Happy Solstice

Posted in History, Holidays, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on December 31, 2019

Happy Solstice. This is the true end of the year. In four days it is Christmas, and in eleven days it is 2020. I got a calendar, and a historic Christmas card. I am going to repeat my xmas letter from last year, and comment on your calendar. I will write my commentary as I look at the pages for the first time. I have not cut open the plastic around the calendar yet, although I have taken it out of the shipping package. One thing at a time.

The knife I use to cut open the plastic is a Barlow Camco 551. I found this knife while helping my dad take a carpet out of his room, and claimed it as my fee for helping out. A few years later, I went out of town with a friend, and the Barlow wound up under a seat in his vehicle, where it stayed until the next summer, and I found it. I cleaned up the Barlow, and lubricated the hinge with wd40, so that it opens easily. The Barlow was immortalized in the song “Send me to the ‘lectric chair.” “I cut him with my Barlow, I kicked him in the side, I stood there laughing over him, while he wallowed round and died.”

The cover shows the moon, with a whispery collection of clouds in front. The top row is Trump Hair orange, with the lower clouds quickly settling into a blue black funk. The moon serves as a contrast to the sea grass on the other side. The two highlighted days in January are New Years day, and the birth of Elvis. The King is enjoying retirement in Bug Tussel AR.

February is a collection of Sea Gulls. Two of them are looking at the photographer. There is no indication of what they were thinking about at that moment, or if they were capable of thought, beyond wondering where their next meal was coming from. Valentine’s Day is below National Kite Flying Day. VD is noted by the image of a Buddhist looking dude, saying Love all, all the time.

The last three years, I have been going to a meditation group. Earlier this year, I took a robe-wearing Buddhist monk with me. Arnold was an activist in Georgia in his youth. Then he went to law school, but practicing law proved stressful, so he became a monk. He is back in Atlanta now, after living in India. I connected with him on facebook, and got him to ge meditate with us once. My group is very non authoritarian … the only guideline is to be quiet until the timer goes off. Arnold was a pleasant counterpoint to this, and has not been back since.

March shows a staircase, with the edge of the step painted festive colors. Atlanta has many stairways to nowhere. A house is built on a hill, stone stairs provide access, the house is torn down, and the steps remain. There is something karmatic/dogmatic about that.

April is marked with an impressive photograph. I have tried taking pictures of butterflies. They don’t stand still. You have to be ready to catch them. I don’t know what camera/lens used for that image, but it is impressive. And, unlike the April fool’s theme, I really mean that.

May seems to be elephant month. I don’t know how well elephants are doing in the real world, with their size, and need for large amounts of food. I met an elephant handler once. He was staying in a train car, parked in a field behind Piedmont Park. After the show, he would walk down the street to a nearby bar. Those train tracks are now part of the Beltline. Someone had the idea to take a series of abandoned rail lines, and make a trail out of it. Parts of it are now paved, and wildly popular with pedestrians, bike riders, and dog walkers. Expensive apartments are springing up nearby. There is talk about putting a light rail line through there, but that is years and years in the future.

June was the beach, always changing, and yet always the same. July was an art object inspired by the American flag. It only has nine stars, and five stripes. The paint is strategically flaking off here and there. The flag is endlessly adaptable. Sometimes it is respectful, and respectable. Sometimes it is unspeakably tacky, and commercially exploitative. America is all of these things.

The boomerang counter top of August implies that some of the meals will be coming back. OK boomer-ang. The sunset is a good match for September, and national flapjack day. Labor Day weekend has evolved into a big deal here. A massive sci-fi convention, Dragon Con, takes over downtown. They have a costume parade saturday morning that is a gridlocked warning of what will happen when uncontrolled population growth runs into the reduced living areas of climate change. This year was a weird September. After a brutal July and August, many were hoping for cooler weather. Instead, summer continued to burn up the city until October, which fish in Michigan were blissfully unaware of, at least until they got caught.

November has some lights from the State fair. Lights are notoriously difficult to photograph. A few weeks ago, they had a lantern parade on the beltline. I tried to take pictures, and wound up with masses of wavy colors that made no sense whatsoever. I used to go out at christmas with a tripod, and take pictures of lights. It was a fun way to spend an evening, but the pictures were not that great. Photography is sometimes like that…. taking the pictures is lots of fun, but looking at them, or using them in graphic poems later, is not as great. Currently, I am using daylight pictures of graffiti and wall murals. Some neighborhoods in Atlanta are swarming with public arts. Many of these areas, like East Atlanta and Hapeville, were ghettos just a few years ago, and still have their rough edges.

And what does a pink flamingo have to be thankful for? Back in 1973 in Athens, somebody had a showing of the movie Pink Flamingos. I missed it, not knowing why it was a big deal. I finally got around to seeing PF on youtube a few months ago. A crucial hole in my education was filled. Just like the moonlit waves bring December into actuarial awareness, and project post-lateral promise for the new year. At the 2020 solstice we will be a year older, and grateful that the election is over. Whatever will be, will be Aunt Bee. Pictures from The Library of Congress.

Leaps From The Past

Posted in Library of Congress, Weekly Notes by chamblee54 on December 30, 2019

The display of a link on this page does not indicate approval of content.
Tulsi Gabbard and the Return of the Anti-Anti-Trump Left
Gabbard says deploying to the Middle East changed her views on LGBT rights
A Georgia man was shot and killed after he attacked a deputy with a shovel, authorities say
How many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence owned slaves?
Some White People Are Upset That New York Times’ 1619 Project Isn’t Centered in Whiteness
IG report exposes FBI, Congressional, and media deceit in Russia probe
10 Restaurant Trends We Never Want to See Again
Conflating the lesser evil with “progress” is a surefire way to ensure evil is preserved
eating ass is not for everyone
The Apologist’s Apologist—A Reply to Robert Wright
Robert Crumb Interview: A Compulsion to Reveal
what happened when British and German troops emerged from the trenches Christmas Day?
15 Logical Fallacies You Should Know Before Getting Into a Debate
A Kink Praxis Piece of the RWA Puzzle
Classical Opera Has a Racism Problem Don’t try to hide it. Instead, make audiences confront it.
This is bizarre even for Donald Trump
‘SEC on CBS’ Coming to End, Likely Moving to ESPN/ABC
U.S. judge denies request to restore 98,000 purged Georgia voters
Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet confinement of your aloneness to learn
Trump Lashes Out at Windmills Again, Says They ‘Will Kill Many Bald Eagles
Lost Words: An Illustrated Dictionary of Poetic Spells Reclaiming Language of Nature
This Is Not a Novel To Be Tossed Aside Lightly. It Should Be Thrown with Great Force
12 arrested after massive fight involving teens breaks out at Northgate Mall, police say
‘Nothing Less Than a Civil War’: White Voters on Far Right See Doom Without Trump
Teen ‘kills abusive paedophile priest by ramming a crucifix down his throat’
Jews are safe ‘walking around the West Village’ only because Israel exists
A medieval historian leaps from the past into the future of mankind—and cyborgs.
Iconoclastic underground filmmaker Nick Zedd directed and starred in this tale
Multiple People Stabbed at Synagogue in Monsey, NY Anti-Semitic MACHETE Attack
Marco Rubio Makes a Scene: Sara Carter’s Website Posted a ‘Fake Story’ About Me
Federal Judge Allows Georgia Law To Continue Voter Purge
Johnny Cash’s ‘At Folsom Prison’: An Oral History
15 Logical Fallacies You Should Know Before Getting Into a Debate
stock kkk photo ~ grafton thomas ~ donna godchaux ~ style guides
ode to bottoming ~ serenity prayer ~ Jack Russel Hurdle Racing ~ CA city
greg germani ~ lester gaba ~ latinx ~ idiot’s guide
the people who are using these buzzwords you know white supremacy etc almost always in my experience if they’re speaking that lingo the reasoning power is relatively low and yet in modern society educated people are trained to just roll over and pretend that that kind of stuff makes sense ~ @chamblee54 The word “Gabbard” appears three times in a 1163 word article. This article is the barely coherent ravings of .@jonathanchait about heaven only knows what. @TulsiGabbard has become the poster girl for the inconvenient opposition that must be silenced. ~ @chamblee54 @GlennLoury @PeterMoskos “I would put immigration into that a million New Yorker has moved a million foreign-born people moved into New York in the 1990s it’s about one-third foreign-born now immigrants have lower levels of violence that undoubtedly contributed to to the violence reduction” ~ Reality is created by the mind, we can change our reality by changing our mind. Plato ~ You frequently hear about someone being credible. What about being debible? ~ @TylerMahanCoe One time (when I was like 8 years old) my father’s manager wanted us to bring him some diamondback rattlesnakes from Arizona or NM (or wherever we were). Went to a snake farm. Guy used that forked rod thing to put two rattlers in a 10 gallon bucket, air holes in the lid, etc. – And then that bucket got put in the bunk under mine on the bus. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried sleeping with two rattlesnakes 3 feet away, doing the entire “we’d really love to kill someone” thing after every bump in the road between the desert and Louisiana? Super chill. ~ this picture is photoshopped here is the original ~ “This Is Not a Novel To Be Tossed Aside Lightly. It Should Be Thrown with Great Force” While Dorothy Parker gets the credit for this gem, it was created by Sid Ziff ~ You’re not a soldier anymore You’re a General ~ pictures today are from The Library of Congress. ~ selah

The Paramount Forms

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on December 29, 2019

Did Jesus Go To Hell?

Posted in GSU photo archive, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on December 28, 2019








This is a repost, with pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. Tim Tebow’s fifteen minutes are over. Colin Kaepernick’s fifteen minutes refuses to end.

A blogger named Older eyes put up a post about Tim Tebow and Bill Maher, who recently had a twitterspat. It went like this.
“Maher Tweeted: Wow, Jesus just f—- TimTebow bad! And on Xmas Eve! Somewhere in hell Satan is tebowing, saying to Hitler, “Hey, Buffalo’s killing them” … To Tebow’s credit, he ignored Maher, Tweeting only, Tough game today but what’s most important is being able to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas everyone GB² (according to Tebow’s website GB²=God Bless+Go Broncos).
PG … who forgives Denver for Super Bowl XXXIII … felt obliged to pile on. He left this comment:
1-In all probability, Jesus was not born on December 25. The celebration of his birth was grafted onto a pagan festival day. 2- It sure was fun watching Buffalo run those interceptions back for touchdowns. 3- There is no good choice here. In both cases, you have the option of turning the TV off, or switching away from twitter. If you are in enforced contact (a work or family situation) with someone who will not shut up, who repeats his obnoxious opinions with disregard for his neighbor, then you do not have this option. 4- Jesus said, when Satan was through talking to Hitler, please leave me out of this.
This got PG to thinking. If you saw a mushroom cloud rising over Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, that might have been the result. Did Jesus go to hell?

The party line is that Jesus paid the price for the sins of mankind. Is forty four hours in a cave enough? When you consider the billions of lies, murders, and fornications, you have to wonder. Maybe Jesus is taking the place of man in hell, paying the price for your sins.









From The Heart Of Atlanta To Tyler Perry

Posted in Georgia History, History, Library of Congress, Race by chamblee54 on December 27, 2019













There is an old saying, what goes around comes around. When you sow the wind, you reap the whirlwind. The thing is, it is not always obvious what is payback for what. Moreton Rolleston Jr. filed a lawsuit to have the Civil Rights Act declared unconstitutional. Forty years later, a Black man, built a mansion on the site of Mr. Rolleston’s home. The fact that this Black man earned his money by playing Black women, in movies, is icing on the cake.

When the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964, Moreton Rolleston, Jr. owned the Heart of Atlanta Motel. He filed a lawsuit, trying to have the law overturned by the courts. The case went to the Supreme Court, which upheld the law.

The legal justification of the Civil Rights Act was a law giving the U.S. Government the right to regulate interstate commerce. Mr. Rolleston argued that this use of the commerce clause went too far.
“‘The argument that this law was passed to relieve a burden on interstate commerce is so much hogwash. It was intended to regulate the acts of individuals.’ If the commerce clause can be stretched that far, declared Rolleston, ‘Congress can regulate every facet of life.'” (PG supports all citizens having the right to housing, education, etc. He also wonders if we are on a slippery slope. The government keeps taking more and more freedom away.) (The link for the quote no longer works.)
In 1969, Tyler Perry was born. From humble beginnings, he has been incredibly successful. His signature character is a woman named Madea.

In 1985, Mr. Rolleston was involved in a real estate deal that went sour. He was sued. In 2003, Mr. Rolleston was evicted from his Buckhead home. In 2005, the property was sold to Tyler Perry. Mr. Rolleston sued Mr. Perry, claiming that 2035 Garraux Road was still his property.

Mr. Rolleston , was disbarred in 2007. The Veteran’s History Project shows his race as “Unspecified.” Moreton Mountford Rolleston, Jr., born December 30, 1917, died August 29, 2013.

HT Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub.. This is a repost, with pictures from The Library of Congress.













Racist Romance Writer Smackdown

Posted in Library of Congress, Politics, Race, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on December 26, 2019

In twitterland, there is a list of trending topics. The other day, the top trend was #IStandWithCourtney The trend topping #ISWC tweet: Jingle Elle Maruska (they/them) @ellle_em “#IStandWithCourtney Calling out racism is not being racist Pointing out someone’s unethical behavior is not being unethical I stand with Courtney because white feelings are in no way more important than fighting for marginalized people’s right to exist in any & all spaces” If you think you know where this is headed, you are probably correct.

Perez Hilton puts it all in a nutshell. “What’s it all about? It’s about racism, injustice, and of course erotic tales of ribald fantasy. Yep, it’s drama in the world of romance novelists! This month the Romance Writers of America suspended author Courtney Milan (presumably asking her to turn in her badge and her quill) over what they called a violation of their code of ethics.”

“So what had Milan, the author of such historical Harlequins as A Kiss For Midwinter … done to deserve this literary excommunication? Apparently fellow novelists Suzan Tisdale (Secrets of the Heart) and Kathryn Lynn Davis (Too Deep For Tears) filed a formal complaint over a twitter thread … in which Milan — a Chinese American author — called out one of Davis’ books for being racist.”

Smart Bitches Trashy Books, LLC has more on this bodice-ripping badass, with documentation galore. (Davis complaint, Tisdale complaint I, Tisdale complaint II) “… whether it’s a publishing house deciding that a contract with a white supremacist is a good idea, or a writer’s organization deciding that white supremacy is the right decision ethically … “

The twitter thread is can’t-miss reading. @courtneymilan read a sample of Somewhere lies the moon. There was a twitter reaction, that will live in infamy. @courtneymilan “And we’ve been talking about Sue Grimshaw? Someone sent me a link to a book written by the other editor, Kathryn Lynn Davis, and is a fucking racist mess.”

The Davis complaint notes that the Milan opinion is based on reading a sample of SLTM. By her own admission, @courtneymilan did not finish the sample, much less read the book. @courtneymilan “Here’s the book. I didn’t finish the sample. I didn’t need to.”

Racism smackdown fans are probably asking, what was so fucking racist messy about SLTM? The accuser is Chinese-American, as is the racially besmirched character. No forbidden words, beginning with N, were used. It is not that type of racism.

The damning nanoagressions are documented in a series of tweets. Here are a few. The part following a link is by @courtneymilan. Transcribed screen shots are identified as (SS). If you click on the link, you can see the entire screen shot. This might help you understand the situation better.

@courtneymilan “This book is like a bingo card of OH GOD DID YOU REALLY. Start out with the heroine, who is the obligatory blue-eyed half-Chinese woman.” (SS) “Lian was twenty-five, tall and lithe, with the thick black hair and bronze skin of the Chinese”@courtneymilan “I mean…. that doesn’t really happen. (Genevra is half-Indian and also blue-eyed.) But also… like. Of course. This is like such a standard racist trope. WHY.”

@courtneymilan “Here is our half-Chinese woman remembering her past, where she is explicitly told that the future is the West, and that for Chinese women, compliance is the rule. SIGH.” (SS)”I am a captive of my own history, but I have raised you to be free, to move forward toward the future – and the future is the West.” “I was no’ askin’ what your parents wanted, but what ye want for yourself” “It is not important. It is not a question I ask myself. In China Shun, compliance, is the rule for women”

@courtneymilan “Here she is, meeting another Chinese family in London. I’m gonna be honest: I don’t know how I feel about “bronze” as the “standard” for Chinese skin (prior tweets), but I *do* know how I feel about “yellow.” And about almond eyes.” (SS) “…their thick blue-black hair and bronze faces, turned slightly yellow by the London climate, were unmistakably Chinese, as were their slanted almond eyes” @courtneymilan “Note that this in Lian’s point of view. She was raised in China. She only describes the Chinese people by skin color/eye slant, not the white people. She’s literally describing absolutely normal people to her as if she were a white woman talking about a foreigner.”

@courtneymilan “Oh, I was searching for something else and found this: In China, women didn’t learn anything.” (SS) “In China, no woman was taught much more than cooking and sewing and the graceful art of pleasing her husband.”

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

When You Can’t Say Anything Good

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on December 25, 2019








Dangerousminds , which is seldom at a loss for words, posted the video of Bob Dylan seen above. The young Mr. Zimmerman is in angry young man mode, and discusses the concept of an all picture Time magazine. All pictures, no words. This may be where this blog is headed.

Writers block is real. You have all of modern media at your beck and call, and yet you don’t have a message. TwentyTwoWords posts the story of a medical study into writers block. The study wastes no words in it a pithy treatment of this issue. It is an unspoken masterpiece, the treatment that dare not speak it’s name. The research was financed by a block grant.

The findings of this study were replicated in 2007. The report is included here, in it’s entirety. The editor noted “I did not change one word, and this is a first in my tenure as editor.” There is no word on whether the report was submitted before the deadline.

Ben Hecht tells a story in his autobiography “Child of the Century”. As a young, underpaid newspaper writer in Chicago, Mr. Hecht was hired to participate in literary debates. In the era before movies and radio, these were considered after dinner entertainment. One night, Mr. Hecht got together with his opponent, and hatched a plan. The topic of the debate was “People who attend literary debates are idiots”. The first speaker did not say a word, but gestured towards the crowd. The second speaker said, “you win.”

“Child of the Century” is now out of print. In 1994, PG thought he was going to have to move, and the first step was to throw away things. His copy of “Child of the Century” was one thing he pitched.

The sound that you hear is one hand clapping. Those reading with one hand can join in with the other one. Appreciation is always welcome. Vintage pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

This is a repost. PG thinks writer’s block should be called writer’s tackle, but few agree.








Tulsi Clickbait

Posted in Library of Congress, Politics by chamblee54 on December 24, 2019

Tulsi Gabbard and the Return of the Anti-Anti-Trump Left This link turned up on facebook, with a comment. “I’ve read assertions from credible sources (Clinton et al) that Gabbard is a Russian asset. That and her anti-gay past that she suddenly disavowed are causes for concern.”

The “anti gay past” was news to PG. A quick trip to google turned up an article, Gabbard says deploying to the Middle East changed her views on LGBT rights PG replied, “Whatever her shortcomings, Ms. Gabbard has made opposition to regime change wars the focus of her campaign. I can see where this would be disturbing to “credible sources (Clinton et al)”. Remember who is financed by the military industrial complex.” The rest of the thread was facebook back and forth. It ended before anyone made a Hitler comparison.

@NYMag “The stage is set for Tulsi Gabbard to play the role of 2020’s Jill Stein. @jonathanchait writes” This turned up on twitter a bit later. PG decided to take the plunge, and read the article.

1163 words later, PG had a headache. The pastel prose went off on unfathomable tangents, like “Some anti-anti-Trump leftists see impeachment not merely as a distraction from the Sanders revolution but a deliberate effort to marginalize it.”

PG began to wonder. Where was the Gabbard anti-gay rhetoric? For that matter, where was Tulsi, period. PG copied the article into a word document. He replaced “Gabbard” with “GABBARD.” Out of 1163 words, Gabbard appears three times. The last Gabbard sighting was in the third paragraph.

The article is not about Tulsi Gabbard. It is a barely comprehensible @jonathanchait rant about the evils of the incorrect resistance. Tulsi Gabbard has become clickbait. Her candidacy struggles to stay afloat. She has become a renegade who must be shamed. At the same time, Ms. Gabbard is well known enough for her picture to harvest eyeballs.

Tulsi Gabbard preaches opposition to regime change wars. These wars have killed hundreds of thousands of Muslims, while enriching the Hillary military-industrial complex. The merchants of death can easily afford to pay pundits to slime incinvenient candidates. And to use this candidate as the attention magnet, for some half witted rambling on the 2020 election.

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Be Here Now

Posted in Library of Congress, Weekly Notes by chamblee54 on December 23, 2019

The display of a link on this page does not indicate approval of content.
a hard drive crash on wednesday took out two days of comments and links
Trump Should Be Removed from Office
How to Think about “Implicit Bias”
What We Know About Trump Going Into 2020
Georgia lawmaker wants to ban trans athletes from public facilities
Trail Cam Captures Opossum Pulling Ticks Off A Deer’s Face
Singer/Songwriter Kirsty MacColl was killed 19 years ago this week
5 Common Workplace Bullies (And How To Deal With Them)
Please Talk About Impeachment over the Holidays
How did each Kroger get its nickname?
South Dakota quintuplets turn 50 in Aberdeen
Gunmen hold father, kids at gunpoint while they rob restaurant
That’s not rigor mortis kicking in, I’m just pleased to see you.
Trump adviser: Expect more aggressive poll watching in 2020
Evangelical Elites Are Out of Touch
8 hopes and dreams for Atlanta in 2020
The year the Intellectual Dark Web died
Meet the Renegades of the Intellectual Dark Web
Legendary Gay Porn Director William Higgins Has Passed Away at Age 77
Seven people, including three teens, shot in downtown Baltimore
J.K. Rowling got it wrong
evangelical leaders slam Christianity Today for questioning their Christian witness
@realDonaldTrump A far left magazine, or very “progressive,” as some would call it, which has been doing poorly and hasn’t been involved with the Billy Graham family for many years, Christianity Today, knows nothing about reading a perfect transcript of a routine phone call and would rather …. have a Radical Left nonbeliever, who wants to take your religion & your guns, than Donald Trump as your President. No President has done more for the Evangelical community, and it’s not even close. You’ll not get anything from those Dems on stage. I won’t be reading ET again! ~ “The cancellation list also doesn’t show racial disparities, according to the AJC’s analysis. Voting rights groups say minorities are often disenfranchised by voting restrictions. Among those who identified their race to state election officials, 31% of those whose registrations could be canceled are black, while 33% of all registered voters are black. About 63% of the cancellation list is made up of white voters, who account for 59% of all registered voters.” ~ @chamblee54 @robertwrighter .@GlennLoury but I hate to be thought of primarily as a bomb thrower and iconoclast and they say or a curmudgeon a contrarian because I feel that maybe that doesn’t take me sufficiently seriously maybe it pigeonholes me and is more of a kind of ad hominem reaction to what I’m saying you know who is this guy he’s talking to me oh he’s one of those and then if I may say so Bob being black doesn’t make this whole thing it easier not that I’m complaining ~ “Death the only immortal who treats us all alike, whose pity and whose peace and whose refuge are for all — the soiled and the pure, the rich and the poor, the loved and the unloved.” Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens Last written note Recorded by A. Paine (his literary executor), Mark Twain: A Biography, Vol III, Part 2, ch. 293 (1912). ~ pictures today are from the library of congress ~ selah

One Should Never Part Two

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on December 22, 2019

Ansel Adams And Dorothea Lange

Posted in History, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on December 22, 2019


The facebook feed has recently had links to a story, Dorothea Lange’s Censored Photographs of FDR’s Japanese Concentration Camps. Miss Lange was the photographer of the iconic Migrant Mother. After Pearl Harbor, Miss Lange took a job with the War Relocation Authority, documenting the “relocation” of Japanese-Americans to interment camps. The photographs did not please the authorities. They were censored, and only appeared recently. This is a repost.

Ansel Adams also took photographs at the Manzanar, California, camp. In the current stories, he is literally a footnote: quotes were used from a book about his photography. Why is Dorothea Lange receiving attention, while Ansel Adams is ignored?

One answer is that Miss Lange was hired early on, and shows the harsh reality of relocation. “On July 30, 1942, the WRA laid her off “without prejudice,” adding that the cause was “completion of work…. the WRA impounded the majority of her photographs of Manzanar and the forced detentions, and later deposited 800 image from the series in the National Archives without announcement.”

“After Lange’s departure, Manzanar’s director Ralph Merritt visited renowned environmentalist and landscape photographer Ansel Adams and suggested he document the camp — Merritt and Adams were friends from the Sierra Club. Lange, also friends with Adams, encouraged him to take the job. (Coincidentally Adams printed “Migrant Mother” for her ) …Ansel Adams made several trips to Manzanar between October 1943 and July 1944 for this new personal project, and, as Alinder writes, he was primed to try the kind of documentary photography regularly practiced by Dorothea Lange and the Farm Security Administration that he had earlier shunned. Unlike Lange, a white woman who had been viewed with suspicion by her subjects, Adams was welcomed by the incarcerees, even greeted as a celebrity in a cultural community that had a deep appreciation of nature — many incarcerees at Manzanar literally opened their doors to him dressed in their finest clothes. … By 1943, Manzanar’s incarcarees had had time to settle in and enjoy the fruits of their collective work. In less than ideal surroundings, they had collectively built their own post office, town hall, library, auditorium, co-op store system, police station, jail, cemetery with memorial, published their own newspaper (the ironically named the Manzanar Free Press, which was regularly censored by the military), and even their own YMCA.”

“As for Lange, looking at the historical record, it appears that she was treated differently from the other WRA photographers. She was discouraged from talking to the incarcerees, was constantly followed by a censor, and faced harassment. She was refused access to areas after being given clearance, and she was often hounded over phone charges and receipts. … After being discharged, Lange expressed in letters her dismay that her work was ineffective in helping the people she documented. Her assistant Christina Clausen later noted the ferocity of this body of work also marked the beginning of the photographer’s bleeding gastric ulcers. Lange was unable to work for a number of years after her harrowing experience at Manzanar. She died from esophageal cancer in 1965.”

“In 1944, Adams’s photographs were published as a book, “Born Free and Equal: The Story of Loyal Japanese Americans,” and shown at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Nativists took offense. They saw Adams’s work as a slur on the war effort. He was a “Jap lover.” This quote is from a 2016 article, Let’s be honest, Ansel Adams’s images of a WWII internment camp are propaganda

“Adams visited Manzanar to take photos in 1943 at the request of camp director Ralph Merritt, who was a personal friend. “They don’t look quite as dusty and quite as forbidding as Dorothea Lange’s photos … Indeed, the place that looks barren and depressing in Lange’s pictures manages to look beautiful in Adams’. You get little sense that it was even a detention center, in part because Adams, like other photographers, was not allowed to shoot the guard towers or barbed wire…

There are scenes from a baseball game, kids walking to school, a gathering outside a chapel. Lots of smiles, too, and portraits of camp residents cropped so close, you can see every blemish and stray hair. In Adams’ vision, Manzanar comes off as a place where Japanese-Americans, dignified, resilient and optimistic in spite of their circumstances, built a temporary community in the desert.

(Skirball Cultural Center director Robert) Kirschner said that if Adams’ photos appear to sugarcoat the indignities of life in an internment camp, it is because he did not see himself as a social activist the way Lange did. Still, Kirscher says, Adams was challenging internment in his own way, by depicting its victims as patriotic, law-abiding Americans. Unlike Lange, Adams was given permission to publish his photos. Before the war ended, he did so in a book called “Born Free and Equal: The Story of Loyal Japanese Americans,” in which he warned about the dangers of letting wartime hysteria justify depriving U.S. citizens of their freedom.”

The NPR article mentions a third Manzanar photographer. “Before World War II, Toyo Miyatake had a photo studio in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo. When he learned he would be interned at Manzanar, he asked a carpenter to build him a wooden box with a hole carved out at one end to accommodate a lens. He turned this box into a makeshift camera that he snuck around the camp, as his grandson Alan Miyatake explains in the video below, which is featured in the exhibit.

Fearful of being discovered, Miyatake at first only took pictures at dusk or dawn, usually without people in them. Camp director Merritt eventually caught Miyatake, but instead of punishing him, allowed him to take pictures openly. Miyatake later became the camp’s official photographer.”

Pictures for today’s feature are from The Library of Congress. These are pictures that Ansel Adams took at Manzanar. They have been posted at chamblee54 before. The ladies in the bridge game are Aiko Hamaguchi, Chiye Yamanaki, Catherine Yamaguchi, and Kazoko Nagahama.

One Should Never

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on December 21, 2019