s shared their stories this week on a special “Kansas Stories” page hosted by the Web site “A Heartbreaking Choice.” ]

[ “Late abortion is not a failure of contraception. It’s for medical reasons,” Eleanor Smeal, the president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, who has worked to defend abortion providers like Tiller against harassment and violence since the mid-1980s, told me this week. “We’ve made pregnancy a fairy tale where there are no fetal complications, there’s no cancer, no terrible abuse of girls, no cases where to make a girl go all the way through a pregnancy is to destroy her. These are the realities of the story. That’s what Dr. Tiller worked with — the realities.” ]

Why Can't I Cut & Paste In Here Today?

Does it have anything to do with that MS IE upgrade to 8 that I put in last night?

It has changed the defaults of all kinds of things, and I'm trying to get used to the new way and the new displays.

But evidently blogspot no longer links to the clipboard.

Feh. IE 8 is anything but an improvement.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Tiller - Terrorism

You can see it here.

A Finger -- OAS Unprecedented Action

Wasn't that strange?

Yesterday, A.M., Clinton comes out of the OAS meeting fairly jaunty, saying that 'progress' had been made, but really saying that things were going to stay the same because Cuba won't blahblahblahblah.

Vy the afternoon, the other Latin American nations gave her the finger.

Meanwhile, Cuba doesn't care, any more than it's cared all along, because Cuba sees the OAS is an arm of the U.S. military, economic and propaganda machine! This is one of the strangest actions lately.

While, in Cairo, Obama admits that the U.S. played a major role in the 1953 coup in Iran! Then saying that he believed that Muslim women have rights -- to wear head scarves and veils, and to learn to read.

I knew Obama was a corporatist and I didn't expect much from him, other than he wasn't THEM, which considering is a lot and worth having supported him, but he's still disappointing, though I knew better and knew I should expect it. Lately, though, he's been coming off to some degree as an air head, which we know he's not, of course.

The rightwing has such a strangle hold on the national discourse and media, while the insurance, oil and gun lobbies and industries have a strangle-hold on Congress and D.C. -- we're not moving on freakin' anything.

Then he puts that damned Iowa rethug in charge of the NEH!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Angélique (1964); The Road to Versailles and Angélique And The King (1965); Untamable Angélique and Angélique And The Sultan (1967). A French series based on the novels by Anne and Serge Golon. The NYPL just acquired the 5 Acorn dvds of these French productions (1964, 1965, 1967), and I stumbled into them yesterday. I recall vaguely encountering these novels when around 19 - 20, working in that Grand Forks bookstore, and read a few, until I realized this was entirely open-ended, and Our Heroine was forever condemned to be kidnapped and ravished by one Mediterranean world splendid powerful man after another, when Louis XIV was the most powerful man in the world. Their reputation is that they are impeccable in period detail, and the use of the French language.

I watched one of the dvds last night -- they are lush and lavish productions, wonderful to look at (the plots, not so much, but nevermind) -- though they are also cheesy in that style of the French in the 1960's -- think Brigit Bardot and St. Tropez style. I just learned that Bardot turned down the opportunity to play Angélique, and regretted it afterwards.

I am guessing these books and maybe the movies too, were at least part of the inspiration for the Terre d' Ange Fantasies of Jacqueline Carey, though her period is roughly the 13th century. If I have this correctly, she spent time as a doctoral student in France, studying both French and French history, prior to embarking on a career as the wildly successful author of the, by now several, Kushiel Fantasy series. If the French in these productions is as perfect as is said, they'd be good study aids.

Yes, I'm aware the poster above is for the Spanish market, not the French, but as I have a Spanish heart rather than a French one, well, there ya go!