conservative orthodoxy past and present, metaphors can activate sensory experience, flooded water colors wallpapersnory

I have not forgotten it is Black History Moth. As Provisional President of the Confederate States of America Jefferson Davis made his Inaugural Address February 18, 1861.

 The right solemnly proclaimed at the birth of the States, and which has been affirmed and reaffirmed in the bills of rights of States subsequently admitted into the Union of 1789, undeniably recognize in the people the power to resume the authority delegated for the purposes of government. Thus the sovereign States here represented proceeded to form this Confederacy, and it is by abuse of language that their act has been denominated a revolution.

Conservatism, whose remaining base is largely southern white males – though northern establishment elites like Bill Kristal and George W. Bush are always happy to echo – still makes these kind of arguments in their strange interpretation of state’s rights. Davis claimed that those gov’mint people way up there had no right to tell sates they could not have slaves. Some how mere geography insulates one from basic morality.

An agricultural people, whose chief interest is the export of a commodity required in every manufacturing country, our true policy is peace, and the freest trade which our necessities will permit. It is alike our interest, and that of all those to whom we would sell and from whom we would buy, that there should be the fewest practicable restrictions upon the interchange of commodities.

The appeal against regulations that might hinder profits. Sounds a little familiar. They just want peace. Slavery is the daily assault on human beings and their basic right to coexist with others in peace. Slavery is the day to day battery of people to toil without compensation or respect. Today’s conservatives simply want to be free to pay wages that are not a living wage because of course as libertarians frequently argue employees and employers always engage in mutually beneficially contracts without duress. Anyone who has ever had a boss knows that employment comes with explicit and implicit strings attached. Most U.S, workers work under at will circumstances, they do as told, they don not make trouble – like whistle blowing, or no matter what promises they have made in terms of property contracts, they will be let go. It is a very one sided balance of power. Better than slavery yet the institutional relationship is still top down, power at the top, relatively powerless at the bottom. Wait for it, some sanctimonious hypocrisy about equality:

It is joyous, in the midst of perilous times, to look around upon a people united in heart, where one purpose of high resolve animates and actuates the whole-where the sacrifices to be made are not weighed in the balance against honor and right and liberty and equality. Obstacles may retard, they cannot long prevent the progress of a movement sanctified by its justice, and sustained by a virtuous people. Reverently let us invoke the God of our fathers to guide and protect us in our efforts to perpetuate the principles which, by his blessing, they were able to vindicate, establish and transmit to their posterity, and with a continuance of His favor, ever gratefully acknowledged, we may hopefully look forward to success, to peace, and to prosperity.

Context is everything. By equality he meant equality for white males. By justice he meant the right to enslave others. By liberty he meant the liberty of the select. Justice is defined by pleases a few, not what is fair to those who suffer. All blessed by God of course. Davis believed in, was one of the forefathers of what we now call “family values”, as conservatives define them. The phrase has no more meaning coming from conservatives or libertarians than used car salesman telling you you don’t need a warranty with this fine low mileage 1972 Ford Pinto.

First Black Man Admitted to Practice Law in the Supreme Court

Around 1935, historian Dorothy Sterling was sitting on a beach reading The Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass, when a stranger peered over her shoulder and asked, “How could he have written enough to fill a whole book?” When she told the man that this only one of four volumes of Douglass’ writings, the man shook his head in disbelief and walked on toward the water.

Sterling never forgot the exchange and the myth underlying it: that blacks had no history and if they did they never documented it. Years later, the exchange and myth impelled her search for writings by other African-Americans, culminating in the production of the book Speak Out in Thunder Tones: Letters and Other Writings by Black Northerners, 1787-1865.

John S. Rock

John S. Rock (1825-66) “Born in New Jersey, Rock was successively a teacher, dentist, doctor and lawyer. In Massachusetts, where he lived after 1853, he became a justice of the peace for the city of Boston and a popular speaker at anti-slavery meetings. In 1865, he was admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the first black lawyer to be so honored.” — Speak out in Thunder Tones, Letters and Other Writings by Black Northerners 1787-1865

Some other historical figures of note at the same link are Ira Aldridge (1807-1867) the great Shakespearean actor, William Whipper(1805-1885) entrepreneur and Mary Ann Shadd Cary an abolitionist who became the first black woman editor of the Provincial Freeman.

Playwright and poet Bertolt Brecht‘s birthday was February 10th. He once observed,  ‘It is easier to rob by setting up a bank than by holding up a bank clerk.’

flood water color wallpaper, art composite


flooded water color wallpaper


Nervous Structure (field) (2012)

A structure composed of 144 vertical lines made of elastic is illuminated by a video projector. A viewer’s motion is transformed into forces that affect the projection.
Made in collaboration by Annica Cuppetelli and Cristobal Mendoza

Music: “Guitar Plume” – Portable Sunsets

Interactive art can come off as gimmicky. This one works for me. There is an element of physiological illusion. As different people move in different ways it slightly changes how you perceive the sounds, even though they do not change.

Your brain can conjure up impressions based on input, Hearing metaphors activates brain regions involved in sensory experience

New brain imaging research reveals that a region of the brain important for sensing texture through touch, the parietal operculum, is also activated when someone listens to a sentence with a textural metaphor. The same region is not activated when a similar sentence expressing the meaning of the metaphor is heard.

The results were published online this week in the journal Brain & Language.

“We see that metaphors are engaging the areas of the cerebral cortex involved in sensory responses even though the metaphors are quite familiar,” says senior author Krish Sathian, MD, PhD, professor of neurology, rehabilitation medicine and psychology at Emory University. “This result illustrates how we draw upon sensory experiences to achieve understanding of metaphorical language.”

On hearing a metaphor invoking textures your brain seems to search for some experience of texture that it can relate to that metaphor.

“We see that metaphors are engaging the areas of the cerebral cortex involved in sensory responses even though the metaphors are quite familiar,” says senior author Krish Sathian, MD, PhD, professor of neurology, rehabilitation medicine and psychology at Emory University. “This result illustrates how we draw upon sensory experiences to achieve understanding of metaphorical language.”

This poem by e e. cummings might make a good example to see what your brain pictures,

Buffalo Bill’s


who used to

ride a watersmooth-silver


and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat


he was a handsome man

and what i want to know is

how do you like your blueeyed boy

Mister Death

Dawes » Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Takes a minute for the music to start. Worth the wait.