Brief Assortment of Interesting Stuff — 18th of January 2019

This week's biweekly round-up: an interview back in December with Angela Davis, the latest Sandy&Nora podcast episode, ancient Roman history, and more.

Brief Assortment of Interesting Stuff — 18th of January 2019

Every two Fridays, I publish a brief round-up of some of the interesting articles/blogs/YouTube videos/books/music/games that have come across my metaphorical and actual desk. So, here we go.

So without further ado, let’s jump off this assortment from the 4th to the 18th of January 2019.

Interview: "Angela Davis on Running from the FBI, Lessons from Prison and How Aretha Franklin Got Her Free" (Listen in English on Democracy!Now)

This is a three-part (first part linked above) interview of Angela Davis by Amy Goodman on various parts of her life and civil rights activism. Seeing as Angela Davis was in the news again (...sigh), I figured I'd go and finally make time to listen to this interview, which is excellent. I'm a more-or-less regular listener to Democracy!Now, as I often have it playing in the background while doing chores, but I didn't have a ton of time for listening to stuff in late December when family came to town, so it was good to get back to some of the really good stuff I missed out on. The second part of the interview is called Part 2: We Owe It to People Who Came Before Us to Fight to Abolish Prisons and Part 3: From 1968 to 2018: Angela Davis on Freedom Struggles Then and Now, and the Movements of the Future.

Podcast: Sandy & Nora episode 44 — "we get angry" (Listen in English on their website)

In their last episode of 2018, the co-hosts of the Sandy&Nore podcast end the year with a deep discussion on anger and its political necessity. In general, I find this podcast very informative and incisive — if you find you're lacking good lefty podcasts in your life, I really recommend giving your attention to the thoughts of these two lefty organizers on the political left in Canada, and much more. Sandy Hudson is an activist and writer that works, among other things, with the Black Lives Matter movement in Toronto, and Nora Lore is an activist and journalist based in Québec City immersed in labour organizing.

Article: "The Postscript: Darryl Leroux speaks to Zoe Todd about researching race-shifting" (Read in English in Maisonneuve Magazine)

... at some point I decided that what I wanted to do in my life is really try to understand the role that my people, my ancestors, played in colonialism. My first academic research was on the ways racism and colonialism get expressed in French Canada—not just in Quebec, but more broadly, what I call French descendants. I noticed—one case I was studying was the commemoration of Quebec's four-hundredth anniversary—that this story was being told where the Québecois became Indigenous. It was a serious misrepresentation, in theatre, even in some museum exhibits. — Darryl Leroux

I've been saying this on Twitter for a bit, but I think us French Canadians need to start having serious conversations about the prevalence of race-shifting in our communities. To summarize: the Québec where most Québec settlers are the descendants of Indigenous and French Canadian people is a complete myth. Of course, people of mixed ethnicities exist — but the Métis in Canada are a people established in the Prairies out west. In Québec and in the Maritimes, it is an ahistorical error to say that there are distinct "métis" peoples that have evolved like the Red River Métis. Where does this myth come from, that Québec is the result of coureurs de bois and Indigenous women? We can actually trace it back to a misinterpreted Samuel de Champlain quote to the Huron peoples in 1631 about how "we'll marry our young men to your young daughters, and then our two people will become one." (The Huron must have found this weird statement strange. It never came to be, in any case.)

So I encourage you to read this interview between Darryl Leroux and Zoe Todd on this subject, and I also encourage you to read the excellent "Self-made métis" from last November, which contains a deep dive into this complex subject.

In 2013, the composer of the soundtrack of the acclaimed videogame Skyrim launched a Kickstarter to release his own symphony on the north and the night sky. (I am not one of the backers of this project.) 5 years later, I do believe the symphony is still in progress, but Jeremy Soule offers us, in the meantime, this album made in inspiration for his eventual symphony. I found these Diaries otherworldly and transporting and a really good backdrop against these grey January days. (My only real criticism: I wish the music were a little more acoustic !)

Book: Histoire de la Rome antique, Les armes et les mots de Lucien Jerphagnon (2002)

A book I've had in my possession since Secondary 1 — it was a gift; clearly, someone really overestimated my reading comprehension at that age  😳— and that I re-encountered last week when I was doing a big clean of my bookshelves. (Kondo Marie, I salute you!) I chose the book to help me fight insomnia because I thought it would put me to sleep... but then I accidentally stayed up all night to read it. Ooops. Jerphagnon, a philosopher and not a historian by trade, offers us this work that takes the long view on twelve centuries of Roman military and philosophical/cultural history. Ancient Rome is one of the foundational cornerstones of Western Society, and is contextualised here in an insightful and humorous manner.  

Poetry Recording: Mary Oliver reads "Wild Geese", recorded by the Lannan Foundation in 2001 (Soundcloud)

Rest in peace, Mary Oliver. Thank you for everything.

Don’t hesitate to leave a comment or reach me on twitter @gersandelf if you wanna geek out about cool stuff. Thanks for reading!

The comments section is open below. You can also throw a coin to your blogger, check out the guestbook before leaving, and come find me on the fediverse.