Rhodes and Lee

Aug. 18th, 2017 07:24 am
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[personal profile] steepholm
Last year I spent some time on Facebook arguing with people who thought that the "Rhodes must fall" campaign was wrongheaded because it was erasing history.

I suggested that putting a statue up to someone was generally (and in this case undoubtedly) not intended as a dispassionate recording of the fact that such-and-such had occurred, but rather a celebration of that person's life and deeds. In this case, the statue of Rhodes marks the approbation of the Oxford college he had endowed with some of his very ill-gotten African spoils.

True, came the reply, but that approbation is itself a historical artefact, and to take down the statue is to erase it. Well then, why not put it in a museum, along with the other historical artefacts, and stick a label on it detailing exactly how Rhodes came by the money to endow colleges and scholarships? Why keep it in a place of honour, thus perpetuating the honour done to Rhodes?

Of course, taking down a statue can never be more than a symbolic act, any more than raising it, or indeed keeping it. Symbolism is the currency of statues. To try and pretend that they are naturally evolve into some kind of historical resource is profoundly disingenuous. (In the case of Rhodes, I don't think anyone tried to argue that the statue was a thing of beauty, but aesthetic arguments fall into much the same category.) Museums and art galleries are themselves far from politics-free zones, obviously, but at least they make some overt attempt to defuse and reframe such things as historical and/or aesthetic objects rather than direct political statements.

In the end, Rhodes stayed of course, because Rhodes's successors (the college's current donors) threatened to withdraw funding if it was removed. ("Now I see, I see, / In Fulvia's death, how mine received shall be," as they put it.) As ever, money shouts.

Anyway, I was just wondering to myself how the nice people I was arguing with on FB last year (nice liberal types, every one) feel about Trump making exactly the same arguments this week? Were they nodding along? If not, why not?

As a tangential postscript, I gave my friend Haruka a lift to Brighton yesterday (I was helping my daughter move some of her things back to Bristol), and we stopped in at my mother's for a cup of tea en route. Haruka took this picture of my mother. It was only after five minutes that I noticed that it also includes her care assistant, Haawa. Talk about hidden black history!


Can you spot her, readers?

"Have I told you lately"

Aug. 17th, 2017 08:38 pm
rosefox: Me looking at Kit and both of us grinning. (me and kit)
[personal profile] rosefox
It's my late night at the office. I videocalled home to say goodnight to the baby. They were tired, so after a while they waved bye-bye. I said "Okay, Kit, bye-bye! I love you!" and signed love you.

And they signed love back.

Me: [tears]
X: [tears]
Kit: [earnestly signing love at the camera]

My baby told me they love me. I'll just be here in a little melted puddle forever.
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

I.e., this week has been mostly getting the new computer to do those things which it ought to do, and leave undone those things which it ought not do -

Among which the most disturbing was the discovery this morning that Thunderbird was marking ALL, yes ALL, incoming mail as Junk and also as Read, fortunately I did discover that this was happening.

There has also been wrestling with getting to be able to talk to the MyCloud as part of my home network rather than via a remote interface connection.

There was the oops, I needed to do a backup of This Thing, That Thing and The Other Thing from the old computer, and having to sort that out.

There is all the finding the passwords and activation codes for things for which I entered a password when I first activated the thing, and never since.

There is also the loss of some things - don't seem to be able to have the little slide-show widget thing of photos on my desktop, chiz - and finding that the new versions of things are Not What We Expect - the new Kobo Desktop App is quite horrid.

But on the whole, we are reasonably satisfied with the New System - its speed in particular is commendable.

However, I am annoyed with Opera, which I was intending using as my secondary browser to avoid Microsoft and Google, but the main thing I wanted a secondary browser for was so that I can log into The Other DW Journal without logging out of this one, but Opera, for some reason I wot not of, insists on autofilling the login screen with the details for this account rather than the other - la, 'tis tedious vexatious.

(no subject)

Aug. 17th, 2017 03:13 pm
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[personal profile] the_rck
Scott and I set out about 9:30, and we got home with Cordelia a bit after 8:00. It was a really long drive. Scott and I listened to podcasts and an audiobook on the way up. The Hamilton soundtrack played the entire way back because Cordelia finds it soothing and because Scott and Cordelia both sing along with the whole thing.

We got to the area near Interlochen about an hour before we were to pick Cordelia up, so we got lunch at the only restaurant we could find. It wasn't terrible. It also wasn't great. I finished my meal still feeling hungry and without any options for more food.

The Interlochen campus is really nice. I'd have liked to look around more (and the unclaimed Ingress portals only had a little bit to do with it), but Cordelia was really eager to get out of there.

Scott's parents invited us to stop by on our way home, and we did. The timing worked out that we arrived a little after 6:00, so they fed us dinner-- chicken, asparagus, mashed potatoes, and salad.

I dropped my Ativan tablet last night and couldn't find it (those things are tiny!), so I slept without it. I was exhausted enough that I slept soundly until Scott's alarm. After he got up, I didn't get back to sleep until he left. That wasn't because of him. It was me feeling too warm then too cold then having my neck hurt then... Well, on and on.

My allergy trouble hasn't come back. I'm hoping it won't, but the cleaning lady coming today may set me off again because the various cleaning products cause me problems breathing (one of the big reasons we have her come in).
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
Monday is my birthday, and to celebrate Jane is going to show me around Paris for a long weekend. We're off tomorrow morning, and arriving back on my actual Birthday (Monday), which is _also_ the anniversary of the first time she hugged me (after she came to the airport to meet me off the plane back from my trip around the Southlands).

I arrived home to discover that she had made this wonder in the living room:

And I am looking forward to being allowed to open any of the things underneath it!

(Jim is being left with strict instructions that he is not allowed to eat any of the boxes. Or the tree. Or be sick on any of them. Or peek inside.)

(no subject)

Aug. 17th, 2017 05:37 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] negothick and [personal profile] quiara!

Experimentalising with Googlishness

Aug. 17th, 2017 12:46 pm
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[personal profile] cmcmck
How about this?

Interesting Links for 17-08-2017

Aug. 17th, 2017 12:00 pm
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[personal profile] andrewducker

oh what a beautiful morning

Aug. 17th, 2017 10:28 am
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[personal profile] lamentables
The view from the hotel forecourt next morning was pretty amazing.

monastery in the morning

In the distance, on the hilltop is Tawang Monastery the principal reason for our visit. It's the largest buddhist monastery in India and second only to Lhasa, being large enough to accommodate around 1,500 monks. It was very shiny in the sun, and also visible from our hotel room - imagine being able to see that view from your bed. (I'm now overcome with a desire to be back there.)

At breakfast my Spanish omelette was mostly like a super-sized masala omelette - tasty, but definitely not worth the extra hassle D caused by ordering it. In the course of a chaotic breakfast, we discovered firstly that the hotel had run out of cornflakes, and then that our cars were carrying our own personal supply of cornflakes.
Truthfully, abrinsky and I would prefer to be eating local food, but there is always a presumption that as tourists we'll want to eat familiar food for breakfast, and at least cornflakes provide me with a safe gluten-free option. Next time I organise a private trip, I shall try to make non-cornflake breakfast arrangements. And, in fact, we have a vague plan for a trip around Assam that has a focus on local food, because another frustration is that we often end up eating 'pan Indian' instead of local. In some places that does make sense, given that we eschew meat, but I think we could do some interesting eating in Assam.

Our hotel in the morning sun was the tallest

the tallest

and the greenest

and the greenest

Oddly, there didn't seem to be many guests staying in such a large building. We couldn't figure out if all the floors were hotel, or if some were...residential?
skull_bearer: (Default)
[personal profile] skull_bearer
via http://ift.tt/2uLab3y:

Okay, I’ve decided: At some point in my life, I’m absolutely going to play a DnD-style game. Maybe it’ll be the classic pen-and-paper kind. Maybe it’ll be an RP server on Minecraft. Maybe it’ll be a really in-depth RP on here, with stats and items and everything else typed out. 

…Do people do it over Discord? I don’t know. Whatever, the point is, I’m gonna do something. Between listening to TAZ, let’s-plays of King’s Quest and Space Quest, playing Ocarina of Time, RPing on here, I’m itching to do more nerd shit. I’ve been on the fringes of it for a long time, and I’m jumping back in.

We could run it over skype? I’ve done some DMing before, it could be fun.
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[personal profile] skull_bearer
via http://ift.tt/2whUHUt:




I hate it when people are so against teaching young white kids to recognize their racism. Like people will literally say shit like “oh they’re too young to be taught about racism, that’s harmful!” but like children of color are never too young to face racism from white people who were never taught to recognize their racism as children. Start teaching white kids (boys AND girls) to recognize their racism; the problem starts when they’re young.

Sr because the butthurt white people took over this post again.

Re blogging in light of this Charlottesville shit. Please teach your white kids to recognize racism so they don’t think this shit is okay or patriotism.

Having been a white kid: white kids learn from cartoons that they should let all the kids play in their treehouse even if they’re Different. That’s about where it stops, and that’s why white people grow up thinking that they aren’t racist if they have black friends. They have no clue about subconscious prejudice, or institutionalized systems that oppress some people more than others.

I wanted to share my own experience, as a white person with a very liberal upbringing. I went to a very inclusive, multicultural school. Our year books photos looked like Beneton ads, we celebrated fesitvals from every major religion, etc. I was raised that racism is BAD, only BAD people are racists.

So you can imagine what it felt like the first time I was walking down the road and felt a flash of unreasonable fear at passing a group of black guys. I was horrified! I was racist! Somehow, at some point, I had become a racist! It was like someone had just tattooed a swastika on my face and handed me my klan robes and hood. I had no idea how it could have happened.

The only option I could think of at the time was that as long as I never actually said anything racist or acted racist, no one would know. But it was a pretty scary experience and I wish someone could have told me what had happened- that I had internalised a lot of societal racism from my media, and that it was something I had to watch out for.

So yeah, not only do we need to tell kids about this to make it clear it’s not normal, but also because some kids WILL realise they’re racist, but think they’re latent Nazis because of it and feel too ashamed to actually talk to anyone about it.

Shouldn't I be panicking about now?

Aug. 16th, 2017 11:21 pm
kshandra: The Burning Man effigy, lit in blue neon, arms by his sides; an orange half-moon is visible over his shoulder. (BurningMan)
[personal profile] kshandra
Had the lovely realization yesterday that, if someone were to call us and say "you need to pack up and bug out NOW," we could do it. There are a few more things left to pick up that will make things better, but we could absolutely get by on what's ready now.

I'm probably going to be waiting for the other shoe to drop until we're finally on Gate Road.

Culprit identified....

Aug. 16th, 2017 09:11 pm
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[personal profile] flick
While weeding the back garden (this time with gloves on), I found another mystery plant, this time with white flowers, and Mike identified it as self-seeded nicotiana, the sap of which the internet confirms can cause skin irritation.

Fortunately, my diagnosis of the blisters as big but minor was correct: they've come off, and the skin underneath is undamaged. I'll have to remember that in future!

altitude effects

Aug. 16th, 2017 05:56 pm
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[personal profile] lamentables
Having failed to check in at the police station we drove all the way back through town to our very tall, very very green hotel, where the staff were friendly and welcoming and everything the previous crap hotel wasn't. We dropped our bags and drove back into town to take a stroll through the shopping area before everything closed.

town of prayers

D was going to take us to his favourite tea shop, but it had closed down since he was last there in March (9 months earlier) so we had chai from a little stall. Not bad. Chai is never bad though, really.

We stared at the peaks turning pink as the sun began to set.

last of the light

Back the hotel we had to order dinner about 90 minutes in advance (quite common on these trips) and then, feeling rather chilly I lay in bed for a while, in my thermals.

Dinner wasn't bad, though we had - unusually - over-ordered. While we were eating dinner, we had to order breakfast, and D insisted on trying to order a Spanish omelette for me. I didn't especially want a Spanish omelette, as I was far from sick of standard Indian masala omelettes, but sometimes one has to be gracious and let people be unhelpfully helpful...

It really was cold after dinner, so we huddled in bed and drank the last of our Signature whisky from the teacups provided in the rooms. My sleep was disturbed by the frequent need to pee and by vivid dreams, both of which are the usual effects of altitude for me, even though we had dropped from the heights of Sela to only about 3,000m.

Wednesday is positively summery

Aug. 16th, 2017 03:53 pm
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
[personal profile] oursin

What I read

Finished The Color of Fear: up to usual standard.

PC Hodgell, The Gates of Tagmeth: these have definitely succumbed to a kind of Dunnett syndrome, in which there is some huge mysterious meta-arc going on, occasionally alluded to, but each episode deals with some particular problem that Jame (mostly) has to face (there were a few other viewpoint sections in this one) in the foreground and doesn't seem to be advancing the longer game particularly. On the other hand, kept me reading. On the prehensile tail, so not the place to start. (Are there really only 8 books in the Kencyrath sequence? only I have been reading them for decades, so it seems more.)

JD Robb, Echoes in Death (2017), as the ebook had finally come down to a sum I consider reasonable for an ebook. The mixture as usual, pretty much. Okay, not the most sophisticated of mystery plots, I got this and the twist very early on, but it's the getting there, I guess.

On the go

Discovered I had a charity-shop copy of PD James, The Private Patient (2008), the last of the excursions of Dalgleish, which I had not already read for some reason - possibly because I wasn't at that time sufficiently keen on PDJ and AD to shell out for a trade paperback.

Up next

Dunno, really.

skull_bearer: (Default)
[personal profile] skull_bearer
via http://ift.tt/2x3Okkz:



x6 with cats. lotsa cats

please you don’t understand how much he means to me


Someone stole his coat but otherwise yeah, this is going to happen in my fic.

(no subject)

Aug. 16th, 2017 08:29 am
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I slept pretty badly last night. I was still sneezing and all that, so I couldn't use the c-PAP. I seem to be doing better in that regard this morning, but I woke when the Benadryl wore off in the middle of the night.

Our current best guess as to the problem is a combination of dust, ragweed, and the c-PAP. The dust and ragweed wouldn't normally give me this much trouble, not at the levels they've been at. I think that my sinuses have been irritated by the c-PAP and so are more reactive to other things. I haven't had a summer this bad for allergies since I was in high school.

All of my plans for the week, such as they were, have been shot to hell. They mainly consisted of writing and watching DVDs that can't be renewed (I have about fifty hours of lectures on DVD that can't be renewed) and more writing.

We have a very long day ahead of us as we'll be heading up to Interlochen to bring Cordelia home. (There are reasons for this that I'm not willing to go into in a public post.) It's been a hard decision, and I still need to make some phone calls about it. Part of me wants to go back to bed and to send Scott on his own, but that would be unfair to him. He could do it. He would, too, if it was necessary, but I can go.

We plan to get on the road as soon as we're both dressed and both have had breakfast.

Interesting Links for 16-08-2017

Aug. 16th, 2017 12:00 pm
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[personal profile] andrewducker
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