Monthly Archives: May 2016

Louisiana State Penitentiary

Cotton Picking Farm Line 16 1998Warden's House

Above is a mounted guard and a prisoner picking cotton in 1998 (some guards have rifles). Below, the warden’s house in the same period. This is at Angola, the flagship prison, located on the former Angola Plantation.

These images are not mine, nor is the one of the electric chair a post or two ago, and I can give the source if readers are interested.

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María: yes, it is the patriarchy

A friend says that the reason people in Louisiana so fear sex, despite having quite a lot of it (despite having it compulsively, I would say), is that they still regret losing the Civil War and slavery. So they are nostalgic for an earlier time, like the more reactionary Muslims of the Middle East, he says.

In this (Victorian) time you would have the cloying upper-class white women, certain vixen types, and then a lot of slaves and working-class women you could rape and exploit. So it is slavery, which requires an extreme form of patriarchy, that has created the sexual habits and attitudes of the Louisianians, he posits.

This, of course, would explain why my first reaction to Jorge Isaacs’ María was, “This novel is about the fear of sex.”

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New and fascinating information on Moro

From one Rafael Ramírez Mendoza, who seems to be really nice.

“Deseos de modernidad y fronteras de lo primitivo: territorialidad y autenticidad en el debate por un nuevo imaginario peruano en Abril, Westphalen y Arguedas”. Revista de Crítica Literaria Latinoamericana 75 (2012): 253-82. (You can read this via academia.edu and Ebscohost.)

A surrealist letter-poem you can see at the Getty Research Institute.

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Death chamber

View of Electric Chair From Witness Room 1984

Here is a 1984 view of the Louisiana electric chair, from the witness room. What surprises me is how close the witnesses sit. I realize it must be the same for the lethal injection — I had thought witnesses chairs would be elevated, as in a theatre, and further away — but I see this supposition was baseless.

I am guessing this is one of the reasons why witnesses are traumatized, watching murder up close and grisly murders of people they know at that.

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Cecilia Valdés — yes it is the patriarchy

Someone said,

If this question was asked in my class, I would ask them to think about how patriarchy creates mechanisms of punishment and reward in order to keep itself in power. Patriarchy believes it gets to have 24/7 access to the bodies of social subordinates – most often women – but also men who are in positions of subordination. Sexual power over others is one of the most important tools of patriarchy.”

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Bill Moyers

So why has Wasserman Schultz been so opposed to the CFPB’s proposed rules? She has said, “Payday lending is unfortunately a necessary component of how people get access to capital, [people] that are the working poor.” But maybe it has something more to do with the $2.5 million or so the payday loan industry has donated to Florida politicians from both parties since 2009. That’s according to a new report by the liberal group Allied Progress. More than $50,000 of that cash has gone to Rep. Wasserman Schultz.

But we digress. It’s the skullduggery going on within the Democratic Party establishment that’s our current concern and as we wrote in March, Rep. Wasserman Schultz “has played games with the party’s voter database, been accused of restricting the number of Democratic candidate debates and scheduling them at odd days and times to favor Hillary Clinton, and recently told CNN’s Jake Tapper that superdelegates — strongly establishment and pro-Clinton — are necessary at the party’s convention so deserving incumbent officials and party leaders don’t have to run for delegate slots ‘against grassroots activists.’ [Emphasis added] Let that sink in, but hold your nose against the aroma of entitlement.”

Tout lire.

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Louisiana Spanish

As a summer project, let’s compile a bibliography here. Are you joining me?

Adaeseño

Gregory, H.F., on adaeseño, 1996.

Isleño

MacCurdy, Raymond R. The Spanish Dialect in St. Bernard Parish. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 1950.

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