Quoting women; monuments to lynching victims; how accurate is Ron Howard’s whale movie?; Pranks of Christmas past

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Now here’s a worthwhile project: the Centre for Women and Democracy is putting together “a collection of women’s political quotations to try to address the fact that in the current edition of the Oxford Dictionary of Political Quotations, there are 1,330 male voices and 136 female.” Further, most of the time when we see famous women’s quotes, they are from white women in the US or the UK, and they are commenting on women and gender. This project seeks to show that they have more to say than that, and that the voices are rather diverse. Why are they doing this?  Because “Our collective and historic failure to preserve authentic female voices for posterity feeds into, and is informed by, persistent perceptions that women’s leadership is abnormal, that women’s voices lack authority, and that women’s right to occupy the public space is questionable.” Worthy project indeed, and I hope they make the collection digitally available!

And here is perhaps and even better project: the Montgomery, Alabama based organization, Equal Justice Initiative, is working to place markers up on the sites of nearly 4,000 lynchings. They seek to memorialize the victims because “we think we need to talk more about the history of terrorism that shaped many of the challenges that we still confront today.” Bravo. I’ve said it before, I think this kind of thing is the best way to counter all the monuments and etc. to other elements of our past, revealing the changing nature of how different generations interpret their past. Not to even mention that we seem to need to be more aware of the vicious things that have been done in our own country by white Christian men in the name of fundamentalist values. Just sayin’

So you probably saw the story about those idiots at the Citadel that took a picture of themselves with very KKK looking hoods on their heads while singing Christmas songs. The best response I saw to it was from Kevin Levin. Preach, brother.

Very often, smart people make emphatic statements about the future, and more often than not, they turn out to be wrong. I’m sure this does not surprise anyone, but here NPR reminds us of that fact, with a collection of 5 statements that turned out to be big-time wrong.  (Any list with Prince in it can’t be bad).

Well, you all know my opinion of History Channel these days. They’ve lost all the credibility that they once had. Which makes it strange that a director like Peter Berg would settle for putting his new docu-series on their channel. It will be a collection of first-person accounts of recent U.S. Special Operations Forces missions in the War of Terror. Sounds interesting, but couldn’t he have peddled this to a channel who’s number one star isn’t this guy?

I was really looking forward to seeing Ron Howard’s new film In the Heart of the Sea, but the reviews have been pretty lackluster. But how does it hold up as history? Apparently, “the real appeal is taking in the authentic recreation of 19th century whaling life.” Warning: there are some minor spoilers.

The other day was what would have been Sinatra’s 100th birthday. I’m a big fan, so I really enjoyed this piece from the New York Times about his place in pop music history. “Almost single-handedly, he canonized the American songbook.” You know it, baby.

And for my holiday-season posting: did you know that in the past Christmas has been seen by many as the season for playing practical jokes? Here NPR shares 12 Pranks of Christmas Past. Snakes in the White House!

 

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