Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2016

When Pennsylvania Hall Burned: The Philadelphia Anti-Slavery Society and the Mob

Lucretia Mott was not the only one fighting for abolition in Philadelphia. There was also:

I know what you're thinking: "Wait...is their acronym...PASS?" And YES. Yes it IS. As in "How about some slavery?" "Mm, PASS. Get it? Like the society name and also I don't want any because it's terrible."

Mott and her husband James were co-founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society in Philadelphia in 1833 (AASS -- no, the acronym is not as good, and yes, there were a lot of anti-slavery societies), and Mott helped craft this line of theirs, also mentioned in the previous post about her life:




The building in this picture is Pennsylvania Hall. Pennsylvania Hall was built by the badass SJWs in the first photo, aka the members of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, as a place to hold meetings, preach, teach, whatever was needed in the work of abolishing slavery. They spent $40,000 in 1838 money to build it, which is about a million dollars today.

It stood…

Who Is Lucretia Mott and What Did She Do?

Lucretia Mott, guys. Damn. I've always just kind of thought of her as one of those older suffragists who probably wrote some things for ladies and then Elizabeth Cady Stanton went charging forward with it.

WELL THAT'S WHAT ELIZABETH CADY STANTON WANTED YOU TO THINK.

One of the main reasons we don't hear much about Mott is that Stanton and Susan B. Anthony literally wrote the book on the history of women's suffrage. Also Mott had other fish to fry. Abolition fish.




Abolitionists had been organizing since 1775 and they were not only determined to stop slavery, but were becoming radicalized in their efforts as the battle for America's future seemed to grow more and more pressing. 

Lucretia Mott was a Nantucket-born Quaker (did you know Nantucket used to be a Quaker island?) who then moved to Philadelphia with her husband James Mott and KICKED ALL THE PRO-SLAVERY PEOPLE'S ASSES.

Through, like. Earnest discussion, peaceful boycotts and politeness.

Mott:



Mott has been seen a…

Who Is Jean Shepherd? Just a Man in Love With Words. And Maybe Himself.

Jean Shepherd is a writer who revels, bathes, and frolics in the English language.

You have all sorts of writers: utilitarian, plot-driven, wanting-their-prose-to-be-poetry-without-writing-poetry, and you have writers who just obviously love words so DAMN much. William Styron is one of these ("the quagmiry but haunting monochrome of the Narew River swampland") and Jean Shepherd, famous for In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash, the basis for the fan-damn-tastic film A Christmas Story, is another.

I have made quote graphics for your reading ease, since it seems all wish to be visually entertained nowadays.

Also I like making quote graphics. Onward!:














FROM THE SUN-DRENCHED SHORES OF GREECE REDOLENT OF THE EARTH'S BOUNTIES. I'm super-into how he uses the English language. While Jean Shepherd was a man very much of his time (that time being 1921-1999), he was also a man who knew his way around a dictionary, if you know what I mean.





(....words. I just mean words)

Also A Christma…

Nonsense Novels by Stephen Leacock: He flung himself from the room, flung himself upon his horse and rode madly off in all directions

Stephen Leacock was a silly Canadian man who lived from 1869-1944. At some point in his life, he decided to write a book making fun of all the other books. The forward to the modern day edition of Nonsense Novels is written by Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket of Series of Unfortunate Events fame, which absolutely makes sense when you read lines like:

I saw before me a fine sailor-like man of from thirty to sixty, clean-shaven, except for an enormous pair of whiskers, a heavy beard, and a thick moustache
That is pure Lemony Snicket right there. Or pure Lemony Snicket-written-by-Daniel-Handler-inspired-by-Canadian-humorist-Stephen-Leacock.

Nonsense Novels covers most if not all genres of novel. Each "novel" is v. short. It goes from detective novels to seafaring novels to Lorna Doone On the Moors-type novels (I've never read Lorna Doone, but I'm making some guesses that she stands on moors) to a sci-fi sort of ender that I loved the most by far (except for some blatant …

A Guinea Pig Oliver Twist: The Guinea Saga Continues

You guys. Here's the thing. I don't even LIKE guinea pigs. I think they are pointless animals. But maybe that's why I find Guinea Pig Pride and Prejudice and now A Guinea Pig Oliver Twist so completely hilarious and delightful.

All guinea pigs that I have been exposed to were lumps of fur with no personality. Which makes it extra funny when they're wearing stocking caps to sleep in.



I, for one, want Bloomsbury to guinea pig-up all the classics. 

Dickens's Oliver Twist isn't one of his best novels, but it's got enough culturally recognized moments to make it worth this version. You get Guinea Pig Oliver, the Artful Dodger, Fagin, Nancy, and even those boring characters no one cares about, like Mr Brownlow. It's not fair to him, because he's very nice, but nice people don't sell books, Brownlow, gotta move with the market, chop chop, keep up.


Now, I know your primary concern is is this classic tale told through guinea pigs appropriate for children? Th…

Dead Feminists: Art, Feminism, and History

Dead Feminists basically springs from the idea of "What if we made a book about feminists throughout history and made it REALLY really pretty?"

Chandler O'Leary and Jessica Spring, one an artist and one a printer & typographer, have assembled 24 essays and beautiful prints of historic feminists, or "historic heroines in living color." It's a damn gorgeous book.


They include biographical sketches, prints for each woman, and a breakdown of what historical elements inspired the print. GET EXCITED, ART NERDS. And oh, history nerds, there're quotes and photographs and – knitting nerds, listen up, Elizabeth Zimmerman is in here
I know you guys are out there.
Whenever I flip through it, I think about how much I probably would've loved it as a kid. There are so many pictures, and as a 3rd grader who was real real into a padded white book detailing the histories of every president of the United States – but which I only really cared about because it had s…

How We Can Be As Badass as the Suffragettes

What do we do now.

Being the suffrage nerd I am, I recently told my friend "This feels like a NAWSA vs. the NWP time. And I tend towards NAWSA. But it's time for the NWP."

What the hell that means is that when women were fighting for the vote -- when they were fighting against the majority of the country, including a large number of other women -- they were mainly split into two political organizations. The conservative group, the National American Woman Suffrage Association, wanted to do things slowly and not anger those in power beyond what was necessary for pleading their case. The radical group, the National Woman's Party, wanted to win by any means necessary.

The NWP did not give a fuck.

The NWP didn't care about being tactful. The NWP didn't care about stepping on toes. The NWP stood outside your White House six days a week with banners calling you the kaiser. In the middle of a world war. They did this for almost three years. 




Were people furious? HELL YES.…

The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson: Everything is ambiguous and foreboding

Shirley Jackson's writing can be described as extremely Shirley Jacksony.

The only one of her story collections to be published during her lifetime has FINALLY accomplished what I've been waiting for with her. I've read two of her novels, and each time it's felt vaguely unfulfilling and like it's SO CLOSE to being something I would enjoy. But after reading 26 of her stories in a row, I can say "Ohhhhhhhhh."


I was so struck by the insane similarities between her work and Edward Hopper's while I was reading that I was like "This must be a common thing. Like, something that everyone thinks. Because not every artist goes 'what about like...a sad woman sitting in a room and that's it?'"


If I were in college, I would be so totes jazzed to write essays on these stories. "I can SAY THINGS about SOCIETY," I would say. As it is, after each one, I went "Huh. Seems like there's something important there." Then I thought …

Master and Margareadalong: Everything is on fire

I...okay. All right. So. This book.



Master and Margarita...is...a book that is loved by very many people. About the Soviet Union, and Satan coming to Moscow. And some people seem to really really love the cat demon, because he's featured on every damn version of the cover.

I feel like, much like how some people only can capture a displeasing soapy taste when they try cilantro, some people are made for Russian literature and others are not. I am inclined to think I am in the latter category, if only because while one can go on about context needed, etc, I still find Restoration comedies enjoyable/sometimes horrifying, and I'm sure I miss out on at least 50% of their references.


Not that I enjoyed none of this book! Satan's Grand Ball was v. interesting. Mainly because it had historical figures in it. I liked Natasha muchly. But I thought the cat was annoying as shit, the Pilate chapters were insanely boring, and the Master kinda sucked. ALSO THERE WAS RACISM. Which, y'know…

Timeless: PERIOD COSTUMES AND TIME TRAVEL

You guys. I am totes into NBC's Timeless.



Ok, so you've got the dissatisfied-with-her-job-and-life lady history professor (Lucy), the stoic military dude whose wife has died and he's got a lot of SILENT FEELINGS ABOUT IT (don't know his name), and the tech guy (Rufus), who legit says "I am black; there’s literally no place in American history that would be awesome for me."




A mysterious man steals the main time travel ship that some other mysterious man (rando billionaire) was building, so they recruit these three people to take the other, lesser time travel ship and chase after him and try to stop him from DESTROYING AMERICA.

As the New York Times's review says, "'Timeless' isn't good, exactly, but...it combines enough goodish elements to be enjoyable." A-greed.

In the first three episodes, they've visited the Hindenburg; the site of Lincoln's assassination; and Las Vegas in the 1960s. This week: something with Nazis! 



Look, do …

Master and Margareadalong 4: What is even happening

So...Margarita attended Satan's Grand Ball. And everything was rull weird.


Like a fairytale, it was all a big test and Margarita was suddenly in an insane situation and just had to do as she was told, if she did it, she'd be rewarded. This is legit what happens in every fairytale with a test. The people who don't do what the magical sprite or whatever wants them to do get punished, and the lazy youngest brother who just goes with it gets to marry the princess. With Margarita here being the lazy youngest brother. Only she doesn't get to marry the awesome Natasha who just wants to be a feminist witch.


All the creepy dead people at the ball seem to be actual murderers and criminals from history. There're some good annotations here, and apparently this book is covered in freemason symbolism and we've missed it this whole time and OH WELL I'm just glad we're getting through it. 

Then there were some more Jesus chapters, and aight.



p.s. nsfw, but I love this Nata…

24 HOUR READATHON!

IT'S THE 24 HOUR READATHON, which means I will read for approximately 3 hours today, but I will TRY to read more. I'm just not that good at committing to these things, you guys. But I keep trying. Yep.

5:40 P.M. Sunday

SO. Busy weekend. Saw an amazing play called Miss Holmes at Chicago's Lifeline Theatre. Oh man. So great. Sherlock Holmes as a lady and infused with 19th century feminist issues, plus references to both Jack the Ripper minutiae and The Yellow Wallpaper

I finished The Lunch Witch, which it turns out was more for like 8 year olds, and my taste in children's fiction runs to middle grade, so more like 10-12 year olds. It was fine. THREE OUT OF FIVE STARS. Maybe more if I were eight.

I read about half of a book of Shirley Jackson short stories, which wasn't even on my LIST, but matched my theme of #Hallowreads. I've always felt like I was one step away from liking Shirley Jackson. I tried with We Have Always Lived in the Castle and The Haunting of Hill …