The banning of Maus

One day before Holocaust Memorial Day. From the article: (it no longer loads for me so that will lead you to the archived version)

The Vote was 10-0, with Yes votes from: Denise Cunningham, Bill Irvin, Quinten Howard, Sharon Brown, Mike Cochran, Mike Lowry, Donna Casteel, Jonathan Pierce, Tony Allman, Rob Shamblin.


Tony Allman, School Board Member: “Why does the educational system promote this kind of stuff, it is not wise or healthy… I am not denying it was horrible, brutal, and cruel. It’s like when you’re watching tv and a cuss word or nude scene comes on it would be the same movie without it. Well, this would be the same book without it… If I had a child in the eighth grade, this ain’t happening. If I had to move him out and homeschool him or put him somewhere else, this is not happening.”

Jonathan Pierce, School Board Member: “My objection, and I apologize to everyone sitting here, is that my standards matter- and I am probably the biggest sinner and crudest person in this room, can I lay that in front of a child and say read it, or this is part of your reading assignment?”

Mike Cochran, School Board Member: “I went to school here thirteen years. I learned math, English, Reading and History. I never had a book with a naked picture in it, never had one with foul language. In third grade I had one of my classmates come up to me and say hey what’s this word? I sounded it out and it was “damn,” and I was real proud of myself because I sounded it out. She ran straight to the teacher and told her I was cussing. Besides that one book which I think she brought from home, now I’ve seen a cuss word in a textbook at school. So, this idea that we have to have this kind of material in the class in order to teach history, I don’t buy it. “

What even is there to say? These Nazi-like idiots, and I don’t use that term lightly, should be ashamed of themselves but I know they won’t be. Here is something I have in opposition, the scene from Maus which I think about virtually every day, where Anja’s friends don’t give away her hiding place even when being tortured by a concentration camp guard. It happened in real life, and unlike Denise Cunningham, Bill Irvin, Quinten Howard, Sharon Brown, Mike Cochran, Mike Lowry, Donna Casteel, Jonathan Pierce, Tony Allman and Rob Shamblin no-one will ever know their names.

Turns out everyone else’s standards matter, too.





I’m just now finding out Anne Frank was bi??? OMG

Yeah okay, those edits were made by her dad, a cishet person – and also her dad, a Holocaust survivor, who would have been brutally aware that when the diary was first published in freakin’ 1947, had he included anything which people could use to demonize his daughter or tar her as some kind of “pervert”, it would prevent the message he was trying to send about the horrors of the Holocaust and the heroism of his daughter from being properly understood and accepted the way he hoped.

That isn’t fair. It isn’t just. But it is reality. If Otto Frank had let this be included in the published version, there’s a large chance the homophobic backlash would have prevented the book from reaching the audience it did and spreading the message it needed to. It was NINETEEN. FORTY. SEVEN. The Holocaust had ended TWO YEARS AGO. The acceptance of LGBT identities was basically nonexistent. Otto Frank made a decision based on the time and place he was living in, about what the world at that time was and wasn’t ready to accept. 

Let me say this as bluntly as I can – I am a bisexual Jewish girl and I would have made the same decision Otto Frank did. Making sure Anne Frank was unambiguously seen as sympathic and heroic was more important. Making sure people weren’t sidetracked from the main issue of the Holocaust was more important. He shouldn’t have had to make that decision, without doubt. Anne Frank’s sexuality (however she would have identified in modern terms) shouldn’t be considered relevant to her status as a hero or a sympathetic victim. But in 1947, it undoubtedly would have been.

Otto Frank survived Auschwitz and lost his entire family (a wife and two teenage daughters) to the horrors of the Holocaust. He hoped that publishing his daughter’s diary would spread awareness and sympathy for the victims of the Holocaust. If he had to make sacrifices to do that – well frankly, so fucking be it. I don’t know who alive today has the right to judge him. 

Let’s also look at this thread from a queer Jewish person who brings up the fact that ANNE FRANK EDITED HER DIARY HERSELF

PLEASE do not forget that the gay men who survived being put into concentration camps by the Nazis WERE NOT FREED BY THE ALLIED FORCES. They were deemed rightfully convicted criminals and moved to prisons. This was not the battle Otto Frank was fighting and judging him as if he should have been fighting all the battles at once is not fair or realistic.





Snowball fight 124 years ago. Lyon, France, 1896. Colorized and speed adjusted. Original in black and white by Louis Lumiere.

Oh wow! Another portal back in time!

Reblogging to add excerpts from Sam Anderson’s wonderful commentary about this newly colorized/upscaled* short film in The New York Times:

“This is my favorite film of 2020 — a tiny masterpiece that perfectly distills not only our current mayhem but also, more profoundly, our baffling displacement in time.

“The footage was captured in Lyon, in 1897, by the Lumière brothers…. It was originally black and white, of course, and herky-jerky because of the low frame rate. But this snowball fight has recently been colorized and smoothed, and the result is shockingly modern. [….]

“Down in the bottom-left corner [of the gif** below], a thick man with a strong black mustache fires a cheap shot: a wild fastball, from point-blank range, that barely misses its intended target, a slim man who is busy looking the other way. The slim man turns, cocks his left arm and wallops the big man on his thigh. [….]


“My favorite character, and the closest the film has to a protagonist, is a man in a bowler hat and a coat so long it flaps around his legs like the cloak of a levitating wizard. He looks as if he has just stepped out of a bank meeting, and yet he abandons himself to this childish street warfare with eager glee. 



“And then there is the bicycle. This is the peak moment of brutality, when the whole group loses its collective goddamn mind. Right from the start, you can see the cyclist coming: a small figure, growing larger every second, gliding smoothly on an angle toward the fray. Before he even reaches the crowd, he starts to take distant fire. And yet he is determined to ride on. When he arrives, all the warring factions turn to unite against him, unleashing a wickedly targeted cyclone. The cyclist takes hard shots to the arm, the face, the back, the neck. Still he pedals forward, hunching his back, spinning his long legs — a stoic hero, intent on gliding through the violence, determined to reach the safety of the other side.

“But he can’t. The cyclist absorbs one blow too many. He collapses like a broken toy. [….]


“On an intellectual level, we all understand that historical people were basically just like us. All those stiff figures frozen in blurred photos and smoke-stained oil paintings — the endless parade of side-whiskers, small dogs, billowing dresses, baggy trousers….They lived, as we do, in the throbbing nerve-pocket of the now. They were anxious and unsure, bored and silly. Nothing that would happen in their lifetimes had happened yet. The ocean of time was crashing fresh waves, nonstop, against the rocks of their days. And like us they stood there, gasping in the cold spray, wondering what people of the past were like.

“And yet it’s hard, across such wide gulfs of time, to really feel this connection. So to watch this snowball fight, to see these people so alive, is a precious gift of perspective. We are them. They are us. We, too, will disappear. We will become abstractions to be puzzled over by future people. That certainty, in the flux of 2020, feels anchoring. We are not unique. We move in the historical flow. [….]

“In Lyon, this street from the snowball fight is still there. It still looks basically identical: the trees, the buildings. I am staring at it now on my computer screen, and in my mind I am already planning a trip, imagining a pilgrimage, in some unrecorded future.”

Finally, here is what the original 1896 (or 1897) film “Bataille

de Boules de Neige” (or “Bataille de Neige”)*** by Louis Lumière

looked like:

[See below the cut for footnotes & info  about video clips used for the gifs.]


Reblogging yet again, because this is such a wonderful timeslip moment, and on this occasion also for the commentary.

The Millennium Dome redux

I posted these photos of the infamous Millennium Dome back in June, but since then I’ve found more photographs of the place! Turns out my family visited it twice… I kinda suspect it was because the first visit turned out to be disappointing and my parents thought the second time would be better.

I….can’t remember if it was or not.

Here’s me being part of the “net generation.”

This pic here, where I look incredibly sulky and pissed off, gives a good idea of the scale of the Dome. (Absolutely no reblogging this photo please.)

Now I’m curious as to what that wall of screens was.

Turns out it was the Self-Portrait Zone:

And I actually remember those sculptures! My 12-year-old self found them VERY unsettling (especially The Couch Potato, which was a guy melting into his sofa) but sadly I guess we didn’t take any pics of them.

This globe and spaceship marked the entrance to Home Planet, a sort of educational dark ride.

Y’know what? The Dome sold Dome-branded merchandise! And while going through old boxes I found what I myself purchased from the gift shop!

That’s it! Just a notebook with a holographic sticker on it! I wonder how much it cost to produce.

This brochure I found is quite interesting. It says “For one year only” so… Was that always the plan, to only have it open for one year? Or had things deteriorated so quickly by October they’d already decided to close it? Either way, how incredibly wasteful.

I DO remember the Blackadder film! I think it was the first Blackadder I ever saw.

CUl8tr, Dome! Though before I sign off – I ran across this photo from the same era in my boxes and boxes of photos. It’s a little LEGO dome at Legoland in 2001!

…The real thing would’ve closed by then.



Absolutely living for the fact that in ancient Greece, it was said that when Apollo was drunk he created people with the “wrong” genitalia,, which, first of all, means that 1. trans people are not a new thing, we’ve always been here and we’ve always found ways to justify and explain our existence, and 2. the way that we chose to explain ourselves at one point was, “Yeah, the sun was wasted as hell when he made me, but it’s cool.” and that is fucking awesome

christians: god makes no mistakes

ancient greeks: actually sometimes god os just really fucking wasted


man, there’s something about material culture that really just…gets to me sometimes, y’know? especially the small stuff. not that i don’t think the statues and buildings and whatnot aren’t great, but something about the everyday objects fills me with a fondness i can’t describe. like i’ll look at a bracelet and think, this might’ve been someone’s favorite piece of jewelry. maybe this little animal figurine was a child’s beloved toy. someone devoted this votive statuette to a god in thanks for curing their spouse’s illness.

they’re objects that, in the eyes of the people that made them, might not have been all that special. but they’re also some of the most human objects, and that makes them all the more valuable.

The Descendants of Dido Elizabeth Belle — All Things Georgian

A question that is frequently asked is, ‘are any of Dido Elizabeth Belle’s descendants still alive?’ The answer in short is no. Today, I thought it worth providing a somewhat lengthy, but nevertheless potted genealogy, to explain how her family line died out. Be prepared, it’s not always an easy read in parts. At the […]

The Descendants of Dido Elizabeth Belle — All Things Georgian

Belle is one of my favourite movies, and here’s a fascinating post what happened after the credits rolled (so to speak.)