Do treat this as our weekly semi-open thread. What are some news items or other matters that you would like share? I enjoy hearing from all of the friends and readers of WARN. How are you all doing, personally, professionally, spiritually? It is always good to share some positive energy with one another.
Here are some of my semi-related Friday and weekend thoughts...
I was thumbing through my photo album. I paused and smiled for a moment, wondering, where has the time gone?, as I looked at a picture taken some years ago of my family and Reverend Al Sharpton.
Is it my imagination or does Brother Al not look at all well on MSNBC? I am concerned about his health.
I miss the Reverend Al of Morton Downey Jr. fame from back in the day when brothers had waves.
On my bootleg found Ipod--I am so high tech--one of my favorite songs is Frank Sinatra's "It was a Very Good Year". Why are people on the bus surprised when they hear me, a black man, playing some Sinatra? Is it old folks music and somehow I don't look grown up enough to qualify? Or is Sinatra "white" music? Thus, I am not permitted to partake as deemed by some unwritten rule of racial decorum?
"The power of years and dates" help the general public, as well as historians, to conceptualize or organize chaotic and messy human events. The notion that there are "important" years--the "End of History" or "The Great War"--is very arbitrary and bounded by the theoretical framework and narrative which a society has constructed around a series of events in order to locate them in public memory.
For example, when I discuss the Civil Rights Movement, I take the long-view: the Black Freedom Struggle began in the 17th century when the first African came to America as human property/an indentured servant. The Civil Rights Movement did not begin in the 1950s. The latter is a neat frame of reference that does not reflect the complexity of the Black Atlantic and Black life in the Americas.
Watching the tumultous events in the Middle East, Africa, and China's growing power, I wonder if the near present will be looked back upon in twenty, fifty, one hundred years from now, and labeled by some future historian as the "Time of American Decline" or "World War 3: The Era of Perpetual and Continual War"?
Maybe classic Star Trek had it right with its alternate history of World War 3: The Eugenics Wars and the rise of Khan Noonien Singh?
What is your favorite year? What year or time period has been critically important for global and human history but is little appreciated or discussed by the general public?