Here We Go Again

By Tatyana Fertelmeyster - 04.03.2011

Once in a while History gets bored of moving straight ahead and starts running around in circles.

All of it had happened already and here we go again.

Inquisitors believed in legitimacy of their courts and did not hesitate much to burn screaming fires all over Europe.

Hitler did not bother much with courts. He burned books and then decided that burning readers and writers can be much more effective.

Stalin packed gulag camps with people who wrote, or were possibly thinking about writing, a “wrong” book and who were literate enough to possibly read something and get an unauthorized thought in their head.

Old-girl History has seen plenty of those who illuminated their righteousness by feeding books and human lives to fires.

And here we go again. Read more »

Noise Makers

By Thomas Kochman - 09.27.2010

You have to make a lot of social noise if you want to get public attention. At times that is an absolute necessity if you want to move the country in a different direction.

Most of the time, social noise has a purpose you can identify with, or at least, respect, coming from people who experience significant social indifference or neglect, or outright racism or discrimination.

Those without paid lobbyists have only the street to voice their opinions or grievances.

Understandable! So be it. Politicians need periodic wake up calls to do the right thing.

Today’s public noise in the U.S. political arena is harder to respect.

It comes mainly from the Tea Party movement and anti-Muslim extremists.

In one way, I am glad for their existence.

They coalesce the anti-matter that is out there—people organized, if not united, by what they are against, like their Republican counterparts in Congress.

Better to have that energy funneled though established social channels than randomly expressed by angry individuals bent out of shape and on destruction.

What’s harder to respect is social noise for the sake of noise and a following like Newt Gingrich comparing “Ground Zero” mosque backers to Nazis or Pastor Terry Jones who threatened to burn the Quran preying “on growing hostility and uneasiness in the lead up this year’s 9/11 anniversary of the U.S. terrorist attacks.”

People caught up and captured by the sound of their own voice: narcissistic revelers — characters in search of the widest possible audience.

Daniel Boorstin once defined a celebrity as someone who “is known for their well-knownness.”

Good for a pop TV show perhaps, and being made fun of on “Saturday Night Live.”.

But not really to be taken seriously politically.