Me and White Supremacy

July 21, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Non-Fiction, POLITICS, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

“How to Recognise Your Privilege, Combat Racism and Change the World” by Layla F. Saad (2020) This is the book for me: I am white and regard myself as Supreme, although not for that reason. So this “deep-diving self-reflection tool” sets a 28 day work schedule of “reflective journaling and inner excavation.”  I did the work: but an alternate journal is set out below. This one-of-a-kind personal antiracism tool, an activist education program for confronting white privilege and dismantling white supremacy, helps us honkys check our privilege and “take ownership of [our] participation in the oppressive system of white supremacy.”…

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Liberté! Egalité! Fraternité!

July 14, 2022 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | HISTORY, Non-Fiction |

July 14, 1789 We have spoken of the ‘glory’ of Bastille Day; let us instead hear more from Carlyle on how inglorious it really was: “…De Launay could not do it. Distracted, he hovers between two; hopes in the middle of despair; surrenders not his Fortress; declares that he will blow it up, seizes torches to blow it up, and does not blow it. Unhappy old De Launay, it is the death-agony of thy Bastille and thee! Jail, Jailoring and Jailor, all three, such as they may have been, must finish….For four hours now has the World-Bedlam roared: call it…

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The Riddle of the Labyrinth (Margalit Fox)

“This is the true story of one of the most mesmerizing riddles in western history and, in particular, of the unsung woman who would very likely have solved it, had she only lived a little longer”, begins Fox’s telling of the decipherment of Linear B. As with so many of the early, imaginative theories of the meaning of the Linear B script, however, this is less accurate and more enticing than the truth. Alice Elizabeth Kober’s role in the solving of this mystery was overshadowed, but not ‘unsung’ as was Rosalind Franklin’s role in the decipherment of the structure of…

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Afternoon of an Autocrat (Norah Lofts)

Norah Lofts (1904 to 1983), mostly forgotten in this twilight of the gods, was a popular English novelist.  Afternoon of an Autocrat *(1956) is set in Suffolk, in the fictitious village of Clevely at the time of its ‘enclosure’.  In Britain, thousands of ‘Acts of Enclosure’ were passed between 1604 and 1914.  A passel of commissioners, (susceptible to good hospitality, spite and whim) would descend upon a village and delineate how fields and  hitherto common lands were to be parcelled out to those with claims evidenced by writing, social superiority, ancient usage or bribery.^ Part One, (“Afternoon of an Autocrat”)…

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The Dying Citizen

(By Victor Davis Hanson) (2021) This is a thought-provoking argument that the classical concept of citizenship (the essence of a democratic nation) as developed and refined from the Greeks, Romans, and ‘aristocratic’ revolutionaries, is becoming denuded of meaning or relevance, and that a new tribalism (subject to a new “balkanized spoils system“) is fast replacing it, per the convenience of the governing elites (on the divide-and-rule paradigm). The author ranges wide but without attenuation, contrasting citizens with peasants (we prefer the more colouful term ‘peons’), residents and tribes, and then showing how the very concept of American citizenship – necessary…

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