Memorial Day: revisionist history

Jesus taught us to give comfort to people with dying loved ones. He also gave comfort to the Centurion (Matthew 8).

Almost a year ago, Demeur sent me an article about the history of Memorial Day.

[Historian David] Blight’s award-winning Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (2001) explained how three “overall visions of Civil War memory collided” in the decades after the war.

The first was the emancipationist vision, embodied in African Americans’ remembrances and the politics of Radical Reconstruction, in which the Civil War was understood principally as a war for the destruction of slavery and the liberation of African Americans to achieve full citizenship.

The second was the reconciliationist vision, ostensibly less political, which focused on honoring the dead on both sides, respecting their sacrifice, and the reunion of the country.

The third was the white supremacist vision, which was either openly pro-Confederate or at least despising of Reconstruction as “Black rule” in the South.

Over the late 1800s and the early 1900s, in the context of Jim Crow and the complete subordination of Black political participation, the second and third visions largely combined. The emancipationist version of the Civil War, and the heroic participation of African Americans in their own liberation, was erased from popular culture, the history books and official commemoration.

Interesting. Not surprising, but interesting to read about revisionist history.
Last year, when I bewailed what I consider the theological justification for war as anti-Christian, anti-Jesus, and utterly false glorification of war, Chris Honeycutt noted:

I’d say that Memorial Day is 100% a holiday in the real Christian spirit, just like Jesus would want.
Other people make it about celebrating the wars. But it’s really about remembering the soldiers who died.
Everyone who served lost people and had no time to stop and grieve. The war kept coming.
Jesus taught us to give comfort to people with dying loved ones. He also gave comfort to the Centurion (Matthew 8).
So… yeah. Jesus was pretty clear about the war issue. Still think he’d think Memorial Day was a great idea.

I think she might very well be right. Jesus cared for those whose hearts were heavy-laden.

So let us remember our lost ones, even as we redouble our efforts for peace.

Do you know who does really nice Memorial Day posts? Jaquandor. Here’s his post from last year. And here’s a post he did during the last Advent which feels applicable today.
The Gun Jumpers.

August Rambling II: Smart is sexy and stupid is not

A reference to my piece about David Cassidy made it into the print version of the paper because “it was a good post, and filled with what we like: short, timely and to the point :)”

The New York Times’ prophetic 1983 warning about the NSA, which naturally leads to Glenn Greenwald killed the internet.

My Feelings About the Harriet Tubman Sex Tape in 10 GIFs.

Invisible Disabilities Day is October 24. I have this friend with rather a constant neck pain, but she doesn’t LOOK sick, and therefore feels diminished by those who actually don’t believe her. Conversely, The Complexities of Giving: People with Disabilities as Help Objects.

Photos of the worldly goods of inmates at the Willard Asylum. I backed the Kickstarter for this and wrote about it a couple years ago.

“Each week, TIME Magazine designs covers for four markets: the U.S., Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific.” Often, America’s cover is quite, well – different. I had noticed this before. I don’t know that it’s “stunning,” but it IS telling.

The Peanuts gang meets The Smiths, in which This Charming Charlie masterfully blends Charles Schulz’s comics with lyrics by The Smiths.

Mark Evanier’s Tales of My Father, featuring Tony Orlando. Also, Tales of My Cat.

A friend’s letter from his brother. (Can one read this sans Facebook?)

Yes, smart is sexy and stupidity is not.

Eddie, the Renaissance Geek is cancer-free!

So I have survived my first grown-up move. Moving as an adult, it turns out, is radically different from moving as a student.

John Scalzi: To The Dudebro Who Thinks He’s Insulting Me by Calling Me a Feminist.

Air New Zealand celebrates marriage equality.

Lake Edge United Church of Christ in Madison, WI: “Worship at the Edge” PRIDE Sunday.

My old buddy Matt Haller has a new blog and writes about lies my shampoo bottle tells me about dating.

Arthur challenges his own snap assumptions.

SamuraiFrog writes about the list of best movies that EW had on the list in 1999, but which had fallen off the list by 2013 and also other great films. Re: a comment he made: that will require a blog post from me. He’s been musing on the early Marvel comics, which have all been interesting, and I was glad to play a small part in his understanding of Thor.

21 Jokes Only History Nerds Will Understand​.

German, not Swiss, Orson Welles.

Marian McPartland, ‘Piano Jazz’ Host, Has Died. I loved how she way she not only performed but, probably, more importantly, INFORMED about music.

The late Elmore Leonard’ TEN RULES FOR WRITING. His New York Times obit.

David Janower has passed away. He was the choral director of the fine Albany Pro Musica, and I knew and liked him personally, so I am sad. He had surgery a few months back and suffered a stroke from which he never really recovered.

A worthy neologism found by Dustbury.

The God of SNL will see you now.

Dolly Parton’s original recording of “Jolene” slowed down by 25% is surprisingly awesome.

Paul McCartney “In Spite Of All The Danger” & “20 Flight Rock” (Live), the former a cover of first Beatles record. Also, the Beatles’ final photo session, August 22, 1969.

Chuck Miller has posted every day for four years, over 2,000 blog posts on the Times Union site.

Dueling banjos: Steve Martin, Kermit the Frog. Sesame Street does Old Spice parody with Grover.

No ukuleles were harmed in the making of this video.

What did I write about in my Times Union blog this month? That annoying JEOPARDY! Kids Week story and Should ‘citizen initiative and referendum’ come to New York? and The prescient David Cassidy song. Cassidy got arrested locally for felony DWI, and a reference to my piece made it into the print version of the paper because “it was a good post, and filled with what we like: short, timely and to the point :),” FWIW.

If you are an NYS homeowner, read Tax Department Launches Statewide STAR Registration. The Data Detective blog has some other interesting stuff – if I do say so myself – such as On being ‘right’ in science.

Jaquandor answers my questions about the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team and unfriending.

Spontaneous​s goat manure fire.

July Rambling: privilege, and 12-tone music

Roger Green was told that he cannot greet pupils from Sandy Lane Primary School in Bracknell, Berkshire, with the gesture because a driver said it slowed down traffic.

Watch the important documentary, Two American Families, online at Bill Moyers’ website. In the same vein, To Rescue Local Economies, Cities Seize Underwater Mortgages Through Eminent Domain.

From Meryl, the graphic novel expert: The Armageddon Letters and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Also, Zahra – from Paradise to President. Published in 2011, its story takes place in Iran, June 2009.

Brief Thoughts on Shelby County v. Holder by Mark S. Mishler. (But the actual title is TOO long!)

Daniel Nester writes about privilege. I found it interesting, in part, because it reminded me of certain white sociology students, in undergraduate school and subsequently, who insisted on informing me about the sources of my oppression. They also insisted I spell “black people” as “Black people.” Meh. Dan also gives cheeky advice for aspiring writers.

Thom’s apology to the GLBT people he knows, and the ones he doesn’t.

6 Things That Will Happen Now That The Sanctity Of Marriage Is Destroyed, presented by George Takei.

Eddie and Keith do a road trip.

Dustbury found this video, which is about Arnold Schoenberg and 12-tone music but is as much about the stifling US copyright law, the creative mind, the boundaries of art, and how we communicate with each other. He “learned more from this half-hour of unconventional pedagogy than from a whole semester of theory.”

It was the first line in Jaquandor’s novel, it was a reflection of first lines of novels generally.

Mark Evanier writes: “My father was a very honest man. Absolutely, utterly honest. Once, he found a wallet in the street with a few hundred dollars in it. He took it home, looked up the number of the person it belonged to and arranged to return it to them…with every buck still in it. He did things like that all the time. All the time.”

Melanie deals with the death of a close family member. “With it comes a closure of sorts. Unfortunately, this is one of those deaths that bring feelings of sadness, but also of relief- a lengthy ordeal over at last.”

Daniel Nester’s dad died, and those “pesky abandonment issues” pop up. He is processing his Notes on Grief, parts I and II and III and IV and V.

Related: 936 opportunities, which made me melancholy thinking about MY dad.

Chris quits smoking! YAY!, despite duress. And she has a new blog! BTW, she also made and sent me yummy cookies!

‘Friendly atheist’ speaks to thousands at megachurch.

How do we pray for a friend in need or a stranger who might be sick or lonely in the hospital or at home?

NOT a Get Out Of Hell Free card.

Arthur answers my questions about music and identity and the roots of his political self and political philosophy & friends and boycotts and some other stuff. He also responded to my slow audience post.

Simplified blogging.

The Mom From ‘The Cat in the Hat’ Finally Speaks.

The secret of the Floating Cork.

I’m egotistical enough to be pleased that Chuck Miller put me in his Best of our Times Union Community Blogs for July 25 and July 18 I also appreciate that he’s trying to promote the TU bloggers the way he wishes the TU would. As noted before, I never know what to write for that audience, until I do, such as when I wrote: The Census site with Congressional district data is cool. Really.

I noted that my friend Lynne tried to walk from Albany to Binghamton, but I didn’t mention that walking on the side of the road is NOT like sidewalk walking.


Daily Mail: Lollipop man banned from high-fiving children because it ‘confuses drivers. “Roger Green was told that he cannot greet pupils from Sandy Lane Primary School in Bracknell, Berkshire, with the gesture because a driver said it slowed down traffic. Hundreds of parents have reacted angrily to the ban by Bracknell Forest Council.”
Followup: “High-five” lollipop man given the green light to give “thumbs up” instead.

The Guardian: Notes from Overground by Tiresias (the pen name of Roger Green) was published in 1984. It became a minor cult, and though it never sold very well, it still gets into the occasional blog today. We admirers occasionally meet and share favourite moments.

ARA: Sports and superheroes

I know all the Presidents, year inaugurated and political party.

Chris Honeycutt asked:

Do you like sports other than baseball? Which ones?

I like to play volleyball and racquetball but haven’t played either for a while. I like to bowl, but my knee is inhibiting that.

I enjoy watching football, and believe it is the PERFECT sport for instant replay. But I tend to follow the NFL, rather than college, and generally only from the end of the World Series on.

Basketball I don’t watch until the games leading to the men’s college basketball March Madness, pretty much after the Super Bowl. Used to follow the NBA, but not much since Michael Jordan retired.

There was a period I was really into tennis, in the early 1990s, when there was live, free pro play at the Schenectady Open. I’m off it, mostly, but will watch the semifinals and finals of the majors, if I get the chance.

I’ll view track in the Summer Olympics.

Almost every sport I would rather see live, none more so than soccer and hockey, which I HATE watching on TV, but find much more interesting in person.

What random fact are you most proud of that you could just recall it by choice?

I know all the Presidents, year inaugurated and political party; there were four Whig Presidents, who held the Oval Office for only eight years, all in a twelve-year span. I can name the two years we had three Presidents, and of course, who they were. (Can you?) I know the vote in the House in the disputed 1876 election was RB Hayes 185, Sam Tilden, of New York, 184.

In general, anything on JEOPARDY! that nobody gets but I know pleases me greatly. The truth is that I know so many obscure things that I don’t even know what I know until I’m called upon to produce them.

Any opinion on new superhero movies vs. old superhero movies?

Haven’t seen that many.

Saw the first two Superman films with Chris Reeve, and mostly enjoyed them, but haven’t seen one since.
Saw the Batman movie with Jack Nicholson; too much Jack. Haven’t seen the others, I don’t believe, except the Adam West version, which, of course, was pure camp.
Saw the first Fantastic Four film; pretty much hated it.
Saw the second X-Men film on cable, at a hotel. Liked it, but haven’t seen the others, or the Wolverine films.
I saw and LOVED the first two Spider-Man films with Tobey Maguire. Didn’t see the third one or the reboot.
Saw the movies leading to The Avengers film on video. Liked Captain America and the first Iron Man. Less taken by the second IM and Thor. Still haven’t seen the Avengers.
Didn’t see either recent Hulk film, the Ghost Rider series, Daredevil, Watchmen. What am I forgetting? Howard the Duck wasn’t a superhero, was he?

If you were a superhero, what would be your costume? Cape or no cape?

Well, CLEARLY it would be green. With an infinity sign. Yes to the cape.

Disappearing text, and pictures in blogs

I may be a technophobe, but necessity can be a real mother.

My text can go here. Yahoo! This is so easy.

This is in response, not so much to a question, but to a comment. Chris said, in response to this post, “That ‘highlight the text to avoid an accidental spoiler’ is absolutely brilliant.”

How did I do that? Well, some years ago, I saw it done on someone’s blog (Mike Sterling? Greg Burgas? I don’t remember) and asked, “How do you do that?”

If I cut and pasted the code, then you wouldn’t see it because it would be invisible. So I’m going to write it out descriptively; you’d type the symbols indicated with no gaps.

The left arrow (comma uppercase)
The words span style
The equal sign
Back slash
The word color:#ffff
Back slash
Right arrow (period uppercase)
Whatever text you want to hide
Left arrow
Back slash
The word span
Right arrow
(And if this is unclear, send your e-mail to rogerogreen (AT) gmail (DOT) com, and I’ll send it to you.)

(UPDATE: as Jaquandor indicated, the ffff only works if your background is white. If your background is another color, you need to pick THAT color; check here, for instance.)

While I’m in this geek mood – it won’t last, believe me – let me talk about photos on this blog. On my original Blogger blog, it took me a while to figure out how to add graphics to my Blogger blog, but eventually, pretty much by accident, I did. When I started with my Times Union blog in 2008, on WordPress, I couldn’t figure out how to put in pictures. More correctly, I couldn’t SIZE the picture. I tried to put in a picture of Dudley Do-Right – former NYS governor Eliot Spitzer looked VERY MUCH like the cartoon character – but it was SO huge, it took up the entire screen. So I continued to compose in Blogger, then pasted it into the TU WP. Then when I got this blog in WP in 2010, I stayed drafting it all in Blogger.

Then recently, my Blogger interface changed so that I couldn’t insert the pictures the way I wanted to. They’d sit on the top of the page – see this post, e.g., and it just wasn’t what I wanted.

I decided to look at WP again, and in the last six years, they made it easier. Not only that but now I can put CAPTIONS in the pictures. Sizing is also more instinctive than it used to be. At the same time, I learned how to post an MP3 file of music successfully onto this blog; I had tried as recently as a year ago, without success.

I may be a technophobe, but necessity can be a real mother.

Speaking of Blogger: Prevent Blogger Blog from Redirecting to a country-specific domain. “The main reason behind the redirection is the selective censorship so that they can easily block a blog or selected pages on a blog in one country while serving the content to other countries… Reports suggest that your blog SEO will be affected which is bad for your blog health.”

I see this in e-mails, and elsewhere: someone is citing a specific webpage from some RSS feed. It’ll look like – but it can generally be cut down at the ? – try it and you’ll find that works just as well.


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