". . . 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, December 3, 2013

Treme - Season 4 - Yes We Can (ep. 32)

When too long away, returning to an intensely love place, filled with friends and family, it's homecoming.  But there's this disorientation, as though everything's just out of focus. That's because, as much as they are the same, the place, the people and yourself have changed. It takes a bit of time to re-adjust, re-orient and bring it all back together.

It's Election Day,New Orleans, 2008.  People are fired up.  The musicians, including our friend John Boutt√©, are donating their talents to entertain the long lines of voters thrilled to cast their vote for the first black president of the United States and against the party that screwed New Orleans so royally in 2005

Kermit Ruffins Stokes the Crowd
2008 was a long time ago from now, 5 years later, the end of 2013, arguably the worst year for President Obama of either administration. 2005 was a long time ago from 2008, but New Orleans remembers 2005, as they will for all their lives.

Big Chief Albert Lambreauax and  LaDonna Batiste-Williams;
Albert Being Albert Did Not Vote;
LaDonna Did Divorce Larry
2008 was when everything changed again, as change has come for everybody in the series. This appears to be signaled by the change in the opening title sequence -- which are terrific!

Sonny Is Still Happily Married to His Vietnamese Wife;
Even Playing a Few Gigs Again
Davis is Uncharacteristically Subdued;
Antoine, Despite A Bit of Bucking is More Responsible

It is unbelievable how much got into this episode. This is meant in the very best way.  Back when el V and I were young and first married, living here in NYC, there was a weekly public radio station program that charted the history of black music and civil rights.  We would shut off the lights, snuggle up in bed and listen. The program was only 60 minutes long, but every week's program took us on a journey that spun us through decades, cities and history -- political as well as cultural -- that took us so far from ourselves and where we were, into places new, marvelous and terrible, and, because of the music all it so familiar at the same time.  By the time the program concluded we been very far away for a very long time, a journey that continued as we dropped into dream.

That's what it was like, watching the first episode of Season 4 in Treme. I'm so glad to be home again.

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