Sunday, April 27, 2014

read this

So the basic story looks like this: in the decades before the Civil War, the economic value of slavery explodes. It becomes the central economic institution and source of wealth for a region experiencing a boom that succeeded in raising per capita income and concentrating wealth ever more tightly in the hands of the Southern planter class. During this same period, the rhetoric of the planter class evolves from an ambivalence about slavery to a full-throated, aggressive celebration of it. As slavery becomes more valuable, the slave states find ever more fulsome ways of praising, justifying and celebrating it. Slavery increasingly moves from an economic institution to a cultural one; it becomes a matter of identity, of symbolism—indeed, in the hands of the most monstrously adept apologists, a thing of beauty.

And yet, at the very same time, casting a shadow over it all is the growing power of the abolition movement in the North and the dawning awareness that any day might be slavery’s last. So that, on the eve of the war, slavery had never been more lucrative or more threatened. That also happens to be true of fossil fuel extraction today.
from the article The New Abolitionism.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

total eclipse

Sometime around now there should be a total lunar eclipse. But we've heard that before. This is, by the way, pre-posted. Check NASA, maybe.

Addendum, April 15.

It was this morning. Got out of bed around 2-ish. Went out, saw the red moon (it looked so small!), then went back to bed. Back in 1985, when I was younger and freer, my friends and I watched a similar eclipse from start to finish, while hanging out and playing music and basically being young. It was nice, as I recall.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014