Monthly Archives: July 2015

Some notes on Barcelona today

Solving the SNCF mystery.

The sun in the cathedral, with its palm trees.

The Archive of Aragon, with Columbus’ original capitulations.

Getting a library card.

The port.

The theatre listings, the Café de la Opera.

The tourists, the trendy shops.

Buying green shoes. The rain.

Lost and there were no locals to ask for directions, nobody knew and many shopkeepers did not really speak Spanish or Catalan, they were mysterious immigrants.

Those guys on my doorstep when I finally got home, talking about the Atacama desert.

Mercès. Adeu. Bona nit.

Axé.

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B.B. King and Joan Baez at Sing Sing

It has commercials, but here you get to see how it was to go up the Hudson, and visit prisoners in 1974.

Axé.

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Quatre jours de paix

Or one week of goodness, although I am hoping to get three. I had four days of peaceful writing at home, and four days of excellent work at a summer institute. Otherwise this summer has had more problems and far less calm than had been foreseen or planned. Now I am going on three weeks of vacation.

This involves twelve days of Barcelona, a week of Burgundy, and two days of Paris, spending all my frequent flyer miles. I will stroll and do schoolwork. I am meeting my pen pal. We have been writing since we were eight, and have not seen each other since then.

Axé.

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Perry Anderson

Journalists, exiles, editors, underground conspirators, this was by definition an intelligentsia without positions or place in the institutions of the state.

Read all about it.

Axé.

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Rezar y rezar

Una piedra en el camino / me enseñó que mi destino / era rodar y rodar / rodar y rodar / rodar y rodar…

That is from the most hilariously machista and probably gun-slinging song that could exist, but look what a beautiful voice Vicente Fernández had when he was young.

The song comes to me because, dateline Maringouin, the metropolis across the Atchafalaya is praying and praying, hay que rezar y rezar. We will pray and we will decry the excesses of the Westboro Baptist Church but at a certain level we are not different from them if we take the shootings as an “act of God” and not an effect of the power of the arms industry.

Nuestro destino es rezar y rezar.

Axé.

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Keywords for the modern subject

I am interested in this piece.

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Thomas Brudholm

Most current talk of forgiveness and reconciliation in the aftermath of collective violence proceeds from an assumption that forgiveness is always superior to resentment and refusal to forgive. Victims who demonstrate a willingness to forgive are often celebrated as virtuous moral models, while those who refuse to forgive are frequently seen as suffering from a pathology. Resentment is viewed as a negative state, held by victims who are not “ready” or “capable” of forgiving and healing.

Resentment’s Virtue offers a new, more nuanced view. Building on the writings of Holocaust survivor Jean Améry and the work of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Thomas Brudholm argues that the preservation of resentment can be the reflex of a moral protest that might be as permissible, humane or honorable as the willingness to forgive. Taking into account the experiences of victims, the findings of truth commissions, and studies of mass atrocities, Brudholm seeks to enrich the philosophical understanding of resentment.

Le livre.

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New Orleans Then

“The campaign on Dryades was calculated to start just before Easter because that’s when people bought lots of clothes,” Elie said. Black students from Xavier, Southern University of New Orleans and Dillard, along with a few white students from Tulane and University of New Orleans, joined picketers on Dryades. In mid-1960, former Xavier student-body head Rudy Lombard, SUNO student Oretha Castle and others formed a local chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality or CORE. On September 17, 1960, Lombard, Castle, Dillard student Cecil Carter Jr. and Tulane student Lanny Goldfinch were arrested while sitting at the lunch counter at McCrory’s Five and Ten Cents store on Canal St.

Continuez à lire.

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Bruce Cockburn

This is The trouble with normal, a 1981 song lyric I did not know. I notice that Cockburn had the same insight I did, then.

Strikes across the frontier and strikes for higher wage
Planet lurches to the right as ideologies engage
Suddenly it’s repression, moratorium on rights
What did they think the politics of panic would invite?
Person in the street shrugs — “Security comes first”
But the trouble with normal is it always gets worse

Callous men in business costume speak computerese
Play pinball with the Third World trying to keep it on its knees
Their single crop starvation plans put sugar in your tea
And the local Third World’s kept on reservations you don’t see
“It’ll all go back to normal if we put our nation first”
But the trouble with normal is it always gets worse

Fashionable fascism dominates the scene
When ends don’t meet it’s easier to justify the means
Tenants get the dregs and landlords get the cream
As the grinding devolution of the democratic dream
Brings us men in gas masks dancing while the shells burst
The trouble with normal is it always gets worse

Axé.

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Teresa Buchanan

Read about her, about Louisiana, and about LSU.

Axé.

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