Category Archives: Uncategorized

Blood On His Hands: Henry Kissinger

1960s: Days of Rage

May 23 2023:TA SOUS, Cambodia — At the end of a dusty path snaking through rice paddies lives a woman who survived multiple U.S. airstrikes as a child. Round-faced and just over 5 feet tall in plastic sandals, Meas Lorn lost an older brother to a helicopter gunship attack and an uncle and cousins to artillery fire. For decades, one question haunted her: ‘I still wonder why those aircraft always attacked in this area. Why did they drop bombs here?’ The U.S. carpet bombing of Cambodia between 1969 and 1973 has been well documented, but its architect, former national security adviser and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who will turn 100 on Saturday, bears responsibility for more violence than has been previously reported. An investigation by The Intercept provides evidence of previously unreported attacks that killed or wounded hundreds of Cambodian civilians during Kissinger’s tenure in the…

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Literacy Experts: There Is No “Science of Reading”

Diane Ravitch's blog

Three literacy experts—David Reinking, Peter Smagorinsky, and David B. Yaden—wrote in opposition to the current “science of reading” frenzy. Unfortunately, their article does not mention the journalist Emily Hanford, who has zealously promoted the idea that American students don’t learn to read because their teachers do not utilize the “science of reading.” Google her name and you will find numerous articles repeating this claim. I wish I had been as successful in alerting the public and the media to the dangers of privatization as she has been in building a public campaign for phonics-as-silver-bullet. She is truly the Rudolf Flesch of our day (he published the best-selling Why Johnny Can’t Read in 1955.)

As I have often written here, I strongly support phonics. I was persuaded long ago by Jeanne Chall in her book Learning to Read: The Great Debate that students need to learn…

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Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandria villa faces demolition

1960s: Days of Rage

Jan. 2014:  “The Alexandria villa that inspired one of the 20th century’s most acclaimed works of literature could soon be demolished, according to its new owner. Villa Ambron was once the home of Lawrence Durrell, the British author twice shortlisted for the Nobel prize for literature, whose experiences while living at the villa inspired his most famous work, The Alexandria Quartet. But the businessman who owns it says it may soon make way for a high-rise apartment block. If bulldozed, Durrell’s crumbling former home would become the 36th listed building from Alexandria’s fin-de-siècle heyday to be demolished in five years, according to campaigners. Up to 25 of the buildings were destroyed illegally by developers, prompting Alexandria’s historians and architects to fear for the legacy of a city that was once one of the grandest in the region. Many of the 1,135 buildings nominally protected by a 2006 preservation order…

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John Thompson: Extremists in Charge of Oklahoma Schools

Diane Ravitch's blog

John Thompson, historian and retired teacher, brings us up to date on the latest twists in the bizarro world of Oklahoma politics, where the most bizarro of all is the State Superintendent Ryan Walters (I think I could use that headline again and again, just changing the name of the state). John talks to Republicans in the legislature, and he finds that there are moderates who don’t agree with their leadership but keep a low profile and rein them in whenever they get too whacky.

He writes:

The 2023 Oklahoma legislative session, combined with the rightwing extremism of Gov. Kevin Stitt and State Superintendent Ryan Walters, began as possibly the worst threat to public education in our state’s history. Following more than a decade of teach-to-test mandates and increased segregation by choice, the Covid pandemic, and a history of underfunding schools, education faced a combination of existential threats.

But, rightly…

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Stan Vanderbeek

1960s: Days of Rage

Stan VanDerBeek (January 6, 1927 – September 19, 1984) was an American experimental filmmaker known for his collage works. VanDerBeek studied art and architecture at Manhattan‘s Cooper Union before transferring to Black Mountain College in North Carolina, where he met polymath Buckminster Fuller, composer John Cage, and choreographer Merce Cunningham. Beginning in 1949, he took two terms of photography courses from Hazel Larsen Archer at the institution. In the 1950s, he directed independent art films while learning animation techniques and painting scenery and set designs for Winky Dink and You. His earliest films, made between 1955 and 1965, mostly consist of animated paintings and collage films, combined in a form of organic development. VanDerBeek’s ironic compositions were created very much in the spirit of the surreal and Dadaist collages of Max Ernst, but with a wild, rough informality more akin…

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Socialist feminism

1960s: Days of Rage

Socialist feminism rose in the 1960s and 1970s as an offshoot of the feminist movement and New Left that focuses upon the interconnectivity of the patriarchy and capitalism. However, the ways in which women’s private, domestic, and public roles in society has been conceptualized, or thought about, can be traced back to Mary Wollstonecraft‘s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) and William Thompson‘s utopian socialist work in the 1800s. Ideas about overcoming the patriarchy by coming together in female groups to talk about personal problems stem from Carol Hanisch. This was done in an essay in 1969 which later coined the term ‘the personal is political.’ This was also the time that second wave feminism started to surface which is really when socialist feminism kicked off. Socialist feminists argue that liberation can only be achieved by working to end both the economic and cultural

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Story and research writing


You often hear that writing about research is story telling. This is partly right and partly not. Partly not, because a lot of academic writing is better thought of as argument. Argument relies on evidence to make a case for a particular research result. And partly not story, because some research writing is reporting results. Reports rely on a standard order of content. So here then is the question, how is research writing like telling a story?

And one answer to this question is man in hole. Man in hole is an answer which can guide your writing. Man in hole is attributed to the late Kurt Vonnegut. Vonnegut developed five classic story structures. Now, Vonnegut is not the only person to develop universal story structures. But let’s stick with Vonnegut and his man in hole structure for now.

So if you’ve watched this little video, you’ve probably worked out…

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The Walls Speak: Art And The Revolution In May ’68

1960s: Days of Rage

“Marx had always theorized that socialist revolution would take place in advanced, industrialized societies before spreading to the less-developed corners of the globe.”

“The streets have always been where the masses bring their voices and grievances. It is a practice as old as Ancient Rome. It is when the city rises and a sense of social war penetrates the air that even art itself cannot help but be transformed. This year marks a half century since the great convulsions of 1968, when art itself became the vehicle of capturing and giving voice to the emerging, clashing ideals of that heroic generation. The tail-end of the sixties featured much of the imagery, cultural shifts and pop evolution that define the decade in the world consciousness. Acid rock was in, fashion was taking leaps so colorful and free that trends were established which have not gone out of style. But an aesthetic not…

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Gonzo: The Art – Ralph Steadman

1960s: Days of Rage

“… One of the many facets that sets Hunter S. Thompson’s 70s works apart from other forms of classic American literature are the growling, snarling, punch-between-the-eyeballs illustrations of Ralph Steadman. Roaring from the pages, his pictures visualise the horrors of corporate America, ripping the surface to reveal the political greed and other grotesqueries that contort and degrade the human forms within his pictures. With his method of isolating and focusing on a physical idiosyncrasy, he explodes his subjects, capturing a hidden truth that was hitherto unseen; it’s as if Steadman sees with the naked eye of a schizophrenic. Bloodsucking business men, venal politicians, dollar drugged gamblers, archetypal beholders of negation and power transmogrified into grinning reptilia, squarking sharp-beaked birds, gorgons of sheer inhuman greed. In the ferocious stroke of a few simple lines he trans-atlantically expresses all the negative facets of the human condition to a terrifyingly hilarious degree. If…

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Greg B.: The Confederacy Lives On!

Diane Ravitch's blog

Greg B. is a regular commenter on the blog. He lives in Ohio. He is deeply knowledgeable about German history and literature. I enjoy his comments.

He wrote:

As much as many Americans crow about being the land of the free, etc., they don’t like to do the work of being citizens, much less engaged. With citizenship comes responsibility. When one is engaged with the history of this nation, one understands that the enslavement of Africans who were transported here and their descendants literally built this country. While we learn about elites, it was enslaving Americans that created capitalism and wealth for whites around the world. The descendants of those whites have benefitted immeasurably from the status quo and keeping status regardless of quo. Even those who weren’t direct descendants, yes even people who immigrated to the US in the 19th through 21st century have benefitted by virtue of not…

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