THE 1619 CONNECTION: A visit from Carlotta Valdes!

MONDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2020

"More alike than different:" Crowds were chanting, "Lock them up!" A strong man sometimes joined in.

Also this:

A newspaper published a shocking report as the White House campaign neared its end. But then too, how odd:

According to a later report in a different major newspaper, the principle author of the report "refused to put his name on it"—"did not allow his byline to be used because he had concerns over the article’s credibility."

The principle author of the report didn't believe his own news report, though only if this second report is accurate!

Crowds were chanting, "Lock them up?" In this way, our species' history was coming around again. 

Or so we were told by a famous time-traveler who visited us last night. We refer to Carlotta Valdes (1831-1857), who's best known from her seminal role in the Hitchcock film, Vertigo. 

Vertigo was poorly reviewed, and only modestly popular, at the time of its release in 1958. For these reasons, a gang of French cineastes decided it was "the greatest film in history" and eventually got everyone else to say the exact same thing. 

Last night, as crowds were chanting a very old cry, Carlotta Valdes spoke. She engineered one of the puzzling nocturnal submissions the haters refer to as dreams. 

She spoke to us about those cries—but also about the New York Times' award-winning effort, The 1619 Project.

Valdes plays a key role in Vertigo. We'd always assumed that she was fictional. After a bit of a search this morning, we're no longer sure.

In the film, Carlotta seems to travel through time. She keeps seizing the soul of the Kim Novak character, who also turns out to be fictional.

Whenever Novak is seized by Valdes, she sees back through the whole of human experience. And so it seemed to be last night, when the real Valdes appeared to us and discussed these recent events.

The chanting of the crowds was easy.  If only periodically, that's who we've always been, this ancient personage said. 

Carlotta's remarks about the Times were much more surprising:

She said she saw a certain set of connection between the group at the New York Times and the crowds at those Trump events. "More alike than different," she somewhat dreamily said.

For the record, The 1619 Project was launched by the Times in August 2019. Beneath a photo of the Atlantic, this basic framework appeared:

The 1619 Project 
In August of 1619, a ship appeared on this horizon, near Point Comfort, a coastal port in the English colony of Virginia. It carried more than 20 enslaved Africans, who were sold to the colonists. No aspect of the country that would be formed here has been untouched by the years of slavery that followed. On the 400th anniversary of this fateful moment, it is finally time to tell our story truthfully.

One part of that passage is plainly (almost) true. Few aspects of our nation's history and culture  are unconnected to the brutal racial history which got its start near Port Comfort that day. 

That said, "It is finally time to tell our story truthfully?" Several questions come to mind:

Is it possible that the deeply flawed folk at the New York Times were possibly getting out over their skis in their pursuit of this somewhat unusual "project?" 

Also, a thought which came to us:

Are we really sure we want these people rushing ahead, full of belief, to create a public schools curriculum for 7- and 8-year-old children?

The project has been in the news of late. At the Washington Post, Sarah Ellison offered a fascinating overview of the situation as the project's creators have scrambled to correct or clarify, or perhaps to cover up, some of its alleged flaws. 

Text of the project has been changed or dropped, without notice. In the face of embarrassing contradictions, a trove of tweets by one of its creators has been disappeared. 

Its creators insist that no one said some of the things they themselves rather plainly did. In short, this project, whatever its ultimate merits, has displayed some of the journalistic traits we've written about at this site for the past twenty-plus years.

In Vertigo, the Novak character gloomily relives the past when Carlotta takes control of her soul. She's seized by a sense of the suffering which has gone before.

At present, those chanting crowds are dangerous in a way the project is not. But since we discuss the press at this site, we're going to offer some ruminations about The 1619 Project during the course of the week.

Large crowds want to lock the others up. Meanwhile, the Times has been changing text, and killing tweets, in pursuit of a very good cause.

"It's all the same," she wearily said. "It's more alike than different."

Tomorrow: High speed, true belief, self-assurance


23 comments:

  1. "A strong man sometimes joined in."

    If this refers to Trump, he is not a strong man. Far from it.

    Why does Somerby collude with Trump's delusions?

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  2. "principle author"

    should be principal author, unless you think it showed principle to keep his name off the report -- but then it would be "principled author".

    This is why journalists get the big bucks -- they know the difference between principal and principle.

    ReplyDelete
  3. In our humble opinion, 'lock them up' is a perfectly reasonable thing to demand, dear Bob.

    So, you're not planning to address the corrupt zombie establishment (of which your zombie media are a major component) censoring and suppressing the news about your Rapist Mafioso candidate?

    Here's Matt Taibbi's media criticism, for your reading pleasure, dear Bob.

    Tsk. If you, dear Bob, continue ignoring the elephant in the room, telling us stories about chanting crowds instead, then we will have to re-classify you, dear Bob, from Anomalous Thinking Liberal, to Another Scumbag Dembot Pretending To Be Reasonable. Sad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In Taibbi's defense, he is too stupid to know he was being compromised by Putin until it was too late.

      Delete
    2. Taibbi is an opportunist hack; after failing to impress progressives he is now read only by misguided Republicans. Taibbi does not care, as long as he makes money, and Republicans are easier to con.

      Delete
    3. Thanks for reading and taking time from your busy dembot schedule to respond, dear dembots.

      Perhaps you will like this one better:
      Fear and loathing in the Biden Crime Family .

      It's certainly funnier.

      Delete
    4. Mao,
      Didn't have a chance to get to that link. I was laughing too hard about the idea that there is a Right-winger somewhere who hates corruption. LOL.
      The only thing sillier is thinking there is someone outside the corporate-owned Right-wing media (AKA the media) who will fall for it.

      As the old saying goes, "If there wasn't someone as stupid as Chuck Todd, the corporate media would pay someone to pretend there were."

      Delete
  4. Somerby once again shows his confusion over the nature of news reporting.

    "The principle author of the report didn't believe his own news report, though only if this second report is accurate!"

    It isn't that he didn't believe his own report. It is that he didn't believe the story being told by Guiliani et al. He didn't believe that what he was covering, their accusations, were true. It is his job to cover what a prominent person says, even if you (as a journalist) don't agree with it or consider it untrue. That's why Trump's garbage continues to be reported.

    The reporter wanted to keep his job. Is that so awful? Jobs in real journalism are hard to come by.

    ReplyDelete
  5. "She engineered one of the puzzling nocturnal submissions the haters refer to as dreams."

    Noctural emissions are referred to as wet dreams. Here, Somerby makes a crude reference to fictional woman, Carlotta Valdes, who he uses as a beard to make disparaging remarks of various sorts -- since he will never own his opinions. As if some movie character could lend validity to his crackpot ideas.

    Kim Novak is a real person. She doesn't deserve to be treated as fictional. But Somerby doesn't like women much. Today his ambivalence is showing. I suppose he thinks no one will notice as he throws mud on women in service of an attack on the 1619 project -- hinting that its own creators have retracted what they said in text (and not just some tweets that may have expired for all we know).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No matter how good an actress a woman is, any man can reduce her to a porn star using an act of imagination.

      Somerby is entitled to his fantasies. He crosses the line when he tells everyone about it. But the intent of such revelations is always to diminish the woman. Somerby could never be with someone like Kim Novak, but he can reduce her to his piggish level simply by telling everyone his dream.

      I blame Somerby's mother (as he no doubt does too), for never teaching him how to behave toward other human beings, including women.

      This is no different than when Trump called Howard Stern to brag that he had banged some movie star who refused to give him the time of day. Somerby does more than admire this strongman who chants "lock her up". He shares fantasies with the man, and I have no pity for either of them.

      Delete
  6. "Is it possible that the deeply flawed folk at the New York Times were possibly getting out over their skis in their pursuit of this somewhat unusual "project?"

    Somerby has no actual criticisms of the 1619 project, no specific examples of wrong facts or quarrels with interpretations. He just wants to undermine the entire enterprise, because it IS a contradiction of the justification of slavery, its glossing over by textbooks, its romanticizing in the South (where Somerby lives).

    Somerby pretends that there is no such field as History, no way to compare the conclusions of the 1619 project with the findings of historians. He implies that no one has studied slavery, that there is no archive of interviews with former slaves in the Library of Congress, no way to know. He wants to call the reassessment of scholarship by minority historians lies, but he won't do the work to find any untruths he might contest. Instead he tries to discredit the entire work, based on his own movie dreams.

    Somerby is an ass. Now that the descendants of slaves are speaking about the history their ancestors were principals in, Somerby thinks it is enough to complain without actually addressing any factual content. His failure to grapple with details of the past is an example of privilege. He thinks mocking today's scholarship is enough to set it aside -- which is an example of white privilege asserting its ability to set aside earnest effort by laughing at it.

    What an unpleasant jerk our Somerby is today.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Somerby hasn’t shown any sign that he has actually read or thought about the 1619 project. Here, he merely passes along a news story that contains various criticisms of the project, some of which come from conservatives like Tom Cotton and Bret Stephens, whose views ought to be examined for bias. Somerby doesn’t weigh the merit of any of the criticisms. He is content to let them automatically cast shade on the project.

    If the objections to the project are purely factual, that is one thing. But the suspicion is that many of the objections are based on the project’s focus on the black experience, and hence are intellectual or ideological disagreements. The usual suspects emerge to condemn a history that isn’t centered on the “acceptable” and traditional reading of American history.

    Once again, Somerby is trying somehow to equate a history project with the fascism of crowds demanding their political opponents be locked up.

    It is ugly.

    ReplyDelete
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