Chamblee54

Migrant Mother

Posted in History, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on October 19, 2018









It is perhaps the most famous photograph from the depression. . The semi official title is Migrant Mother. The Library of Congress says “Destitute pea pickers in California. Mother of seven children. Age thirty-two. Nipomo, California.” The exact date is unknown, and was either February or March of 1936. The photographer was Dorothea Lange (pronounced dore-THEE-ah lang). The model was Florence Owens Thompson .

Ms. Lange was born Dorothea Margaretta Nutzhorn May 26, 1895 in Hoboken, N.J. When she was seven she had polio, and when she was twelve her father left. Both events affected her deeply. (Lange is her mother’s maiden name, chosen for use after the father left.) She became a photographer, and had a successful studio in San Francisco. By 1936 she was with her second husband, her sons were in boarding school, and she went to work for the Farm Security Administration.

The Farm Security Administration hired a number of photographers to document the lives of Americans between 1934 and 1944. (During part of this time, it was connected to the Office of War Information, and the Resettlement Administration.) Since they were working for the government, the photographers were not entitled to copyright protection. The majority of these pictures are in the public domain, including the famous pictures of Florence Thompson.

This feature started with a google search for the correct way to pronounce Dorothea Lange. (Readers of this blog have seen the fondness for Library of Congress historic pictures. Ms. Lange is one of their stars.) This search led to a teacher’s guide from Yale University. This guide is about Dorothea Lange and the Migrant Mother. It tells the story as well as PG could. Bless his pea picking heart.

The day that Dorothea Lange photographed what would become her most famous photograph, Migrant Mother, has been retold by Lange in numerous sources. She was on her way home from a trip documenting the living and working conditions of the migrants to California. She followed their schedules, getting up at sunup and working until sundown, which made for long, sixteen-hour days. She was tired, and she was ready to see her family.

With about seven hours of driving left ahead of her, she passed a homemade sign that said Pea Pickers’ Camp. She knew that a late frost had ruined the pea crop, and was concerned about the people who might be at the camp. It nagged at her to turn around, to go back and visit the camp, another opportunity to document. About 15 minutes (20 miles) later, Lange did turn around.

Right away she saw the woman who would be the subject of Migrant Mother. Some sources say she took 5 shots, but she really took 6; in any case each shot focuses in on the woman a little more, and the final shot is the one that would become the “timeless and universal symbol of suffering in the face of adversity “
(The Library of Congress only has five of the shots.)
Early the morning after she got home, instead of spending time with her family Lange rushed to develop the photographs and submit them to the FSA and The San Francisco News. She thought that these photographs could help bring attention to the plight of these American migrant farmers. She was right; the story was printed in newspapers around the country, and the federal government immediately sent 20,000 pounds of food….
(The Thompson family had left for Watsonville by the time the food arrived)
The Dust Bowl refugees were of European descent, and were migrating to California because they were displaced from their farmland by drought. Florence Owens Thompson, though from Oklahoma, was a full-blooded Native American, and her family had been displaced from tribal lands by the U.S. government. (By 1930, Native Americans had lost more than 80% of their lands this way).

The day Lange photographed Thompson, she and her family were driving towards Watsonville, hoping to pick lettuce in the Pajaro Valley. The timing chain on their car broke just outside Nipomo, and so they pulled into the pea -pickers camp to fix it. While fixing the chain, the radiator was punctured; Thompson’s two boys (and likely her male companion)
(Wikipedia says it was husband Jim Hill) brought the radiator into town to be fixed. While they were gone, Lange arrived…
The choices Lange made in terms of shooting the scene are very telling in light of our discussion about documentary photography. Most strikingly, the woman’s teenaged daughter is purposefully excluded from the photograph. She appears in the first two photographs of the series, but Lange thought that including her would cause the viewer to speculate about how old the mother was when she began having children (Curtis p. 55). At the time, the ideal family contained no more than three children; this woman’s family of seven could have detracted from the matter at hand, and maybe caused people to feel less sympathetic towards her (Curtis p. 52).

In the third shot, all you see is the mother nursing her youngest child. Migrant Mother is often referred to as Migrant Madonna… Lange thought that her subject looked too anxious and uncomfortable with the camera, as Lange seemed to have triggered in her what she called “that self-protective thing” (Curtis p. 57). So, despite being uncomfortable with how unpredictable children were to photograph, to calm the mother she added one of the children back into the frame for the fourth shot. She had the child rest her chin on her mother’s shoulder, which, though somewhat unnatural, served the purpose of anchoring the child still. She was also asked to remove her hat, which would have obscured her facial features. This resulted in a good photograph. Lange “thought she could do better.”

The fifth shot was the same, but from a different angle, which illuminates an empty pie tin, heavily symbolic of the hunger the family was facing. It also highlighted a warm and loving relationship between mother and child, as the child is leaning lovingly on the mother’s shoulder, which is comforting to the child.

For the sixth and final shot,
(the one which became famous) Lange brought another child in, but she had both children face away from the camera, so that her shot would not be jeopardized by their unpredictability, and they would serve as a loving frame for the mother. Lange asked the mother to bring her right hand up to her face, and that resulted in exactly what Lange wanted and knew was there (Curtis p. 65). It softened her anxiety about the camera into a mother’s concern for the welfare of her family. The mother was worried about letting her sleeping child slip, so in the original sixth shot you could see her thumb grasped around the pole for support. In her excitement Lange did not see it. She eventually altered the original photonegative because she “did not want a small detail to mar the accomplishment (of overcoming her subject’s defensiveness) (Curtis p. 67).”
In this feature, the second image from the session is missing. The pictures in this feature are as follows. 1- The famous picture, cropped. 2- The first shot from the session. 3- A detail from the first shot. 4- The Migrant Madonna. 5- Child on the shoulder. 6- Child on the shoulder #2. 7. The full length famous picture. 8- A portrait of Dorothea Lange. 9- Another photograph by Ms. Lange, taken on the California-Arizona border in the summer of 1936. 10- The information from the famous picture. 11- The famous picture with the thumb included.

2012 Repost Notes This was on a list of posts that could be repeated. Of course, there are usually improvements to be made. Youtube was searched, and some videos were found. One of them mispronounces Dorothea. A search for the correct pronunciation of that first name was how this post got started in 2010.

Looking at the pictures reveals a glitch in the famous picture. If you look in the part of her hair, you will see a gray stripe. This is a bit of damage to the negative, and is common to old photographs. Ordinarily, PG would paste over a spot like that, but this is a sacred photograph.

The files of the LOC were consulted, and a 115mg original was downloaded. The grey stripe was still in the part, which is where it will stay. The original has the thumb, which was taken out of the famous prints. It is included in this post, along with the information typed into the side.

A look at some of the other pictures taken that day show a grey spot in the part. Maybe it wasn’t a photo glitch. Raising seven children can give any woman a few gray hairs.

Another question is about Florence Thompson, the “Migrant Mother”. It was noted that she was a Native American. PG has decided that the expression “Native American” is the invention of European Import Americans, and is only marginally less offensive than Indian. There are hundreds of tribes in the Americas. A person is a member of a tribal nation. What tribe was Florence Thompson?

Mr. Google points us to this answer.
“Thompson, a “full-blooded” Cherokee, was born Florence Leona Christie on September 1, 1903, on the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma. Her father, Jackson Christie, was an ex-convict who had abandoned the family before her birth. Her mother,Mary Jane Cobb, married Charles Akman, a Choctaw, in 1905, with whom she raised Thompson near Tahlequah OK”
This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.





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Whiteness On YouTube

Posted in Library of Congress, Race, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on October 18, 2018



What would happen if you were to type *whiteness* into the youtube search engine? PG hears a lot of talk about whiteness. Almost none of it is positive. Maybe an education is needed. A couple of comments before we start. (1) Only videos lasting less than ten minutes will be considered. Panel discussions lasting seven hours are too much work. (2) While listening to videos without a transcript, it is easy to misunderstand what people say. What is reported here is a good faith representation. (3) There is a lot of talk about whiteness on youtube. Most of it is either boring, or annoying. This feature will try to weed those out. If you want to see more, you are encouraged to type whiteness in the youtube search engine. Pack a lunch.

Franny Choi – Whiteness Walks into a Bar A young lady, of Asian descent, reads from a phone. The poem takes “walks into a bar”, and turns the preacher, priest, and rabbi into whiteness. “whiteness walks into a bar with a golden retriever, the golden retriever promptly takes a (shit) on the floor, the bartender’s like what the, whiteness says whoa-oh-oh-oh, tone, meanwhile the dog is started to run, as the shit’s spraying wet feces everywhere, and whiteness is like, you know if you want me to respect you and your cause you could try being a little less confrontational”

The Expanding Definition of Whiteness This is boring. A black lady talks about how Irish and Italian people were not considered white, until they were. She then moves on to Jews. At 3:23, something “took away the racial taint from Jewishness.” What does the perineum have to do with Jewish whiteness? This performance is neither educational or entertaining.

THE HISTORY OF WHITENESS Kat Blaque is a piece of work. She once went off on PG, who said he did not like the sound of cis-. In this show, Miss Blaque discusses history. She begins by saying that Spanish slave traders invented something called “scientific racism.” This was in the 17th century. The term racism was not used before 1933 In this history based talk, a lot of *facts* are thrown out, in rapid succession and high volume, with a few links for documentation. It is tough to say how much of this chatter is true. What is easy to say is that Miss Blaque does not say what whiteness is, except a system of laws and cultural norms that benefit white people. Whiteness has an elastic definition. It means whatever the speaker wants it to mean.

Everything Wrong With “Whiteness” is a catchy title. Edwins Generation read an article, The Video of the Man Saving the Rabbit From the Fire Captures Everything Wrong With Whiteness in 30 Seconds. EG wondered if the article was satire. Gizmodo websites are often confused for satire. The article is about a man saving a rabbit from a forest fire. “maybe the whitest thing I’ve ever seen.” The battle cry to Examine Your Whiteness just got more complicated.

Jon Hamm ‘White Thoughts’ This is a mock infomercial for a product called “White Be Gone.” WBG will eliminate whiteness from your lifestyle. Is this over the top (under the bottom) white self loathing, or is it a satire? After a while, is it worth worrying about? A response video, How to fight “Whiteness,” takes WBG seriously for 45 minutes.

At 4:23 in “White Thoughts”, a black choir sings behind the talent. Mr. Hamm says that whiteness leads you to wear sheets, and burn crosses. A picture is shown, of a white pride after party in Coweta County, GA. A white peoples march had been planned, and fizzled. A few of the whitebois went to a field, and burned a swastika. The “participation trophy” rally is the picture shown at 4:23.

STEPS TO HEAL YOUR TOXIC WHITENESS is another fake commercial. It refers to a program at Everyday Feminism, Healing From Toxic Whiteness. – 10-Week Program “Learn how to free yourself from toxic whiteness to begin developing an anti-racist white identity. Price $297.” The EF program is promoted by VICE. Want to Heal Yourself from ‘Toxic Whiteness’? This Class Can Help “The people behind the self-help/intersectional feminism publication Everyday Feminism are offering a course that aims to educate people of privilege so “individual people of color don’t have to.”

‘It’s Impossible to Imagine Trump Without the Force of Whiteness’ It is inevitable that we would talk about Donald Trump today. In this video, Ta-Nehisi Coates talks. “…endorse someone who had only whiteness to offer.” PG had to listen to that gem three times, to make sure he got it right. So, all that Donald Trump has to offer is whiteness? Really? Is it the quality of DJT whiteness, or the quantity? After all, most of the other candidates were white. Mr. Trump “ran on whiteness as his sole attribute.” This video is released along with an article, The First White President. The article has lots of zesty quotes about DJT, and whiteness.

The Fire This Time: Claudia Rankine on Whiteness as a Brand This post started out as a good idea, but got boring fast. Thank you for reading to the end. What better way to end this than with Claudia Rankine, whose work is being discussed on this blog. “One of the things that we don’t say explicitly is that whiteness is a brand.” Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Citizen: An American Lyric Part Two

Posted in Library of Congress, Race, The English Language, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on October 17, 2018


This is the part two in the chamblee54 look at Citizen: An American Lyric. There was little reaction to part one. The rest of the series will be aided and abetted by a pdf edition. PG might even fashion a mashup poem out of the text, to supplement these prose posts.

The pdf has a problem. For some reason, everything is fit into a narrow window. The result is going to be a lot of scrolling. Right now, PG is starting section IV. This is page 59 on the dead tree edition, and page 147 on the pdf. One solution is to copy the file into a word document, and move the text into a more agreeable format. PG can read the text while he is reformatting it.

PG questions the wisdom of tackling this project. We are talking about this author: Claudia Rankine: why I’m spending $625,000 to study whiteness. In a BBC radio show Dr. Rankine asks people if they think about whiteness when they become a blonde. This is not a blonde joke.

Whiteness is a mysterious concept to PG. The subject seems to keep coming up. Whiteness is good for bloggers with whiter’s writer’s block. Chamblee 54 whines whenever whiteness worries wypippo whizzing by. Testing Whiteness And Privilege Stop Getting Racisted At Examine Your Whiteness Examine Your Whiteness Part Two Examine Your Whiteness Part Three In the last part of that trilogy, PG googled the phrase *examine your whiteness.* It comes down to hair. You have the horror movie frizz of Rachel Dolezal, or the soup bowl cut of Dylann Roof.

Study Whiteness was the title of a post at chamblee54. SW was the weekly notes for April 2, 2018. Usually, PG finds a catchy phrase in the text, and uses that for the title. There was an amusing factoid at the end of SW. “In 2016, 574 white people were killed by police, while 266 black people were killed by police. source In 2016, there were 6,576 white homicide victims, and 7,881 black homicide victims. source If you divide the first number by the second number, you get the percent of homicides by police. For white people, it is 8.72% For black people, it is 3.32%.”

Citizen: An American Lyric is supposed to be the focus of this piece. Today we will focus on IV and V. In IV, Dr. Rankine seems to be having a headache. She pulls the blinds down, and tries to escape from the world. A tennis match is on TV, with the sound cut off. For PG, that would be a football game. There is a mirror behind the computer monitor, which points to a TV on the other side of the room. The angry black woman is watching tennis, while the slack white blogger watches football. Tennis is supposed to be a white sport, while football is driven by blackness. Maybe people just enjoy what they enjoy, and the racial labels are only important when it fits your agenda.

Part V continues down the same path as IV. “You hold everything black. You give yourself back until nothing’s left but the dissolving blues of metaphor.” PG notices metaphor more and more. Is PG missing something? Metaphor is a literary gimmick for making comparisons. Except for definition 3 at The urban dictionary: “Metaphor – The word that Christians use to describe contradictions and mistakes in the bible.” Chad went out with a girl named simile. He doesn’t know what he metaphor.

“Hecatomb” is a poem by Mia S. Willis, a Java Monkey regular. She is talking about life in Florida. At several points in the story, the poet shouts “Ain’t that a metaphor?” Does metaphor have another meaning? PG has met many fours. Maybe whiteness will deliver PG from metaphoric fury, into apathetic analogy. It is a parable, or three units of bull?

After a few pages, V recalls two episodes of recreational microaggression. A man cuts in front of someone in a line. A man shows someone a picture of his wife. “She is, he says, beautiful and black, like you.” Soon, the voice is at home. “You lean against the sink, a glass of red wine in your hand and then another, thinking in the morning you will go to the gym…”

The last drink for PG was on December 31, 1988. In a few weeks, it will be thirty years. There is privilege in being able to make that move, and to stick with it. Some people want you to die, so they can laugh at your dead face. When you are in a fight, being fair is a luxury you cannot afford.

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. Marion Post Wolcott, photographer “Watching a game at Fourth of July celebration, St. Helena Island, South Carolina” July 1939.

Oscar And Milo

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on October 16, 2018

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Oscar Wilde was being cross examined by Edward Carson, the attorney for the Marquess of Queensberry. Mr. Wilde had filed a libel suit, because the Marquess said Mr. Wilde was a somodite. The Marquess was the father of Lord Alfred Douglas, the boyfriend of Mr. Wilde. The cross examination saw many witty comments by Mr. Wilde. It was going well, until it wasn’t.

C– Do you know Walter Grainger? W–Yes. C– How old is he? W– He was about sixteen when I knew him. He was a servant at a certain house in High Street, Oxford, where Lord Alfred Douglas had rooms. I have stayed there several times. Grainger waited at table. I never dined with him. If it is one’s duty to serve, it is one’s duty to serve; and if it is one’s pleasure to dine, it is one’s pleasure to dine. C– Did you ever kiss him? W– Oh, dear no. He was a peculiarly plain boy. He was, unfortunately, extremely ugly. I pitied him for it. C– Was that the reason why you did not kiss him? W– Oh, Mr. Carson, you are pertinently insolent.

Milo Yiannopoulos is no Oscar Wilde. There was no gasp in the courtroom when he made his comments about “Father Michael.” The interview went on youtube September 30, 2015, and has been waiting for its time. In an ironic touch, one of the ads preceding the three hour video starred Leslie Jones, or someone who looked like her.

Bill Maher said, before introducing Mr. Yiannopoulos, “Stop looking at the distractions and the clown show and look at what matters.” There was a panel discussion, with Milo and four other men. The distraction, and the clown show, made comments that seem ironic a few days later.

The discussion began with an audience question about a trans Berkley student. Mr. Maher said she, and Mr. Yiannopoulos said he, with the intention of misgendering the individual. “I make no apology from protecting women and children from men who are confused about their sexual identity.” Maybe Father Michael was confused. “I think that women, and girls, should be protected from having men who are confused about their sexual identities in their bathrooms.” Mr. Maher looked down at the desk, and said “that’s not unreasonable.” Less than a minute of the video had elapsed.

Larry Wilmore said “I think its sad, because the same arguments that we use against gay people, treating them like aliens who want to fuck anything that moves, and that we should avoid them at all costs.” Mr. Yiannopoulos tried to say something, and Mr. Wilmore asked to be allowed to finish his thought. …..”You can always find the extreme person that becomes the object of your attack, that you assign that to everybody.” Given the prevalence of people using paedophilia as an all purpose argument against gays, it seems like Mr. Yiannopoulos went sashaying into a trap. Just let the idiot speak long enough, and he will hang himself. Whether this will have any negative effect on the overall LGBT population is not known.

At 2:33, Mr. Yiannopoulos starts to talk fast, and amateur transcribers (cis-scriber?) might make mistakes. “Your saying that (unintelligible) the victim is some sort of discrimination… this is a psychiatric disorder.” Some might say that a 14 year old. fooling around with a priest, is a victim, and a psychiatric disorder. Mr. Yiannopoulos is an entertainer, and likes to make flippant comments.

In his libel suit, “Wilde did his best to turn the proceedings into a joke with flippant answers. Always the artist, he seemed to be reaching for creative, witty answers, even if they contradicted earlier ones.” One sees the same pattern of behavior in Milo Yiannopoulos.

At 5:39: Mr. Maher said to Mr. Yiannopoulos “This is the beginning of your career, people are just starting to hate you.” “I’ve got so many more years.” This was less than a week before a fox news headline, JUST IN: Milo Yiannopoulos Resigns From Breitbart News.

“You have the potential to morph. You remind me of a young, gay, alive Christopher Hitchens.” Or maybe just young and alive. As an obituary of Mr. Hitchens notes, ” He was almost expelled from school for homosexuality and later boasted that at Oxford he slept with two future (male) Tory cabinet ministers. … he eventually became a dedicated heterosexual because, he said, his looks deteriorated to the point where no man would have him.”

Malcolm Nance got into the act, with the comment “You’ll take Russian spies over Saudis. OK.” Our knowledge of the role of Russians played in the 2016 election is evolving. Much better known is the fact that of the 19 hijackers on 911, 15 were Saudi.

At 10:50, Mr. Nance, a former Intelligence officer, said “Wikileaks… is a laundromat for Russian Intelligence.” The troubles of Mr. Yiannopoulos were noted in a tweet from @JulianAssange “US ‘liberals’ today celebrate the censorship of right-wing UK provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos over teen sex quote.” Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.

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Oscar Wilde

Posted in History, Holidays, Library of Congress by chamblee54 on October 16, 2018

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October 16 is Oscar Wilde’s birthday. On that day in 1854, he appeared in Dublin, Ireland. He is one of the most widely quoted people in the english language. Some of those quotes are real. Since he was a published author, it should be easy to verify what he really said. This birthday celebration is a repost, with pictures from The Library of Congress.

One night in 1974, PG was talking to someone, and did not know who Oscar Wilde was. The conversational partner was horrified. PG became educated, and learned about a misunderstanding with the Marquess of Queensberry. Soon the “Avenge Oscar Wilde” signs made sense.

Mr. Wilde once made a speaking tour in the United States. One afternoon, in Washington D.C., the playwright met Walt Whitman. Thee and thou reportedly did the “Wilde thing”.

The tour then went to Georgia. A young black man had been hired as a valet for Mr. Wilde on this tour. On the train ride from Atlanta to Augusta, some people told Mr. Wilde that he could not ride in the same car as the valet. This was very confusing.

After his various legal difficulties, Oscar Wilde moved to Paris. He took ill, while staying in a tacky hotel. He looked up, and said “either that wallpaper goes, or I do”. Soon, Oscar Wilde passed away.

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Only Half The Story

Posted in Library of Congress, Weekly Notes by chamblee54 on October 15, 2018


The 17 Kinds of Hyphens You Must… Wait, Seriously, 17? ~ voter purge list ~ Why “I’m not racist” is only half the story ~ I just came across this video and it seemed germane to this convo I listened to this monologue. I am not impressed. This monologue is challenged in its use of logic. I do not feel that it speaks to my experience. Let’s take a look at the first sentence of the notes. “If you’re not racist, why is racism still America’s biggest problem?” There is an assumption here: that racism is still America’s greatest problem. Looming environmental catastrophe, political corruption, unsustainable national debt, usustainable food supply chain… these, and a host of other problems, are arguably far more damaging than racism. Then there is the either/or dilemma… “If you’re not racist, why is…” Who is the lady speaking to? Who is the person who does not consider themself to be racist, and is thus responsible for racism being “America’s greatest problem.” After a while, I am going to put this video behind me, like I have so, so much talk about racism. On a lighter note, Mani Sheriar has a very powerful story on RISK. It addresses many of these issues, and is a good counterpoint to this story. ~ Why “I’m not racist” is only half the story | Robin DiAngelo ~ 3 chicago poets ~ Toddler, straight-A student fatally shot in separate incidents during bloody weekend in Chicago ~ The Mystery of Tariki ~ Gay Atlanta activist, pioneer Berl Boykin dies at 74 ~ An Interview with Atlanta Gay Rights Pioneer Berl Boykin ~ Vic Mensa Calls Out XXXTentacion Supporters, Rap’s Embrace Of Abusers ~ Sam Harris July 01, 2017 – Common Sense with Dan Carlin Show #293 ~ Amanda Seales Questions White Women Kneeling to Protest Rape Culture ~ Grateful Dead – The Acid Test Reels 1965-1967 ~ Squirrel vs snake ~ I Take Medication For Depression, Hair Loss, And Erectile Dysfunction, And There’s Nothing Shameful About That ~ Voting rights become a flashpoint in Georgia governor’s race ~ What happened to Jamal Khashoggi? The Saudis need to provide the U.S. with answers. ~ John Lennon on violence ~ Joe Rogan Experience #1184 – Roseanne Barr ~ watching the defectives ~ Rick Stein: A Man for All Seasons and My Kind of Guy ~ voter application ballot ~ The Myth of Systemic Racism (Coleman Hughes Pt. 2) ~ Officer-involved shooting shuts down busy Cobb County intersection ~ Mother accidentally smothers baby during fatal meth overdose, sheriff says ~ Man was randomly shooting inside apartment complex before officers killed him ~ Facebook: Hackers got (very) personal data from 29M users. FIND OUT if your info was breached. ~ What the Black Men Who Identify With Brett Kavanaugh Are Missing ~ How I Quit Drinking in a World That Wants Me Drunk ~ holocaust photo That claim about Iran is a bit misleading. Some Iranian leaders say that, although the translations may be questionable. It is not known how much the general population agrees. Right now, some American politicians are spoiling for a war with Iran. If this war happens, there will be a lot of men, women, and children killed in Iran. It is important that the world never forgets. Part of this is preventing the Persian holocaust that so many seem to want today. ~ Is Georgia’s minority population boom fueling political pushback from Republicans? ~ CNN’s Cuomo: Trump Looked Like He Was Thinking Racist Thoughts While Talking To Kanye West ~ Did you know Kanye West’s father was once an AJC photographer? ~ Suspect killed in Cobb County officer-involved shooting identified ~ mindful resistance 46 ~ Why Young Men of Color Are Joining White-Supremacist Groups ~ Man shoots, kills girlfriend in front of her 9-year-old son at apartment complex ~ why the gulch deal matters ~ What exactly do you mean by “affordable housing”? I hear that phrase a lot, but don’t know what the guidelines are. Another concern I have is who is going to live in this AH. It seems like the less expensive the housing, the people who live there will be less, and less, pleasant to be around. If you do choose to live in this mythical AH, will you want to be around your neighbors? ~ I just received another phone call from Lucy McBath. It pretended to be a survey, but was, in fact, a paid political message from Lucy McBath. ~ PLEASE VOTE NO ON AMENDMENT 2 in Georgia. It is a horrible proposal. It seeks to establish “business” courts with appointed, not elected, judges, and is designed to protect corporations from being sued by people they have injured. It is being pushed by Georgians for Lawsuit Reform, which is little more than a front for big business. Please forward this post. Most voters are unfamiliar with proposed constitutional amendments, and most, like this one, are worded in ways that hide their true intentions PLEASE FORWARD THIS.! ~ “Kemp’s office blamed that disparity on the New Georgia Project, a voter registration group founded by Abrams in 2013. Kemp accuses the organization of being sloppy in registering voters, and says they submitted inadequate forms for a batch of applicants that was predominantly black. His office has said the New Georgia Project used primarily paper forms and “did not adequately train canvassers to ensure legible, complete forms ….” Yes, that may be more bs from Mr. Kemp. It may also be the truth. It is entirely possible that the New Georgia Project submitted a bunch of registration forms with serious mistakes. We are getting to the point in this election where everything you hear is suspect. ~I got there a half hour early. I sat outside for 45 minutes, waiting for “someone to be with you” I only had to check out one wardrobe item. I took a bus from the base camp… an old warehouse on white street in west end, in front of the beltline … to the set. It was the West Hunter Street Baptist, formerly pastored by Ralph David Abernathy Sr. We were led into a room on the second floor. We sat in that room for four hours. There was a fan in that room, that was turned off during takes. Turning the fan off and on was the only thing to do for four hours. We went back to base camp for a fabulous lunch. We then went back to the church. After a while, our handler came to the room, and got a few of us to go to a site. We went to a side street off Lee Street, across from the west end marta station. We were set up as homeless people, while a car drove by. I was given a homeless person buggy, and told to walk by showing tremendous effort to walk by. However, I was not to be used in the first shot. They did a few takes of the car going down the street. The crew moved across the street. A decision was made not to use any background performers in the next shot. I was taken back to base camp, turned in my wardrobe shirt, my invoice was signed, and I went home. ~ pictures today are from The Library of Congress. ~ selah

Georgia Voter Registration

Posted in Library of Congress, Politics, Race, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on October 12, 2018


@LEBassett “1.Brian Kemp is running for GA gov against Stacey Abrams (a black woman) 2. Kemp is in charge of elections & voter registration 3. Kemp made a new “exact match” rule that is holding up 53,000 voter registrations…. NEARLY 70% OF THEM BLACK 4. THIS IS ALL I WANT TO TALK ABOUT” There is nothing like getting your news from twitter.

Voting rights become a flashpoint in Georgia governor’s race The story gets attention. Georgia is holding up 53k voter registrations. 70% of these registrations are black people, according to an undocumented AP story. These registrations are in the Secretary of State’s office. The current SOS, Brian Kemp, is the Republican candidate for Governor. Mr. Kemp is white. His Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams, is black. As you might imagine, the sensation-driven media is in outrage mode.

“An analysis of the records obtained by The Associated Press reveals racial disparity … the list of voter registrations on hold with Kemp’s office is nearly 70 percent black.” No link is provided for the analysis, which is likely to be true. Assuming that is factual … a dangerous proposition three weeks before an election … the next question should be How do they know.? Is the race of the voter on the voter registration application?

STATE OF GEORGIA APPLICATION FOR VOTER REGISTRATION is your basic government form. On line 4, after telephone number, date of birth, and gender (a two check box male/female), we have race/ethnicity: White, Hispanic/Latino, Black, American Indian, Other (with a blank space), Asian/Pacific Islander. Qualifications include: “Have not been found mentally incompetent by a judge.” Does this requirement apply to candidates?

“Why must I indicate my race or ethnic group? The federal government requires South Carolina to document race or ethnic group for voters by the National Voter Registration Act.” This is the standard answer. The documentation for Georgia can be found at Voter Registration Statistics. If you are a statistics junkie, here is your fix for today.

Georgia has an regulation requiring voter registration to have an “exact match” with information already on file with the Georgia Department of Drivers Services (DDS) or Social Security Administration (SSA). “In 2017, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed into law House Bill 268, which codified a voter registration database “exact match” protocol that had been already shown to disproportionately and negatively impact the ability of voting eligible African American, Latino and Asian American applicants to register to vote.” The regulation was not created by Brian Kemp.

Georgia Knew Its Voter Roll Practice Was Discriminatory. It Stuck With It Anyway. The implication of the recent stories is that applications are being targeted by race. Of course, many, if not most, of the clerks reviewing these applications are black. And how would the state know if the voters were black, if it was not on the application?

New FPCA Form Eliminates the Obnoxious Race Question takes a look from another perspective. Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) is designed to help military personnel overseas obtain absentee ballots. With regards to the *race question*, authorities here give the standard answer: “Also, many states ask that you provide your race or ethnic group in order to demonstrate that they are complying with the Voting Rights Act and the National Voter Registration Act.” This sentence has a footnote. “I have reviewed both the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (“Motor Voter”), “), and I do not find any provision requiring the states to report to the Federal Government on the race of voters.” The article goes on to describe a Texas election. Absentee ballots were disputed because they were cast by non-Hispanic voters.

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Pauline Kael, Gina James, And James Broughton

Posted in Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on October 11, 2018

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Pauline Kael was the rockstar film critic. James Broughton was the radical faerie poet laureate. They were lovers, and had a daughter, Gina James. Pauline and James were not married, contrary to what some naysayers would tell you. This is a repost.

Much of the information in this feature is taken from online reviews of Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark, a 2012 biography written by Brian Kellow. Gina James, also known as Gina Broughton, was not interviewed for the book. Neither did she participate in the making of Big Joy, a movie about James Broughton. (A wig store, Gina Beauty Supply is located at 25 W Broughton St, Savannah, GA 31401.)

Pauline Kael was born June 19, 1919, Petaluma, CA, died September 3, 2001, Great Barrington, MA, and stood 4 feet 9 inches tall. James Broughton was born November 10, 1913, Modesto, CA, and died May 17, 1999, Port Townsend, WA. Neither one had a middle name. Both used their birth name throughout life. Both had lives, before meeting in the late forties.

When she met James Broughton, Miss Kael was living what would later be called the bohemian life. After moving to New York, and being dumped for composer Samuel Barber, Miss Kael moved back to California. “Returning to the Bay Area with her tail between her legs in 1945, Pauline became involved with the incredibly effeminate avant-garde filmmaker James Broughton. He managed to impregnate Pauline but threw her out as soon as she told him, whereupon she moved to Santa Barbara to give birth to her daughter, Gina, in 1948″

“Like her early career, Kael’s personal life was also fraught with failures. Kellow says “she had a habit of falling for gay men” earlier in her life because “they tended to share her passions and enthusiasms.” She had a daughter … with one of them, experimental filmmaker James Broughton.”

“For a time, during the 1940s, he lived with future film critic Pauline Kael. She encouraged his filmmaking endeavors but their relationship ended after she got pregnant. … Pauline Kael thought that Broughton made the biggest mistake of his life when he turned down a studio film after winning the prize at Cannes.” (Apparently Mr. Broughton was from a wealthy family, and could afford this attitude. Regarding his movie The Bed, Mr. Broughton said “It was the only film I created that ever made any money.”)

“Which brings us to the strange tale of Pauline’s only child, Gina James. … In 1948, at age 29, Kael got pregnant after she “talked her way into moving in” with James Broughton, a bisexual poet living in Sausalito. By Kellow’s account, Broughton was furious at the news of Kael’s pregnancy; he felt trapped and tricked by her. One of Broughton’s friends reported that he kicked Kael out of his house. She moved to Santa Barbara to have the baby. The birth certificate listed the father as “Lionel James, a writer”. It is one of the disappointments of the book that Kellow shines little light on Kael’s passion — or whatever it was — for Broughton, on how she processed that cruel rejection and on whether Broughton ever recognized Gina as his daughter.”

James Broughton moved on with his life. He made experimental films, got married, and fathered two more children. At some point he met Joel Singer, and began the romance that would last the rest of his life. It is tough to say whether he was genuinely bisexual, or whether he was playing the role society expected of him.

This review of Big Joy continues: “But interviews with Singer, waxing poetic about his years with the artist, are balanced by reminiscences from Broughton’s ex-wife and his abandoned son. Rather than only celebrating silliness, I found it admirable that the directors didn’t gloss over the pain he caused his wife and children. After all, when you think about it, he spent all of his life unable to decide if he was gay or straight; leaving a lot of broken hearts in his wake.

We learn from Kael that he flirted with everyone he met. “He rode off into the sunset with some guy,” his wife, Suzanna Hart tells us. “That was very sad for me, but not for him, which was…very irritating.” In her segments, Hart keeps her emotions in check but you can clearly read the sadness and anger in her face. The son doesn’t have much good to say about his absent father and the two daughters (the first by Kael and the second by Hart) both refused to be interviewed for the film. Singer has a lot to say about their blissful decades together, but he also comes off a bit heartless when he shows no guilt over breaking up what he calls Broughton’s “loveless” marriage.”

The baby daddy leaves, and the struggling writer becomes a single mom. “… Kael’s relationship with her actual daughter was something out of a Tennessee Williams play, and not in a good way. Kael home-schooled Gina and, as the girl grew up, kept her close, as a typist, projectionist, driver and right-hand man, and she banished any friend who actively encouraged the young woman to break out on her own. Though she was in many ways a loving and committed mother, helping to raise Gina’s son and always living nearby, one senses a Gothic selfishness in her mothering.”

Gina James declined to talk with Kellow for his book, but the author says Kael and her daughter had a sort of symbiotic relationship. “Pauline did not type, Pauline did not drive — Gina performed both those functions for her. And Gina was a very good critic of Pauline. She got to see Pauline’s copy before anyone else did and she often had very, very important and influential things to say. But Pauline really wasn’t wild about the idea of Gina breaking away and having her own life apart from her, and she didn’t do anything really to encourage her in that direction as far as I can see.”

Amazon one star comment: And her poor daughter – what a fate – TYPING all that. Poor Gina, — I can see her – Kellow described sitting silently in some coffee shop while her mother raved on and ON with her pet directors.

An affair with the experimental filmmaker James Broughton produced a child, Gina, whom Kael raised by herself, Mildred Pierce–like, heroically supporting them with a number of odd jobs, including running a laundry. Gina’s heart condition required expensive surgery, and Kael ended up enticing Edward Landberg, the owner of a local art-house theater, Berkeley Cinema Guild. They had begun as co-programmers. As Landberg tells it: “One day, when I was over at her place, I happened to graze her breast with my hand, and she kind of looked up and said, ‘What have you got to lose?’” Their marriage proved a fiasco, but Landberg agreed to pay for Gina’s operation, which Kellow suspects had been Kael’s motive all along…. Kellow shows more independence in assessing Kael’s treatment of her daughter Gina, whose ambitions to become a dancer or a painter she did little to encourage, preferring to keep her on “a silver cord . . . she had also grown accustomed to the steady, dependable role that Gina played—as secretary, driver, reader, sounding board—and she was loath to give her up.” Gina, for her part, was mistrustful of the dynamic she witnessed between Kael and her acolytes.“

“The closest and longest-lasting partnership of her life was with her daughter, Gina James … James considered speaking to Kellow, but finally declined, leaving a blank space at the center of this otherwise vividly detailed biography. Gina lived with her mother till she was over 30, typed up her reviews after Pauline stayed up all night writing them in longhand, and gave up both college and a shot at a dance career to serve as her mother’s caretaker, companion, and driver….

Kellow cites the text of the breathtakingly passive-aggressive eulogy that Gina delivered at her mother’s funeral in 2001: “My mother had tremendous empathy and compassion, though how to comfort, soothe or console was a mystery that eluded her … . Pauline’s greatest weakness, her failure as a person, became her great strength, her liberation as a writer and critic . … she turned her lack of self-awareness into a triumph.”

One more chapter remains. “Gina lived with Kael well into her thirties … That she married and had a child, Will, seemed to catch Kael by surprise, though she ended up adoring her only grandchild, someone with whom she could watch action movies with.

Kael died in 2001, when Will was about 19. Unfortunately, and Kellow made no mention of this in his book whatsoever, there’s a horrible postscript, one that may well have been the reason for why Gina declined to be interviewed for the book. On October 6, 2007, Will, then 25, went hiking in the East Mountain State Forest in the Berkshires. He was an avid hiker, not to mention a devoted martial artist. He had a girlfriend. He never came back. Gina reported him missing, but his body wasn’t found for more than week, on October 15. … “authorities found camping equipment nearby and while cause of death has not been determined, foul play is not suspected.”

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. UPDATE These two comments were made to the original post. Anonymous said, on June 16, 2017 at 9:18 pm Your piece on Kael and Broughton is rife with misinformation and judgements galore and unbelievably badly written. Get a life and stop spreading falsehoods. And next time you put your fingers to a keyboard do your due diligence! James’ son was NOT ABANDONED! He lived happily with the two of us after the divorce. You fail to recognize that James’ ex-wife was a classic fag hag who had been married to another gay man before her relationship with James. She had been in psychotherapy for years before they got together and for many years after they split up. James certainly did not spend the rest of his life uncertain about his sexuality. Read his autobiography COMING UNBUTTONED and you’ll discover how misinformed your take on him is. You have done a great disservice to your readers by publishing such homophobic nonsense. Joel Singer ~ Sterling Wilson said, on August 19, 2017 at 1:40 pm Curious about this autobiography, I found the following from a Publishers Weekly review “Broughton forsakes introspection for literary gossip and name-dropping: Kenneth Rexroth, Pauline Kael, Dylan Thomas, Anais Nin. The birth of a daughter is dispensed with in two sentences. Broughton’s insistence on making himself the center of attention increasingly intrudes.”

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Enraged Over Order

Posted in Library of Congress, Weekly Notes by chamblee54 on October 8, 2018


my voter page ~ Joe Rogan Experience #1041- Dan Carlin ~ fbi 2017 crime statistics ~ people have been shot and killed by police in 2017. ~ Why You Should Not Call Members Who Aren’t Yours ~ That sign telling you how fast you’re driving may be spying on you ~ White progressive parents and the conundrum of privilege ~ Enraged over order, woman pulls knife on McDonald’s employee, police say ~ hipster index ~ hit and run arrest ~ Can poetry be a form of therapy? ~ I was undocumented. My future was decided by the judge I feared most Nimisha Ladva ~ The Cruelty Is the Point ~ Chiliquila Ogletree ~ Business owner says gay people “need to be called out.” Let’s see how he likes it. ~ Jamilah Lemieux likes to call Black Men “Negroid” ~ nightclub shooting ~ @mattklewis @billscher ~ i’ve been told i interrupt too much ~ he gives her a drug called a popper ~ great speckled bird ~ What is the meaning of this quote: “We can disagree and still love each other, unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.”? ~ @SonofBaldwin We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist. ~ Deadly shooting at Buckhead club: ‘Throwing bottles … then pow, pow, pow’ ~ The tragic end of Telltale Games ~ the people more facebook logic ~ @BetteMidler The too brief investigation of allegations against Kavanaugh infuriated me. Angrily I tweeted w/o thinking my choice of words would be enraging to black women who doubly suffer, both by being women and by being black. I am an ally and stand with you; always have. And I apologize. ~ 16 Movies Where the Actors Really Had Sex ~ Problems in Social Sciences ~ Why “I’m not racist” is only half the story ~ bette midler ~ please copy this ~ Forgiveness Is Overrated ~ toxic masculinity ~ You Can’t Cure Depression By Working Out ~ I got a hoax academic paper about how UK politicians wipe their bums published ~ Maybe you can’t cure depression by running. However, you can get a virtual buzz by thinking of the correct phrase to google, to find an amusing article you saw a few months ago. ~ fb hoax ~ @TalbertSwan White women kneeling during the anthem to protest “rape culture” is highjacking a movement you took no risks for. You didn’t kneel in solidarity to protest the murder of Black people, don’t co opt & make it about your victimization. That’s white supremacy in the name of feminism. ~ @TalbertSwan That’s exactly what it is. To change the meaning of #TakeAKnee from a movement led by Black men to protest injustice against black people to a liberal white woman led protest against rape culture is hijacking. It’s offensive & epitomizes white supremacy. ~ A fire service in the region dubbed the ‘obesity capital of Britain’ has been called out 50 times to help winch severely overweight people out of their homes and into ambulances. ~ This is a substantial work. I look forward to seeing a live performance of this. As a male, there are some mixed feelings about the content. A poem should inspire more than one emotion. One criticism I have of this video is the church steeple on the left side of the screen. That was a distraction. The phallic symbolism of the steeple is ironic. The rest of the staging is good, particularly the lighting of the two poets. ~ I recently sent a link to the Paul Gilmartin story to a friend. He is in the AA program, and I thought he would enjoy the atory. Here is the email I sent with that link. This is a link to a story. It is an AA war story. It starts at 20 minutes. There is another story here. The first story in this show is about an Indian lady, who does not like her Jewish mother in law. At ten minutes into the show, the bride says “I am going to have to spend the day with a racist.” At this point, I turned off the show in anger. I am sensitive to the term racist, for perfectly obvious reasons. I did not want to listen to the rest of the show. When I decided to send you the link, I had to listen to the part of the show around the 20 minute mark, so I could know when the war story started. I set the timer for 18 minutes, and listened to the end of the mother in law story. There is a twist in the story, and everyone is friends now. The bride says “I am ashamed of reducing her to her racism.” ~ It is frequently speculated that the homophobe is secretly gay. The need to be heard badmouthing gays stems from a perceived need to prove heterosexuality. Could this be the case with the anti racist? Maybe the anti-racist is secretly afraid that they might be a racist. The “calling out” of others, for perceived racism, is an effort to overcompensate for their own shortcomings. ~ What is going on? I was just in the greenspace. A swatch of land, on the north side of the space, just below the parking lot, has been clear cut. The woods to the south of the parking lot have been thinned out. A twenty foot wide gash, leading away from below the parking lot to a spot a few hundred yards below, has been bulldozed out. What is going on? ~ If you like the links at the drudge report, you should go to my blog on monday morning. I keep a document on my desktop. Whenever I go to anywhere, I make a copy of the url. It is a handy habit, for a number of reasons. On monday every week, I publish the notes from the previous week. The pictures this week are from the farm security administration. The government hired a bunch of photographers during the depression to document the conditions. All these photographs are in the public domain. There was a law… if you worked for the government, you could not claim a copyright. This week the pictures are oil workers from Oklahoma in 1939. ~ Is is misogyny to use *Becky* as a slur for white women? ~ Wikiquotes says “Do what you feel…” was “As quoted in How to Stop Worrying and Start Living (1944; 1948) by Dale Carnegie;” ~ What is rather amusing is the quote above this. “Oh! I want to put my arms around you, I ache to hold you close. Your ring is a great comfort. I look at it and think she does love me or I wouldn’t be wearing it!” In a letter to Lorena Hickok, March 7, 1933 ~ @KngHnryVIII There once was a girl named Boleyn, Who lured my codpiece to sin, After we wed, She cheated my bed, And I divorced her neck from her chin ~ That quote is not found on the James Baldwin wikiquotes. A gentleman named Robert Jones Jr., who uses the pen name Son of Baldwin, is given credit for that phrase. ~ @euflorium #OddThingsToAskAVampire Why don’t you suck fat instead of blood? @pints_and_puns How do you like your stake? #OddThingsToAskAVampire ~ “When decrying racism opens no door and teaches no skill, it becomes a schoolroom tattletale affair. It is unworthy of all of us: “He’s just a racist” intoned like “nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah!”” ~ defiled mostly by her step brother, who knocks her up and beats her down, alone in the woods becoming a mother, leaving her on the brink of death town, they clean her up and take her in, rich wife dies alone in child birth, drag her to wet nurse his baby of sin, calls the women a harlot of the earth, when her milk stops she still says sir, he sometimes apologizes for raping her, step brother comes back to extort money, rape her once more for good times honey, they make love again and now it’s true, knowing she bit off more than she could chew ~ pictures today are from The Library of Congress. ~ selah

Winching The Dead

Posted in Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on October 6, 2018







A recent post included the phrase “getting severely overweight dead people out of an apartment building.” Those are googling words. Most of the results are hand wringing about the number of overweight people. A couple of the results were worth clicking out.

The headline result is from Merry Olde England, which is becoming known as the fattest country in Europe. Fire service called in 50 times to winch fat people out.

“Paramedics in the West Midlands have had to call on their heavy-lifting emergency service colleagues, despite having extra equipment to help move extremely heavy patients themselves. Over a three-year period they called in West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service on 50 occasions, so the patients could be winched out with apparatus designed for lifting car wrecks. Sometimes morbidly obese patients, … can only be extracted from their homes after a window is taken out, say firefighters.

… Nick Harrison, chairman of the West Midlands Fire Brigades Union, said: “In most cases these people are quite elderly and are suffering from serious medical issues which have left them bedridden for a long time, and they have put on a lot of weight. “Many times we have to remove the whole window frame and get them out that way. It’s a lot safer both for them and for the rescuers.”

… Official statistics show the West Midlands to be the fattest region in Britain, which is itself the fattest major country in Europe. According to the Association of Public Health Observatories, about 25 per cent of adults in Britain are now clinically obese. In the West Midlands, the figure is 29 per cent. By comparison, across the European Union as a whole it is just 14 per cent. “

One of the commenters had a constructive suggestion: “The ‘feeders’ should be brought to court and punished. For every obese person there is one or more ‘feeders’, who shop, supply the food, help the person eat it etc. Being a ‘feeder’ should be a criminal offense.”

This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.






One More Chat About Racism

Posted in Library of Congress, Race, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on October 4, 2018


It was a typical morning. Work on a picture, and listen to audio entertainment product. PG was tired of youtube suggestions, and chose to listen to RISK. The first story is a South Asian lady, Nimisha, going to have lunch with her Jewish mother in law, Elaine. The two ladies have an uneasy relationship. Before the wedding, Elaine asked David, her son, if Nimisha was black. (Did David have a black girlfriend before this?) Nimisha was upset when she heard about this. Now Nimisha was going to have lunch with a RAY cisst. It is not known if Nimisha ever called Elaine a racist to her face.

PG, for various reasons, is tired of hearing people referred to as racist. Since there were plenty of other shows to listen to, he turned off the story. A few minutes later, he wondered what he was missing, and turned on the story again. Soon enough, Nimisha complained about going to lunch with a RAY cisst, again. PG pushed forward, and listened to the next story. It was about an experience at an AA meeting in Los Angeles. A good friend of PG is in the AA program. PG wanted to share the story. Here is the email PG sent with the link.

This is a link to a story. It is an AA war story. It starts at 20 minutes. There is another story here. The first story in this show is about an Indian lady, who does not like her Jewish mother in law. At ten minutes into the show, the bride says “I am going to have to spend the day with a racist.” At this point, I turned off the show in anger. I am sensitive to the term racist, for perfectly obvious reasons. I did not want to listen to the rest of the show. When I decided to send you the link, I had to listen to the part of the show around the 20 minute mark, so I could know when the war story started. I set the timer for 18 minutes, and listened to the end of the mother in law story. There is a twist in the story, and everyone is friends now. The bride says “I am ashamed of reducing her to her racism.”

David, Elaine, and Nimisha went to a deli in New York. Nimisha (who seems to have other entitlement issues) is militantly vegetarian, and not pleased with the deli. At one point, Elaine orders a sandwich “bigger than her fist,” and starts to, accidentally, spit bits of meat in Nimisha’s face. At this lowest part of the lunch, Nimisha looks at Elaine, who has tears in her eyes. Elaine thanks Nimisha for coming on the lunch. Nimisha looks at her hand, which has an engagement ring once owned by Elaine. Nimisha realizes that Elaine is more than her comment about race, and is actually a pretty good lady. End of story. Elaine is much more than a racist, she is the mother of David.

The real fun starts when PG posts the email to RISK! Podcast Fans Discussion Group on twitter. People are proud of calling *others* racist. When you suggest that this is not a good idea, they get angry. WAAAAA!!! He said I can’t say wassist!!! WAAAA!!! PG has heard the r-word many times. He was not in the mood to hear a vegetarian princess repeat that slur about her deceased elder.

For several of the nay sayers, PG asked the simple question “When was the last time you were called a racist?” There is a certain entitlement to casting this particular stone. People, who think it is beyond horrible to say the n-word, feel virtuous about calling a white person racist. You wonder if they have any clue to how people feel about this, or if they care. After all, if a person is a racist, they are a terrible, terrible person. Anything you say or do to them is justified. The racist is the other.

“I’ve literally never been called a racist because I’m not one. Not once in my life. Again I say, if you’re being called a racist on a regular basis, you need to evaluate yourself” ~ “…when was the last time you were called racist- my response would be- to my face? NEVER, not once. Behind my back-unsure, I sincerely hope NEVER. But one thing I DO know to be true is that if there was EVER a time I unintentionally made someone feel less than because of the color of their skin I would go to the ends of the earth to right that.” ~ “I see what you’re getting at, but I’m also from Atlanta and have lived in the south for almost my entire life. I’m a white male and I don’t recall having ever been referred to as a racist… Probably because I don’t say hurtful things to POC. I’m just saying, if you’re called a racist numerous times, there’s probably a reason and perhaps one should reflect on that.” ~ “A few years ago. (I wasn’t being racist. At all. But a woman thought I was treating her unfairly and wasn’t shy about letting everyone know.) I still don’t understand what that has to do with anything. Racism is definitely a thing that exists in the world. The behavior described in the story was racist. I don’t know you or your circumstances, but your words so far seem to imply that you’re more offended by the word “racist” than actual racism.”

“you’re more offended by the word “racist” than actual racism.” This is a common comment in social justice discussions. “Imagine it happening all the time, simply because of the color of your skin. What you’re experiencing right now is *nothing* compared to what people of color experience daily.” The simple truth is that two wrongs do not make a right. Insulting a white person, by calling them racist, will have little impact on creating economic opportunity, or curtailing police brutality. Saying racist is merely a couple of kids on the playground swapping insults. To pretend otherwise, to confuse name calling for effective social justice action, is an exercise in self delusion. “The word racist is NOT hateful. RACISM is hateful.”

After a while, someone asked PG “When was the last time you were called racist?” He recalled a facebook discussion last winter. “A bar employee was fired, and had dirt on the boss. He posted this dirt on facebook. I questioned the validity of this dirt. I was called racist as a result. This is the last time I was called racist.” This is similar to many episodes of racist citing. It was a white person who called PG, another white person, racist. PG said something that the other person did not like, and the knee jerk reaction was to say racist.

People in discussions about racist/racism often feel the need to demonstrate their distaste for racism. Usually it is without being asked. People just assume they need to virtue signal, and are offended if someone abstains. “Racists reduce people to their race, which is FAR worse than reducing someone to their hateful thoughts. Reducing her to her racism and not seeing the other aspects of her personality is also literally what that story was about. People of other races are also your fellow human being and racists often don’t treat them as such. I could be wrong but this seems to not bother you at all? People often say nothing when someone is called racist…because that person is being racist.Being racist is wrong. Full stop. I’m not sure if we’re on the same page about that, but in case my thoughts weren’t clear, there they are.”

When you challenge the performative nature of racist citing, you can expect feedback. “I don’t understand this post. But i fully support the continued and loud-mouthed calling out and labeling of racists wherever they be, regardless of some feathers getting ruffled. Had the protagonist of this story been correct in her assumption, i wouldn’t be holding it against her. In this case she made an assumption and was corrected by facts, but i certainly don’t hold the using of that term against her.” ” “ritual condemnation of racism” is a funny way to put it, as if condemning such is a kind of bigotry. It’s not a “performance” when I condemn it. Um… I MEAN it.”

There is something about racism-talk that triggers verbal diarrhea. People start talking/typing, and don’t know when to stop. You will hear many testimonials. Here is one. “When I was young, I defended myself. As I matured, I explained myself. Now, I do neither. I listen. I apologize. I was recently at an almost all-Black barbecue. I was asked if I play spades and I do – I love that game! I went to play, and they played with a lot of rules I have never heard of before. They claimed that everyone played this way. I assumed it was a racial difference. I casually said things like, “I don’t understand how to play black spades.“ I was mortified later when my friend told me that calling it “black spades“ was offensive. I was embarrassed, and uncomfortable. But I didn’t defend myself. And I didn’t even explain myself. What I said was, “Thank you so much for bringing that to my attention. I appreciate that you felt comfortable enough to let me know that what I was saying was offensive. I’ll try to do better in the future.” It didn’t matter that I wasn’t trying to be racist, or that I don’t feel like I am a racist. What matters is just to listen with compassion to those who experience things that you and I never will.”

Many comments seem to assume that the racist citer is an aggrieved poc. More often, it is a virtue signalling white person. Or, in the story that sparked this discussion, a vegetarian princess, non-black poc. Eventually, some commenters moved into the “trying to help you with your problem ” phase … as if objecting to a rude, racially motivated insult was a problem. “Honest question. Not looking for snark answers… “What should Luther do if he is called a racist for no other reason than his appearance? What can *he* do to combat the generalization that white men in the south are all that way?” “He could respond, “I am so sorry that you felt racially targeted by me. Can you please help me understand what I did to make you feel that way? How can I make this better in the future?” That does not seem like a good response to make to a white person on facebook.

Why are people, mostly white, so eager to demonstrate their distaste for what they perceive as racism? This virtue signalling is to be loud, and must be seen and heard by others. Maybe this virtue signalling is not done for the benefit of others. Maybe the white savior is trying to reassure them self that they are not racist. They are like the homophobe who badmouths gays to cover up for his own repressed homosexual desires. Is the white savior a closet racist?

The problem with anti-racism was published by chamblee54 a few years ago, when a dark skinned man was POTUS. It discusses the closet racist concept, and other ways in which anti-racism is detrimental to society. After a 2014 repost, chamblee54 received a remarkable bit of confirmation. An anonymous commenter, speaking from an .edu address, said “why don’t you get your white sheets and come out.” Since this comment was made by a white cis male (the last time PG had contact with them), it might not be appropriate to respond “I am so sorry that you felt racially targeted by me. Can you please help me understand what I did to make you feel that way?”

PG made one last comment in the facebook thread. It is unlikely that he changed any minds. The concept that the word racist is offensive to human beings, and should be used with caution, is alien to many people. It might be compared to telling a person sixty years ago that saying the n-word is a bad idea. Here is the closing comment. “There is going to be a blog post about this discussion, which will answer a few of those questions. Or, and this is more likely, merely raise more. I have known many, many poc. Friends, enemies, good people, terrible people, and a thousand levels in between. In the end, it is my experience. I don’t even understand it myself. I cannot expect someone who reads a facebook thread to understand my life. I just get tired of the promiscuous, boastful, performative use of the r words. Nothing good comes of it.”

In typical blogger fashion, PG gave two links. “This post Are my attitudes about race any of your business, might help explain a bit of this.” “Here is another post that might help, James Baldwin and the six letter word. (This post makes an amusing connection between the n-word, and the r-word. The words of James Baldwin were used, perhaps in a way the author would not have intended.) Even if you don’t like the text, you can enjoy the pictures.” The pictures today are from The Library of Congress. Pittsburgh PA Passengers waiting for a bus at the Greyhound bus terminal. Esther Bubley, photographer September 1943.

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Mudville

Posted in Library of Congress, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on October 2, 2018


As some of you know, I like to go to get-togethers in the woods. Since the location tries to be low visibility, I will call it Mudville. When Mighty Casey struck out, there was no joy in Mudville. The gathering is usually held at the end of September, and first part of October. This year, it was moved up a week, to accommodate the full moon. If the gathering had been held when it usually is, the weather would have been glorious. As it was, it rained, and rained, and rained some more. I went on Sunday, and planned to stay for a week. By Wednesday, I had enough, and went home, with my tail between my legs. This was not the intention.

I get into gathering mode, and nothing is going to stop me. Having two rides cancel did not stop me. Seeing the weather radar, with Mudville covered with precipitation, did not stop me. The trip up was fairly smooth. The clouds did not cover the sun until going through a scary mountain pass. By the time I got off the interstate, the mud puddles by the roadside were too numerous to ignore. If I can have a couple of hours to set up my tent, cover it with a tarp, take my car to the parking lot, hike back, then I should be ok. As it happened, it was drizzling by the time I started back from parking. There were huge mud puddles in the road, with a skinny strip of dirt to walk through on the side.

By the time I got back to my tent, I was dog tired. There was a dance party after dinner. I thought I would be far enough away to sleep through it. Unfortunately, some DJ decided to crank up the volume, and I was back to listening to the rain fall on the tarp. “Loving is really my game” was great when Brainstorm did it in 1978. Hearing the redo, while trying to sleep, is another story.

Monday, I got up and went to the kitchen. I tried to busy myself by taking out compost, and sorting recyclables. These are never quite done jobs, that don’t take much time commitment. Later, I was spreading wood chips over the path leading back to my tent. This helps a little bit, but turns into more mud before long. It was not all work… there were some lovely people to spend time with. The food was plentiful and tasty. The rain slacked off for a while Monday, and the tarp was keeping the tent dry. Maybe things were going to turn out ok.

The last entry in my journal was tuesday morning. *1) wake up early, go to kitchen, talk to Lady, hopefully rain is through.* The lady in the kitchen was a “big ole butch farm girl” who reads college dissertations for fun. Sitting down to talk with her was an unexpected treat. The sun came out for a while Tuesday, and things were looking good. Then a huge storm came through. There was enough water on the ground to get between my ground cover, and the floor of my tent. There was enough water in the tent to be thourourgly miserable. I thought that maybe it would clear up, and I could dry out the sleeping bag enough to hang in.

Wednesday morning it was raining fairly heavily. The reports were for rain all day, and into thursday. I took a bucket of compost out, and my shoe sank four inches into compost yard mud.

I went back to my tent, and took everything down. Just get it all into bags, and sorts things out when you get home. I went to the house, and found someone going to the parking lot. After getting back to Mudville, I saw another person who had been looking for a ride to parking. When I was taking him to parking, I went into a huge mud puddle on the raod, hit the gas at the wrong time, and came very close to spinning off the road. I got out of Mudville, put on the dry clothes I was keeping in the car, and got on the interstate going home. The rain went away for most of the trip home.

I usually have pictures from Mudville, but this time never took the camera out of the tent. It stayed relatively dry, and still functions. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.