Wednesday in July Is For Fiction

Jul. 26th, 2017 05:07 pm
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      . . . . I may have read more fiction this month of July than in all of 2015 - 2016 and the first half of 2017 put together. 

This means novels that I started and read straight through, completing them to the last page.  I pick up a lot of fiction and give up on the book by the end of the first chapters, as well as many others where I get about half or two thirds through and quit due to do not care, and also, why is this so much longer than it needed to be? 

So July's fiction reading is much more than usual, that’s for sure.  Staying home alone during the brutally hot, polluted and humid 8 days that el V was off to hot and humid Cuba, and feeling physically crummy is probably responsible -- that, and maybe some novels I wanted to read.  


Brookmyre, Christopher. (2016) Black Widow.


Right after finishing this novel, which I'd picked off the shelves without any prior knowledge of either the book or the author, I learned Black Widow was just award the UK's Crime Writers' Association Golden Dagger award for 2016.


Nerd pop culture references all the way through, which gets wearing and doesn't wear well for readers of the future. The investigator of the mystery, and primary narrator is really too old for this stuff, so it was annoying as hell.  But since many of the other  characters were nerds and young and live in that culture I kept page turning / reading, until fairly close to the end I got all too familiar sensation that comes with trying read fiction, which is "Isn't this over yet?????" -- "gads, this is at least 50 pages too long!" --  so skipped to the end to find out who did it and why. Spoiler alerts!   


SPOILER CONTENT HERE


Read more... )


SPOILER CONTENT ENDS


Pop culture / nerd culture, you bet he does GOT too.  Feh.  He and his ending let me down, as endings so often do.


However the following books all have satisfying endings.


Cleeves, Ann (2016) Cold Earth.


The latest of her Jimmy Perez Shetland series.  It was slow-going, particularly in getting going, in an almost exact replication of the first Jimmy Perez - Shetland Islands book I read. In fact, the location is where the first one took place even. This in an on going problem in almost all of her Shetland books. though not in the television adaptations.


One of the many pleasures I receive from reading Cleeves (she's the author of Yorkshire's Vera Stanhope novels too -- the first one of which, The Crow Trap, originally published in 1999, I finally got to read last month!  And it was the very best of the Vera novels I've read so far), is how different the television series are from the books.  Both the Vera and Shetland tv series are among my big watching pleasures.  These provide good lessons in how to adapt successfully from print to screen. The first lesson, may well be the most important -- the casting makes all the difference, and when it's perfect, the visual adaptation may well be more compelling than the print, without being in the least faithful to the plots or even who the characters are -- but then television has its own rules, which may not be necessary for the page.  As said, an education in writing.


French, Tana; (2008) The Likeness.

 

I’ve read all of Irish writer French’s novels almost as soon as they were published in the US, except this, her second one.  It was involving, though the pretext, that divine, insulated group of college kids who are interested only in each other is rather more than tired. But so talented a writer as French (rather like the great talent that was Daphne Du Maurier for our age)  did something fresh with it. The problem, though, is is that they really aren’t kids, and don’t even feel in the early 20’s. So how does this undercover female detective protag manage, since, even though older than the 'kids', still her experience seems too deep for her early 30’s, as she says she is, even though she supposedly looks a lot younger.


But hey, it’s hot, I read in the bed, with the a/c cranked until deep into the night.  I turned the pages compulsively. This passed the hours most agreeably until I could relax enough and sleep while el V was in Cuba.


Leon, Donna (2016) The Waters of Eternal Youth: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery. 


Venice is drowning in tourists and their crap, immigrants, the mob and general corruption of everything.  But still, despite everything being online these days, the Commissario and his family continue to read the classics and eat the most wonderful meals at least three times a day.


Rankin, Ian. (2016) Rather Be The Devil.


Rankin's hard drinking, chain smoking, 60's rock and roller, rule breaking, ass kicking, Scott's cynic Rebus is retired from Edinburgh's police force. It's all caught up with him after many books in the Rebus series.  He's not smoking, but coughing disgusting crap with a shadow on his lung, trying to cut back on drinking.  But he’s still dueling with Big Ger, frustrating Siobhan Clarke and everyone who cares for him, but going to the center of what has happened in the past that has bled into the bloody present. Another change in Rebus --  the proverbial lone wolf detector, he's one of three -- and actually cooperating as much as Rebus can cooperate with them. This means the narrative provides additional povs beyond Rebus's in this convoluted case, which is about – what exactly? The disappearance of a banker, who seems to be connected to all sorts of nefarious financial deals, drugs, gambling, homicide – and, well, not Russians, but Ukrainians, laundering money in and through Scotland. But then Rankin's Rebus has never about the case, really, but about the wild ride he takes you on..


In the end, again, Rebus's nemesis, and in these later novels, now at least a frenemy, if not friend, Big Ger Cafferty’s back, old as he is -- as old as Rebus, but he's not over the hill yet, any more than is Rebus. But Rebus has learned to work with others, as much as Rebus can: Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke, and the male officer promoted and moved over her, to international crime, Malcolm Fox. They all get what they want. Further, Rebus still has his girlfriend from the previous book, Deborah Quant, who works post mortems for Edinburgh, has since the last book acquired a dog named Brillo – and he’s lost weight.  Neither Big Ger nor Rebus are anywhere near down for the count yet, and they glory in it -- and that they have both proved they are both still at the top of their intersecting game.


It was good reading for a hot and humid July weekend in NYC.


Today the weather is splendid, a perfect July summer day.  There's enough July left that I may be able to get in yet another novel. Tonight I begin an historical set colonial Manhattan of 1746. I've been looking forward to this one. 


Spufford, Francis (2017) Golden Hill.


 If I am able to finish this one (it's not long) it would make a grand total of six -- 6 -- novels, I read this month!

 

Anniversary -- And, Now, Mexico

Jul. 26th, 2017 10:34 am
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      . . . . For an anniversary day that was as difficult and frustrating for us both -- involving computers of course! -- it ended special, so soft, tender, relaxing.

Ned's been working with the Adobe InDesign program, which he pays $30 a month for, to do his Cuban travel brochures.  As these digital / online brochures feature many photographs (he's not lost his terrific eye for taking pictures, that's for sure!) and InDesign doesn't bother to provide actual, you know, directions and instructions, just menus, when it comes to formatting for the vast variety of devices and platforms, this is very difficult.  That was his frustrations yesterday.  Mine was zotzing my Outlook Live.com contacts, etc.  Fortunately, we both basically prevailed.

We failed, however, at coming up with a plan for anything special by which to observe our anniversary.  The weather was lovely -- cool and not humid.  So we strolled about, stopping at two different tapas places.  So many really good ones, run by Spaniards, have opened in the last 10 years here. The walking smoothed out our jagged nerves. The tapas were delicious -- plus I had some of the best wine I've ever drunk, and most flavorful olive oil for dipping and saucing. We planned our fantasy trip to Spain while dipping, nibbling and sighing with pleasure.

We walked back in the dark to our own neighborhood, very mildly buzzing from the two glasses of wine we'd had.  We finished at the Bistro, with champagne and chocolate mousse.  The people were as welcoming and pleased to see us as ever.  Our amigo, the maître d, upon our entrance, immediately programmed Cuban musician Lecuona's magnificent piano on the music system.  The Bistro's front was open to the street and air. It was still too early for the riotous young to throng the sidewalks howling and yelling. Both the street front and the restaurant were quiet (unlike the cavernous tapas restaurants filled with shrieking females, yelling bombastic boys and thud thud thud syntho euro disco pop. We sat with our champers and gazed goofily into each others' eyes, holding hands and talking, talking, talking.

What did we talk about?  

We talked about October, which isn't far away at all.

     . . . . October is filled up, with the Cuba Rumbazo, Baranquilla's Jazz Festival (Colombia) -- and then, the second half, the Veracruz (state), Mexico American Slave Coast event.






We're the lead 'act' so to speak for Vera Cruz's (city) annual Jazz Festival and the accompanying academic symposium at the city's campus of Universidad Veracruzana (the home campus is in Xalapa.   

So, having to put away Far From Anywhere for now, it feels as though I'm working to write a whole new and different Slave Coast as I swot up the research on Mexico. 

Even most US historians do not yet know in their bones, just how different slavery was here, when compared with just about everywhere at every time. They do not understand how thoroughly our economic and social slavery system affected all the aspects of our national history, the consequences of which remain fundamental sources of national conflict today.

So Mexican historians won't know this either. Compared to the Caribbean and Brazil, Venezuela, etc. few Africans were brought to Mexico (the largest percentage to what is now the state of Veracruz), and most of those came in the 16th and 17th centuries. Slavery in Mexico was abolished already in 1829, just as the Cotton Kingdom in Dixie was ramping up and Indian Removal was Jackson's number one priority. 

We're doing the keynote address at the university track of the festival, so the focus has to be on how our slavery, its system and consequent slaveocracy affected Mexico, including the Texas "republic',  the Mexican-American War, the vast territory the US acquired that up to then had been Mexico - New Spain's -- and particularly what it meant that the US possessed previously Mexican California and the Southwest. 

)

Emperor Maximilian of Mexico and wife Charlotte (Carlota) -- the world's most attractive couple -- not!

Further, it has to include the takeover by France during the War of the Rebellion over US slavery, and the Union - US response. 
 In 1866 General Philip Sheridan was in charge of transferring supplies and weapons to the Mexican Liberal army ( by now, of which the Union had a huge surplus), including some 30,000 rifles directly from the Baton Rouge Arsenal in Louisiana. Long before that, while Buchanan was still in office, the Union was deeply concerned about French incursion into its hemisphere. There were desperate proposals from the foundering CSA at the hapless Hampton Roads Conference of 1865 that this terrible war could be over if the US joined forces with the CSA to take France out of Mexico. One can imagine how Lincoln -- and Grant -- snorted at that proposal for peace that would leave slavery intact -- Grant who always maintained that the only reason for the Mexican American War in the first place was to expand slavery.

By 1867, Seward shifted American policy from thinly veiled sympathy to the republican government of Juárez to open threat of war to induce a French withdrawal. Seward had invoked the Monroe Doctrine and later stated in 1868, "The Monroe Doctrine, which eight years ago was merely a theory, is now an irreversible fact."

None of this was the focus of The American Slave Coast. Of course it's reference, but not presented in granular detail, with facts, figures and other stats that are part of presenting and doing seminars with an international cast of Spanish speaking academics, scholars and intellectuals.

The art part, with the music for the Jazz Festival etc., that's all up to Ned and Donald Harrison.  But the academic track, for obvious reasons, is pretty much up to me. I have to research and write it. Then Ned has to translate it into Spanish. it's a lot to get ready in these few short weeks.
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      . . . .  "I Don't Want to Watch Slavery Fan Fiction" by Roxanne Gay runs in today's NY Times Op-Ed section.

NYPL pay wall, so url not link:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/25/opinion/hbo-confederate-slavery-civil-war.html?


She hits all the points I've made, including the one that people tend to stay far away from, which is art and entertainments' civic, social and moral obligations to the polity.

Why yes, it is odd that whenever there is a reimagining of antebellum slavery and the Civil War, it always is white supremacists win and white supremacists are always in charge.  IOW, this is no alternate history, it is how things always were.  Why don't we reimagine a nation without color coded slavery, or any slavery at all?  Why don't we imagine a nation in which there was no Napoleonic cession of the Louisiana Territory? A reimagining in which Texas and California etc. stayed with Mexico?  Hmmmmm?  Why don't we?????? 

     . . . . That *&^%$#$ McCain did it, by the way.  The Kill Bill has been passed, thanks to his vote and thus the the tie-breaking by the Speaker.

Another Disaster

Jul. 25th, 2017 01:01 pm
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      . . . . Foolishly,  I thought I'd clear caches this morning.  What I did was zotz my Outlook live mail account, losing everything including my contacts list.  

This being my primary, personal e-mail account, is a serious problem in itself.

BUT!  beyond this!  it seems to have removed my actual live mail e-mail address / name, insisting I use my gmail name / address.  So I'm receiving enormous amounts of ads and junk in the Outlook box, but not anything addressed to my 'name.'

Today's our anniversary.  I really am observing it.  ARGH!!!!!!!

OK.  Restored.  Gads what a waste of three hours.  And there's no one to blame but myself.




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      . . . . Quote:
She was born to royalty in British colonial Burma, but rejected that life to become a cross-dressing warlord whose C.I.A. supplied army established opium trade routes across the Golden Triangle.
 
 
Not thriller copy but The New York Times! 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/21/world/asia/burmese-warlord-olive-yang.html? 

As thrilling as the first clauses are, the final one that is the shocker: " whose C.I.A. supplied army . . . ." Well, probably not. We know how much the US forces of every kind got involved for fun and profit in the southeast Asian drug traffic in the 70's. Did they ever quit it, one wonders? They pulled that shyte during Reagan to fund illegal operations in the 80's. we know. 

In the meantime I woke to temps in the 60's! Wonderful. 

And rain. 

We had such a nice time yesterday, late afternoon and evening, up on Harlem's Jumel Terrace A real backyard bbq (I ate none of it or anything else either as my appetite is still rather repressed from the days of heat, pollution and humidity), filled with a variety of guests that we have known for so long, from the great African scholars like HD and DD, including Robert Farris Thompson, to all those Cuban musicians that el V's been working with one way and another -- plus beloved C&K. It was very humid, and very crowded. About 6:30 we departed for C&K's own brownstone around the corner, for a more quiet get-together. We also lucked out -- the subways came quickly, were not packed and suffered no delays, going up or coming back. 

A passel of the guests are going together as ethnomusicologists / anthropologists / comparative art historians, etc. to Cuba in 10 days. Some of them haven't been back there in quite some time so they had lots of questions for el V. The biggest change in the last year, even since the last time he (and I) were there, in March is -- the Russians are back! El V said they were everywhere, as tourists, not ag advisors or whatever, but tourists. One Russian Aeroflot plane after another was arriving or taking off from the José Martí airport. He added in these intervening years it had been such a relief not to see Russians or hear about Russia.  

So one wonders what this about in terms of Putin's Russia. They are in deep economic stagnation. Cuba did a great deal to bankrupt the old Soviet Union. Now it owes some billions to Putin's Russia for oil and gas and other large ticket items.

[ It being the NY Times paywall here is the url, not a link:]

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/23/world/europe/trump-putin-sanctions-hacking.html?

The romperitler is going to have sign the bill for further economic sanctions against Putin's Russia, while laundering huge amounts for his pal Putin and many others. At the same time he is determined to force himself into Cuba's hotel industry or destroy it if he can't have his way. 

What will happen on that island in the Caribbean in the next 6 months, caught between Putin and romperitler cray cray? 

What will happen to NYC in the next 6 months, caught between two a$$holes that NYC hates, two a$$holes that hate NYC? The romperitler is considering replacing Sessions with Giuliani. How much humiliation is Sessions prepared to up with put? 






In the meantime Ned is thinking that this Central Cuban trip in January, going to the very poorest towns in Cuba, the still functioning centrales (sugar mills), the little towns where the sugar industry is centered -- and which are still generating original culture just as in the days of slavery and up to the Revolution (many of them are of Haitian descent, so lots of vodoun, who came as braceros at the last part of the 19th and first part of the 20th century -- may well be too arduous for me. That el V would even consider this is the case, speaks volumes for how difficult it will be. This is for hard core ethnomusicologists, musicians, etc., perhaps. I am not them.



And then, today, el V got an invitation to go at WOMAX's expense back to Havana in September for a special Cuban international music expo -- centered in el teatro de Alicia Alonso.  This is a gorgeous theater.  Experiencing a ballet performance there is one of my most treasured memories.

So much Cuba in our lives!

 
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 Yah, what is this anyway?  This third party hosting biz?

Dreamwidth, what have you done?











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          . . . . Even on the ASOIAF forum HBO's announced next project with D&D alternate history in which the southern antebellum slaveocracy successfully seceded has set off a sh*t storm, on the order of "Bad Idea or Worst Idea?" with loads of people weighing in with all the cliched, stereotypical expected responses, which basically say --

Woo! slavery's so haut!

It's just entertainment what's your problem?

How can you condemn something that hasn't even been written yet?

The Civil War wasn't about slavery.

Antebellum slavery couldn't industrialize because it was a feudal system not a capitalist system.

The north didn't care about slavery.

There were very few abolitionists (and evidently, judging by these comments, not a single person of color -- or white woman -- was in favor of abolition or against slavery, and this was wholly a white man's war.

Why not just have let 'em have their part of the country and all would be fine.

Slavery would have just withered away.

Blahblahblahblah.

To be able to combat these idiocies coolly and effectively, one needs to be armed -- and trust me, those thoughtlessly regurgitating these cliches are not.  One must point out particularly what the slavocracy's objectives were (number 1: expansion of slavery) there are a few books one can read to make one competent. One should read them too,  because what most people think they know about antebellum slavery, "the underground railroad," abolition and the roots of the War of Southern Aggression ( A/K/A officially labeled the War of the Rebellion) are at best out-dated (such as slavery was a feudal system), and at worst,  just wrong (the north didn't give a damn about slavery).


For example, Eugene Genovese's thesis that slavery was feudal not capitalist, has been dismantled by vast scholarship in the last twenty - thirty years. Enormous amounts of scholarship has gone into the history of antebellum slavery in all its aspects since the Civil Rights Movement, and historians everywhere have been reaping the benefits of this in the last 2 - 3 decades.  The same is true for the war effort itself.


Here is a very short list of books than anyone who wants to speak of the system of antebellum slavery and the War of Southern Aggression should read:


Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. Written by Himself;

Behind the Scenes: Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House by Elizabeth Keckley (Keckley was the US's first African American 

couturier-- right before secession she dressed both Mary Todd Lincoln and Varina Davis. She became Mary Todd Lincoln's confidant in the White House. The book is a mixture of authentic memoir and fiction;

Crucible of Command: Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee--The War They Fought, the Peace They Forged  by William C. Davis;

General Lee's Army: From Victory to Defeat by Joseph Glatthaar;

This Vast Southern Empire: Slaveholders at the Helm of American Foreign Policy by Matt Karp;

The American Slave Coast: A History of the Slave-Breeding Industry by Ned and Constance Sublette -- which runs down in a chronological, fast-reading narrative the latest scholarship about slavery in North America from the earlier colonial era to Emancipation, including the influence and effects the system within the larger European and hemispheric historical context, but the focus is on the economics of the enslaved bodies themselves -- without which the South had no wealth;

Bound for Canaan: The Epic Story of the Underground Railroad, America's First Civil Rights Movement by Fergus M. Bordewich;

Our Man in Charleston: Britain's Secret Agent in the Civil War South by Christopher Dickey -- an interesting contrast to how the Union State Department was seeing the situation with England in particular through the experiences of the US minister's mission to Saint James;

Mary Chesnut's Civil War; the carefully edited after-the-fact diary of a the wife of the South Carolina senator James Chestnut Jr., until secession, after which he served as an aide to Jeff Davis and a brigadier general in charge of South Carolina's reserves (though not seeing action, of course, being such a slavocracy nabob);

The Free State of Jones by by Sally Jenkins and John Stauffer -- Mississippians (the state with largest number of millionaires in the country prior to Emancipation) who were neither segregationists nor secessionist, nor were they nabobs -- they suffered and they resisted and fought back.

The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams.  He writes of his first hand experiences at the highest levels of England's and France's government during the first years of the war, as private secretary to his father, Francis Adams, as minister to Saint James.

Two things we must never forget about antebellum slavery and the War of Southern Aggression: African Americans played an immense role in abolition and emancipation.  Escaped slaves and free people of color founded newspapers, wrote books, spoke at endless meetings, organized a relief and assistance for those who managed to escape.  They labored endlessly to keep the issues of the Fugitive Slave Act and Dred Scott in the forefront of progressive minds.  Here we see the first nexus of authentic cooperative action -- not just words! -- of black and white, male and female. Never underestimate the power of people with god-given mission for moral improvement (look at how the evangelicals etc. have managed to just about disappear not only abortion, but any woman's reproductive health care from so many places in this nation, even though it is all legal).


And we must never forget that while the north for the most part, as well as the Union, when the time came, though deeply white supremacist, was also deeply antagonistic to slave labor, for it undercut wages across the board for everyone (as keeping the wages of Haitians at a few cents an hour is the benchmark for wages throughout the hemisphere currently)-- as well as threatening having work at all.  With this half of the 19th century receiving boatloads of immigrants every day, the competition for jobs was fierce.


Having slavery forced upon free soil states was not in their interests -- just as the Fugitive Slave Act was antithetical to their interests, economically, politically, and socially.  Anyone could point to your daughter and son, declare her, him a runaway slave and there was no legal recourse -- and you were supposed to help them.


Don't forget by now there was a large percentage of legally enslaved who had white skin, blue eyes and blonde hair, thanks to generations of white men raping African American women for both fun and profit -- every slave child born provided the slave owner with at least another $50 of credit, in a culture that didn't have money per se, only credit, vastly based in the bodies of their slaves.


So skin color was not a final defense by any means -- nor was an accused runaway allowed to have or speak a defense!  People in the north did not like this.  This brought more people into the anti-slavery factions than anything else, and did it so fast the south couldn't believe it was happening.


You have to know all this and much more besides, and know it inside and out, viscerally, before you can write successfully about anything to do with the history of the war, slavery, and what happened. And the more one knows -- seeing from the benefit of hindsight-- the more one knows it couldn't have happened any other way.


What cannot be white washed away in any kind of entertainment is that slavery = rape and every kind of violence perpetrated on people who have no legal right to object or fight back. Which is why so many can't seem to let it go (see above -- slavery's haut! How dare you object to what turns us on?).  They want and revel in with all their being, the joy of feeling dominant, doing whatever they wish (or their fantasy surrogates do to women and others whatever they wish), to deliberately make people suffer both physical abuse and emotional abuse.


We see this particularly in the many stories or program that involves artificial intelligence / androids. There is no fun in hurting and degrading a sentience that doesn't feel abused and degraded, that in really has no free will or feeling. Thus all the plot lines is giving the androids a/is actual humanity or having them develop it -- so they can feel humiliated and degraded. (A rare exception to this is Ex Machina, an adroid who does feel outrage, but is also entirely sociopathic, lacking all the human feelings and values -- just like slave owner.  She gets hers, and is now unleashed upon the world of poor unsuspecting male victims. O noes!)


We say, for the sake of the story, so people can have identification with the characters we have to give them human feelings.  I.e. we need that dominance from built in abuse.  Which is why this will not help and will make things worse.  D&D have a track record, and that track record is out there for all to see and read.


Entertainments have civic, ethical, social, political and historical responsibilities too.  To say "it's only for fun," -- just think about what that fun consists of.


Then there's this, that so many of us find the entire concept sickening on so many levels, delights the ilks that are D&D -- it means they won, which is supremely depressing.

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      . . . . The same untalented, ethically, socially and historically ignorant sexist and racist team that brought you limitless gratuitous graphic scenes of female nudity, rape and torture to HBO via Got, now presume to bring the the same, now set in an 'alternate' historical time line in which slavery remains legal because the CSA successfully seceded.


 

Just for that latter, a "successful" secession has Andrew Jackson spinning in his monument.  He didn't squash Calhoun, South Carolina and Nullification in 1832 for morally bankrupt 21st century media to make it entertainment.  See the Nullification Proclamation By Andrew Jackson, President of the United States, to South Carolina, here.


NY Time pay wall so the url rather than a link is provided: 

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/19/arts/television/hbo-confederate-game-of-thrones.html 

 

     . . . . In any case, the south couldn't have successfully seceded because Lincoln and many coalitions behind  him wouldn't allow it. As Jackson knew, neither division would have stood long before England and France picked both of them off. As it was during the first three years of the War of Southern Aggression a faction in both England and France did their best to help this along.  Also because the whole point of secession was to provoke a war with the non-slavery forces so the slaveocracy could then take over the entire nation -- they didn't want to be left alone with their peculiar institution.  Their objective was to aggressively force their peculiar institution upon all by the force of arms.  There is a reason that the U.S. Civil War's official name in the government records is "The War of Southern Aggression."

 

So Grant whipped Lee's army, and the CSA melted because it was essentially nothing but the Army of Northern Virginia, never a functioning nation. If you don't believe me, read some contemporary

 

 

 

 

 

 

military histories of the Virginia campaign by military historians, such Crucible of Command, and Lee's Army. Among the reasons the CSA was never a nation is that the CSA power elites didn't believe in government in the first place, and couldn't work together any better or effectively than the people in the White House right now do. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Killing black people at whim with impunity, raping black women anywhere anytime at whim without repercussion, raping black children without even being socially ostracized, torturing and incarcerating at will, using as unpaid labor black people who are prisoners of the entire slavery system, in an what has to be (speaking from historical evidence), an all white country, since slave labor makes immigration unattractive if not downright impossible, since color-coded slave labor fills all the labor slots from housekeeping, to hair stylist to mechanic, to street cleaner, miner, etc . -- in our current climate in which lynch nooses and random, arbitrary of killing of African Americans and threats to do so happen all the time -- can anyone with any sense of artistic talent and social conscience really think this thing which didn't happen and couldn't have happened is a good thing for popular entertainment and the nation? 



This is the height of irresponsibility, as a member of our civic, economic, social and political polity. Media and entertainment does shape all these matters.  Historical accuracy, even in entertainment, is civic responsibility. Ask the  historic slaveocracy that blamed Harriet Beecher Stowe and Uncle Tom's Cabin for the Civil War.


Shame HBO and everyone involved, shame, shame, shame.

Lunch

Jul. 19th, 2017 05:58 pm
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     . . . .  Yah, it's ten to 5 PM, and I am just having it.  Maybe . . . it's really dinner

I had a smoothie for breakfast at 8 AM and that's it so far for today. 

So hot humid polluted, don't have a lot of appetite. 






But this 'lunch' appeals. An heirloom yellow tomato, homemade pesto, artichoke hearts, olive oil, vinegar and crunchy bread. 



The NYPL electronics have been down all day again, for the second day in a row, with intermittent glitches on Monday. It's the whole system: all the branches and the research libraries. One cannot even return materials, much less access the catalogs and data bases. Are the cray crays hacking libraries now? 

In the meantime the NYU library's a/c went out, within minutes of my arrival and set-up and logging into JSTOR . . . . 

IOW, in some ways, this has been somewhat of a frustrating day. Nor have I managed to unearth the North Dakota materials I was looking for, particularly the genealogy of my maternal grandmother's family. 

So -- once I eat my delicious lunch - supper, I'll crack open a chilled Czech pilsner and watch some eps of the second season the SyFy channel's The Expanse (from the Daniel Abraham -Ty Franck series).

Sample dialog:  "You can't negotiate with a girl who thinks she's a space station."  Ay-up, guys wrote this.

Cooking diary

Jul. 17th, 2017 07:01 pm
soon_lee: Image of yeast (Saccharomyces) cells (Default)
[personal profile] soon_lee
Monday: Spaghetti wth leftover smoked chicken, mushroom, salad leaves.
https://flic.kr/p/VMdyUQ
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https://flic.kr/p/WaTmHr
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Tuesday:Hokkien Char
https://flic.kr/p/VaRQRV
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https://flic.kr/p/VaNLag
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Wednesday: Warm salad of beetroot, mushroom fennel sausage, leaves.
https://flic.kr/p/VR8bT1
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https://flic.kr/p/VR5eW1
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Pokemon anniversary

Jul. 14th, 2017 09:02 pm
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[personal profile] soon_lee
One year after starting playing:
Experience points: 21,145,618
Achieved Level 40 during Solstice event (the triple XP for catches coupled with lucky eggs made a massive difference).
Generation 1: complete
Generation 2: still looking for Ampharos & Unown
Regional Pokemon collected: Kangaskhan only.


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