Letters from an American, October 23, 2022 #american-history #voting-rights #voter-intimidation

… HCR offers a history lesson about how white southerners intimidated the vote in the aftermath of the Civil War and managed to establish one party (Democratic) rule across the south… she tells us the same thing is happening again, except more broadly…

Over the weekend, the Maricopa County Elections Department announced that two people, both armed and dressed in tactical gear, stationed themselves near a ballot drop box in Mesa, Arizona. They left when law enforcement officers arrived. At least two voters later filed complaints of voter intimidation, both complaining that they were filmed dropping off ballots. One complained of being accused of “being a mule,” a reference to people who are allegedly paid to gather ballots and stuff drop boxes for Democratic candidates.

The great triumph of Movement Conservatives in the 1980s was to convince Republican voters to ditch the ideology of their founding and instead embrace the ideology of the old Confederacy.

And now, we are in the next stage of that pattern: Republicans are using intimidation to keep Democrats from voting.

If we continue in this direction, we already know how it turns out: with a corrupt one-party government that favors an elite few and mires the rest of us in a world without recourse to legal equality or economic security.

… i don’t know that i will encounter voter intimidation when i go to vote, but, if i do i will walk right past it and cast my ballot…

This Close-Up of an ant’s Face Will Scar You Forever… indeed… #nature #macro-photography #photography


Eugenijus Kavaliauskas’s terrifyingly close-up photo of an ant (all images courtesy the artists and Nikon Small World)

… fabulous images from Nikon Small World competition… they are not all so scary, mostly beautiful…

Rare 2,700-ear-Old Stone Carvings Discovered in Iraq… #art #archaeology #cultural-heritage #iraq #isis #mashki-gate #nineveh #middle-east


Eight marble slabs were excavated underneath the Mashki Gate, partially destroyed by the Islamic State in 2016. (all photos via Iraqi State Board of Antiquities & Heritage on Facebook)

… the slabs were found at Mosul’s Mashki Gate (Gate of God)… part of the effort to conquer and subjugate peoples is to destroy their history by destroying their cultural artifacts which is what ISIS militants did in 2016… the slabs were buried which saved them from damage…

In total, eight stone slabs were uncovered by a team of scholars and researchers affiliated with the University of Mosul and the University of Pennsylvania’s Iraq Heritage Stabilization Program. The excavation is being undertaken as part of a collaboration with antiquities authorities in Iraq, with the end goal of converting the vandalized Mashki Gate monument into an educational center exploring the history of Nineveh. The slabs will stay in Iraq.

Since 2014, the Islamic State has ravaged Iraq and Syria’s museums, libraries, and cultural heritage sites.

[The Most Important Poem of the 20th Century: On T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” at 100] #literature #poetry #ts-eliot #the-waste-land #to-read

… this article is a long read, but very illuminating of Eliot and the poem…

It’s as if this poem can give anything—a cry, a list of place-names, a snatch of conversation, a Sanskrit word, a nursery rhyme, an echo—an almost infinite and carrying resonance that brings with it unforgettable intensity.

Certainly, poetry was not the same after _The Waste Land_; at the same time, it’s perhaps more difficult to trace the influence of the poem than it is with Pound’s experimentations.

_The Waste Land_ has seeped into culture as a moving set of referents to describe urban alienation, fracture, cultural collapse. It also has a striking ability, inherent in its form I suppose, to speak across cultures.

I think Jahan’s recent lecture on “Burying the Dead: The Waste Land, Eco-Critique and World Elegy,” which I was lucky enough to hear in London at the International T. S. Eliot Summer School, and which, I gather, is available to read free in volume 4 of the _T. S. Eliot Studies Annual,_ is the most brilliant recent piece of Eliot criticism. It shows strikingly just how relevant the poem is to a great range of contemporary poets.