". . . 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, July 31, 2016

Lest Anyone Believe Lancaster A Utopia --

As may have been gathered our little anniversary jaunt last week to Lancaster, Pennsylvania exceeded any expectations we had.  We liked the city very much too, which was fortunate as we made it our center of operations for the things we wished do outside of Lancaster. It was where we made our home for four nights, at the Cork Factory Hotel, so it was important that Lancaster itself was interesting and pleasant.  And it was, o so much. Lancaster felt a place where I could live happily.

But it was there I saw a very sad thing. This was the long screed posted in the windows of The Seed, a cooperative free lending library-art gallery-restaurant-comm
unity center located within a sort of shopping mall made from what had been a large factory in the historic downtown of Lancaster. The Seed is a a communal, worker owned venture.

Poster, inside one of the Seed's bathrooms.

The Seed, as a communal collective, is especially concerned that it be a safe space for ALL people, and particularly the young of the local LGBT Lancaster community.

The screed so very respectfully requested gun owners not come into the Seed openly carrying. They pointed out that PA isn't an open carry state even, and thus it was against the law.  However, more importantly, openly carried guns made many of the people who come to the Seed to feel safe, feel very unsafe. All the language of the screed was placatory and humble, basically begging the gun carriers not to smash up their place of business or shoot the people who come there. The Seed is the hangout for all who don't fit in elsewhere and so on -- that was so obvious among the heavily goth, pierced and tatted under-25 clientele, or those who operate it.  But that cannot include gun carriers.

What a dilemma for a venue that sincerely believes in inclusivity, diversity and eshews excluding anyone.
The performance space in the Seed.

Except, of course, there was nary an African American or Hispanic anywhere to be seen.

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