Statue of Sakhmet, Egyptian New Kingdom, Dynasty 18

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I love Sakhmet. She was the Egyptian goddess of war. I find it unexpected to find a goddess of war, but it actually makes perfect sense. Sakhmet has the head of a lioness. The ancient Egyptians were very familiar with lions. They knew that the likenesses are the hunters and they work together. Just like warriors.

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Do We Need Statues To Learn History?

So, the United States is revisiting the Confederate statues that litter the country, including in states that fought for the Union. One common argument I see online is that the purpose of statues is to teach people about important historical figures. If the statues are torn down, people will know less history.

Is this true? Would people forget about historical figures of they don’t have statues?

The South gives us an interesting test case.

One of the most important figures in the history of The South is a man born and raised in Ohio, just like me. He literally left his mark on Georgia and the Carolinas. And yet, I can find no evidence of any statues of this man anywhere in the South.

That man is General William Tecumseh Sherman.

General Sherman solved the problem of how to operate without supply lines by ordering his soldiers to live of the land. They foraged, stealing crops and animals from farms, to feed the advancing army, frequently leaving the civilians with little food to feed themselves. Sherman’s army also wrecked railroad tracks and telegraph lines as they traveled. It is commonly said that Sherman’s March to the Sea, between Atlanta and Savannah, carved a path of destruction 300 miles long and 60 miles wide.

No state in the South has built a single statue of Sherman.

Has the South, lacking statues of Sherman, forgotten Sherman?

No.

My brother met a man from the Carolinas year ago. (After Sherman tore through Georgia, he turned his attention to the Carolinas). When my brother told him he was from Ohio, the man stopped smiling. “Sherman’s from Ohio, ” he said. ( Damn straight.). Sherman has been vilified throughout the South. The cultural memory of the destruction he wrought is very much alive.

And without a single statue.

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Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone Re-Read

1 So, a few weeks ago I reread Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone. This is not going to be a formal review since I have already read the book twice. But I haven’t read the books in ten years so I wanted to read them again and see what stands out to me.

2 I focused on how the mystery functions in the story, as well as ideas about horcruxes are planted in the first book.

3 When I first read the books, I assumed that Harry would discover these amazing, special powers which is why Voldemort couldn’t kill him. I know better now, so now I am struck by how ordinary Harry is. He wears glasses, he experienced bullying, and he had a hard time making friends.

4 Hermione is also far more flawed than I remembered. She tends to panic in a crisis, and struggles to take decisive action. The best example of this is where Harry and Ron are caught in the devil’s snare. (I still remembered that from the first time I read the book.). Hermione remembers that devil’s snare doesn’t like fire, but forgets that she is a witch and thinks about finding wood. It is Ron who reminds her that she is a witch and can make a fire through a spell.

5 Ron, on the other hand, is far wiser than the movies portrayed him. It is Ron who recognizes the danger of the mirror of Erised.

6 Dumbledore is also less cozy in the books now. He comes across as emotionally distant and he withholds information from others as a means of controlling their actions.

7 Hagrid’s affection for big, dangerous animals is still very funny.

8 I still love the descriptions of the trio doing homework. In these scenes, the quotidian becomes magical.

9 Harry’s dream where the sorting hat tells him to join Slytherin makes sense now that I have read the entire series.

10 The Dursleys are horrible, but it bothers me that no wizard fixed Dudley’s tail, and he had to have it surgically removed. But then again, the Dudleys would never have allowed that anyway, so I will overlook it.

11 Someone commented that the goblins have hooked noses. I didn’t see that description, but there are… implications of having a separate, greedy, untrustworthy race that does the banking. (Though one of Ron’s brothers does work in banking.)

12 I would have hated being trapped in a Hogwarts house. I had teams in middle school. They were horrible. And if choices ultimately make you who you are, why not let people choose their houses and develop their own identities?

13 The book does reward careful reading. This time around, I fought the part where Hermione trips over Quirrell in her way to hex Snape.

14 I wonder at the experience of Muggle born children at Hogwarts. There seems to be no one to help integrate them into the wizard world. Are they also encouraged to retain their Muggle identity? One boy brings a picture of a soccer team with him to Hogwarts. Is that common?

15 Is Christmas the only holiday they celebrate? There is at least one Indian student. Does Hogwarts have a Dawali party?

16 Ron is an excellent foil for Harry.

17 Why is Shape allowed to abuse the students?

18 The fact that Harry and Voldemort share the same wand cores makes all the sense in the world after book 7. But it does lead to troubling questions. Where does Harry end and Voldemort begin? Harry was able to choose to be in Gryffindor instead of Slytherin. But it makes me wonder how much control he had over his choices.

Before you leave, please donate to the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund.

https://transgenderlegal.org

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L. Mittelhammer (baritone) & J. Ware (piano) – F. Schubert : “Auf der Bruck”

I heard him sing at The Cleveland Orchestra. I miss the orchestra.

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“What To The Slave Is The Fourth of July? “

NPR tracked down the descendents of Frederick Douglas and asked them to read part of his famous speech about the Fourth of July. At the end of it, they share their thoughts.

“At a time like this, scorching iron, not convincing argument is needed. O! Had I the ability, and could I reach the nation’s ear, I would today pour out a fiery stream of buying ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle storm, but thunder.”

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Seven Sisters by Tjungkara Ken

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I am so excited to share a painting by an aboriginal Australian. It is incredibly difficult to find examples of their artwork in American museums.

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90’s Songs: No Diggity by Blackstreet

The best thing is when this song comes on the radio when I am on the freeway with lots of open road in front of me.  Whenever I hear the line, “Fast when she comes to the gas,” I like to step on the gas pedal.

https://m.youtube.com/watchv=3kl9mrus19o

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Documentaries You Should See: Grizzly Man

No discussion of documentaries would be complete without Werner Herzog.  I saw this documentary for the first time in college.  The Discovery Channel played it pretty frequently.

the film documents Timothy Treadwell, who spent a number of summers living with the Grizzzly bears in Alaska, until he and his girlfriend were eaten by a bear.

Jay from Red Letter Media said the film should be called, “They’re bears you fucking moron!”.  And with good reason.  Werner Herzog does not agree with Timothy’s romantic, anthropomorphic view of nature (not do I), and Werner does not shy from saying so.  Nonetheless, he bonds with Timothy as an amateur filmmaker, and defends his filmmaking abilities.

 

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The Country Gallants by John George Brown

I bought a poster of this when I was at the Toledo Music of Art.  I love the idyllic view of nature and the young children.

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Chick Flick Movie Series: First Third of the Year

 

Here are all the movies I saw in the first third of the year for my Chick Flick Movie Awards.  I don’t know what will happen the rest of the year because movies are delayed or not being released, but I should be able to see a few more films.

I am heading films on a scale of 0 to 11.  0 is the worst movie I have ever seen and 11 is the best movie I have ever seen, ie dialing it up to 11.

1 The Rhythm Section

Directed by Reed Moreno

2/11

2 The Photograph

Directed by Stella Meghie

Screenplay by Stella Meghie

5/11

3 The Assistant

Directed by Kitty Green

Screenplay by Kitty Green

5/11

4 Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Directed by Celine Sciamma

Screenplay by Celine Sciamma

9/11

5 Adam

Directed by Maryam Touzani

screenplay by Maryam Touzani

3/11

6 Archivettes (documentary)Touzani

Directed by Megan Rossman

7/11

7 The Perfect Candidate

Directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour

Screenplay by Haifaa Al-Mansour

9/11

8 The Conductor

Directed by Maria Peters

Screenplay by Maria Peters

5/11

9 Martha: A Life In Pictures (documentary)

Directed by Salina Miles

9/11

10 A Bump Along The Way

Directed by Shelly Love

Screenplay by Teas McGowan

7/11

11 The Vow From Hiroshima (documentary)

Directed by Susan Strickler

7/11

12 Kuessipan

Directed by Myriam Verreault

Screenplay by Myriam Verreault and Naomi Fontaine

6/11

 

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