Building the First Slavery Museum in America - David Amsden, The New York Times
"From their weathered cypress frames, a dusty path, lined with hulking iron kettles that were used by slaves to boil sugar cane, leads to a grassy clearing dominated by a slave jail — an approach designed so that a visitor’s most memorable glimpse of the white shutters and stately columns of the property’s 220-year-old 'Big House' will come through the rusted bars of the squat, rectangular cell. A number of memorials also dot the grounds, including a series of angled granite walls engraved with the names of the 107,000 slaves who spent their lives in Louisiana before 1820. Inspired by Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, the memorial lists the names nonalphabetically to mirror the confusion and chaos that defined a slave’s life."[more inside]
Dangerous Minds digs up Andy Kaufman's My Dinner With Andre (prev.) parody, My Breakfast With Blassie. (57m video) [more inside]
"Untold History of the United States challenges the basic narrative of the U.S. history that most Americans have been taught.... [Such history] is consoling; it is comforting. But it only tells a small part of the story." Instead of clips of modern people pondering the past, Oliver Stone's ten-part series relies heavily on archival footage and clips from old Hollywood films, with narration by Stone. Towards the end, he gets into the assassination of JFK, "but that should not detract from a series that sets out to be a counterweight to the patriotic cheerleading and myth-making." [more inside]
Marcia Wallace, the Emmy-winning voice of Edna Krabappel on “The Simpsons” and earlier Carol Kester, the receptionist on the 1970s sitcom “The Bob Newhart Show,” has died at 70 NYT LAT [more inside]
In literature, there are two key sorts of annotations: marginalia, or the notes jotted down in the margins by the reader, and additional information formally provided in expanded editions of a text, and you can find a bit of both online. Annotated Books Online is an on-line interactive archive of early modern annotated books, where researchers can share digitized documents and collaborate on translations. For insight into a single author's notes, Melville's Marginalia provides just that. For annotations with additional information, The Thoreau Reader provides context for Walden (linked previously), The Maine Woods, and other writings. Then there's the mostly annotated edition Ulysses, analysis of Joseph Conrad's Nostromo, and the thoroughly annotated US constitution (twentieth amendment linked previously). More marginalia and annotations inside. [more inside]
The Year Of Wallace (who wasn't Darwin) is pretty well-covered on MeFi. But there's news, history keeps evolving: First, a 17-year-old pupil rediscovered Wallace's butterfly collection at the Oxford University Museum. Second, a new book details how evolution was discovered. [samples here and here | both links link to .pdf files, the second one a biggie] And finally, The Darwin-Wallace mystery solved.
The Man Who Wasn't Darwin. 2009 was Darwin's Year. 2013 will be the Year of Alfred Russel Wallace. The title and last link lead to a recent, excellent website, Wallace Online. Read the biography and proceed from there.
We have zillions of security plans for the Palace, for all kinds of things. But none included a player going up in the stands
The September 11 attacks spelt the end of the 'systems novel' and the rise of a more diverse and meaningful literary landscape. The systems novel has been put to the test here and although it predicted the world we would live in, it cannot be used to capture it today. This end of the systems novel is, however, not such a bad thing; it marks a necessary end to a fiction about a kind of fiction. ... it bears repeating: the end of the systems novel is a good thing because it is a chance to remind American readers that the most interesting things often happen at the margin. In this case the margin would be at the fringes of American power. [more inside]
Why I call myself a socialist, by Wallace Shawn.
"Is this thought experiment monstrous? Would it be monstrous to refer to the 40,000-plus domestic highway deaths we accept each year because the mobility and autonomy of the car are evidently worth that high price?" In 2007 David Foster Wallace invited readers to a series of thought experiments in a short piece. [more inside]
"It's simply very easy to subordinate oneself to a worldview that's supportive of one's own interests."
A reading by Wallace Shawn: "I like to be reminded of these poor people, the 'unobtrusives', and then, I like to be reminded of my lack of interest in them." [C-SPAN video player] (Previously: 1, 2) [more inside]
Wired profiles pediatrician Paul Offit, co-creator of the RotaTeq rotavirus vaccine and a primary target of the anti-vaccination movement. Dr. Offit published a book,“Autism’s False Prophets” in 2008 but didn't tour, because he had received too many death threats. [more inside]
Saturday Night Live comedic actress Victoria Jackson (whose website, upon entering, acoustically informs you of her non-bimbohood) appears on Sean Hannity's show with a rather large amount of enthusiasm and a torrent of very enthusiastically stated, if somewhat stream-of-consciousness, insights (YouTube, transcript).
...[Change of scene. We are looking out of a car window; it is raining, or has recently rained. Shops go by.] I treated myself to a taxi. I rode home through the city streets! There wasn't a street--there wasn't a building--that wasn't connected to some memory in my mind. There I was buying a suit with my father. There I was having an ice-cream soda after school. When I finally came in, Debby was home from work. And I told her everything about my dinner with AndréAnd here is Sergio Leone and the Inside Fly Rule's meditation on the only possible other candidate for Best.Movie.Ever. [more inside]
Note, too, that “interesting” first appears just two years after “bore.” 1768. Mark this, two years after. Can this be so? From "The Pale King," David Foster Wallace's last, unfinished novel, parts of which, it turns out, we have already seen.
Mike Wallace interviews Rod Serling in 1959, discussing timidity and censorship in television programming, and Serling's upcoming series The Twilight Zone. Part one. Part two. Part three. (TouTube links)
The Lost Years & Last Days of David Foster Wallace, Rolling Stone (warning: long article; could make you cry)
This, like many clichés, so lame and unexciting on the surface, actually expresses a great and terrible truth. It is not the least bit coincidental that adults who commit suicide with firearms almost always shoot themselves in: the head. They shoot the terrible master. And the truth is that most of these suicides are actually dead long before they pull the trigger. And I submit that this is what the real, no bullshit value of your liberal arts education is supposed to be about: how to keep from going through your comfortable, prosperous, respectable adult life dead, unconscious, a slave to your head and to your natural default setting of being uniquely, completely, imperially alone day in and day out. That may sound like hyperbole, or abstract nonsense. Let's get concrete. The plain fact is that you graduating seniors do not yet have any clue what "day in day out" really means. There happen to be whole, large parts of adult American life that nobody talks about in commencement speeches. One such part involves boredom, routine, and petty frustration. The parents and older folks here will know all too well what I'm talking about. First reported by an anonymous tip to a blog, the Los Angeles Times has confirmed that David Foster Wallace has hung himself.
"My name is Mike Wallace. The cigarette is Philip Morris." Before there was 60 Minutes, there was The Mike Wallace Interview. Thirty minutes with Steve Allen, Frank Lloyd Wright, Kirk Douglas, Pearl Buck, and Salvador Dali, to name just a few.
"Good People": A new short story by David Foster Wallace. New to Wallace? Like "Good People"? Read "Incarnations of Burned Children", a story with a similar sense of tension and dread. Want more? Okay.
Keith Olbermann's Edward R. Murrow* moment: A Textbook Definition of Cowardice. MSNBC's host excoriates Bush, FOX News host Chris Wallace, and the media for its response to former president Clinton's "tantrum" [still being discussed here]. Note: Don't just read the transcript. Watch the video, because Olbermann's use of visuals adds greatly to the power of his presentation. No matter which side of the red/blue-state divide you're on, students of politics and media will be reviewing this clip for years to come as a little cultural watershed -- if only a consummate example of "Democrat" angerTM.
The David Foster Wallace Bibliography (in BibTex format) is ridiculously complete. The site also includes a zip file of DFW's essays and mp3s of a round table discussion. [via]
Classic Aardman (of Wallace and Gromit fame) animation stuff up in flames
New Wallace and Gromit movie ~ "Cracking Contraptions" from Atom Films and Shockwave... but $9.95 to download it? Oh, I don't think so! I guess I don't expect them to give it away for free, but who thought up this hair-brained scheme? I bet that dodgey lodger, the Penguin, is behind it somehow.
Wallace and Gromit fans can now download one of ten short films from the BBC website. There are low (1.38 meg), medium (2.59 meg) and high (4.3 meg) quality versions available. To save, right click on the links and select "save as".