This Day in History
Today is Women’s Day in Zoroastrian tradition, Engineer’s Day elsewhere in Iran, Flag Day in Mexico, and National Artists Day in Thailand; in the Eastern Roman Empire seventeen hundred fourteen years ago, Emperor Galerius first broadcast an edict that permitted and encouraged persecution of Christians, a situation that continued for nearly a decade; a hundred eighty-one years past that, in 484, meanwhile, the Vandal King Huneric furthered his support for Arian thinking by removing Christian bishops, banishing some to Corsica and martyring others; more or less exactly a thousand and ninety-eight years thereafter, in 1582, a thirteenth Pope Gregory instituted the Gregorian Calendar to catch up with missing leap years; precisely a quarter century further along, in 1607, one of the first operas opened its performances as L’Orfeo, in Mantua, Italy; another century and four years onward, in 1711, a George Frideric Handel opera—the first Italian show written for an English stage—premiered in London;
A Thought for the Day
The facade of ‘neutrality,’ the non-sequitur of ‘objectivity,’ in no realm exercise a more mysterious and pernicious primacy than in the arena of media policy and production, the central locus of the creation of culture in the current context of the Internet’s fruition and ‘reality television’s’ rise as aspects of the power of the electromagnetic spectrum: this surreal fetishization of an intellectual impossibility, which holds creators to a rotten standard that one can no more achieve than one can, to coin a phrase, ‘fill God’s shoes,’ serves obvious and yet often overlooked sociopolitical purposes, to wit, first, it makes certain that no ‘established’ mediation can easily either ‘take sides’ against establishment machinations or illustrate the biases and truly objective one-sidedness of the ruling perspectives of the day; second, it makes essentially unattainable any embrace of dialectical thinking or awareness of paradox since all ‘centrist’ ideation inherently eschews polarity and its necessary revelations of contradiction; and third, it completely sunders the critical connection between the discovery of knowledge and any action to effectuate what such understanding implies as important to do, inasmuch as being neutral means that one must remain indifferent as to ‘interested’ outcomes; such a listing of invidious results might continue, though perhaps one can state the case with sufficient force when one says that maintaining a commitment to fairness is not even slightly incompatible with ridding ourselves of the contemptible concatenations of a detachment that violates both the laws of physics and the potential for any sort of ethical or moral foundation.
Praise him whose bloody wars we fight.
- –Wobbly Doxology
- Whether we are old enough to remember the Vietnam war or not, we all see the images–of the soldiers, of the victims of the war, of those who opposed it. Absent from the pictures are working people who, if they appear, seem strange and alien creatures–the young construction worker captured in a New York Times photo as he attacked a wheelchair-bound antiwar veteran with an American flag, or perhaps those sad and foolish people at the end of The Deer Hunter singing their sad and foolish little patriotic song. American working people, although it was they and their sons and husbands and brothers who were sent off to fight the war, are dim and silent in our memories. Philip Foner, Emeritus Professor, Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, old time radical and respected Labor historian, wrote his book to fill in some gaps and set some records straight. US Labor and the Vietnam War, barely 150 pages, doesn’t and can’t, tell the whole story. It exists as an outline and a collection of documents; a place to start with what people in Labor did. It doesn’t fully answer the why, and those who are curious will have to search further. But Foner is a teacher, and like all good teachers, he gives us a start. The finish we will have to do ourselves.
Nearly Naked Links
From Thursday’s Files
Interest in Exoplanets – https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/02/seven-exoplanets/517446/
Tolstoy’s Kingdom of God – http://www.gutenberg.org/files/43372/43372-h/43372-h.htm
Excommunicating Tolstoy – https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Decree_of_Excommunication_of_Leo_Tolstoy
Located on a scenic farm near Chicago and Lake Michigan, Taleamor Park hosts two-week and longer residencies for artists seeking quiet time and ample space. The co-directors seek to create a loving, esthetic, and respectful atmosphere that balances needs for creative solitude and for community. There is a simple online application form due six weeks before the start of the month of the proposed residency, but later applications will be considered whenever space remains. However, assistantship applications for any 2017 date are due February 14, 2017.
OPB is hiring a Video Producer/Writer to tell compelling stories exploring Oregon history. This salaried, exempt position is a full time, regular status position with benefits. For more information and instructions on how to apply, go to OPB’s careers page. OPB is an Equal Opportunity Employer.