This is the first time that I’ve almost completely forgotten to post the Tuesday Zep. It’s 9 am Tuesday and I just realized that I haven’t prepared anything. I’m reminded of the (uncensored) “Blame” piece Jason, Jon, and I composed a few years ago (before Foxx’s “Blame It”). I probably shouldn’t mention it—it would be wise not to post any of this kitsch—but if you want more diary-style insights into my 2007-2009 life, you can look for links on my History page. Sorry. Next week, I’ll be ON IT!
The dog is always the first to greet me as I step out the back door onto the porch. The horses gather together in one of their seemingly random spots in the south field. Cali (one of three cats) scoots along the fenceline near the shed.
The concept for this entry began as a lyrical metaphor relating Curtis Mayfield’s “Pusherman” to my web publishing philosophy. The latter is boring, though, and a topic that tends to weave its way into all of my posts anyway. Music, on the other hand, tends to be a rabbit that we chase into Wonderland. 1972 “Pusherman” performance on Soul Train (YouTube):
I just wrapped up what I’d like to call my birthday week in which I spent most evenings watching the premiere of The National Parks documentary on PBS. Last Sunday, I recommended that people donate to the Park Service in place of gifts to me. After watching the final episode (the 6th, each 2hrs long), I couldn’t resist reminding you why the parks are “America’s Best Idea”.
The final episode does a great job of summing up the purpose and history of the parks. If you only have time to watch one episode, watch this one (and/or the first one). These are not just the sweeping landscapes of America; they also consist of historical monuments where Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream speech” and where Japanese-Americans were interned during WWII. The National Park System preserves America’s irreplacable links to the past.
This is where we were
This is what we’ve loved
And now it’s in your hands
– Terry Tempest Williams
Before distracting yourself with BBQ and fireworks, take 20 minutes to brush up on your July 4th knowledge. Reading the Declaration of Independence this morning may even make for good conversation over a few beers tonight! I’ve always had an interest in manuscript history. The Declaration of Independence is literally America’s most celebrated manuscript, and any historian will tell you that primary documents are gold. The Los Angeles Times gets right to the point and reminds us that responsible citizens should read the document yearly. They provide us with the “engrossed copy” text of The Declaration of Independence of these United Statef of America after a short, inspiring introduction. Wikisource is also an invaluable site for reading the various editions of the document, such as the Dunlap Broadside (earliest printing). Imagine the kind of confidence it requires to propose to a king “that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government….”
Peggy Noonan pays tribute to David McCullough, “America’s greatest living historian,” in yesterday’s WSJ opinion piece, Making History. In it, she uses passages from McCullough’s books to recreate the excitement of independence week in July 1776. Part 2 of HBO’s incredible John Adams series also reenacts this moment in history. For more details about The Declaration, see the Wikipedia article and the National Archives Charters of Freedom page.
In January of 2009, I was informally surveying different blogging platforms (Virb, Tumblr, Posterous, etc.) and noticed a few friends on Vox. For someone who didn’t want to go through the trouble of hosting their own blog (for example, using WordPress.org as this site now is), Vox seemed like a better community than Blogger or WordPress.com.