". . . 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, November 29, 2020

'Tis the Holiday Season, Yes?

      . . . . El V walked out for three hours; I worked out at home.  Fairly soon, the winter will shorten these walks.  Not yet though; gonna be warmish again tomorrow, with a lot of rain and wind due the storm coming up out the South and the Gulf, which will bring a lot of snow and wind, They Say, west of us, all the way up into Maine. Thinking of making butternut squash soup for tomorrow as an antidote to the clammy feel of an all-day rain on the verge of December.

Schools Open! No Closed! No! Open -- Wait, Closed! Ooops, Open Again!  the mayor keeps playing covid-19 ping pong with NYC's public schools.

In yet another NY Public School volte face, tomorrow, de Blasio again declared Back to Physical School. He couldn’t maintain keeping restaurants, churches, gyms etc. open when he closed the schools. But all the shoggoth real estate gangs are his masters, so keeping bars and restaurants and big luxury shops open is what matters.

Keeping people from spreading the damned virus doesn't matter -- even when all the people who work in these shops and restaurants are sick -- then make the beyond over-worked, over-stretched, underpaid medical people sick, dead or burned out and just quitting. We’re up to the rates we were in May for cases, positives and hospitalizations, which will make a double, triple, quadruple leap when everyone comes back from Thanksgiving, They Say, as They have been warning since September and what happened with Labor Day.

This Thanksgiving week felt endless, not because one wasn't doing anything -- on the contrary. There is so much to do every day, and it never is finished, it seems. Which contributes to a sense of being driven, but without ever an end point gained, from when one can move to something else.  ... No finitum to be had?

Which is why people's dogs have become even more important to them? Dogs need to be walked several times a day, which does punctuate the day by getting out and moving, away from the endless procession of chores, work and other obligations.

Partly though this sense of never ending is due to the holiday $ea$on being ushered in -- the real e$tate emperor$ are determined the City is to $pend as it always has in re$taurant$ and $hopping and $ocialiazing.

Nevertheless, in the past, we have loved this annual interregnum in which we weren't so tightly tethered to deadlines and schedules, with instead a calendar marked with events social and relaxed – not professional. It was a bubble in the year, within which we sort of floated above the usual and mundane -- followed, since January 2015-2016, by Postmambo taking a group of Travelers to Cuba. But we are denied all of that  this year by way of a gang of evil thugs who have for four years sent an army to beat wrecking balls into the nation at every point as hard and completely as possible before January 20th, 2021, while keeping us imprisoned within a virulent pandemic and cynical changing the rules yet again -- de Blasio even, has nothing on their sorts.

Yes, I've begun watching BBC1- PBS’s The Rise of the Nazis, the political history of  Hitler and the nazi party take over Austria and Germany (there are serious criticisms as to both its talking heads and some of its claims). It happened very fast, which I hadn’t quite realized -- I thought it took about ten years. The very first lines of the first episode tell us "In 1930 Germany was democracy, had a free press and was recovering economically. Within four years all that was gone, and the first concentration camps had prisoners." We literally see blood and violence throwing up in the streets and people being herded at gunpoint out of their homes and jobs, taken away.

I kind of knew all this Before.  But prior to these last four years, never had this knowledge felt urgent, threatening and filled with the understanding that this is our last chance to turn back our own version, emerged out of what used to be the democracy of the United States of America, from setting the entire world on fire as on September 1st, 1939.

Yet, here we are, thinking o yes, tomorrow I can dash to Mille-Feuille and get one of 

their heavenly baguettes to go with the squash soup. Can there be greater cognitive dissonance than fear of white supremacist, anti-women, neo nazism in company with a pandemic determined upon the same evil, deliberately cruel, destruction of climate, economy, infrastructure and genocides of all kinds, with -- "O, I can get a genuine French baguette -- even croissants if I want -- made by genuine French people"?

Yes, our lives are generally surreal now, completed the day after Thanksgiving by an acre of evergreens set up as a Christmas Tree market on what had been the only uncolonized-by-restaurants sidewalk block within miles of us. All that's left of that now is a bare 8 inches for the pedestrian to squeeze through.

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