What’s "Sacred" about Violence in Early America?
Susan Juster discusses the "oversized colonial martyr complex" with its attendant paradox: "colonial martyrs were everywhere, religious violence... in short supply." She begins:
One of the most chilling images in early American history is the deliberate firing of Fort Mystic during the Pequot War of 1637. Five hundred Indian men, women, and children died that day, burned alive along with their homes and possessions by a vengeful Puritan militia intent on doing God’s will. "We must burn them!" the militia captain famously insisted to his troops on the eve of the massacre, in words that echo the classic early modern response to heretics. Just five months before, the Puritan minister at Salem had exhorted his congregation in strikingly similar terms to destroy a more familiar enemy, Satan; "We must burne him," John Wheelwright told his parishioners. Indians and devils may have been scarcely distinguishable to many a Puritan, but their rhetorical conflation in these two calls to arms raises a question: Was the burning of Fort Mystic a racial or a religious killing?
She avoids easy answers and makes some interesting connections. If you want to find out more about the Pequot War, there's good material in the History section of this site
. (Main link via wood s lot
posted by languagehat
on Jan 9, 2006 -
- mindless multiplayer Flash violence, because I can't frigging wait for it to be Friday already.
posted by whir
on Dec 20, 2005 -
Rioting continues in the suburbs of Paris. In Clichy-Sous-Bois
, a predominantly (80%) North African muslim banlieu of about 28,000 people, night battles have been raging
(video) between youths and the police after two muslim youths died by electrocution while they thought the police were chasing them, a charge the police denies. That was 5 nights ago. Since then, 27 people have been arrested, 3 convicted, numerous cars destroyed and property damaged, and 23 police officers wounded in street battles involving "up to several hundred" participants. The muslim community now accuses the police of firing tear gas into a mosque
, and things look far from calming down. These tensions are hardly confined to Paris, however - In Lyon, 800 cars have been burned
in "low level" violence this year; Across France, 9,000 police cars have been "stoned" this year, and 20-40 cars are destroyed a night
(!!!), according to Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy
. I knew that relations between "the French" and the "Beurs
" were somewhat less than pleasant, but am I the only one that was unaware that France has been in a state of low-level but direct civil and religious war
for the last few years?
posted by loquax
on Nov 1, 2005 -
Want to see the results of all the hateful anti-gay rhetoric? While other forms of crime continued to fall, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs has documented a 4% increase in anti-LGBT crime in 2004, coming on the heels of a 26% increase in the last half of 2003. This spike in violence parallels the exact same period since the Right went into demonic, anti-gay hyperdrive following the Supreme Court's Lawrence v. Texas decision in July of 2003. Since then, church pews and the public airwaves have been awash in ugly, anti-gay rhetoric and fear-mongering.
"These words obviously do not just vanish into the ether - as intended, they are absorbed and become fuel and justification for violence. To say otherwise defies reality.
-- The Matt Foreman, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (via think-bomb)
And these are just the reported
posted by amberglow
on Apr 28, 2005 -
U.S. Senator rationalizes violence against judges:
"I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters on some occasions where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in - engage in violence." Sen. John Cornyn, explaining today how "activist judges" are bringing it upon themselves. The full statement is a breathtaking look at the next step in the upcoming judicial wars.
posted by XQUZYPHYR
on Apr 4, 2005 -
Martin Amis visits Colombia.
Life in the hellholes of Cali:
To say this of human beings is to say both the best and the worst. They can get used to anything. And I got used to it too. You find yourself thinking: if I had to live in El Distrito, I wouldn't stay at Kevin's but at Ana Milena's, where they have cable TV and that nice serving hatch from the kitchen to the living room... Similarly, I now found myself thinking: you know, this crippled murderer isn't nearly as interesting as the crippled murderer I interviewed the day before yesterday.
One of the scariest things I've read recently. (Via Arts & Letters Daily
posted by languagehat
on Feb 7, 2005 -
at your coworkers? Nerf
guns not repelling the marketing guys like they used to? Perhaps you need a micro-claymore mine
to deter them. Or, for less impersonal delivery of injury, an office bow of death!
A scary selection of weapons, all easily constructed
from things in the supply cabinet.
(note: site has flash animation and some nsfw text)
posted by bitmage
on Feb 1, 2005 -
Danzig gets knocked out.
Now, I know that most of you probably aren't big on violence, however, I find a little jolt of comfort in seeing Danzig
dropped with one punch. It's like being back in high school and seeing a bully knocked out by a geek he'd been picking on. (NSFW - violence and language)
posted by fizz-ed
on Jul 15, 2004 -
After about 8.30am, we decided to try to make our way back to the shrine of Imam Al-Hussain (S) so that we could hear the Maqtal (story of his death) being read out. On our way there, as we were opposite the shrine of Al-Abbas (S) coming from the Baghdad Road, a loud explosion went off. It came from the direction of the Imam Al-Hussain (S) shrine. Suddenly the crowd of people started running and were coming towards us. We had no option but to turn back with them, or be trampled on. After about 2 minutes, another explosion went off, it seemed closer. We had stopped by now to see what was happening and after about 3 minutes, we started moving forward again. A few seconds later another bomb went off, this was the closest yet. We walked into one of the hotel lobbies, fearing anything could go off next to us. It was like an air raid, you thought bombs were being dropped. There was smoking rising above both shrines and there was a lot of shouting and screaming. People were running in all directions, desperately clinging on to each other. We stepped out to see what had happended but then another bomb went off. This was the biggest one and it shook us. Glass from the nearby buildings started raining down and we ran for cover. A lot of smoke and dust clouded over the area and we done a head count to make sure we were all together. Shiite Account of Visitation ('pilgrimage') to Holy Shrines of Iraq
is how Juan Cole
titled this first person account.
posted by y2karl
on Mar 15, 2004 -
When is violence justified?
I am now the proud owner of one of 3,500 copies of William T. Vollmann's
3,299-page study of violence, Rising Up and Rising Down
, published by McSweeney's
. The book (if you can call something that's seven volumes a "book") has gotten mixed reviews that lean toward positive: Scott McLemee, writing in the New York Times Book Review
(reg. req.), called it a "flood of logorrhea
," while Steven Moore (a literary critic notable for his work on another long-winded writer, William Gaddis
) wrote in the Washington Post
that it is an "achievement beyond the realm of mere mortals," comparing it to Sir James Frazer's The Golden Bough
This oral history
tells the story behind how the book came to be published at McSweeney's, and is an interesting look at what needs to happen for a difficult-to-market work to make its way from its author to the general reading public, in a publishing industry that's unfriendly to this kind of thing, to say the least.
posted by Prospero
on Mar 12, 2004 -
The Making of a Sex Slave
(NY Times; reg. req) The next time you seek comfort in the arms of a working girl, ask yourself if she's lying down with you because she likes the money or sex, of if she's doing it because she's been kidnapped, beaten, raped, taken to a foreign country where she doesn't speak the language, and told that the corrupt local police will murder a member of her family if she tries to escape. Prostitution might be victimless crime
, but the horrors described here certainly aren't; the problem is, how's a john with a conscience going to tell the difference? A (much) longer report, terrifying in its thoroughness, on a topic lightly touched on
posted by hhc5
on Jan 23, 2004 -
The Daily Herald is running a piece on Violence and Videogames,
and to any person who plays games, it may marr their opinion of the Daily Herald for a while. In fact, Steve from www.HardOcp.com
(november 18th link) wrote the author a letter to explain that what he wrote doesn't hold weight in the real world. "If a parent wanted their children to develop attitudes like Gary Ridgway, the confessed killer of at least 48 women
, these games might provide a good training ground."
Seems to me like the author doesnt play video games, especially considering there are other games besides first person shooters
"Video games are expected to reach $20 billion in sales this year. That is a sizable piece of the growing economy everybody is hoping for, and it works directly against what most parents want for their children."
A little opinionated, but so am I. What do you think
posted by Keyser Soze
on Nov 18, 2003 -
Is The Blood Red Water For Real?
A discussion on egullet
, of all places, suggests at least one of these shocking pictures (inside
) has been retouched. A more interesting question is: is it OK to "enhance" real evidence, if the salient facts are true? Or even, more radically, if the cause is just and dedicated to save lives or relieve suffering?
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Nov 1, 2003 -
'No real planning for postwar Iraq'
"The officials didn't develop any real postwar plans because they believed that Iraqis would welcome U.S. troops with open arms and Washington could install a favored Iraqi exile leader as the country's leader. The Pentagon civilians ignored CIA and State Department experts who disputed them, resisted White House pressure to back off from their favored exile leader and when their scenario collapsed amid increasing violence and disorder, they had no backup plan.
Today, American forces face instability in Iraq, where they are losing soldiers almost daily to escalating guerrilla attacks, the cost of occupation is exploding to almost $4 billion a month and withdrawal appears untold years away."
Bring 'Em On!
posted by owillis
on Jul 12, 2003 -