Archive for the ‘Commonplace book’ Category

Robbie Burns–The Slave’s Lament

This poem came up during last night’s celebration. There was discussion about Scotland’s part in the slave trade and that Burns almost worked in a plantation. Burns probably have supported the occupation movement since he was for the underdog and downtrodden. Doggone mentioned the the Selkirk grace in her comment to the previous post, which was our opening grace:

Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae let the Lord be thankit.

Anyway, this poem came up and I thought I would add it to my commonplace book and put it out there for others to appreciate:

The Slave’s Lament

1792

It was in sweet Senegal that my foes did me enthral,
For the lands of Virginia,-ginia, O:
Torn from that lovely shore, and must never see it more;
And alas! I am weary, weary O:
Torn from that lovely shore, and must never see it more;
And alas! I am weary, weary O.

All on that charming coast is no bitter snow and frost,
Like the lands of Virginia,-ginia, O:
There streams for ever flow, and there flowers for ever blow,
And alas! I am weary, weary O:
There streams for ever flow, and there flowers for ever blow,
And alas! I am weary, weary O:

The burden I must bear, while the cruel scourge I fear,
In the lands of Virginia,-ginia, O;
And I think on friends most dear, with the bitter, bitter tear,
And alas! I am weary, weary O:
And I think on friends most dear, with the bitter, bitter tear,
And alas! I am weary, weary O:

Wild Dancer commented:

recommend christine Kydd’s version on youtube (on The Complete Songs of Robert Burns: Volume 1) and for the history see the scottish archives listing
http://www.friendsofscotland.gov.uk/scotlandnow/issue-06/history/burns-and-slavery.html

The Reluctant blogger

It’s a bit unusual that someone whose opinion of blog comments is that they remind him of walking his dog.  The dog checks out a “post” on the street and makes her contribution on the “post” (figure it out). I write when I want to.  And hardly consider myself a serious blogger.

What the hell is a blog anyway.  It’s supposedly short for “web log”, but what does that mean?  It sounds to me like the Fast Show’s Jesse’s Diet sketches where Jesse emerges sporadically from his shed to inform a waiting world about his diet, with the words, “This week I ‘ave mostly been eating…”

In reality, they are vanity presses for people to vent. All sorts of opinions and observations show up on blogs. Some are well based, while others can be so far out to be amazing. It’s good to know what opinions are well founded v. just off the wall.  For example, the insurrectionist theory of the Constitution, which is just plain bollocks.

Anyway, there are people out there who think that blogs should be like scholarly journals or in some other way professional, rather than just being random musings and other interesting bits.  Others, as well as myself, have pointed out that these are like the commonplace book–places where people keep their notes.  It’s a bit outrageous to expect professional standards from this sort of writing.

I blog for my own amusement and don’t care if people read this.

I do have to admit to wanting to post some of the inane comments I’ve received, but I refrain from that.  They are read for my own amusement.

I bet you’d like to read this, but…

It’s nothing really juicy: just some sources I wanted to note down to work into a future post.  Of course, people tried to read it since I had it password protected.

Anyway, I decided to unlock it for the hell of it.  I may have already published some of this already.

But, I did make a comment about blogs being like commonplace books.

 

United States Treaties with the Barbary States, Chris Rodda http://www.talk2action.org/story/2007/9/23/131056/051

History is Powerful: Why the Christian Right Distorts History and Why it Matters, Frederick Clarkson
http://www.talk2action.org/story/2007/3/15/16348/6517

I found this quote about the religious right’s revisionism:

The notion that America was founded as a Christian nation is a central animating element of the ideology of the Christian Right. It touches every aspect of life and culture in this, one of the most successful and powerful political movements in American history. The idea that America’s supposed Christian identity has somehow been wrongly taken, and must somehow be restored, permeates the psychology and vision of the entire movement. No understanding of the Christian Right is remotely adequate without this foundational concept.

But the Christian nationalist narrative has a fatal flaw: it is based on revisionist history that does not stand up under scrutiny. The bad news is that to true believers, it does not have to stand up to the facts of history to be a powerful and animating part of the once and future Christian nation. Indeed, through a growing cottage industry of Christian revisionist books and lectures now dominating the curricula of home schools and many private Christian academies, Christian nationalism becomes a central feature of the political identity of children growing up in the movement. The contest for control of the narrative of American history is well underway.

History is powerful.

That’s why it is important for the rest of society not only to recognize the role of creeping Christian historical revisionism, but our need to craft a compelling and shared story of American history, particularly as it relates to the role of religion and society. We need it in order to know not how the religious Right is wrong, but to know where we ourselves stand in the light of history, in relation to each other, and how we can better envision a future together free of religious prejudice, and ultimately, religious warfare.

We’ve seen how religious beliefs (and other ideologies) inspire people to view others as subhuman, deviant, and deserving of whatever happens to them, including death. It is the stuff of persecution, pogroms, and warfare. The framers of the U.S. Constitution struggled with how to inoculate the new nation against these ills, and in many respects, the struggle continues today. The story goes that when Benjamin Franklin, a hometown delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, emerged from the proceedings, people asked him what happened. His famous answer was “You have a republic, if you can keep it.” To “keep it” in our time, we must appreciate the threat and dynamics of Christian nationalism, and the underlying historical revisionism that supports it. Then we can develop ways to counter it.

change it to guns being a fundamental part of US life like this:

The notion that the American right to keep and bear arms is a central animating element of the ideology of the Right. It touches every aspect of life and culture in this, one of the most successful and powerful political movements in American history. The idea that America’s supposed gun culture has somehow been wrongly taken, and must somehow be restored, permeates the psychology and vision of the entire movement. No understanding of the RKBA movement is remotely adequate without this foundational concept.

But the Armed American narrative has a fatal flaw: it is based on revisionist history that does not stand up under scrutiny. The bad news is that to true believers, it does not have to stand up to the facts of history to be a powerful and animating part of the once and future Armed nation. Indeed, through a growing cottage industry of Second Amendment revisionist books and lectures now dominating the curricula of the media, home schools, and many other forms, Armed nationalism becomes a central feature of the political identity of children growing up in the movement. The contest for control of the narrative of American history is well underway.

History is powerful.

That’s why it is important for the rest of society not only to recognize the role of creeping Second Amendment historical revisionism, but our need to craft a compelling and shared story of American history, particularly as it relates to the role of the military and society. We need it in order to know not how the RKBA movement is wrong, but to know where we ourselves stand in the light of history, in relation to each other, and how we can better envision a future together free of gun violence.

We’ve seen how militarism can inspire people to view others as subhuman, deviant, and deserving of whatever happens to them, including death. It is the stuff of persecution, pogroms, and warfare. The framers of the U.S. Constitution struggled with how to inoculate the new nation against these ills, and in many respects, the struggle continues today. The story goes that when Benjamin Franklin, a hometown delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, emerged from the proceedings, people asked him what happened. His famous answer was “You have a republic, if you can keep it.” To “keep it” in our time, we must appreciate the threat and dynamics of Militarism, and the underlying historical revisionism that supports it. Then we can develop ways to counter it.

Get my point? It’s interesting that the people who urge religious revisionism are urging the change in the understanding of the Second (and Third) Amendments. The Second Amendment was intended as a bulwark against a standing army and militarism.

I wouldn’t even buy it

I just made a post at Blogger (why not?) and this:

Turn your blog into a book!
Blog2Print from SharedBook turns your blog into a soft cover or hard cover book. You pick the cover, add an optional dedication, then preview and you’re done. Prices start at $14.95.

Popped up.

What a frightening thought.

I’ve always been tempted to ask if there are any readers out there. Actually, I know there are since I can see stats on how many people have popped by and what the most popular posts are. Surprisingly enough, they are the ones on BBC iPlayer!

Anyway, I really just do this for myself. Although, if people want to comment about British Postcodes, BBC iPlayer, or anything else which truly interests me (despite all the posts: the Second Amendment and gun control really isn’t an interest).

"It’s all cut and paste"

A lovely critique, in a way, but I have another quote:

“Copying from one person is plagiarism, two research”.

Both quotes simplify the issue. What is lacking from them is that mere parroting without understanding shows ignorance. One can quote and then come up with a point, well, that’s research. It’s showing understanding and backing up your point that takes it from mere “cut and paste”.

And as they say “There’s nothing new under the sun.” So, why should I “reinvent the wheel”. Christ, I don’t have that much spare time (despite how this may seem).

Commonplace books (or commonplaces) were a way to compile knowledge, usually by writing information into books. They became significant in Early Modern Europe.

“Commonplace” is a translation of the Latin term locus communis which means “a theme or argument of general application”, such as a statement of proverbial wisdom. In this original sense, commonplace books were collections of such sayings, such as John Milton’s commonplace book. Scholars have expanded this usage to include any manuscript that collects material along a common theme by an individual. Thomas Jefferson had a common place book where he would jot down ideas he thought were important

Such books were essentially scrapbooks filled with items of every kind: medical recipes, quotes, letters, poems, tables of weights and measures, proverbs, prayers, legal formulas. Commonplaces were used by readers, writers, students, and humanists as an aid for remembering useful concepts or facts they had learned. Each commonplace book was unique to its creator’s particular interests.

A funny aside, there was this young woman who kept a common place book during the 18th Century (or therabouts), she died and everyone thought she was a genius. Until someone pointed out that was her common place book that she copied the thoughts of others. Never mind her tomb shows her as this literary genius. I’ll put up the info when I locate it. Until then, this will remain an anecdote.

Interestingly enough, Commonplaces are likened to blogs (another good post here). Which is exactly where I am going with this.

I will be the first to admit that law isn’t the most intellectual of professions (which gets me into another quote I want from C.G. Jung about the medical profession not being very intelectual either–I think it’s in dreams). In fact, one could easily set up a computer program that could make legal decisions thus eliminating judges.

Anyway, I hope that my rantings prove useful. They are a way for me to vent. I am feeling particularly frustrated by the Heller decision as my many posts show. It is flawed in its logic, which some people see. Yet for reasons I will get into in future posts, we mostly see praise for this piece of trash called Heller.