Feburary 17, 2021
If you want to see the present clearly, study the past. Hang on, here we go.
The Carrot Killer
Unocito: A clear and present danger
N-Word Ruins Career
A super popular Southern entertainer gets walloped for using the N-word and a backlash threatens to derail his career. The year is 1934 and the early 20th Century superstar is Will Rogers. The source is a new book on Native American stand-up comedy (Rogers claimed Cherokee blood), called "We Had A Little Real Estate Problem: The Unheralded Story of Native Americans & Comedy," by Kliph Nesteroff.
Yes, that's his real name.
Native Americans protest against white actors playing In-dins in the 1911 film, "Curse of the Red Man." Same book, much, much earlier complaint than I was aware of.
Washington In The Crosshairs
"Today the city is in the aftermath of nightmare, and is still only half wakened from it. . .I had supposed that. . .Washington would be settling with relief into a more composed routine. I expected a contemplative, if shaken community: I found instead a nest of zealots. There was a venom still in the air, something more poisonous I thought than mere political reaction."
—Jan Morris, 1974, describing the aftermath of Watergate and Nixon's resignation
The Democratic Process
"Access to it is correctly limited to its own professionals, to those who manage policy and those who report on it, to those who run the polls and those who quote them, to those who ask and those who answer the questions on the Sunday shows, to the media consultants, to the columnists, to the issues advisers, to those who give off-the-record breakfasts and to those who attend them; to that handful of insiders who invent, year in and year out, the narrative of public life."
—Joan Didion, 1988, describing how politics came to be programmed for elites, by elites, in a bubble disconnected from others, like me, you, and everyone else who is not an elite.
When In Rome
Blast From The Past
Daily Whip Out:
"Wary Billy; 'I see what yer sayin', some of this stuff sounds mighty familiar.'"
"The only thing new in this world, is the history you don't know."
—Harry S. Truman
Plus, one more, because it's just too good:
"History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."