Browsing All Posts published on »December, 2012«

Racism Is Not White

December 30, 2012


Racism is characteristically a function of colonialism.  Thus racism was olive-skinned during the long era of Greek colonialism in the Eastern Mediterranean.  It was the colour of the Japanese during the era of Japanese expansionism into Korea and China.  It was Aryan during the era of Nazi Germany.  It is pale-skinned here and now in […]

Legends of Myself 52

December 28, 2012


Continued from Legends of Myself 51 52.  Port Essington, 1958:  Christmas When Christmastime came, with snow on the boardwalks and holidays in the offing, the school put on a Christmas show.  I have a sense of an enlarged audience in our little schoolroom.  I suppose parents and community members were invited too, a necessity with such […]

Legends of Myself 51

December 27, 2012


Continued from Legends of Myself 50 51. Port Essington, 1958-59:  One Room Schoolhouse It’s one of those bureaucratic paradoxes that sometimes the most challenging jobs are given to the least experienced, mostly because the most experienced wouldn’t put up with them—or already have a job.  The schoolhouse in Essington had one room, one teacher, 10 students, […]

The Mayan Apocalypse and Other Eurocentric Fantasies

December 20, 2012


In Stargate & the 7 Rules of European Progress, I presented the following quote from JM Blaut: Since Europe is advanced and non-Europe is backward, any ideas that diffuse into Europe must be ancient, savage, atavistic, uncivilized, evil—black magic, vampires, plagues, “the bogeyman,” and the like. He continued on to say, although European culture and […]

Winkle on the Ice by Charles Dickens

December 18, 2012


I read Oliver Twist in 1962, half a century ago, but my first introduction to Dickens was in my grade three classroom in Port Essington, 1958-59.  The following passage, taken from The Pickwick Papers, was that introduction, which was reprinted in my grade three reader.  Some of the language seems a little advanced for 8-year-olds.  […]

An “Acceptable” Risk

December 17, 2012


I really don’t care what the arguments are.  They were always stupid anyway.  A strained, perverse interpretation of an outdated Constitutional Amendment.  A presumption of the equality of flintlock rifles with automatic weapons.  The idea—contradicted by both fact and common sense—that an armed citizenry is safer than an unarmed one. The United States jails more […]

Legends of Myself 50

December 14, 2012


Continued from Legends of Myself 49 50.  Port Essington, 1958:  Playground Essington, Part 2 I’m not sure when running shoes became the definitive footgear of youth.  They had nothing to do with the footwear of Port Essington.  We wore either leather shoes or gumboots.  And the sound of these on wooden sidewalks must have been […]

Robert Johnson in Hell

December 7, 2012


Three days, three nights Robert Johnson heard the hellhounds outside his window before he died.  Robert howled himself, he barked, sweated and twisted in his bed, until the poisoned whiskey finally brought him down.  In the moment of stillness that was his death, he saw coming in at the door the man from the crossroads. […]

Some Notes on Indigenous California

December 5, 2012


If you look at the Aboriginal people of California through the lens of a language map, you get one notion of cultural organization, but it’s hardly the most important one in respect of understanding California Aboriginal culture.  Because of linguistically determined relationships between language stocks, a map of indigenous languages can give us useful hints […]

Earaches, Loneliness & the Health Benefits of Kindness

December 4, 2012


The science and reality of psychological pain I was recently reading an article about emotional pain.  It put a scientific gloss on what was clear to me already, that emotional pain is real pain.  But it added a few other surprising insights on top of that. Of course emotional pain is real pain.  Loneliness has […]