Hi, my name is D and this is my writings on subjects. I'm no rapscallion or anything at all. If you want to you can read my writings on subjects if you have free time. If you want to argue with me or call me names then please comment. Negative feedback is very welcome...I love dat shit. Me? I'm not even a noun, I'm a fucking verb, dude.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

An open letter to Montreal Canadiens fans...

...Chill out and let the team grow. That's not only the fans but the media too. Chill out and let this team grow.

The next 2-3 years are "rebuilding" years. We got to finish at the bottom in order to get higher draft picks, and by 2015 we will be serious serious business. This team has a lot of talented young players and will have a few more with the draft picks of the next two years. You got to chill and let these kids grow, you can't scare them out of town, you can't use them as the scapegoat of the week, or any of that crap.

Look at these guys, you got Pacioretty who's already got 25 goals this year. You got P.K. Subban who will probably be the first black captain of the Canadiens and who has merchandising potential to make the team millions and millions with his popularity. You got Price who is looking really good and will probably get better. You got Lars Eller who is huge and skates like a bat outta hell. These young guys are good. Let them develop, grow, and meld as a functional human unit.

This is what I think the respective parties involved should do:

The Front Office's role:

Don't waste money on tempting free agents. You will need a lot of dough to sign these youngsters longterm when they get real good so do not use up your budget signing washed up guys like Gomezes or Cammaleries.

The Coaches role:

Don't interfere too much if ever. You don't play as big a role as you think you do. Just let these kids get out there and do the do. Your egos can do more damage to a team than good, and in no way can your ego make players play better unless you're super-chill and cool like a Reggie Dunlop type guy.

The Young Playas roles:

Don't over-indulge. Montreal is a fun city, it has lots of dance clubs, strip joints, massage parlors and all kinds of cool shit. You kids cannot ruin your lives by wasting all your energy on Montreal's slut population. Yes the sluts are bangin' and good, but their pussies will not win you a Stanley Cup. Plus, there's plenty of time for them in the off-season.

The Media's role:

Shut the fuck up. You make a new scapegoat every other week, and make mountains out of mole hills in the space between those weeks. Let these kids play hockey.

The Fan's role:

Enjoy this shit. It's just a hockey game, it's not important and not anything to get too crazy over. You don't have to riot, but if you think you do have to riot when they win the cup in 2015 then please keep the damage to a minimum. The city should invest in what I would call "Riot Domes" or "Designated Damage Areas" where enclosed spaces are closed off with ply-wood walls and filled with old beat up cars and plate glass windows where rioters can go and smash junk up without damaging public or private property. The fans could thus punch and kick cars like Guile off of Street Fighter with all the gusto they want, but nothing of value will be lost or damaged.

Animated Gif. Click to animate.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Cute Links

With March 1st around the corner here's some cute links to browse through:

1. https://www.eff.org/

All sorts of good and well researched articles about things you should know/worry-about in this digital age.

2. http://www.michaelgeist.ca/


I think MG is a pretty cool guy, he knows about online shit in Canada and doesn't afraid of anything. If you want to know more about the Canadian privacy bills going down in the "House" this site will save you a lot of time.

3. https://ixquick.com/eng/

I know this blog is on the google, but to be honest their new shtick scares me a bit. I'm going to use blogger but I'm not going to preform any more searches with the google.

Ixquick looks good, I hope it's on the up and up. I haven't swtiched search engines in a very long time. I remember using InfoSeek a lot, then Google, and now it looks like my third search engine in history will be ixquick. It has a off-shoot called StartPage now which is cool too.

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I knew the internet that I grew up with was going to die one day, and I think it's going to die a lot faster than I thought it was. The net is going to change a lot in the next few years, but I'm happy sites like the EFF and Mr. Michael Geist are out there.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Is Facebook Fucked Up?


Facebook gives users webspace to upload pictures of themselves, write crap, and whatever. It's like Geocities or Fortunecity used to be except Facebook has a very odd ulterior motive behind it.

It takes all your data and sells it to advertising firms who use that data to figure out how to sell products to you. It sells everything you put on it, even your personal private messages, and even the stuff you deleted. The ad agencies then crawl through all the data and draw up battle plans. I really hope this is done by a program which searches out popular terms used and compiles them, I hope ad firms aren't paying people to read everyone's status updates and private messages to figure out how they should make their next commercial. A theoretical conversation at an ad agency could be something like this:


"Hey Gordon, did you know that Susie Q. Pollyanna prefers the color blue to the color green? She just stated it in a private message to Gilberta Sanchez while she was at the Slurp N' Save on LaQueen avenue."


"Woah David! That puts the tally of people who prefer blue over green at 1,233,121 and the people who prefer green over blue at 910,236!"


"Wow Gordon! For our next ad, our product should have more blue in the background and the actor should display our product while wearing a blue shirt!"

"Great idea David! You're so cool!"

Oh shit man. I think those conversations really are happening and that's sad. Can you believe those people get paid huge salaries at those fucking agencies. My lands...my motherfuckin' lands, this is a crazy world we are living in.

In the FAQ published by facebook, they have an entry for the question "Does Facebook sell my information?" and they answer it like this:


"No. You have control over how your information is shared. We do not share your personal information with people or services you don't want. We do not give advertisers access to your personal information. We do not and never will sell any of your information to anyone"

The lead-off NO is a very misleading one. I find the "you don't want" part to be odd. By that statment they are telling you that they share your personal information (so the "no" is a ridiculous lie) but only with "people you want." You know when they ask you before you install an app if you will let the app have access to your information and you accept? That's all it takes for that service to become someone/something "you want." Say you signed up to allow New York Post stories on Facebook with their app, well, the New York Post is now someone "you want" to have your information.

Basically, they don't sell it in a legal sense (in a way that you can sue them), what they do is: they state that any info you share is up to you, then they take a lot of money from 3rd party companies and let them put apps on facebook for you to use, the trade-off for using those apps is to share your info with them (they even straight up tell you that when you install them). They are "sharing" your info with the parties you allow them to.

Oh and why are "advertisers" even mentioned in that FAQ answer? It wasn't asked in the question, kind of odd...isn't it?

How do you think Facebook is a billion dollar corporation? By magic? It doesn't cost anything, sell anything, or make a profit in any possible way. How can it be a billion dollar business? Only by selling (sorry I mean "sharing") your info with other businesses and agencies who want to research their target markets.

Personally, I use Facebook, I think it connects a lot of people and I don't think another network will get off the ground any time soon that will have billions of users (that's a lot). I like to communicate with writing because I write better than I talk. I think I grind my teeth too much when I sleep and my jaw is kind of messed up from that, but with writing you don't have to move your jaw...only your fingers and hands. I can just go on the facebook after work and take a few minutes to socialize, comment on shit and not use my jaw.

I know they got algorithmic robot compilers scanning my stuff and throwing my tastes into some huge Taste-O-Base Database but I don't care. You want to know why? Because I am immune to advertising!

Back when I was an ugly teenager, I was into that buddhism shit. Especially the mantra chanting. A mantra chant is when you repeat the same sentence over and over in your skull ad nauseum until it's engraved and tattooed into your memory. I started with "Namyo Ho Renge Kyo" like Willie Davis and the guy who looks like Lu Da from Suikoden II used to say, and it means that all things that happen have an equal and opposite reaction. Then one day I made a fire in a fireplace and I was listening to a CD called "Repeater" by this band called Fugazi. A song called "Blueprint" came on and I listened to it while I gazed fixated at the flames in the fireplace. The fire made my eyes hot and I put my face really close to the fire and absorbed all the colors and heat with my eyes, and then the chorus of the song went like...

Never mind what they're sellin'
It's what you're buyin'
(...and receivin' undefiled)

Never mind what they're sellin'
It's what you're buyin'
(...and receivin' undefiled) 

Never mind what they're sellin'
It's what you're buyin'
(...and receivin' undefiled)

That was a mantra, man. A mantra you listen to while you look at stuff burn, a mantra you say while wood burns away. That mantra is engraved in my skull just as the fire is engraved in my eyes.

That shit is true too! I don't care what anyone tries to sell me! I only worry about what I am buying. It's my action of buying something that's important...not the trickery, gimmicks, and tactics of the people trying to sell me shit! I don't care what tactics the ad agencies devise to try and get me to buy things because I am in control of what I buy, and that's that.

Everything is streamlined now too I think. Like if you buy something on Amazon, that purchase will go in some big ad agency database and next thing you know I'm seeing ads on my facebook or on google adsense for "similar purchases" to the thing I bought on Amazon. I don't care if Gordon and David know that I recently purchased The Dolemite Total Experience off of Amazon. I bought that because I wanted to, Dolemite movies are one of my many bibles and I wanted to have a hard copy of it. You're not going to get me to buy other DVDs you consider similar to that by throwing them in ads on the right hand side of every website I visit.

Anyways, I use the facebook because I don't think the downside outweighs the upside, but I am aware that it's a data farming tool for ad agencies. Your opinion might be different than mine, if you don't want Gordon and David or whoever reading your statuses, looking at your photos, and snooping through your private messages to figure out what ads to throw at you while you browse the internet then you should use another social media service (or if you're really smart and a real go getter...just invent and program a new better one).

Honestly, I think it's kind of sad, I really do. Ad agencies are shelling out billions of dollars to study you, and figure out the best way to trick you into buying some garbage. Me? I don't care if you know I like Dolemite and wear jeans in my photos...you're not gonna get me to buy NOTHING. I don't care what YOU ARE SELLIN'...because it is what I AM BUYIN'....and I buy my Dolemite movies UNDEFILED...you no business, rat-soup eating, dilapidated, born insecure, AD AGENCY MOTHA FUCKAHS!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Old Crap from School

I plugged in an old hard drive I found in my closet, it had some cool stuff like X-Com: UFO Defense (which is a fun game) and a few old essays I wrote when I was in school. They're not good or nuthin' but, I'll copy and paste them onto the net, it only takes a minute or so to CTRL-C and CTRL-V anyway. Who knows maybe someone will read them.

Some are long ones, some short, and some just abstracts. Most are edited down to "de-bullshit" it (I met the imposed word quota usually by just reiterating or beating around the bush). Maybe some kid in some school somewhere will get use out of these stupid things, I dunno. Maybe some kid 200 years from now will read them even, who knows and who cares.

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Essay 1: On Henri Bourrassa and World War I Conscription


            In the years prior to and during World War I, Canada saw itself in the predicament of whether they should actively take part in the war and if so how many of its human resources should be allocated. Farmers, unions, and other groups across Canada were all opposed to conscripting soldiers but the front runners of opposition lay in Quebec. The press was filled with opinion pieces to either promote support for the war or vice-versa and a great debate ensued.
            When analyzing opinion oriented texts it’s interesting to see the means in which politicians manipulate language and writing to argue their point and galvanize support. In this essay we will focus on texts written by one such politician, Mr. Henri Bourassa, and the methods he used to manipulate language: by (A) the use of loaded/over-articulate wording, (B) the cynical and arbitrary creation of groups in which to classify various people, and (C) the flagrant use of personal attacks to discredit opposition opinion. Take note that it will not be discussed whether the opinions presented by Mr. Bourassa are right/wrong or fundamentally valid.
            Firstly, it must be said that Henri Bourassa was vehemently opposed to Canada’s entry into the war and later conscription. His charisma and respect was well noted and it was said that “[he] and [he] alone” represented “the leaders of Canadian thought”[1]. He fronted “Le Devoir,” a paper known for its controversial political views, and his writings were highly read in Quebec at the time.
The first thing that strikes the reader of Bourassa’s texts are his almost poetic style of writing and use of over articulate writing. The ability to write (or speak well) is a must for any political or social figure and is without a doubt a doubled-edged sword. Great men such as civil rights activist Martin Luther King as well as horrible men such as Adolf Hitler have been remembered for there charismatic ability to garner support and respect for their opinions. This isn’t to compare Bourassa to either of those men (he’s probably more on the M.L. King side of the spectrum if we had to) but just to point at that people can be swayed quite easily by words and many will support politicians with either good or bad political agendas. Examples of Bourassa’s language use are plentiful, my favorites are his over-abundant use of adjectives and the fact that no word can, in most cases, be left without one (or some cases two, or even three). The adjective “fruitful” and its antonym “fruitless” are used throughout his essay on conscription in Le Devoir as well as his retort letter to Capt. Talbot Papineau: Instances being the “concerted, fruitful, lively, and disciplined action” in which to oppose the “sterile clamor” of your opponents, the “true and fruitful conciliation” which “cannot be effected by falsehood and equivocations,” or the “fruitless apostasy” of “hated jingos”. In the first case “fruitful” was one of the four adjectives needed to qualify “action” which could have, of course, been qualified with zero or one adjective. Albeit the humor in which I point this out, it must be said that the notion of basing arguments on poetic language as opposed to basing them on actual evidence is in some cases very dangerous.
            Bourassa’s fruitful works are ripe with bad apples that were no doubt dangerous to his reader’s beliefs of the time. Similar to many politicians, Bourassa engages in creating certain groups to classify differing peoples, these constructs are often referred to throughout his essays.
Since the beginning of the war, the inevitable divergence of views which divides  in respects the two principal ethnical groups in Canada – French-Canadians and English-speaking Canadians – has been increased and accentuated.

This quote of course leads off his views on the “Race Problem in Canada” (language is a race?). It takes one paragraph, almost an aside, to set up the “teams” so to speak in this conscription issue. The teams are very general consisting of “French Canadians” and “English-Speaking Canadians”. It is implied that all French citizens had the exact same view on this situation and all English speaking people have the same view on the situation with no individual or class specifications or omissions. What is most important however is which groups are left out, notably the Aboriginal peoples of Canada. Bourassa goes on to denounce the “demogogues”[2] (his pet word) and their “[s]uperficial” and “gullible” minds (two adjectives obviously needed) for the “chasm” between French and English people. It is implied that he’s not part of these “evil” men of course. His opinions, which fit perfectly into the mold he’s set up to identify a “demagogue”, are somehow above it.
Bourassa conveniently provides a list of a sort of hierarchy between these group constructs and their inherent Canadian-hood as such. First on the list are “French Canadians” who are “exclusively Canadians” and the “the defenders of public and constitutional order, the guardians of national traditions and of legitimate popular liberties,” as well as the most “orderly by instinct and education” people in the “whole world”. A notch lower are English speaking Canadians of which some are “more British than Canadian, others more Canadian than British” but still considered “Canadian”. The next group consists of recent British immigrants who are not only the ones who apparently support the war effort most but who also “[transform] the physical, intellectual, and moral characteristics of the English-Canadian population” due to the “Imperialistic propaganda” indoctrination they became accustomed to in Britain. The final mentioned group and which occupies the bottom rung are the “unnaturalized aliens,”  which consists of “hundred of thousands…imported from Europe at five dollars a piece,” these people are the least Canadian according to Bourassa. If you haven’t took notice, Native populations are again left out altogether. These classifications are cynical at best, and none are presented with any evidence to back them up. The inherent danger lies with the fact that the readers of this have to choose a side to be on, and that there is a “good” team or a “right” team, and cohesively, a “bad” team or a “wrong” team. The groups are solely based on language and other racial qualities. Class qualities are mentioned but once, passively, in his work (“students, labourers[,] and clerks, either unemployed or threatened with dismissal [have] supplied more soldiers than the farmers”) and have nothing to do with forming his constructs and are a serious omission.
The final method in which Bourassa uses to argue his points is the most common and noted method used by people with political agendas. The use of badmouthing the opposition in order to vilify them to your readership. Bourassa never refers to any given person to whom he directs his comments in most cases. He speaks of jingoists, scoundrels, agents who are attempting to undermine the people, imperialists, and my favorite, “mad fanatics,” all of whom are out to do no good. The name calling isn’t the most interesting or important tactic he uses either but rather his excessive use of sarcasm to poke fun at his opponents. He refers to Papineau, in his retort letter to him, as “your partner” (showing that he doesn’t recognize that Papineau wrote it), and “dear cousin” (mimicking Papineau’s writing). Treating his opponents as people with less knowledge than himself may be humorous at times but is not a substitute for evidence.
In conclusion, whether you’re a scoundrelous spoliator, treasonous traitor, naive knave, demagogue, hypocrite, noodle-head, or ne’er-do-well, you’re still going to have something to say. Henri Bourassa is no different, he’s a man with opinions coupled with a knack for writing. His writing in these documents touch a lot of people and may very well be one hundred percent correct, but his lack of any real research separate his work from being a historical document to being a run-in-the-mill opinion piece. The historical value of this document lies in the language used which sheds light as to what was politically correct and acceptable press at that time. Despite some discrepancies, it is very similar to today’s press where basing writing on fact seems less important than sensationalism and acquiring readership (or sponsors more particularly).

“An Open Letter from Capt. Talbot Papineau to Mr. Henri Bourassa” and “Mr.  Bourassa’s Reply to Capt. Talbot Papoineau’s Letter” in Douglas Francis & Donald Smith (eds) Reading in Canadian History: Post Confederation (Toronto: Harcourt Brace Canada, 1998): 260-271.

Bourassa, Henri, Conscription (Montreal: Le Devoir, 1917): 4-11, 21-29.


[1] An Open Letter from Capt. Talbot Papineau to Mr. Henri Bourassa. The author of this work is highly contested and is not know whether Papineau did in fact write it, ghost write it, or had any doing in it at all. Some even believe Bourassa, himself, in fact wrote it in order to have an argument with himself.

[2] Bourassa refers to “demogogues” as “he who, to enhance his personal popularity and his party’s interests, flatters the passions of the people.”

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Essay 2: On Laura Secord (summation/interpretation of essay by Cecilia Morgan)

“’Of Slender Fame and Delicate Appearance’”: The Placing of Laura Secord in the Narratives of Canadian Loyalist History” by Cecilia Morgan

            In the mid-nineteenth century the policy makers of Canada wished the country to become “unified” and thusly more powerful. In order to form a unity of people who had little in common geopolitically another form of binding solidarity was created, the notion of being “Canadian”.
            National narratives (a form of heavily romanticized historical fiction) proved as a excellent means of creating a sense of pride for one’s country. The narratives also legitimized the concept of specific roles for particular races and genders. The inclusion in the narratives of the walk Laura Secord set upon (to warn the head of the militia of an impending American attack against the British Colony) was not only included to create another national hero but to define what ought to be women’s role in the nation. The authors of the Secord narrative/myth made sure to portray her as a strong-willed and nordic-climate adjusted Canadian yet who was still a delicate and helpless Victorian style woman. The story makes it clear that her ancestors came of white British decent (whether true or not) and that British heritage is something to be proud of.
            Despite the story’s imperialist agenda it did differ from the norm of national narratives by focusing on the suffering and heroism of a female protagonist, as opposed to a male, which was rare for the era.

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Essay 3: On the "White Paper" (summary/interpretation of essay by Sally M. Weaver)

“’Developments after the White Paper’, in Making Canadian Indian Policy: The Hidden Agenda 1968-70” by Sally M. Weaver

            In the late sixties and early seventies a great debate ensued as to what the status and rights are of aboriginal peoples. Jean Chretien’s “White Paper” was a lightning rod during this era and drew heavy criticism. Natives who withstood seizure of their lands (James Bay area and McKenzie valley) and other illegal and extortive moves by the policy makers in Ottawa saw the white paper as their breaking point (much like the violence at Wounded Knee was the breaking point for American Natives). What was to follow was a great increase in Native organization and involvement in the political sphere. Groups such as the NIB, and the Alberta Indian Association began advocating and representing Native rights and opinions on a provincial and federal level. They also advocated rights for women (in relation to the “status plus” situation where only men kept their “extended” rights after marrying a non-native) and made efforts to drum up public support.
            The government’s experimental White Paper strategy also greatly soured relations between Native groups and the government. Native groups felt deep distrust for them and this made future negotiations of any kind very difficult.

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Essay 4: On the Difficulty of Seeing a Secular India

Why was it difficult to create a secularized and democratic Indian state after independence? In this essay we shall examine three main reasons, (A) The adherence to religion beliefs by both Hindus and Muslims, (B) The notion of one strong ruler held by many, and (C) the lingering effects of the caste system even after it was enforced less aggressively.
            (A) After the British left India, relations between the Hindus and Muslims were likely at an all time low. As British administrators sanctioned off lands to both parties quite quickly and many would say unintelligently, the situation was only worsened. As hostilities grew and relations worsened, many people wanted rather to support a politician who was highly religious and blamed India’s woes on the other respective religion’s leaders, beliefs, or people. Politicians calling for secularization would have great difficulty advancing their agendas in a society where religion was a focal point and religious strife between the Hindus and Muslims at a boiling point.
            (B) Historically and in the religious writings of India, an emphasis is put on strong rulers. The Muslims had the great reign of the Mughals lead by very strong leaders with centralized power. The reign of the Mughals was India at its peak and it surely was not a democracy. The Hindu religion also speaks of great leaders of the Brahmin and Noble class (not the lower classes) in their religious writings. It may be said that many would have preferred a central powerful dictator-style ruler lead the country after the end of colonization.
            (C) Though the caste system was abolished in the 1960’s, its legacy lives on both figuratively and literally. It is not uncommon even today for someone to ask what caste you belong or belonged to even though it is supposedly no longer important. Many poorer members of the population are in many ways subject to a vertical hierarchy or still owe past debts their ancestors incurred. These people had great difficulty obtaining an education, especially women, and thusly great difficulty in being part of the political process. Meanwhile on the other side of the spectrum many at this time considered themselves better than those of lower castes would not help impoverished people. It is not possible to abolish a rigid social order over-night, and getting India out of the caste system and the inherent mindset of castes altogether would prove to be challenging.
            To conclude, the people’s devout beliefs made it very difficult to advance agendas of secularization, while the rigid social vertical order of the caste system made it difficult to advance ideas of democracy. People’s who’s lives revolve around their religious beliefs will not just abandon them and those who abide to social orders will not just accept that everyone is equal.

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"Essay" 5: An Easter-Egg in a long Bibliography

In long bibliographies the names of old Montreal Expos outfielders or utility infielders always managed to sneak their way in. This was not just to entertain myself but also to check if any instructor was actually looking at the sources used in the essays. You'd expect at least one to have said, "You know guy, I couldn't seem to find the book by Rowland Office that you cite in the seventh page," but no one ever gave me feedback or asked me about the easter-egg sources.

If you look through the names in this long-ass one, you'll see that Jerry White is a cited source. He did not in fact write "Monastic Jewish in Greco-Roman Egypt: Philo Judaeus on the Therapeutrides."

Scheidel, W. “The Most Silent Women of Greece and Rome: Rural Labour and Women’s
      Life in the Ancient World.” Greece & Rom, Vol. 43-1, p1-10 (Apr. 1996). [C]

The “from below” view of the period and will be looked to often.

Edited by McClure, L.K. Sexuality and Gender in the Classical World: Readings and
     Sources (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2002). [C]

(Call #: HQ 1127 s49)

Bremen, R.V. The Limits of Participation: Women and Civic Life in the Greek East in
      the Hellenistic and Roman Periods (Amsterdam, J.C. Gieben, 1996). [VR]

In depth on the Hellenistic period and women’s limits to participate politically.
(Call #: HQ 1134 B74)

Schaps, D.M. Economic Rights of Women in Ancient Greece (Edinburgh: University
      Press, 1979). [VR]

(Call #: HQ 1134 S4X)

Burton, J. “Women’s Commensality in the Ancient Greek World.” Greece & Rome, Vol.
      41-2, p143-165 (Oct. 1998). [VR]

About women’s “drinking” and “dining” in the Ancient world and whether or not they were present in the public as men were.

King, H. Hippocrates Women: Reading of Female Body in Ancient Greece (London:
      Routledge, 1998). [VR]

Prevailing medical thought of the time, now somewhat predisposed.
(Call #: RG 59 K56)

Pomeroy, S.B. Women in Hellenistic Egypt: From Alexander to Cleopatra (New York:
      Schocken Books, 1984). [VR]

Women in Egypt (compare and contrast with Greece/Macedonia possibly), again focusing on the Hellenistic period in depth.
(Call #: HQ 1137 E3P65)

Macrudy, G.H. Hellenistic Queens: a Study of Woman-Power in Macedonia, Seleucid,
      Syria, and Ptolemaic Egypt (Wesport: Greenwood Press, 1932/1975). [VR]

(Call #: DF 235.5 M3)

Miller, S.G. Ancient Greek Athletes (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004). [R]

Chapter on female athletes and women’s role in sport.
(Call #: GV 21 M55)

Plant, I.M. Women Writers of Ancient Greece and Rome (Norman: University of
     Oklahoma Press, 2004). [R]

Focuses on women’s literature of the period.
(Call #: PA 3621 w66)

McHard, F., Marshall, E. Women’s Influence on Classical Civilization (London:
       Routledge, 2004). [R]

Chapter on Hellenistic Period.
 (Call #: HQ 1127 W6526)

Cole, S.G. Landscape, Gender, and Ritual Space: The Ancient Greek Experience
      (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004). [R]

The word “experience” doesn’t sound academic but it’s an alright text.
(Call #: BL 795 W65C65)

Edited by Llewellyn-Jones, L. Women’s Dress in the Ancient Greek World (Duckworth:
     Classical Press of Wales, 2002). [R]

(Call #: GT 550 W66)

Gaca, K.L. The Making of Fornication: Eros, Ethics, and Political Reform in Greek
      Philosophy and Early Christianity (Berkeley, University of California Press, 2003). 
      [R]

Opinions on sexual roles and such.
(Call #: BT 708 G33)

Katz, M. “Ideology and ‘The Status of Women’ in Ancient Greece.” History and Theory,
      Vol. 31-4, p70-97 (Dec. 1992). [R]


Katz, M. “Sappho and her Sisters: Women in Ancient Greece.” Signs, Vol. 25-2, p505-
      531 (Winter 2000). [R]


Cameron, A. “Neither Male for Female.” Greece & Rome, Vol. 27-1, p60-68 (Apr.
       1980). [R]


Pomeroy, S. “The Study of Women in Antiquity: Past, Present, and Future.” The
      American Journal of Philology, Vol. 112-2, p263-268 (Summer 1991). [R]


Carney, E. “The Initiation of Cult for Royal Macedonian Women.” Classical Philology,
      Vol. 95-1, p21-43 (Jan. 2000). [R]


de Ste Croix, G.E.M. “Some Observation on the Property Rights of Athenian Women.”
      The Classical Review, Vol. 20-3, p273-278 (Dec. 1970). [R]

A more specific economic study, may be cited.

Ridgway, B.S. “Ancient Greek Women and Art: The Material Evidence.” American
     Journal of Archeology, Vol. 91-3, p399-409 (Jul. 1987). [R]


White, J. “Monastic Jewish in Greco-Roman Egypt: Philo Judaeus on the  
      Therapeutrides.” Signs, Vol. 14-2, p342-370 (Winter, 1989). [R]


Herodotus, The Histories, English translation by A.D. Godly (Cambridge: Harvard
      University Press, 1920). [R]

The sources in the specialized book will likely be easier to find Herodotus quotations. This is mainly in the bibliography to acknowledge the original translator.

Pausanias, Description of Greece, English translation by W.H.S. Jones and H.A.
     Ormerod (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1918). [R]

Ancient source, very credible.

Plutarch, The Age of Alexander, translated by I. Scott Kalvert (London: Penguin Books,
     1973). [R]

Ancient source, very credible.

Austin, M.M. The Hellenistic World from Alexander to the Roman Conquest: A
      Selection of Ancient Sources in Translation (Cambridge: The Cambridge University
      Press, 1981). [R]

The ancient source where Alexander destroys Persepolis with help from women will be cited from here.

Perseus – Archives [online]. Available on World Wide Web: (http://www. perseus.tufts.     
     edu/). [Accessed 7 February, 2006]. [R]

Somewhat difficult to find sources on this subject but it was used to find Pausanias.

Bibliotheca Classica Selecta – Accueil [online]. Available on World Wide Web:
      (http://bcs.fltr.ucl.ac.be/default.htm). [Accessed 7 February, 2006]. [R]

Electronic Resources for Classicists – Archives [online]. Available on World Wide Web:
      (http://www.tlg.uci.edu/index/resources.html). [Accessed 7 February, 2006]. [R]

(Notes: All books available at Concordia SGW Library, all journal articles available in their entirety on jstor.org.)

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Essay 6: On Mekalaheiya

Part A
“The Stats, the whole Stats, and nothing but the Stats…”

Location………………….North-East India
Coordinates………………20° N 85° E
Population…......................2,318,822 (2001)
Capital……………………Shillong
Average Temperature……18° - 20° C
Rainfall…………………..1 200cm (yearly)
Forest Area……………….8 510 square kilometers
Highest Peak……………..Shillong Peak (1 965m)

Previous Population
            1971……………...1,011,699
            1981……………...1,335,819
            1991……………...1,760,626

Literacy…………………..63.3% (2001)
Female Literacy
            1981……………...37.15%
            1991……………...44.70%
            2001……………...60.40%

Females per 1000 males
            1991……………...955
            2001……………...975

Children (0-6 yrs)………..457,442[1]

Infant Mortality rate……..56 (of 1000 births)

Birth Rate (per 1000)….....28.7 (1999)
         Rural……………….31.1
         Urban………………15.7

Death Rate (per 1000)…...9.10
         Rural……………...10.20
         Urban………………3.30


            Meghalaya is a “smaller state” in India as it contains less than 10 million inhabitants. Their demographic statistics are all over the Indian average, and in the case of their population’s average age they hold the youngest.
            Geographically, it is in the North East along with Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagalan, and Tripura. I’ve seen these states referred to as “sister states” in some texts during my research, yet the term is misleading as they do not always get along with each other. The topography is mostly hills and the British during their occupation dubbed the inhabitants of Meghalaya “hill people” for that reason[2]. Forests cover much of the terrain as well, almost 9,000 km2.

Part B (pre-British and British era)
“Your land is land for Gods to live in. Its air, its natural scenery, its pure atmosphere, its sweet water would attract even Gods.”

            Meghalaya is the home land of many peoples of rich roots and culture. The land originally (dating back even before the 19th century) was inhabited by the Khasis, the Jayantias (or Synteng), the Wars, the Garos, and the Koches, each with their own distinct culture. It is believed they are one of the first inhabitants of the sub continent. Most of their histories were assembled and passed down orally, and thusly many of their legends, myths, and stories, though fiction have great use to historians. They adopted the Bengali script and translated the Christian bible with it in the early nineteenth century. Even today most of Meghalaya believes in Christianity as a faith and it was likely due to early Roman missionaries.[3]
The hilly, forested, terrain was not altogether great for agriculture early and the tribes relied quite heavily on fish for their diet. Their diet consisted of mainly fish and rice though not entirely limited to that. Eventually the tribes began trading Limestone which was rich in the area to Bengal, early British/Oriental/Portuguese traders, and other nearby cities for other goods. Limestone became its main export by the time the East India Companies of Europe began setting up trading posts.[4]
            The British did not conquer Meghalaya in order to occupy it, in fact they basically absorbed it over time like it did most Indian states. British trade merchants on the Brahmaputra river ports agreed to help Khasi ruler U. Tirhat Singh and the Jain Rajah to defend Meghalaya against an oncoming attack from the Burmese. This was the first time any chief dealt with the British but certainly was not the last, the British now had one foot in the door so to speak. After the defeat of the Burmese, the British traders wanted to construct roads to facilitate trade through the hills and forests. Many Khasi chiefs were not happy with what these traders wanted to do with their lands and did not agree. Eventually the Khasis who rejected the idea (lead by U Tirhat Singh) were defeated and opposition to the British was defeated with it. The Jains (lead by U Kiang Nongbah) and Garos (lead by Pa Togan Sangma) rebelled later on as well but were also defeated, and eventually the East India Co. occupied the Limestone mines and institutions of power by 1835.[5]
            The tribes under British rule were no longer autonomous groups but much of their way of life was not turned upside down. In the case of the Garos for instance, “[their] tribal ways of life, community, ownership and use of land, and the administration of society according to traditional laws and customs were continued and conserved with least interference under British [a]dministration.”[6] Unlike many Indian states, the people who lived in the hills were left quite unbothered by the occupation. As for the cities of Meghalaya, especially Shillong, this was not the case unfortunately as it became a very popular spot for British administrators.[7] Shillong was made the capital of Assam (Meghalaya was not an independent province under the British but part of Assam) and became an administration and trade centre.
Pre 20th points of interest:
-Bong Laskar Memorial, Bahgmara, South Garo Hills.
-Mir Juml's Tomb at Mankachar, West Garo Hills.
-Nartiang Ancient Sites and Remains, Jaintia Hills.
-The Monoliths (organized large symbolic stone fixtures), Jaintia Hills.
-The Ruin Royal Palace (built in honor of the Goddess Durga), Jaintia Hills.
-The Shiva Temple (built in honor of Shiva), Jaintia Hills.
-Megaliths or Monoliths Site at (Iew, Shillong) Laitlyngkot, East Khasi Hills.
-Crematorium of the ancient Sohra Chiefs at Cherrapunjee, East Khasi Hills.[8]

Part C
“Take the beautiful Cherrapunjee tour!”
Political

Ruling Party………………The Meghalaya Nationalist Congress Party (MNCP)
Chief Minister…………….D.D. Lapang
Governor………………….M.M. Jacob
Legislature………..………Unicamiral (One body)

Opposition Party…………..United Democrats Party (UDP)
Opposition Leader…………Dankapur Roy

Districts: East Garo Hills, East Khasi Hills, Jaintia Hills, Ri Bhoi, South Garo Hills, West 
                Garo Hills, West Khasi Hills.

Big Cities
(populations apprx. as sources vary)

Shillong……………………253,900 (persons)
Tura………………………....73,300
Jowai………………………..32,100
Nongstoin…………………..23,800
Nongpoh……………………14,200
Mairang…………………......12,500

Industrial Districs
Shillong……………………10.22 (area in acres)
Mendipathar………………..7.00
Tura……………………….19.83
Jowai………………………14.56
Williamnagar………………51.30
Nongstoin………………….10.00
Barapani………………….109.67

Products Exported
Abundant: Limestone (cement grade), Limestone (flux and chemical grade), Silliminate.
Lesser: Coal, Clay, Timber.

Agriculture
Abundant: Rice, maize.
Cash Crops[9]: Potatoes, ginger, turmeric, black pepper, tezpatta, betelvine, cotton, jute,
                      mesta, mustard seeds.
Lesser: Oranges, lemons, pineapples, guava, litchi, bananas.
Other[10]: Tea, cashews, oilseeds, tomatoes, mushrooms, and wheat.


            In 1971 (legally in 1972), Meghalaya separated from Assam and became an independent state which it still is today. The political climate is not perfect however as many groups are unhappy about the boarders, want independence (as in the case with the Garos), and insurgency is a growing problem.
            Industry is growing in Meghalaya and more and more land is being sectioned off for industry to avoid possible land squabbles. It is mineral based and relies heavily on the extraction and processing of limestone, coal, salliminate, and clay.
            Agriculture is very important, not only for the state, but especially for the people, as 80% of Meghalaya’s population depends on farming. They produce rice and maize mostly, as well as various cash crops to sell, and others as well.
            Tourism is a source of income for the state as well, people come to Meghalaya to see the waterfalls, caves, ancient architecture, monoliths, and other sites. The many harvest festivals held by the citizens draw crowds as well. The most “seen” place in the state however is Cherrapunjee which is in a constant monsoon season and has the heaviest rainfall on the planet, a hot spot for adventurer-types and sight see-ers. [11]
           
Other interesting side-notes on Meghalaya:
-Houses incredible species of wild animals such as monkeys, tigers, and butterflies.
-Many Meghalayans have awesome names. A somewhat recent article in the BBC, entitled “Voting for Frankenstein,” speaks of this. Mentioned are Frankenstein Momin, Tony Curtis Lyngdoh, Rockefeller Momin, Hilarious Dkhar, among others. The author says their light hearted nature has lead to this phenomenon.


[1]  Proportion of children in population is highest in India (19.8%). Bose, India’s Billion Plus People, pg. 86.
[2] Ghosh & Ghosh, Fables and Folk-Tales of Meghalaya, pg. 1.
[3] Ghosh & Ghosh. Pg. 1.
[4] http://meghalaya.nic.in/intro/birth.htm
[5] See 4.
[6] Kar, The Garo Code of Law, introduction.
[7] Ghosh & Ghosh, pg. 2
[8] http://meghalaya.nic.in/culture/archaeology.htm
[9] Grown by farmers mostly to sell not consume.
[10] Crops not native to Meghalaya yet are produced.
[11] All of Part C taken from http://meghalaya.nic.in/


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Essay 7: On Joe Beef (summary/interpretation of essay by Peter DeLottinville)

Joe Beef of Montreal: Working-Class Culture and the Tavern, 1869-1889
Peter DeLottinville


            During the inception of industrialization to Montreal recognizable classes based on wealth were apparent. The least wealthy of these classes were the “unskilled” laborers. Their tendency to enjoy drunken behavior and violent recreation gave them a bad reputation and little respect among the other more powerful classes. The laborers were looking for an improved standard of living and were beginning to strike, form unions, and other such acts to achieve this. The identity and culture of the working class was growing rapidly. 
            Charles “Joe Beef” McKiernan, a tavern owner, gave the “unskilled” laborers of the Lachine Canal area a place to drink, have fun, and also meals and lodging for those who could not afford it. The tavern served as a source of entertainment, an information hub (job openings etc.), and a safety-net for a group of people who needed it. The local toughs, longshoreman, thieves, drifters, casual laborers and working men gathered at his pub and created an off-shoot working class culture.
            McKiernan was not looked upon as a leader or figure head for the working people but merely a helping hand or a friend to them. The Knights of Labour would later provide the leadership and jingoism to help them organize and make gains but lost forever would be the drunken revelry and “manly-code” of the Joe Beef culture of 1869-1889.

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Essay 8: On Defensor Pacis

This document was written in 1324 which falls into the Middle Ages, more precisely the “scholastic” period. This period in the political sphere is seeing a power struggle of quite immense proportions between the church and state. The papal hierarchy of Rome (headed by the pope with succeeding bishops, priests and other clergymen down the chain) were trying to stay powerful despite emerging secular groups of power in Germany, France, and other early northern nations. Despite the church’s slowly depleting power it still played a huge role in the lives of peasants (the majority of the population) and had somewhat of a strangle hold over them. Little if any peasants were literate, meaning the majority of people could not read or write which made thought/study during this period quite rare. Any thought/study during this period was purely theological and though classical works of Greeks and Romans were present they were mainly used to justify theological claims. Classical knowledge was displaced and rendered unimportant to scholastic thinkers. The document in question, Defensor Pacis, is an exception to this in some cases and may be one of the only exceptions. Marsilius of Padua’s forty-one (41) conclusions in the document brought forth very secular views and did not support church/papal power and its legitimacy as an authoritative institution.
In this analysis we shall (A) go over in some detail 11 of the 41 conclusions in Defensor Pacis, (B) look at what Marsilius based his work on, (C) look at who this text was intended for, (D) who were the opponents of Marsilius’ opinions, and (E) what was its legacy and how it effected future political thinkers.
Firstly, the 11 points which we will focus on are somewhat similar in some cases and will be separated into four different groups to avoid being repetitive. These groups are points which deal with reforms to the structure of the church (2, 14, 17), the curtailing of church power (3, 5, 7, 16), the call for more power to secular institutions (11, 22, 30), and most interestingly the renewed notion of democracy and the need for it (10).

 2. The general council of Christians or its majority alone has the authority to
                define doubtful passages of the divine law and to determine  those that are to be
    regarded as articles of the Christian faith, belief in which is essential to   
    salvation; and no partial council or single person of any position has the       
    authority to decide these questions…
           14. No bishop or priest has coercive authority or jurisdiction over any layman or 
                 clergyman, even if he is a heretic…
           17. All bishops derive their authority in equal measure from Christ, and it cannot
                 be proved from divine law that one bishop should be over or under another, in
                 temporal or spiritual matters.

This trio of conclusions on church reform is unique in the fact that it’s a very humanist and democratic approach. The totalitarian style of “top-down” power structure was not correct according to Marsilius. The laymen, who were at the bottom of the chain of course, and who had a need to receive the sacraments and to get into heaven, were likely constantly swindled by greedy clergymen. The goal however of these reforms are not insofar to protect the “laymen” per se but to unconcentrate the power structure of the church limit the power of certain bishops and priests. 
           
  3. The gospels teach that no temporal punishment or penalty should be used to
                  compel observance of divine commandments…
              5. No mortal has the right to dispense with the commands or prohibitions of the
                  [New Testament]…
              7. Decretals and decrees of the bishop of Rome, or of any other bishops or body  
                  of bishops, have no power to coerce anyone by secular penalties or  
                  punishments…
            16. No bishop or priest or body of bishops or priests has the authority to
                  excommunicate anyone or to interdict the performance of divine services.

These conclusions deal with limiting the church when it comes to secular matters. In this era the bible doubled as a code of laws, in Marsilius’ opinion this was not correct. Taking this away from the church as well as their right to excommunicate criminals or people they didn’t like would have been like removing the church’s arms and legs.  

            11. There can be only one supreme ruling power in a state or kingdom.
            22. The prince who rules by the authority of the laws of Christians, has the right
                  to determine the number of churches and temples, and the number of priests,
                 deacons, and other clergy who shall serve in them.
            30. The prince alone, acting in accordance with the laws of the [people], has the
      authority to condemn heretics, delinquents, and all others who should endure
      temporal punishment, to inflict bodily punishment upon them, and to exact
      fines from them.

If the church was not hold these rights over the “laymen” who should? According to the above articles it would be the state (or in this case the “prince” or “kingdom”). Article 22 in particular would give the state the power to hire its clergymen and decide how many there can be as well as how many places of worship. Articles 11 and 30 are interesting as it seems Marsilius condones despots and capital punishment respectively. In an era where the popes and kings were fighting for control of Europe article 11 is likely addressed more to alleviate that power struggle as opposed to set up a despotic ruler.

            10. The election of any prince or other official, especially one who has the
                  coercive power, is determined solely by the expressed will of the [citizens].

Article ten is by far the most progressive and interesting as it recommends the reenactment of democracy in electing rulers. It differs as well from the other articles in the sense that it the only one that doesn’t benefit the state (or the church either for that matter) and is presumably a humanist recommendation.

            Marsilius based much of his work on the teachings of Aristotle. He’s not secretive or anything about this, in the first line of Defensor Pacis he in fact states that Aristotle’s teachings are an “authority” and goes on to use many of Aristotle’s definitions for what constitutes citizens and slaves and such. The style of Marsilius’ writing is uniform of the scholastic era and leads us to believe that his writing style and thusly opinions were likely influenced by his many teachers who include William of Brescia, John of Jandun, and Peter of Abano, Ubertino da Casale, Michael of Cesna, and some unidentified Franciscans[1]. The style is very rigid and makes for a formal piece of work. First the writer lays out his opinions and points, he thusly goes into arguing against his points (a common practice of the times referred to as the “contrario” according to Chicago University Professor Alan Gewirth) as an opposing writer would do, and then finally basis his conclusions. Either Marsilius was trying not to stray from the norms of acceptable writing techniques/styles in order to toe the line (much as a student of present era would do), but more likely he wrote rigidly and formally in order to gain respectability and to have his opinions taken seriously by his audience.
            The audience at the time was of course limited due to widespread illiteracy and mainly consisted of clergymen (who would obviously have opposed it) and secular noblemen (who either could read or had members of the clergy to read for him). The noblemen likely opposed the text’s democratic opinions yet were no doubt interested in the text’s call for a limit on the church’s power. It is not sure exactly who individually opposed it as no official retorts to it were written, it is more likely that Defensor Pacis is a retort in itself to the leading thinkers of the time. Gerwith states in his extensive book on the text that Padua quotes almost verbatim some lines from works of James of Viterbo, Engelbert of Admont, Peter of Auvergne, Thomas Aquinas, and John of Jandun in the “contrario”.
            The question arises about what separates Marsilius’ opinions from the men mentioned in the previous paragraph (the leading scholastic thinkers sans Bacon, Paris, and Ockham). As stated early in the essay, Scholastic thinkers were aware of and well-read in classical literature and thought yet limited its use to fishing out selective lines to prove their theological theories. Marsilius’ interpretation of Aristotle and classic literature is far removed from this phenomenon. As the standard scholastic writers used Aristotle’s words to go against democratic institutions, Marsilius on the other hand, interprets it as proof of the legitimacy and need for democratic institutions. Constantine Fasolt of the University of Virginia states “[w]here Aquinas was a rationalist, a monarchist, and hierarchical thinker, [Marsilius] of Padua was a voluntarist, a republican, and a dualist” (the “dualist” monicker refers more so to his philosophical thoughts which we don’t need to concern about). According to Gewirth, Marsilius wants to “subvert” church power instead of support it like Paris and Ockham. Defensor Pacis differs from more so just by how radical it is for its era, it’s conclusions for church reform, separation of church and state, and of democracy differ greatly compared to anything else written at that time.
            The text left its legacy in several ways, it can in some ways be attributed as being the first humanist piece in European culture since Antiquity (and more won’t be seen of course before the Renaissance) and thusly turned a few heads so to speak. The impact of progressive writing can in some ways be measured by how many powerful elites denounce it as being dangerous. In its time obviously people took notice and many denounced it, such as “Pope John XXII through Dietrech of Niem”, but also powerful people from upcoming centuries denounced it as well, such as Nicholas de Cusa a “conciliarist of the fifteenth century”, as well as “henchmen from Henry VIII of England”[2]. The other legacy it left was how other progressive writers of upcoming centuries viewed it, Gewirth points out that famous writers such as Hobbes (Leviathan), Rousseau (French Revolutionary texts), and Locke (Social Contract) have positively referenced Defensor Padua and possibly Machiavelli (though the text is ambiguous as whether he was or not).
            In conclusion, it should be pointed at that the change in progressive writing over the centuries has been drastic. Marsilius who’s work was once looked at as being the most dangerous anti-establishment and “leftist” (I didn’t want to use that term but I can’t think of anything else) thought of his period has gradually become pro-establishment and “rightist” by the 17th and 18th century. By today’s standards it’s obviously not radical anymore seeing as it calls for “one true ruler” and the need for despots. For progressive thinkers however it is not a good idea to dismiss his work but to put it in historical context. In a time where just about zero anti-church thought existed, Marsilius was going remarkably “against the current” so to speak with Defensor Pacis. Though not as popularly referenced as other writers and loses points for his somewhat pretentious act of proclaiming himself the “defender of peace,” Padua’s views are an important piece in human history.


Gewirth, A. Volume I: Marsilius of Padua and Medieval Political Philosophy (New York:  
       Columbia University Press, 1951). 20-21.

“Defensor Pacis” is from Oliver Thatcher and Edgar McNeal, eds., A Source Book for
       Medieval History (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1905) pp. 318-321.


Gewirth, A. Volume I: Marsilius of Padua and Medieval Political Philosophy (New York: Columbia University Press, 1951). 20-21.

[2] See footnote 1. 303-304.

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Essay 9: On Martin Luther (the old European one, not Martin Luther King)

            This document was written in 1520, a period of renewed thought and technology. The printing press was giving a great boost to the production of reading material and therefore literacy was ever increasing even among the lower classes. Politically the wealthy “estates” (classes) comprising secular groups (nobility) and ecclesiastic groups held power. The regular people of the time were well known for their unquestioned and devoted faith in their respective religions. Wealthy churchmen (bishops, priests, etc.) took to abusing their parishioners’ devotion to faith by taking their money by trickery, extortion, and other unjust means. Despite the major increase in printed material, progressive thinking, and literacy in the lower class, very few if anyone was developing opinions against the Catholic Church. The document in question, Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation was an exception. Luther called for extreme church reform which was at the time dangerous to the status quo, and also to his safety.
            In this analysis we shall (A) look into the reforms suggested (more so demanded) in the document, (B) look at Mr. Luther’s style of writing and its implications, (C) look at who the text was intended for, (D) who the opponents of this document were, and (E) what its legacy was in a historical context.
            The Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation is a vehemently attack on the papacy. It must be stated that it was not in any way demeaning to beliefs valued by Christians yet an attack on the corruption of the Christian church leaders. Luther separates his reform demands into three points, which he labels as “walls” (metaphorically referring to the laws and power the church men supposedly hide behind).
            Firstly, if pressed by the temporal power, they have affirmed and maintained that
the temporal power has no jurisdiction over them, but the contrary that the
spiritual power is above the temporal.
Luther points out the top-down hierarchy which he refers to as a “very fine hypocritical device.” The “bishops, popes, priests, and monks” hide behind the notion that they “the Spiritual Stand” are more righteous and privileged than the “Temporal Stand”. The word “Stand” is the equivalent of “Estate” or in more modern terms “class”. The fact that priests could do basically whatever they felt like greatly annoyed Luther (later he’d publish the “Grosse Cathecism” for priests and the “Kleine Cathecism” for laity as Christian instruction manuals to conform priests and educate the laity).
            Secondly, if it were proposed to admonish them with Scriptures, they objected
that no on may interpret the Scriptures but the Pope.

Luther points out another hypocrisy to which only the pope is allowed to interpret the bible. No matter how “unholy” against the interest of Christians his interpretations may be, they are to be considered correct.
            Thirdly, if they are threatened with a Council, they pretend that no one may call a
Council but the Pope.

The fact that only a pope can call a council to call a “brother” who “sins” to defend himself is unjust. It puts the pope above the law. Luther contends that if the pope is the “sinner” they have no way to defend Christianity and Christians from his misdeeds.
Luther concludes in prose like fashion that once the “tottering walls” start falling they will expose the papacy for what it truly is.
            Luther’s style is not prose as such, it does use quite loaded language (“walls”) and does slip into poetry at times. For example in Luther’s writing “On Christian liberty”, he defines the word of God as “the word of life, of light, of peace, of justification, of salvation, of joy, of liberty, of wisdom, of virtue, of grace, of glory, and of every good thing,” using 13 adjectives to define how “good” the word of God is. His writing also shows sarcasm and wit at times, and having a knack for writing will help convince your readers and drum up support for your points. The most obvious thing about Luther’s writing is his uncompromising faith in God and other Christian prophecies. His secular points of church reform are often lost between paragraphs of theological aspects of his opinions. Luther of course was a devout and proud Christian, who had visions and himself as a prophet himself after his “crise de conscience” as referred to in T.M. McDonough’s The Law and Gospel in Luther. The “crise” was a cumulative phenomenon where Luther is convinced of the existence of God and his intentions through his experiences (being struck by lightning, and then later seeing God while studying in the “Tower”[1]).  It is interesting that despite this Luther stays quite humble and has little traces if any of megalomania in his writing.
            Possible sources Luther drew off of to write the Address were previous radical reformers such as Basle of the 15th century and John of Paris, John of Jandun, Marsilius of Padua, and Occam of the 14th century[2]. Luther’s sarcastic and poetic style differs greatly from these rigid Scholastics however and this may have helped him garner more support than the previous reformers could have hoped for.
Luther’s audience for his works according to him was the “ignorant” as he states in one of his writings (On Christian Liberty) yet this is not insofar true. The idea that Luther is writing for the people is widely believed by many citing that his Ninety-Five Theses were posted to the door of the church for all to read as proof. The theses (according to my well respected professor) were however written in Latin and therefore could not have been read by the “ignorant”. The article in question of course can not be contested as being for the laity and be proved with the title alone, “Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation.” The intended audience was the high German Nobles[3].
            The opponents of Luther’s work were quite numerous. Most Dominicans (Tetzel for example) were content with their indulgence system and were not interested in ending this extensive (yet unethical) means of revenue. The first big counter attack to Luther’s reform demands, according to J. MacKinnon in his book on the subject, was the archbishop of Maintz. The bishop did not want to counter Luther’s arguments but rather “muzzle” the “audacious monk” who was “scandalizing and misleading the poor unintelligent people[4]” (bishop’s own words). The archbishop then let the pope know about what Luther was doing. The second chronological opponent of Luther was Wimpina who did counter his arguments in text with a piece defending the church and the indulgence system.[5] Luther archest rival may have been Eck who was a much better speaker than Luther and won some ground by taking the debate outside the press and thusly taking away Luther’s greatest weapon, his knack for writing. Mr. Eck denounced Luther as a “heathen and publican” at a debate in Leipzig, after the debate Luther stated he almost felt “stupid” for not being able to combat Eck’s “flute [playing]” effectively .[6] Luther’s most powerful opponents were obviously Pope Leo X himself and Emperor Charles V, the former excommunicating him in the bull Decet Romanum Pontificemand, the latter putting a ban on his writings at the Edict of Worms. The important part of this document was not insomuch which enemies it further agitated but what allies it made for Luther. The German nobles Luther is addressing, the Obrigkeit, which “[consists] of Emperor, princes, nobles, knights, and the imperial cities…the estates of the Empire represented in the imperial Diet”[7] would make for strange bedfellows and would shape what impact this document had in history. Princes and other nobles who supported Luther formed the Smalcad League in order to organize themselves[8]. The most notable noble Luther allied himself with was Georgius Burkhardus de Spalt (Georg Spalatin) who was a prominent teacher at the German university level. Burkhardus was also the “secretary and court preacher” to Frederik III (elector of Saxony) and acted as a middleman between Luther and the elector[9]. After Luther was excommunicated he was granted asylum in Saxony under Frederik’s protection and Frederik thusly took over charge of the reformation somewhat. When Pope Paul III called a council in Mantua in 1537 to discuss the “utter extirpation of the poisonous pestilential Lutheran heresy” Frederik asked Luther what he’d say (to which Luther wrote up an extensive piece for the elector) and then went to defend Luther and his reforms in his stead.[10]
            The legacy the address left in many ways was both positive and negative. The positive was of course that church reform was desperately needed and Luther’s campaign was far more successful than any previous attempts. The negative side as hinted to in the previous paragraph was the synthesis of two dangerous ideologies. The call to secular nobles mixed strong divisive religious beliefs with an equally strong divisive force – nationalism. The following centuries would see constant violence and strife between Catholics and new found Protestants because of this. Luther denounced the early riots as “murderous thieving hordes of Peseants” in a publication of the same name. Violence also escalated to all out war when the Charles V and his Catholic nation and Frederik III and his Protestant nation declared war on each other.
            To conclude, the document is modern enough and has been researched into enough to accept it as valid and an important piece of work. It was very influential for its time for better or for worse. Hidden within theological thinking were quite revolutionary secular reforms. Luther and company brought on the reformation and with it a double edge of positive reforms of greedy churchmen on the fore-end and violent civil strife on the latter. Despite his claim to be the defender of the “ignorant” he was anything but. He was more a defender of prince’s rights as we see in his “Murderous Thieving Hordes…” piece, as he felt a great debt to Burkhardus, Frederik III, and other nobles for their aid to him during the Reformation.


[1] McDonough, Thomas M. The Law and Gospel in Luther: A Study of Martin Luther’s Confessional Writings. (Glasgow: Oxford University Press, 1963). 13-14.
[2] MacKinnon, James. Luther and the Reformation. (New York: Russell & Russell, 1928, 1962). 228.
[3] Referred to as the “Heinobility” in modern Germany.
[4] See MacKinnon. 14-15.
[5] See MacKinnon. 22-23.
[6] See MacKinnon. 142. The Flute quote refers to the speaking ability of Eck.
[7] See MacKinnon. 226.
[8] See McDonough. 131.
[9] “George Salatin.” Columbia Encyclopedia (New York), 2001–04.
[10] See McDonough. 130.

(AFTER-NOTE: the "Heinobility" is a joke and not true) 

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Essay 10: On Slavery in Latin America

            In years 1550-1822, the slave trade was rampant and African people were coming to the new world. Predisposed thought and antiquated historians lead us to believe that these people’s political power and culture were thusly subjugated, isolated, and, destroyed. It is thought that a vertical hierarchy as such, established by the Spanish rulers, relegated these people to the “bottom” of the social chain of said hierarchy. In this essay we shall look at instances where not only is this ideology not true in some cases, but in fact many “slaves” retained their pride and resisted. We shall look at three situations in particular, (A) how incoming African people used resistance and adaptation to retain their culture, (B) how upward social mobility in the vertical hierarchy was possible and occurring, and (C) how Africans developed small centers of power in New Spain and the Caribbean.
(A) In circa 1633 a priest, Antonio Vieira, who spent time observing both indigenous and African slavery stated that of “the immense transmigration of Black peoples and nations that pass from Africa to America…we may say that [these ships] bring Africa to Brazil.”[1] This statement applies to any slave society of the era, whether it’s Brazil, New Spain, or the surrounding islands. Slavers captured slaves en masse from coastal Africa sometimes taking whole communities or as Vieira has put it, whole “nations” with them in the process. These “nations” with their own customs, religions, and beliefs were being introduced to the new world by the thousands. Their inherent sense of community and togetherness with each other was, obviously, not viewed as a good thing by plantation owners and Spanish/Portuguese administrators. The most recorded example of African people’s cohesiveness and Europeans dislike for it was voudou style dancing. In a painting by a Dutch journeyman, Zachirias Wagener, he depicts a Sunday dance by a group of Africans and is jarred by it, saying the way they drum, play flutes, dance, and drink is “defeaned”[2] and “filthy”.[3] The religion, sometimes referred to as “voodoo”, “voudun”, and “voudou”, was in the early stages of slave societies looked down upon and outlawed for this reason, that Europeans found the practice to be uncivil and not Christian. Later on, when slave resistance, and organizing became more common among slaves, the practice was seen as a dangerous means of getting slaves together and efforts to curtail it increased. For instance in Sainte Domingue, it became law in 1685 that all slaves must attend church on Sunday, the same day the dances took place.[4] Though this law was rarely followed by planters (most had their slaves work on Sundays anyway), it was drafted to stop the rituals.
            The African people used adaptation to retain their culture as well. Similar to how the Indigenous people made Catholicism their own by synthesizing various Christian elements and deities with their own pre-existing deities, the African arrivals did much the same. Though Catholicism was imposed upon African slaves, it in no way could be done fully. As myths, and saints (Rosa, etc.) began to spring up in their new location, they worshipped these saints like the Catholics and indigenous people did but not in the same manner. The saints may have been worshipped through a voudou ritual for instance, with drumming, dancing, and chanting. Even today in modern day Haiti the dualistic synthesis of both religions can be seen, according to James G. Leyburn, “[t]he paradox of the religious situation in Haiti lies in the fact that although the masses are Vodun worshippers, most of them are likewise Catholics” and although “the state…officially frowns on Vodun, it does not, cannot, and apparently would not if it could, suppress it altogether.”[5]
            (B) It is true that slaves coming to the new world were entered into the lowest possible echelon of the vertical caste and much was done by the ruling class to keep them there. However, this caste was somewhat malleable, and quite possible to move ahead in many cases. The defining factor in moving up the hierarchy, much like it always has been, was wealth. Though difficult, slaves could buy their freedom through manumission, especially in New Spain where Iberian law (based heavily on Roman law) was quite open to slaves purchasing their freedom. In some extreme cases, if a slave had accumulated a great deal of wealth, he can even purchase Caucasian status. Some might have seen purchasing “whitehood” as completely denying who they were, but nonetheless, there were approximately 300 cases of it happening in New Spain. Another means for freed slaves to climb the caste, and without denying your roots in the process, was to enlist in the Black Militia. The militia existed due to Spain’s lack of a powerful military in the region, and the provision that indigenous people were not allowed to bear arms, thusly relying on freed blacks as a means of policing the region and defending against pirates. The men in the militia were not only free, but were armed, had power, defended the region, and were proud. Juan Pastor, an officer of the unit, retired to carpentry where not only he was free in his old age but had his own means of wealth.
            The most difficult part, obviously, was to gain wealth in a situation where almost all factors were not in their favor. The most common ways to obtain wealth was meriting it through inheritance from the master after a life of hard work and obedience, or to marry into it. For non-free slaves, unable to gain wealth, gaining respect and recognition was far more difficult but not impossible. Those who arrived from Africa with a skill, such as silver working, could live in the city as an artisan. Though they were still slaves, they garnered far more respect and pride. Servants for rich families in the big cities as well could escape the harsh labor of the plantations, and mines and live a better life although not free. [6]
            (C) No matter how high some Africans in the new world climbed the vertical hierarchy a glass ceiling of sorts was always present. It was never possible to reach the upper rungs under the rule of European powers. Interestingly however, some regions in Latin America were not entirely under European rule, and centers of both Indigenous power and African power were present. As New Spain zoned different demographics of people out farther and farther they lost a certain amount of control in their day to day lives. For instance, a group of powerful Mulattos in Ecuador donning the self-proclaimed title “don” (to depict honor and nobleness) upon themselves governed a province of “thirty-five mulattoes and 450 Christian Indians”. Though considered to be uncivilized barbarians by the Spanish, and powerless “trophies” by W.B. Taylor, they were undoubtedly free African men with power.[7] A painting of them shows them in tribal attire, possibly with influence of indigenous peoples attire of the region, but more likely of African tribal origin.
            A great example of African power in the new world was ironically in the most successful slave colony in history, and likely the place European powers wished to rule the most. The sugar producing colony of Sainte Domingue, owned by the French, was the most profitable colony in history and also the first country in the new world to be ruled by people of African descent. By 1794, the colony was independent all but in name as slave revolts in the north (lead by Boukman, Biassou, and Jean-Francois), west, and south (lead by Martial) saw slave rebels in the ten thousands destroy plantations and gain control of the colony.[8] Not only had they climbed the vertical hierarchy of a slave society, but they in essence turned it upside down. The first official leader of the post-revolutionary Sainte Domingue, Toussaint L’Ouverture, dealt with European powers in foreign affairs on equal footing and not as someone below them.
            In conclusion, it is accepted it seems that African slaves of this time were a downtrodden people who were subjugated and ruled by European elites. The exemptions to this notion are numerous and prove it simply not true. It must be noted that slaves in the new world did experience incredibly brutal hardship and this essay in no way is denying that, simply showing that many of these slave achieved freedom, retained their beliefs and culture, and even rose to power in some cases. African presence in Latin America today through customs, culture, art, sculpture, music, and other means is very strong despite efforts to destroy it early in the colonial period.

Bibliography
Fick, Carolyn E. The Making of Haiti. (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press. 1990).

Leyburn, James G. The Haitian People. (New Haven: Yale University Press.v1941).

Mills, Kenneth, Taylor,William B., & Lauderdale-Graham, Sandra. Colonial Latin
     America: A Documentary History. (Lanham: SR Books. 2002)



[1] Mills, K., Taylor,W.B. & Lauderdale-Graham, S. Colonial Latin America (2002). p219-220.
[2] A word no longer common, of German origin, meaning “unholy” and of negative connotation.
[3] Mills, K., Taylor,W.B. & Lauderdale-Graham, S. Colonial Latin America (2002). p163-164.
[4] Leyburn, J.G, The Haitian People. (1941). p118-119.
[5] Leyburn, J.G, The Haitian People. (1941). p114.
[6] All of part B relied on class notes from Dr. Edward Osowski.
[7] Mills, K., Taylor,W.B. & Lauderdale-Graham, S. Colonial Latin America (2002). p159-161.
[8] Fick, C. The Making of Haiti. (1990). p91-99, 135-138.

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Essay 11: On the Industrial Revolution in Montreal

            The mid nineteenth century marked the beginning of the industrial revolution in Montreal. It was to be a great prosperous time for the city, featuring vast new technology, impressive railways, and a great deal of employment opportunities. This essay will focus on the impact the revolution would have on the workers of the era, most particularly, the unskilled working class.
The new machines and technology of industrialization, and the concept of dividing the labour into separate individual tasks revolutionized the means of production for the business world. This of course turned Montreal into a veritable hotbed of capitalism but was not without its downsides. The rising tide of industrialization did not lift all ships so to speak. The division of labour took most if not all of the control over production away from the labourers. The machines made traditional handmade means obsolete thus “de-skilling” and “de-powering” the watchmakers, cobblers, furniture makers, and many other men of once respected trades. A new class structure was becoming apparent, one where workers occupied the bottom rung. Bryan Palmer in his book “Rethinking the history of Canadian Labour” argues workers were quickly becoming “dependant on capital’s mercy”. [1] In other words becoming dependant on the meager wage they earned. These earnings were not easily obtained either, in fact they were quite hard won.
The Royal Commission conducted case studies in 1889 which show to some extent how “merciful” Cigar companies were to their workers. Youth, Theophile Charron (14 yrs.), attests to being paid $2 a week minus fines for low production or “talking too much”, claims to have been “[cracked] across the head with the fist”, and has witnessed children put into the “blackhole” for hours at a time (a type of punishment/confinement area).[2] Aside from the poor working conditions outlined by the testimony, the wages in this era appear startlingly low. The question this raises is whether “capital’s mercy” was enough to keep up with the basic cost of living at the time.
Brittina Bradbury in her article “Pigs, Cows, and Boarders: Non-Wage Forms of Survival among Montreal Families, 1861-91” explores workers methods of surviving under the new industrial system. She centers her research around families and the various roles of its members. The fathers worked long hours, children in many cases worked as well if the father’s wage was insufficient, and wives took the task of governing the household budget by “[transforming] the wage of others in to sustenance and shelter” . It seems pennies were stretched as far as possible and it becomes apparent that surviving on wage alone was an arduous task. Bradbury writes in great detail on measures used by working class families to retain self-sufficiency and a better standard of living during this era. Families would raise animals, tend to small gardens, take in boarders, and “double up in living spaces with other families”. The policy makers of the time, who were mainly all businessmen from the elite sector, passed laws to curtail these acts (with the exception of gardens which stopped being practical due to lack of space in rapidly growing and overpopulated communities). The article is ambiguous as to whether these means of income were outlawed due to sanitation and cleanliness reasons, or to subversively eliminate additional methods of survival and ensure dependency on wage labour. In any case, it’s likely a mixture of both. Bradbury points out that pigs were outlawed before cows, oxen, and other animals were, likely due to the fact poorer people owned pigs while richer families owned oxen, cows, or goats. She concludes that while richer classes could afford to engage in ways to supplement their earnings in this new economy (buy houses with more space, etc.), the lower classes could not.[3]
This was also an age where workers unions were coming into being, though the lower class workers once again were totally left out of the process. These unions were plausible for the “aristocracy of labour” but not for the lower classes. The “aristocracy of labour” was believed to have been de-skilled and fragmented into the rest of the working class, but, this notion is proved somewhat false by analyzing the first Labour Day parades in the late 1880’s. Craig Huron and Steve Penfold show in their article “The Craftsmen Spectacle: Labour Day Parades in Canada, The Early Years,” that craftsmen’s guild parades were the precursor to labour parades.[4] The fact that these people were skilled, already organized, and that their organizations were accepted and welcomed by the community gave the craftsmen the leverage necessary to form functional unions, while the unskilled workers had none of these. If the unskilled workers attempted to unionize they would have to start everything from scratch, and risk being fired or arrested, making it a very difficult process.
            The one saving grace for the unskilled workers (before the arrival of the Knights of Labor) to gain solidarity was through charitable organizations. In the case of miners who went on strike in the Asbestos mine in 1949, a Catholic church group from Chicoutimi “contributed more than $1000 when collections were taken up … to aid striking Asbestos miner’s families.”[5] In a more unlikely case, a strike by “over 1,000 workers on the enlargement of the Lachine Canal” were given “300 loaves of bread, 36 gallons of tea, and a similar quantity of soup” by colorful tavern owner Charles “Joe Beef” McKiernan. He also sheltered 300 of the strikers in his tavern and loaned shovels to the ill-equipped men to work after the strike finished.[6] Both strikes however ended with little or no immediate gains won by the strikers.
It is safe to say that there will always be the “haves” and “have-nots”. There will always be class structures which adhere to wealth and skill to form its rungs. The industrial revolution in Montreal insured the wealth and power of the wealthiest class (railroad tycoons, cigar barons, and other wealthy businessmen) and hindered the wealth and power of the poorest class (semi-skilled and unskilled workers). In a supposed time of universal prosperity, the labouring people who encompassed most of the population endured long hours through inhospitable means to earn very little wages, and were not very prosperous at all.
 ---
“Asbestos Mine Sought ‘Elsewhere’” Montreal Daily Star, 12 May 1949.

Bradbury, Bettina. “Pigs, Cows, and Boarders: Non-Wage Forms of Survival among
      Montreal Families, 1861-91” Labour/Le Travail #14 (Fall, 1984): 9-46.

DeLottinville, P. “Joe Beef of Montreal: Working-Class Culture and the Tavern, 1869-
      1889”, Labour/Le Travailleur #8-9 (Autumn-Spring 1981-2): 9-27, 32-40.

Heron, Craig, & Penfold, Steve. “The Craftsmen’s Spectacle: Labour Day Parades in
      Canada, The Early Years” Histoire Sociale/Social History #29 (1996): 357-63, 365-
      89.

Palmer, Bryan. Working-Class Experience: Rethinking the History of Canadian Labour  
     1880-1991. (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1992), 152, 155-6.

Working in Montreal’s Cigar Factories: Evidence presented to the Royal Commission of
      the Relations of Labour and Capital, 1889 in Greg Kealey (ed) Canada investigates
      industrialism (Toronto; University of Toronto Press, 1973): 214-234.




[1] Palmer, Bryan. Working-Class Experience: Rethinking the History of Canadian Labour 1880-1991    
  (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1992), 152, 155-6.

[2] Working in Montreal’s Cigar Factories: Evidence presented to the Royal Commission of the Relations of  
   Labour and Capital, 1889 in Greg Kealey (ed) Canada investigates industrialism (Toronto; University of
   Toronto Press, 1973): 214-234.
[3] Bradbury, Bettina. “Pigs, Cows, and Boarders: Non-Wage Forms of Survival among Montreal Families,  
  1861-91” Labour/Le Travail #14 (Fall, 1984): 9-46.
[4] Heron, Craig, & Penfold, Steve. “The Craftsmen’s Spectacle: Labour Day Parades in Canada, The Early     
  Years” Histoire Sociale/Social History #29 (1996): 357-63, 365-89.

[5] “Asbestos Mine Sought ‘Elsewhere’” Montreal Daily Star, 12 May 1949.
[6] DeLottinville, P. “Joe Beef of Montreal: Working-Class Culture and the Tavern, 1869-1889”, Labour/Le  
  Travailleur #8-9 (Autumn-Spring 1981-2): 9-27, 32-40.

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Essay 12: On "Globalization" (summary/interpretation of an essay by E. Smythe)


Repoliticizing Globalization in Canada: From the MAI to Seattle
By: Elizabeth Smythe

            The modern economic climate in the eighties and nineties saw a transfer of more power from local governments to a worldwide network of investors, multi-national corporations, and other big business (coordinated by groups like the IMF and WTO). This phenomenon coupled with an increase in information currying technology and new methods of transportation has given rise to a veritable economic golden age.
            This “globalizing” of economic structures is not without its downsides however. Many groups have developed opposing attitudes citing the adversary effects globalization have on labour (many countries involved have little or no laws to protect workers), the environment, and democratic institutions. The growing size of these groups and the internet (which helped them become aware of one another and more organized) made them quite a threat to policy makers.
            Canada as nation found itself in a position of wanting in on the huge in plus of foreign investment (mainly American) yet not wanting to become totally dependant on it. Many Canadian people were also displeased in how important economic decisions which affected everyone were being made by a select few people (heads of countries, WTO officials, etc.) and many local representatives were not getting a say.

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Essay 13: On Canadian Nationalism

            In this essay, we shall explore the rise of Canadian Nationalism and its future. We shall look into three important stages of its evolution: (1) early national narratives and other writings, (2) the distancing from American culture and (3) the glorious days of the sixties.
            Firstly, what is Nationalism? It is pride in one’s Nation and has all but officially replaced religion as the group specifications humans adhere to. In Canada, this is a particularly touchy matter in some cases as we have many “nations” making up our “Nation”. Note the capitalization as it is the correct manner to refer to the situation in our multicultural era, a small “n” denotes provincial nationalism, while a capital “N” denotes federal nationalism. It is not unfair to say that the whole situation of Nationalism in Canada is strange and in some cases completely ridiculous. E.D. Blodgett of Toronto University suggests that Canada in effect is a country with no past, which in literal terms is obviously absurd, but when compared to other Nations it might not be wrong to say our “past” is somewhat dull if not non-existent. Most of Canada, in effect, was purchased from a fur trading company instead of being won through glorious wars. Much of Canada’s early population was Europeans who couldn’t cut it in Europe and prostitutes commissioned by the King of France, not heroes and heroines. That being said, why in modern Canada is pride in one’s Nation so strong? The answer is that basically, Canada’s National identity and pride was created (this is not only applicable to Canada, but to any Nation in the world mind you) through narratives, other literature, and lies fed to kids in grade ten history classes (though we will not explore into this one here).
            In the early days of Canada, when identity was beginning to be adopted so to speak, three main groups were center stage: The French, the English, and to a lesser extent the Acadians.
The French in fact were the first group who began “creating” what Canada was to be. Writer Camille Roy, poet Cremazie, and others were contextualizing Canada as early as the late eighteenth century, developing histories, poems, and other literature. Their “agenda”, if you will, was of Roman Catholicism, French language and culture, and federal unity.[1] The first “hero” they canonized for Canada was newspaper editor Etienne Parent, who Roy referred to as “incontestably the finest, most worthy and most expressive figure of that time”[2]. The French people’s choice for war hero was Dollard-Des-Ormeaux, who was seen as a seventeenth century martyr (whether he was or not is beside the point).
The English and they’re narratives were considerably different, they preached Protestantism, Victorian principles, and later American principles. Pelham Edgar in 1916 summed the situation up quite well when he classified a Canadian as a British descendant “with a discreet touch of the Yankee – but he is so shadowy in outline that no novelist has yet limned his features for us.”[3] Edgar, as well as many English Canadians (even today), saw a Canadian as a British person with a bit of “Yankee” in him, a well-mannered civilized Victorian with a hint of the new ways. It is interesting to note that even Edgar understands that no one has defined what a Canadian is at this time and that it is “novelists” (i.e. writers of fiction) who “limn” these “features”. The English writers adopt Isaac Brock, Laura Secord, among others as their heroes/heroine, players in the war of 1812. It is interesting to note that the war in which the English fought the Americans is revered more than when the English fought the French, likely to not infuriate the French who they wished to enjoy federal unity with.
The final group, the Acadians, who are in effect the last group (mostly) to officially join the union, also had a small part in the initial creating of Canada’s identity. They, if anything, promoted that the east coast was more important than the west, which can still be seen today (mainly by Ontario and Quebec, and not so much Acadians anymore however).
Why are writings by long-dead historians and novelists important to understand Nationalism in modern Canada? The most blaring observation is the divide between English and French writers definition of being Canadian. The attitudes of many people nowadays can in some ways be traced back these original narratives. Being “English” and being “French” has replaced being “Catholic” or “Protestant” but other than that these ideas seem to have been passed down generation to generation quite unchanged. The other observation we can draw from this is by looking at who is left out of the picture, namely Native Americans, and for a large part, women (with the exception of Secord). It is not until much later that Native peoples and women’s role in Canadian history is narrated.
Getting out of the dead-ball era, we see the identity of Canada quickly being dissolved of France, and Britain ties. French people are proud Canadiens and English people are proud Canadians (though constantly at odds end). The problem stemming out of the post World War II era, is the growing culture of the Americans to the south. Professor Harry S. Hiller states that in the shadow of the Americans - “Canadians struggle to explain how and why they are different”[4]. While the saner of us may suggest that the difference stems out of simple geography (one group lives farther north than the other) many historians, social scientists, and of course fiction writers have all gotten their two cents in. An American social scientist, S.M. Lipset, for example has historic “evidence” that Americans are more “egalitarian, achievement-oriented, universalist, and self-oriented” while Canadians are more “elitist, ascriptive, particularlist, and [collective]”.[5] Canadians, of course, will tell you that they are less racist, violent, and cleaner than Americans. George Grant, in Lament for a Nation, sees this whole situation as self-righteousness on the part of Canadians, saying, “[l]ife as [a] little brother often leads to political naivety.”[6] How any of these incredible generalizations and fictional comparisons can in any way be considered scientific is not the point here, the important thing to note in all these writings is that Canadians base much of their pride on being different than Americans.
The glory era of Canadian Nationalism comes in the sixties and seventies. Canada gets a flag for one thing but more importantly many new heroes are born. In fact if you ask modern day Canadians who the greatest Canadians in history were most would be from this era.[7] For example, in Stephen Azzi’s narrative of the love of his life, Walter Lockhart Gordon, we are told of one such hero. Gordon, a swell athlete and studious boy in his youth, would grow up to save the Canadian economy from American robber barons. Another such hero, Mr. Paul Yucyk, despite achieving perfect grades in university could not find a job due to his Ukrainian extraction. Yucyk would overcome these obstacles and become a Canadian senator, where he would make sure no one of any creed would be treated unfairly in Canada again. Let us not forget of the legend of Tommy Douglas, who as a small boy had his leg saved by a benevolent doctor free of charge, touched by this event Douglas would go on to give free medical aid to all Canadians big and small. The most notable hero of this era is of course, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, who many consider to be the greatest Prime Minister of all time. Trudeau, despite being a balding old man, had the veracity and intensity of a man half his age, and this fiery rebel would change Canadian politics forever as he marched into England and patriated the constitution like a man possessed, all the while asking “who’s going to stop me?”
This era also proved to be the height of Quebec nationalism, lead by the great Rene Levesque who would lead his people to the promised land. Despite being unsuccessful in his efforts, his legacy lives on in the form of a street sign (formerly Dorchester).
Though the previous two paragraphs were presented facetiously, it is important to see the narratives attributed to these figures for what they are, which is the modern development of “heroes” for Nationalistic purposes. It is not a bad idea of course for Canada to add more heroes to its roster, the problem is that once again minority groups and women seemingly are left out of the whole glorification process of Nation building. Possible “marketable” political and social heroes such as, Agnes McPhail, Emily Murphy, Jennie Trout, Yvonne Atwell, Lincoln Alexander, Bill White (dis-ambiguation), William Hall, Elijah Harper, and many others are not written about enough or taught about enough in schools. Another problem to be wary of is as the Nation building process keeps reaching new heights will Canada become overly proud of itself? Which brings forth the question, is Nationalism dangerous? Henry Hiller on the question states,

[A]s long a Canada exists as a political entity, there will always be pressures
towards a pan-Canadian nationalism. People who define themselves in terms of
their Canadian nationality will always seek to enlist the support of other residents
to submerge their other identities or at least include Canada in their chain of
identities…also…when persons who attached their identity to symbols and values
that were dominant in the past but are now eroding react in a status
preservationist backlash.[8]

While what he says is likely true, it brings two difficult dualities of the situation to the surface. Firstly, is being all “Canadian” a form of togetherness or of conformity? Secondly, should people try to keep their beliefs or adapt to the changing times? The answer to both questions is likely to be somewhere in the middle in both cases. In the former, it is important to have a sense of community and togetherness but having one uniform order is obviously impossible and ridiculous. The latter, one must change accordingly with the times, yet not to a painful extent (i.e. losing language, culture, etc.).
George Grant concludes on the duality (whilst contemplating as to whether the disappearance of Canadian identity is good or not) that,

If the best social order is the universal and homogeneous state, then the
           disappearance of Canada can be understood as a step toward that order. If the
           universal and homogeneous state would be a tyranny, then the disappearance
           of…[Canada] can be seen as the removal of a minor barrier on the road to that  
           tyranny.[9]

Not only did that not help us find an answer to this dilemma but it bogged the problem down with more analysis and opinion. For good measure let’s look at another person’s opinion and confuse ourselves even more, Ian Angus throws this into the mix,
           
            If we can define a tradition hemeneutically as a historical continuity constructed as a synthesis of past and future through an active interpretation in the present, then immigration shatters this threefold structure with a dualism of before and after. The immigration society is layered periodization of such dualisms.[10]

Alright, so if we incorporate the time period in which the immigrants lived prior to coming to Canada we have a dualism, within a dualism, within a dualism. The more this situation is analyzed the further we get from any possible answer. The interesting thing about all three of these writers is that they all follow up their analyses by stating that there is no possible answer to these questions, as to which I agree. The best possible thing to do is to step back, stop analyzing nonsense so much and keep it simple.
Is growing Nationalist attitudes in Canada a dangerous thing? Yeah probably. What should we do about it? Don’t over analyze it and just do what we can. Try to be respectful to others, try and understand others, try to learn about other cultures…It’ll work.

Bibliography
Azzi, Stephen. Walter Gordon and the Rise of Canadian Nationalism. (Montreal &
      Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press. 1999)

Blodgett, E.D. Five-Part Invention: A History of Literary History in Canada. (Toronto:
      University of Toronto Press. 2003).

Grant, George. Lament for a Nation: The Defeat of Canadian Nationalism. (Toronto: The
     Canadian Publishers. 1965).

Hiller, Harry H. Canadian Society: A Macro Analysis. (Scarborough: Prentice Hall
     Canada Inc. 1996).



[1] Blodgett, E.D. Five-Part Invention: A History of Literary History in Canada. pg. 42
[2] See Blodgett. pg. 42
[3] See Blodgett. pg. 47
[4] Hiller, Harry H. Canadian Society: A Macro Analysis. pg. 267
[5] See Hiller. pg 268
[6] Grant, George. Lament for a Nation: The Defeat of Canadian Nationalism. intro ix.
[7] In a CBC program hosted by the lovely Wendy Mesley in 2004, we saw this statement to be true. (it should also be noted that nine of the ten finalists were white males).
[8] See Hiller. pg. 324
[9] See Grant. pg. 96.
[10] See Blodgett. pg. 298

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Essay 14: On Da Cold War (coldwardrawingenergyfromourhotlovethuslyrenderingourlovemoreofamedianwarmratherthanhot)

The cold war era was defined by the invention of the atomic bomb. Countries diplomatic pull shifted from being based on how powerful their armies were to how powerful their economies were and whether or not they had the atomic bomb. In this essay we shall look into the economic factors brought forth by the Marshall Plan which influenced the global power struggle of this era.
In economic terms the cold war cannot be summed up as it often is, as a battle between free market capitalism (U.S.) and command communism (Soviet Union). This way of looking at it barely scratches the surface. It is true that the United States and the Soviet Union were of course in a “battle” of sorts and that economics was the center point but the details are anything but clear cut.
The Marshall plan which was introduced by President Truman may have likely been the decisive wedge which split the Americans and the Soviets diplomatically. The idea of the policy as described by its father George C. Marshall was “not [directed against] any country or doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation and chaos.”[1] It entailed that any European country affected by the war who agreed to its terms was to receive a sum of funds to boost its failing economy. Mr. Marshall does glorify it a bit making it seem as a great act of humanitarianism, not everyone saw it as such however. A British MP, one Robert Boothby, saw Great Britain’s acceptance of this humanitarian donation as the “[selling] the British Empire for a pack of cigarettes”[2]. The Nations which of course accepted these terms would have to rely heavily on the U.S. economy and more or less play by their rules. The Soviets despite being far more powerful the rest of the European powers were caught in this dilemma of whether to accept this as well. According to Martin McCauley and his book on the subject the Soviets,

On the one hand…wanted to prevent American and economic dominance in
Europe, but on the other it and its east and south-east European neighbors badly
needed US capital and goods.[3]

What would follow would be the first major impasse between our respective super powers. The fact that both had very different (and in many cases converging) goals coupled with the fact that neither knew how to negotiate which each other very well made negotiations very difficult and in many cases impossible. The Soviet “People’s Commissar” Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov attitude to the situation explain themselves,

Roosevelt believed in dollars. Not that he believed in nothing else, but he considered America to be so rich, and we so poor and worn out, that we would surely come begging. ‘Then we’ll kick their ass, but for now we have to keep them going.’”[4]

The Soviet Union in effect did not sign on to the Marshall plan (according to McCauley mainly due to the Soviets wanting “reparation” payments for themselves and E. Germany and the Americans not giving in).
The Americans made huge gains with the passing of the Marshall Plan. Their post World War II economy which saw no damage compared to their European counterparts  garnered multiple satellite nations to trade and act as a banker to.
The Soviets as a counter measure formed the Cominform (Communist Information Bureau) to try and salvage some of European economies for themselves. It acted as agency to fight against “the enslavement of Europe” by American capitalism  and defend “democracy”.[5] It was obviously used for propaganda and to maintain power by controlling information. Many countries with powerful communists blocks (as well as those to close geopolitically to Russia to have a choice) sided with Russia.
To conclude, this economic battle between two extremely powerful nations was not a decisive fight between “capitalism” and “communism” or “good” and “evil” but rather a land and money grab. The Soviets needed satellites states to take their resources to rebuild and support their military while the Americans needed satellites states to loan money to and control trade to support their wealthy. Other factors contributed to the blurring of this fact as well. Propaganda and political language helped obviously. The fact that both these nations had atomic bombs and could potentially cause our assuredly mutual destruction took (with decent reason) most of the attention away however.


[1] McCauley, Martin. The Origins of the Cold War 1941-1949. (London, Pearson Education Limited, 2003). 
        84.

[2] McCauley. 97.
[3] McCauley 85.
[4] McCauley 101. (The quote is sourced as “Geddis, 1998: 22”. Likely translated by I assumed).
[5] McCauley 88.

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Essay 16: An Essay on Haiti

            Color and class in any nation plays a distinct role in obtaining power, in Haiti this has been true to a great extent. All through Haiti’s history color especially emerged as a deciding factor in the power struggle. Since its early beginnings as a French colony, where white slavers/plantation owners held power over the black majority, the seeds of this were planted. In this analytical essay we shall explore the question of color and class in the period directly following the American occupation. We shall look in depth at the effects the occupation had on the three main classes of Haiti and how the power struggle between them shifted, specifically in the favor of dark skinned elites. Many terms that will seem outdated will be used yet it is necessary while dealing with this subject. Considering the fact that there was a great divide between light skinned blacks and dark skinned black people during this time, we will constantly be treating them as different groups, but so was the case in Haiti. It must also be made clear that while using such incredible generalizations such as these we must note that not all people of a certain color were of the same class and vice versa. The color question in Haiti has existed since its inception, and has dimensions and other factors related to its history of vertical hierarchies (beginning with the French slave structure). It must also be noted that “color” in the Haitian context is more similar to “class” may become confusing. Truoilott in his book states,
            Haitian color categories refer not only to skin color and other somatic features,
            but to a large range of sociocultural attributes that do not have a somatic
            referent…[I]t is important to note that Haitian color prejudices relate to Western
dominated hierarchy…and that very few Haitian, even among the elites, have ever accepted that hierarchy as a “true” depiction of their reality.

For that reason we must think of the color categories mentioned in this essay in a more class oriented way.
The American occupation lasted from 1915-1934, and marked the first time in over one hundred years that Haiti was not a fully autonomous nation. The reasons for the occupation vary depending on which source you consult but it seems the main reasons were to control Latin American ports for the upcoming world war, get German and French business interests out of the new world, and to insure American businesses (mainly banks) would strive. They had lofty goals for Latin America (their “little place down there”) whether these were achieved is not the concern of this essay however. The occupation in terms of color saw white power returning to Haiti, which had not been seen in a century and was greatly unwelcome by most Haitians. With the return of a white power source, it is possible that the occupation if any anything delayed the question of race between light skinned blacks and dark skinned blacks of Haiti, which was about to reach a boiling point and possibly a resolution.
            The group who quickly benefited from the occupation, were the light skinned black elites (referred to also as mulattos, or coloreds). In fact the first act initiated by the Americans upon arriving was setting up the light skinned Philippe-Sudre Dartiguenave as new president[1]. James Leyburn states, “[the] return to political power of the colored element was one of the most sweeping transformations effected by the marines,”[2] which is somewhat true. It is not so much that mulattos were gaining power, as they were already a powerful group prior to the occupation. In fact if anything they also lost power but not nearly as much as the other classes. This resurgence of power was also short lived for the mulattos, who despite being able to get three very light skinned presidents into power (likely due to American racism), were not able to hold on to it after the Americans left. Already by 1946 the light skinned elite were out of the presidency with the fall of Elie Lescot.
            The dark-skinned black elites saw an exact opposite of what happened to the light-skinned elites. Upon arrival of the Americans they lost a great deal of power, yet after the occupation grew in power incredibly. Part of this can be attributed to the Americans, who gave some black elites scholarships to study in the U.S., but more importantly trained a great deal of the black elite for the Haitian army. According to Trouillot, “U.S. marines trained the first professional military in Haitian history and retained formal and informal contacts after 1934.”[3] If using his numbers, the Haitian army had 4 000 members by 1934 and were fairly well trained. As it had always been since the revolution, black elites controlled the military and this would again be the case with this army.
            The peasant class which has always been the backbone of Haiti held a very dualistic role during this time. They at the same time were the least powerful and most powerful class politically. No elite could hold power without at least some support from the peasantry. They were the only part of society which actually produced anything, yet more importantly would rebel against an administration if they did not like it (even against the well trained American marines). The key to obtaining power was by winning over the peasantry. Though this class may have been the poorest a great respect for it existed, during and after the American occupation this respect grew immensely. It seems an intellectual renaissance, as labeled by Trouillot, was taking place which began looking for the heart of Haiti’s identity. This heart of course was the peasantry, their ways, and their roots.
Three main doctrines sprang up during this “renaissance”, the first which began during the occupation was known as indigenisme. A mulatto elite, Jean Price-Mars, spoke about how foreign influence on Haiti was not a healthy thing to adhere to. Mars derided American and French culture, and encouraged Haitian culture. Indigenisme praised voudou and peasant ways, and defined Haiti through those ways.
A small communist sector also came at this time, which was “inspired by the Russian Revolution of 1917…and intense speculation about the advantages and disadvantages of socialism and communism”[4] began to be discussed. Though this could have been an empowering movement for the peasantry it did not catch on.
The most powerful doctrine which came to life was that of the griots, meaning “storyteller”, which was noirisme. Though it began as part of indigenisme, it quickly split from it and developed far more racist conclusions. Noirisme didn’t only praise voudou, African decent, and peasant ways, but claimed it to be the best way. As “scientific” study of the merit of races began spreading like wild fire (Eugenics, interpretations of Nietzsche, etc.) the noiristes decided that African genes were the proper genetics and the darker skinned you were the better. The movement was lead by alleged doctor, Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier, who was one of the black elite who obtained a scholarship to study in the United States. Duvalier traveled the countryside, documented the ways and intricacies of the voudou religion, and peasant ways. 
The doctrine which won over the peasantry was that of noirisme. Duvalier was a charismatic man and won over their confidence. The problem with this was that it may have changed the racial hierarchy, but did nothing to solve the question of race. In fact, the inherent racist attitudes of noirisme only made the situation worse.
The rise to power of Duvalier and the noiristes was not only based on their winning over of the peasantry but also due to horrible mistakes on the part of mulatto leaders and racism of their own. The mulatto administrations of Stenio Vincent and Eli Lescot lost the trust and support the peasantry. As Trouillot describes as a “disdainful” event, president Stenio Vincent displayed “total indifference and hostility towards the Haitian masses” after “up to 20,000” Haitians in the Dominican Republic as migrant laborers were murdered. Vincent, who was supposedly good friends Dominican president Trujillo, settled for $750,000 as compensation, most of which was likely pocketed by Vincent himself or other bureaucrats.
The question of color during the switch from mulatto power to black power can be described in some terms as getting out of the frying pan and into the fire. Duvalier and his supporters were bent on revenge more than dealing with the color questions. Truoillot believes that Duvalier and his supporters were even “black fascists…who could have fit into the Nazi SS.”[5] Though this statement suffers from loaded language and an extreme comparison, it must be noted that indeed the regimes of the noiriste leaders were horribly brutal and violent.
The peasants who were at the heart the of noiriste doctrine, were reduced to a political tool and gained virtually nothing from the noiriste movement. Instead more hardships and violence was to ensue for them.
In conclusion, the occupation of Haiti likely delayed a “boiling point” so to speak in color relations in Haiti. The mulatto elite gained a brief surge in power in large part due to American racism, but, the black elite may have gained more from the Americans in the end. The marines influence and training of soldiers greatly empowered the black military elite and facilitated the rise of the Estime and of course his successor Duvalier. The last class we looked at, the peasants, remained quite unchanged in the end. Though it must be said that the leaving of the marines was beneficial to them, they did not see better times with the Vincent and Lescot (legacy of the mulatto elite installed by the U.S.) who treated them very poorly. Nor did they benefit much from the noiriste leaders who subjugated their support and used them as a political tool to consolidate and legitimize their power (which grew to record levels not seen since Boyer). If anything the problem of racism was only worsened in the events following the occupation and a new regime of violence and repression was on the horizon.


[1] Trouillot, Michel R. State Against Nation. (New York: Monthly Press Review, 1990). pg. 101.
[2] See Trouillot. pg 106.
[3] See Trouillot. pg. 32.
[4] See Trouillot. pg 34.
[5] See Trouillot. pg. 40

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Essay 17: On Asbestos Strike of 1949

The era in which the Maurice Duplessis government was in power in Quebec was known as the “Grand Noiceur” and as a time of stagnation (maybe even regressive). The government was vehemently opposed to unions or workers organizations of any kind. Their broad definition of “communist” coupled with the padlock law (the shutting down of any place where so called “communists” gathered) enacted a veritable stranglehold on Quebec’s working class. The working class of the era faced another enemy as the press (and thusly public opinion) was against them, and those who supported them were mainly doing so for personal gain. In this essay we shall look at (A) how the press covered the Asbestos strike of 1949, (B) how the politicians of the time used the strike for personal reasons, and (C) how historians have to chose to focus on the fabricated ideological factors of the strike as opposed to anything meaningful.
The press of the time had obvious biases as a great more print space was given to quotes and opinions from side one (the Johns-Manville company, the government, and the police) as was given to side two (the strikers, and unions heads). For example only one paragraph in both articles is given to a quote from someone from the union (Gerard Picard), who outlines what the strikers demands are,

A wage increase of 15 cents an hour retroactive to January 1; application…of the
Rand formula[1]; a contributory accident, sickness and hospital plan; work-free
religious feast days and an improved system of paid holidays[;] and company
support of the principle of dust elimination.[2]

These 4 lines no less are sandwiched between quotes and opinions from Mr. Lewis H. Brown (chairman of Johns-Manville). In fact 60% of the article is quotes and opinions from Mr. Brown who’s statement of what the unions want is significantly different, stating the strike “’is not about wages and working conditions’ but union demands ‘to take over the management rights”. This “red-scare” tactic is even slotted before the unions actual demands in the article making it seem like Mr. Brown is correct and the actual demands are merely refutations to Mr. Brown’s statement. The journalist then ends the article of course with two more paragraphs of quotes from Mr. Brown, giving sufficient space for him to vent his veiled threats of closing the plant, a doom and gloom future of depression, and his need to fire “50%” of his workers due to “changing economic conditions”.
            Not only does Mr. Brown get significant space to defend himself and his actions but as we see in the “Asbestos Asks Duplessis to Recall Police” article but so does Director Beauregard of the Provincial Police. Police officers at the strike were accused by city councilors of “being under the influence of liquor in the street", and Mr. Beauregard is given sufficient space to refute this accusation (4-5 paragraphs). The only party of course that isn’t given any space to retort accusations are the strikers. Seven of them are accused of crying upon their arrest and thus dubbed the “sorry seven”. Far be it for one to doubt the claim that seven grown men, asbestos miners at that, all broke into tears when confronted by police (police they were following and eventually confronted themselves) but why not give them or other strikers space to defend against this accusation.
            Le Devoir on the other hand was much different in their reporting of the strike, they were all for it (and sure did a good job of patting themselves on the back afterward for a job well done). Details of course had little place in Andre Laurendeau’s and others prose in Le Devoir. Instead the “story” took on romantic concepts of good versus evil as the downtrodden workers were “[brought] to their knees” by the company and the government who wanted to “smash and grind them to dust”.
            The depiction of what this mass of 5000+ people seem to differ fantastically depending on what you read. Were they sorry, crying fools causing trouble for respectable businessmen and police or downtrodden people being ground into dust by maniacal tyrants? The easiest and most correct answer is neither. Social-oriented historians may be quick to notice how easily the mass walk-out of 5000 individuals was derailed and turned into rhetorical fodder for politicians and press people of the time. The most striking example being that of one Mr. Pierre Elliott Trudeau who won a lot of respect and support with his prose on the subject (he went on to be Prime Minister and after his death was remembered as one of the “Greatest Canadians” ever[3]).
            Historians looking back on this event seem easily bogged down by politics as well and would rather look at the romanticized pieces and thusly further romanticize them. As we see in Michael Behiels work we get the impression that the strike mainly involved press leaders (Filion, Pelletier), politicians (Cité-Libristes, Trudeau) and was a battle for ideological opinions rather than Asbestos dust cleanup. The article makes these press people and politicians out as heroes rather than middle class elites riding the coattails of the strikers suffering for personal gain.
            To conclude the facts we can list about what happened (having not been present there) are minimal. The Duplessis government was quite anti-union, the mayor of Asbestos was out to lunch, the strikers were underpaid, and the cops “had a beer at the hotel,” everything else about the parties involved is circumstantial, unproven, or irrelevant. The most interesting thing about these documents is actually what little facts have to do in with the writing of press agents and politicians…and also some historians strangely enough.


“Asbestos Mine Sought ‘Elsewhere” Montreal Daily Star, 12 May 1949.

“Asbestos Asks Duplessis to Recall Police,” Montreal Daily Star, 22 May 1949.

Behiels, Michael, “The Asbestos Strike” in his book, Prelude to Quebec’s Quiet
     Revolution: Liberalsim versus Neo-Nationalism (Montreal: MQUP, 1985): 124-9.

Laurendeau, André, “What Do We Want in Asbestos?” in Ramsay Cook & Michael
      Behiels (eds) The Essential Laurendeau (Toronto: Copp Clark Pub., 1976): 151-4.

Trudeau, Pierre-Eliott, “Quebec on the Eve of the Asbestos Strike” in Ramsay Cook (ed)
      French Canadian Nationalism: An Anthology (Toronto: MacMillan of Canada, 1969):
      32-48.


[1] An early union-dues system.
[2] “Asbestos Mine Sought ‘Elsewhere’” Montreal Daily Star, 12 May 1949.

[3] Trudeau was voted in the top 10 of greatest Canadians in a poll conducted by the CBC (and presented by the beautiful Wendy Mesley).

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Essay 18: On Language and shit...(I think I might have been listening to "All Roads Lead to Ausfahrt" while writing this)

            In this essay we shall look at Talbot and the Atkinsons piece on language in the media. We shall review its main good points in the first part, and then critique its main bad points in the second part.

Part 1
Who is Who? And What is What?

Talbot and the Atkinsons state that “in a communicative event, there is always an addresser and an addressee (p68)” and the fact that the communication is not “face-to-face” in media dialogues creates all kinds of problems. Take for instance, the written media data you are reading now, the writer (myself) and the reader (yourself) are not interconnected, we are not engaged in a dialogue, and thusly it becomes somewhat difficult to convey opinions that would be easy in a face-to-face situation. In fact, the writer of this text does not know who the addressee is and must, as Talbot and the Atkinsons put it, imagine an addressee “with particular values, preoccupations, and commonsense understandings (p71).” For this writer creating an addressee is not that difficult for various variables of information are already checked off the list (age, level of education, etc.) and the template I will use as the addressee is a university-level educated person. The creation of a template addressee becomes far more difficult as less and less variables of information exist. In the case of mass media (television, radio, newspapers) creating an addressee is virtually impossible for you are addressing millions of humans and it is not possible by any means to group millions of people into a single template. The addresser must thusly base his creation on totally presupposed values (p71). The situation becomes extremely dangerous, as by creating an addressee with presupposed values, they are in a sense creating what is right and wrong. Presuppositions are basically background facts/beliefs/etc. that are implied within a statement. If the addressers in mass media must presuppose all variables while creating their addressee, they will inevitably become a powerful influence on what is accepted in society as being right or wrong.
            Talbot and the Atkinsons give examples of this phenomenon in the form of excerpts from British teen girl magazines. The statement “Are you doing enough for your underarms” is based off presupposed values that inevitably shape the notion that having hairy armpits is generally frowned upon. It is explained in the article,
            Since “enough” entails “some”, the headline expects you to be doing something
“for your underarms.” In fact, it is likely that it introduced the target [market] to
the notion of removing underarm hair, before they had even grown any (p71).

They also note that most writers in the teen magazines take on the “persona” of being an older sister to the reader. A very impersonal dialogue between an advertising agent and a casual reader has thusly become a very personal dialogue between an elder sister and the youth who looks up to her (p71). This particular instance of mass media shaping through presumption is not really dangerous per se, but in other media venues the situation becomes very dangerous. The article gives a particularly good example in the form of racist presumptions from British newspaper headlines in the 1980’s.
            News organizations become particularly complicated because, as the authors put it, “they are under professional and institutional control,” “have access to power,” and are not simply one entity but rather a whole gang of addressers forming one entity (p70). Talbot and the Atkinsons explain the latter part of that statement by using a quote from Mr/Mrs. Bell who said that “[n]ews is produced on an assembly line (p70).” The authors claim that a “principle” has a statement to make, which is then made into words by an “author”, then sifted through by an “editor” to fit their template, then finally told to its addressees by an “animator” who brings the statement to life (p70). The final part of the chain is the public of course, who are presented with a well organized statement which is easy to swallow, whether it is right or wrong is not important. The news, as such, becomes a superhighway of presupposed ideologies which too often become widely believed. The authors quote some racist headlines used in work by Mr. Van Dijk, (i.e. “Black Brixton Looters Jailed”, “Second Black on Murder Charge”), the term “black” inserted in both headlines simply reinforces that there are differences between races and they presume that an “us” and “them” mentality exists among its readers. By presuming that such a mentality exists among its readers they do nothing to destroy this mentality but instead convince more readers that such a distinction exists. If the articles were simply “Brixton Looters Jailed” or “Second Person on Murder Charge” it would be far less dangerous in shaping the attitudes of its readers.
            Talbot and the Atkinsons speak of an even more dangerous phenomenon of race in the mass media in the sense of dysphemism when writing about certain groups. The word is the antithesis of euphemism which means to glorify something, dysphemism means to speak of something derogatively (pp71-72). This comes into play when authors use terms to describe a group as “a cancer” or “a blight” or a “catastrophe,” the authors give the example of an author who referred to immigrants as “human sewage.” Dysphemism becomes extremely troublesome when coupled with poetic language, as we see in the headline “Bombs, Bulletts, Blood in Barricaded Britain” as recorded by Van Dijk. It seems that many of the “authors” in the media assembly line are usually pretentious little bourgeois pricks straight out of university who think they can make a name for themselves by writing like foppish morons. All they end up doing is ferociously fanning the flames of flagrant xenophobia.

The Hawks and the Punks

            The next important topic covered in the article is how the media can shape discourse simply by being organized and strategic about it. This section of the article is centered largely on research done by Ian “The Hammer” Hutchby. In his work, the Hammer found that a formulaic system is usually used when the public is given the opportunity to share their opinions on radio or television. The formula is as such: the caller is introduced and greeted by the host, the caller proceeds to state their introduction to their opinion, the host confirms, the caller then states their opinion on the topic they introduced, a brief pseudo-argument then takes place, the caller is then released, and the host gets a minute to challenge and disprove the now absent opponent (p75). Any statement can be argued and disproved, it’s simply a matter of who gets the final word in almost every case. The great Sun Tzu said that,
Thus it is that in war, the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory
has been won, whereas he who is destined for defeat first fights and then
afterward looks for victory.[1]

In the case of talk radio the host has gone to battle with victory insured while the caller is simply a pawn in the battle destined to foolishly be defeated. The host is a hawk, and the caller is inevitably a punk to be killed by the hawk.
            The third party in this particular situation is Hutchby, who in turn kills the hawk. Not because he is necessarily right or wrong but because he has all the cards in his hand so to speak. He is organized, educated and is writing about events that occurred in the past rather than in the present. Proving a point which occurred in retrospect gives you literally infinite time to prepare your words and points, putting you at a paramount advantage. Hutchby must be classified as the next most dangerous predatory bird in the animal kingdom, which is sequentially, the Argentenian Terror Bird.
            Hawks and punks exist not only in talk radio but in every dialogue and every expressive medium. To explain it in regards to this essay, the addresser (myself) and the addressee (yourself) have a backward battle in which the addressee is the hawk for she is the one with the red pen. For example the reader of this essay might point out that, in the previous section, the writer claimed that the use of poetic writing is a terrible practice which is used only by pretentious pricks, yet he hypocritically goes on to do it himself in the very next sentence. I played the hawk for a moment and killed the punk who authored that headline, but now that this essay is simply words on paper it is defenseless to be torn apart by the next most dangerous bird on the food chain, and rightfully so.

Part 2
Ahem…

            This article by Talbot and the Atkinsons is terrible, for three very blaring and obvious reasons.
            Firstly, it has a very bias and narrow viewpoint when it comes to politics. They constantly refer to the “right wing media” and how bad it is. It is not insomuch that they are bias towards this group that is their fault but rather that they view media as being set in a rigid horizontal line. It is ridiculous to take a field of study as vast as the media and place it on a polarized line and classify statements as being “left” and “right.” In their rudimentary understanding of politics they simply pass off anything they do not like as being “right” and thusly wrong. At one point they claim that, “the right wing press routinely referred to the people participating in urban disturbances with [derogatory terms] (p73).” If placing individuals in groups and giving them derogatory terms is wrong then why do they simply place the authors in question as being “the right wing press,” why not name the authors in question instead of lumping them into some term they’ve just created? Similarly, Talbot and the Atkinsons make it clear that through labeling, a negative “us” and “them” situation is created (p73), if doing this is so bad then why create an “us” and “them” situation between “left press” and “right press?”
            As for Hammer Hutchby, for someone so interested in exposing hawks and defending the little guy, why must he transcribed the callers statements in such a way that makes them look so unintelligent? In one such transcript he claims the caller stated, “Yes guh morning. Um. I want to talk about thee report…(p75).” Is it that hard to understand that the caller said “good” in that statement? Why must he transcribe it as “guh?” He does so simply to make fun of the person and make them look bad. It’s a shameful means to add humor to his second rate research. Hutchby also is shortsighted in his statement that the callers always formulaically lose the discussion with the host. In his formula the caller gets time to state their opinion (in array vectors 2-4, 8-14, and 16 in his formula) and if they prepare and use their time effectively they can surely leave their mark on the discussion. Is he stating that it is futile to state your opinion in media discourse? How can you solve anything by not trying? Grow up Mr. Hutchby.
            The final blaring error in this work is that they themselves create bias and negative images of a group of people. By only pointing out racist headlines in British press, the reader can assume that these headlines only exist in British press, and therefore that the British are racist and bad. A good writer would have included headlines from other countries as well to make it clear that this exists everywhere and not solely in Britain. Canadians, for example may come away from this work thinking that the problems addressed in the work are exclusive to Britain and that their country is still the paradise they believe it to be, which is simply not true. Talbot and the Atkinsons should have included racist headlines from North American press as well, it is wrong that they did not.     
In conclusion, the Talbot and Atkinson article was very well-written and had its share of original ideas but had its faults as well. It is important to note that all linguistic data will take its turn being the hawk and the punk, for it is inevitable. The hawkage process that all ideas go through is by no means a bad thing, it is necessary…it is the language food chain, where ideas are constantly eaten, swallowed, regurgitated, and then eaten again.


[1] Sun Tzu, The Art of War. Chapter 7
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Essay 19: On Women in Ancient Greece

            In this essay we shall look at the status of women in Ancient Greece and how the situation changed during the Hellenistic period. We shall look in depth at how the leading “thinkers” of Ancient Greece viewed females, how the rights of females differed from that of males, and look at the changes for the better which occurred during the Hellenistic period.
            It is often noted of course that Ancient Greece invented democracy and many believe it was a democratic civilization, which is in fact not true. The only citizens enfranchised in the “democracy” were landholding males, countless slaves were not considered citizens and strangely enough women were not considered to be citizens either. Women rarely went out in public, were not allowed to own land, vote, manage their own affairs, and were resigned to a male guardian (kyrios). F.A. Wright in a book published in 1923 goes as far as to cite this problem as the cause of Greece’s downfall,
            The fact is – and it is well to state it plainly – that the Greek world perished from
one main cause, a low ideal of womanhood and a degradation of women which found expression both in literature and in social life. The position of women and the position of slaves – for the two classes went together – were the canker-spots which, left unhealed, brought about the decay first of Athens and then of Greece. [1]

Whether the poor treatment of these classes did in fact lead to the downfall of Greece is debatable, yet it is undeniable that it was indeed a great problem. It must be asked why this attitude prevailed as it did, why did Ancient Greece have a low “ideal of womanhood”? In modern society many develop their attitudes and beliefs from media, and likely it was much the same in Ancient Greece. The most accessible media of the time was written materials of intellectuals, which was surely a great influence on the attitudes of the people. These intellectuals, guys like Aristotle, Plato, and so on, were deemed “great thinkers” and “philosophers” and were highly respected in Greek cultural circles. Their unilateral opinion of women, however, can best be described as degenerate and is the most obvious reason for Greece’s low opinion of women. As we see in this excerpt from Aristotle’s “Politics” they did not mince words when it came to their opinions of women,
[T]he male is by nature superior, and the female inferior; and the one rules, and the other is ruled; this principle, of necessity, extends to all mankind… A husband and father rules over…his wife a constitutional rule.[2]

He goes on to say that as his mentor Socrates believed, that male courage is displayed by “commanding” while a women’s courage is displayed by “obeying.”[3] From this we derive that Aristotle considered women to be less than men, in his own words “inferior.” Why he believed this can not be known, possibly his dislike of females can be linked to his homosexuality, but it’s not important. The importance lies in the fact that these opinions were highly circulated and taken as truth by Greek society. This opinion of “inferiority” of females was not held by Aristotle and Socrates alone, it was echoed by most if not all of the Ancient Greek “thinkers.” As we see in Plato’s “The Laws,”
[H]alf the human race – the female sex, the half in which in any case is inclined to be secretive and crafty, because of its weakness – has been left to its own devices because of misguided indulgence…You see, leaving women to do what they like is not just to lose half the battle: a woman’s natural potential for virtue is inferior to a man’s, so she’s proportionately a greater danger, perhaps even twice as great.[4]

It should be noted that the Ancient Greeks believed heavily on classifying objects into categories and people were of course no different. Plato’s mathematical abilities come into play here as well, as he deduces that “half” of humans (females of course) are untrustworthy and weak and by not keeping them under control you’ve apparently lost “half” the battle. Plato goes on to invent a formula in which to calculate how dangerous a person is, noting that if said person is female the answer must be multiplied by two as females are “proportionately” two times as dangerous as men. In modern times, a person who classifies whole groups of people into stereotypes based on gender (or race, status, etc.) would be seen as narrow-minded and hard headed rather than intelligent, yet in Ancient Greece Plato’s opinions were taken likely as fact. Plato’s narrow-minded and ridiculous opinions go even farther of the deep end when his religious beliefs are added, as we see here,
Those who on becoming men are timid, and pass through life unjustly, will according to assimilative reasoning be changed into women in their second generation. And at the same time through this cause the gods devised the love of copulation; composing an animal or animated substance, and placing one in us, but another in the female nature…In the privities and matrix of women, forming an animal desirous of procreating children, when it remains without fruit beyond the flower of its age, or for a still more extended period, suffers the restraint with difficulty and indignation…Hence women conceive animals invisible at first through their smallness, rude and unformed; when they become large, through dispersion of the seed, nourish them within, and, lastly, leading them into light perfect the generation of animals. In this manner, therefore, is the generation of women and every thing female performed.[5]

Plato goes into great depth here as to where baby girls come from. It seems “the gods” have put something (he calls it an “animal” though it’s not likely he meant this be an actual creature) in humans which decide the sex of the child. If a man lived his life “timid” and womanlike he will surely not have enough manliness to penetrate the femaleness of the woman and she will give birth to a female child. If you have to re-read the excerpt, don’t bother, understanding his nonsense is not what we’re aiming for. All that is important is that we know it is nonsense.
            Similar to modern times it is debatable to what extent media shapes the society and vice-versa. It is entirely possible that these philosophers opinions were only echoing what the society of the time was, or it could be that society of the time was like that because of these philosophers. One thing is certain, Ancient Greeks attitudes towards women were surely not helped in any way by the teachings of these thinkers. If anything the opinions of Artistotle (et al.) only fanned the flames so to speak. It should also be noted before we move on that negative attitudes toward women was at its peak in Athens, as noted by many historians the war-machine society of the Sparta saw drastically different attitudes towards women (not always necessarily better but for the most part improved). Egypt as well seems to have had far more equal rights for its female population. According to Sarah Pomeroy, it is possible that many other areas of Ancient Greece were more tolerant of females as well but nearly no documents of the laws of those areas exist. In Athens itself exceptions existed as well where some women enjoyed more freedom, including instances of female poets, and the hetera class of worldly, intelligent pseudo-prostitutes.[6]
            The Hellenistic era saw the end of the polis city-states of Greece and a new way of life. The “intellectual” golden age of Ancient Greece turned into ancient history as Phillip and Alexander of Macedonia conquered it. After Alexander’s death, his generals broke up the empire into an oligarchy and it would remain that way into the emergence of Rome as a superpower. With the polis and democracy (as much as you could call it that) being disbanded in Greece the agrarian power structure went with it. What did the Hellenistic era mean for women? Their socio-economical situation improved in many areas.
            Most notably women were in this era considered as legal persons and their affairs in many cases were not handled by their guardians (kyrios) anymore. Women were still to be married off by their fathers at a young age but the women had more rights and freedom in the matter than previously, as we see in this marriage contract between a couple to be married in the Hellenistic era,
Contract of marriage of Heraclides and Demetria. Heraclides takes as his lawful wife Demetria of Cos from her father Leptines of Cos and her mother Philitus. He is free; she is free…It shall not be lawful for Herclides to bring home another woman for himself in such a way as to inflict contumely on Demetria, nor to have children by another woman, nor to indulge in fraudulent machinations against Demetria on any pretext. If Heraclides is caught doing any of these things, and Demetria proves it before three men whom they both approve, Herclides shall return to Demetria the dowry of 1000 drachmas which she brought, and also forfeit 1000 drachmas [more]…Heraclides and Demetria shall each have the right to keep a copy of the contract in their own custody, and to produce it against one another.[7]

The contract also provides of course terms in which the female (Demetria) can void the marriage but it far more interesting that the legal, financial, and emotional well being of the woman is being taken into account during the making of this contract. If the man should be unfaithful and bad he shall return not only the dowry but in double. It helped that this instance took place in Egypt as well but both families of the couple were Greek. This shows a not only changing laws in the Hellenistic period but also changing attitudes of Greek people, women were becoming more apparent and recognized in the public sphere.
The second most noticeable change in Greek culture in regard to women was that of high profile queens, or mothers and wives of male rulers. Mothers of sons who could be heir to a throne became incredibly active politically to ensure their sons succession. In the case of one of Phillipe II’s wives, Olympias, we see a woman who stopped at nothing to make sure her son Alexander would inherit rule of Macedonia. After the death of Phillip II the first accused of his death was Olympias, although historians believe she is the unlikely culprit the fact the she was the first one suspected gives us insight on what kind of person she was.[8] Plutarch describes what he understood of Olympias in this excerpt,
Olympias, who affected [divine rituals]…and preformed them in more barbaric fashion, would provide the revelers with large tame snakes which often would crawl out from the ivy and the mystic winnowing baskets and wind themselves around the wands and garlands of the women, thus terrifying the men. [9]

It can be debated whether women secretly preformed these rituals, “terrifying to men”, prior to the Hellenistic era, but we know for sure they were preformed in that era and that Olympias engaged in them.[10] The wife of Seleucid Antiochus, Laodice, similarly was active politically to ensure her son become heir,
Laodice, like Olympias before her, was driven to desperate measures on behalf of
her sons. She took the opportunity to poison Antiochus, and had [another of his
wives] and her baby murdered in order to assure the succession of her [eldest son].

Laodice may have been even more ruthless than Olympias fact, being accomplice to the murder of a child.
The princess Arisnoe and Cleopatra VII of Egypt are also stand out characters when it comes to powerful women as well, both very active on the political spectrum, Arsinoe in Macedonia early in the Hellenistic era and Cleopatra in Egypt much later in the era.
            When it comes to the great “thinkers” of the Hellenistic era, they do not stray far from the norm. The growing fad of Stoicism founded by Zeno, and the Neopythagoreans did not care for the changing times and called for “highly restrictive codes of conduct for women.”[11] Followers of Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, and the other old schoolers kept their mentors attitudes towards women as well, still believing they were second class citizens.
            In conclusion, the attitude of Ancients Greeks was indeed a negative one and represented a wide spread problem for Greek society. The prevalent thinkers of the era whose opinions were held with great respect in Greek society were unilateral in their opinion that women were “inferior” to men and may have worsened the situation beyond repair. The Hellenistic era did indeed see some improvements to the rights of females, yet nothing significant except a few magistrates and powerful females. Not as F.A. Wright suggests, the downfall of Ancient Greece was likely not entirely due to the lack of rights for females but it could very plausibly be seen as a factor.


Bibliography

Pomeroy, S.B. Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves. (New York: Schocken Books,
      1975).

Leftokowitz, M.R., & Fant, M.B. Women in Greece and Rome. (Sarasota: Samuel-
      Stevens, 1977).

Wright, F.A. Feminism in Greek Literature from Homer. (Boston: E.P. Dutton and Co., 
      1923).

Thompson, J.C. “Women in the Ancient World.” [online] Revised: Nov 2005. Available
       on World Wide Web: (http://www.womenintheancientworld.com/index.htm).
       [Accessed 7 April, 2006].


[1] Wright, F.A. Feminism in Greek Literature from Homer. p.1
[2] Leftokowitz, M.R., & Fant, M.B. Women in Greece and Rome. p. 44
[3] See Leftkowitz & Fant. p. 45
[4] See Leftkowitz & Fant. p. 48
[5] See Leftkowitz & Fant. p. 56
[6] Thompson, J.C. “Women in Athens” (http://www.womenintheancientworld.com/ women%20in%20ancient%20athens.htm)
[7] Pomeroy, S.B. Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves. p. 127-128. (example used in class as well).
[8] See Pomeroy 122.
[9] See Pomeroy, 122.
[10] Unless, of course, Plutarch was a big liar.
[11] See Pomeroy 132.

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Essay 20: On Sioux...

            In this essay we shall look at the values of Sioux society as viewed by the Sioux people, and the drastic change within Sioux society between the 19th and 20th century. We shall rely on information provided from the books, Waterlily, and Lakota Woman.

Part One
The Good old days…

            Firstly, when speaking of what was of utmost value to the Sioux people, we must speak of family. The “tiyopsayes” were not of the nuclear variety that we care so much for today, but were more like a big gang of relatives who live and share wealth together. In the novel “Waterlily” we see the lead character part of two families, as a child with her mother and her in-laws and then in her womanhood as a member of Black Eagle’s tiyopsaye. In the Black Eagle group they worked together in order to survive, be healthy, and happy, and each family member had certain duties and roles to accomplish in order for the unit to thrive. For example, in the novel when the unit must save food for upcoming hardships they go about it as follows,
Immediately the hunters went out to bring in all the meat possible, and the women
worked till sundown every night, cutting it into proper shape. Certain of the
elderly men, who the art, meantime went out to an isolated spot under the pines,
far from the camp circle, to get the cache [storage site] ready…The women
worked fast, preparing the meat for processing…Some lively boys around fifteen
or sixteen years of age were put through the sweat bath and were given new
moccasins to wear. From then on, all day long, they stamped and beat down the
meat under the hide (WL: p169).

Basically, the of age males went into the night and killed animals, to which the women cut and dried, the meat was then stomped on by the younger males, and finally placed into a hole dug out by the old guys. The unit was a well oiled machine of human hard work, and through hard work and honesty, they lived happy and fulfilling lives.
            It wasn’t easy to keep this system working however. As we see in the novel a set of rigid rules was outlined for the lead character as she enters the Black Eagle tiyopsaye. The author states upon Waterlily’s arrival to the group,
the main problem was not that of adjusting to her new status as wife, which was
private and personal, but adjusting to her husband’s family and relatives, which
was a social matter…Dakota kinship rules, especially where relatives of marriage
were concerned, were very exact and exacting. [She must] learn by subtle
observation who was what to her, and then must proceed to conduct herself
properly in each case, as prescribed by kinship law (WL: p162).

She had to figure out who was who, and how to act and treat her respective family members in accordance to her peoples customs. It is interesting to note how intricate the Sioux’s customs and lifestyle regarding family were, for later in the essay we will see the dismantling of them and how severely damaging it was to the Sioux people and their culture.
            The second important feature of Sioux society was spiritualism. They loved their religion and couldn’t get enough. In Waterlily we see a detailed (yet fictional) description of what is called a Sun Dance. It involved people causing harm to themselves to show humbleness and devotion to their beliefs, yet also was a fun festival where attendees drummed, danced, and partied hard. First a sacred tree was thanked, cut down and used as the center piece of the ceremony. Next a holy man ushered in the festival by performing a “Peace Pipe rite” and then apologizing to the birds who may have used the sacred tree as their home prior to it being cut down. After which the men who promised to injure themselves began ritual dancing, and then culminated the main event by “scarifying” their body in order to give thanks or praise to their deity (WL: pp113-119).
            From the description of the Sun Dance we understand that the Sioux’s religion was a very humble one, one where they care for the land and the animals that inhibit it. It is also humble in the sense that the dancers and the holy men did not have a holier-than-thou attitude but rather a selfless nature that put their community first.
            The Waterlily book in itself is a fictional writing based on actual sources to try and create an image of what Sioux society was before the arrival of European settlers. The only presence of Euro-settlers in the whole book is when Waterlily, her cousin, and her stepfather’s friend go to a small trading post to purchase European goods, and no ill will is had either, they simply buy some goods and are fascinated by them. The book presents a utopian Sioux society of proud hunters, hardworking beautiful females, and paramount Sioux laws and customs which give the reader a “good old days” kind of feel.

Part Two
Post-Apocalypse

            If Waterlily gives a feel harkening back to the good times of the 19th century, it must be assumed that those times are lost. In Mary Crow Dog’s Lakota Woman, we are presented with a view that those days are truly gone and that the reality of Sioux society in the 20th Century is one of a desolation and despair. She outlines at the beginning of the book the harsh reality as to which she lived on her Indian Reservation and boarding school and it by no means gives the impression of anything positive. For instance the Sioux men were no longer proud buffalo hunting warriors, the buffalo being all gone of course, but rather as the author puts it, the closest thing men came to being warriors was injuring each other senselessly in barfights (LW: p5). The women, who in Waterlily had wonderful red-dyed ceremonial dresses now went shoeless and shabby (LW: p20).
            As mentioned in the previous part of the essay, the center of Sioux culture was the family (tiyopsaye), yet according to Mary Crow Dog these were far less as powerful in her era,
At the center of the old Sioux society was the tiyospaye, the extended family
group, the basic hunting band, which included grandparents, uncles, aunts, in-
laws, and cousins. The tiyopsaye was like a warm womb cradling all within it.
Kids were never alone, always fussed over by not one but several mothers,
watched and taught by several fathers…The whites destroyed the tiyospaye, not
accidentally, but as a matter of policy. The close-knit clan, set in its old ways, was
a stumbling block in the path of the missionary and government agent, its
traditions and customs a barrier to what the white man called “progress” and
“civilization (LW: pg13).

The worst part of the breakup of the family unit was in sending the children to elaborate boarding schools in order to “educate” them. Mary, herself was sent to one, and does not speak highly of it in her book, she states that “[e]ven in a good school, there is impersonality instead of close human contact” and that the environment is basically “a sterile, cold atmosphere, [of unfamiliar routines], language problems,” and above all it suffers from the mechanicalness of clocks and time. To show this she outlines a poster from the school that she found among her grandfathers belongings which state the rules they were to aspire to,
1. Let Jesus save you.
2. Come out of your blanket, cut your hair, and dress like a white man.
3. Have a Christian family with one wife for life only.
4. Live in a house like your white brother. Work hard and wash often.
5. Learn the value of a hard-earned dollar. Don not waste your money on 
     giveaways. Be punctual.
6. Believe that property and wealth are signs of divine approval.
7. Keep away from saloons and strong spirits.
8. Speak the language of your white brother. Send your children to school and do  
     likewise.
9. Go to church often and regularly.
          10. Do not go to Indian dances or to the medicine man. (LW: p31)

These rules are blatantly and unforgivingly marred by bigotry and downright stupidity. The most dangerous rule is likely the first one, “Let Jesus save you,” for the second most important part of Sioux life was their indepth and humble religious beliefs. If a culture is made to renounce their beliefs in the name of a foreign alien religion they will be forced to renounce their culture and who they are as well.
            The 20th century in general is not positive for the Sioux at all. One of the greatest inventions of the time was not good to the Sioux either, the television, which most whites couldn’t live without was a dangerous propaganda tool and was in effect very damaging to Sioux and all Native cultures. Mary Crow Dog (in one of my favorite quotes of her book) states that,
TV has destroyed innocence, broken through the wall that separates the rich
whites from the poor nonwhites. The “boob tube” brainwashes people, but if they are poor and nonwhite, it also makes them angry seeing all those things advertised that they can never hope to have – the fancy homes and cars, the dishwashers and microwaves, the whole costly junk of affluent America (LW: p26).

Even in modern times this is still true. The television programs today produce an image that big-city life is beautiful people, in wonderful homes, engaging in healthy human relationships and constantly zinging witty barbs off one another. While in reality big city life is just a bunch of assholes, pricks, cops, salesmen, and drug addicts screaming at each other. The image that television creates makes those not in the city feel left out of something great while in reality they are probably very lucky to not be part of it.
            Needless to say, Mary Crow Dog was not happy with her current situation and attempts to change it. She was “not much over five feet tall” of course but she could “hold her own in a fight, and in a free-for-all with honkies [she could] become rather ornery and do real damage (LW: p9). She realized her people were under “the long snows of despair and [that] a little spark of [their] ancient beliefs and pride kept glowing, just barely sometimes, waiting for a warm wind to blow that spark into a flame again (LW:p6). She knew you couldn’t “freeload” off of old legends forever and understood that you must “make your own legends” for that spark to keep burning. This woman was a renegade, a renegade of her time and of her age.
            Lakota Woman is full of heroic type descriptions of Natives standing up for themselves (i.e. the woman who reclaimed Mount Rushmore, the burning down of the bureau in Custer, the stand at Wounded Knee of course) but probably the most important thing the Crow Dogs and AIM did was resurrect Sioux religion, culture, and ways. They wished to live in the utopian Sioux society that we see described in Waterlily. For example, Leonard Crow Dog (Mary’s husband) brings back the Sun and Ghost Dances, the descriptions of the Sun Dance being very similar to the way it is described in Waterlily. They were aware of what was happening and were consciously doing this to revive their culture, as she states, “[Leonard] thought reviving the Ghost Dance would be making a link to our past, to the grandfathers and grandmothers of long ago. So he decided to ghost-dance again at the place where this dance had been killed and where now it had been resurrected (LW: p153). Their stand at wounded knee in itself is a description of the “old ways,” for instance some of the young men went out to hunt down “slow elks” (cows) and bring back to the camp to skin and eat, they didn’t know the techniques to skin and butcher them but all the same (LW: p134). Men, and even women, were again warriors taking up arms and fighting an enemy and living the old ways.
            In conclusion, the two books act as a very good timeframe for Sioux history. We see in Waterlily, how prior to the later 19th century the Sioux lived by their own laws, beliefs, and customs. In Lakota Woman, these ways are lost to a whole generation but go through a great revival process in the later half of the 20th century.


...and #21: Lastly, the only piece of fiction I ever wrote:

(it was for an English class I had to take at John Abbott while studying Business Administration there, they make you take some basic courses too like English and Gym...it was a short story about how former Phillies short-stop Steve Jeltz saves Christmas and it was called "A Steve Jeltz Christmas")

 A Steve Jeltz Christmas

 A short Christmas Story by Deric Brazill

-ONE-

    Steve Jeltz awoke from his bed, stumbled to the window and looked outside. He wasn't fully awake yet but sleepyness was the least of his worries. His Paris Napoleans had a rubber match against the Alsace Fermiers today and Steve Jeltz was worried and homesick.
 
    Steve Jeltz you see plays semi-professional baseball in the France Major Leagues. He plays second base and is an excellent fielder. His hitting is a little weak but the French league pitchers don't have many nasty pitches in their repetoire so Steve Jeltz does okay. He's hitting .321 so far this season and is fifth in the entire leauge. Steve Jeltz is excelling in the French League but it is no remedy for his worries.      

Steve Jeltz sees the snow fall outside and each flake hitting the ground acts like a another brick falling on his heart. It is December 20th and the snow is perfect setting for the Christmas season. This will be Steve Jeltz's first Christmas away from home.
    
Steve Jeltz stumbles his way to the bathroom in his French hotel. His legs and lower back are strained and weak from his previous encounter with the Fermiers the night before. Steve Jeltz hit a single and a triple and over did himself legging out the latter. Steve Jeltz begins brushing his teeth, all the while wondering what the hell he's doing in France playing baseball while his family and friends are back home in Philedelphia enjoying the Christmas season. Steve Jeltz sees his reflection in the mirror before him, his jehri-curls are a bit ruffled and matty from last night. Steve Jeltz was extremely tired the night before and didn't take the time to shower out his jehri-curl before going to bed. Steve Jeltz tries to get them back into shape with the spray and applicator but he is not impressed with the third-rate jerry curls he ends up with. Normally Steve Jeltz spends one to two hours per morning on his curls but his heart is not into it this particular morn. Steve Jeltz is homesick...


Steve Jeltz closed his eyes and remembered the voices of his friends back home in Philadelphia,
 

    "Throw me the frisbee Steve Jeltz!" cries Johnny.
    "Come make a snowman with me Steve Jeltz!" yells Betty Sue.
    "No Steve Jeltz, let's decorate the Christmas tree!" calls Gertrude.
    "Oh but Steve Jeltz! You promised you'd take me to the mall and see Santa!" exclaims little Robin.

    "Hold up y'all! There's plenty of Steve Jeltz to go around now..." replies Steve Jeltz. "Now come on all of y'all let's make a snowman!"

    "YAY!" Screams his friends.

    Christmas times at the Steve Jeltz Community Orphanage in Philedelphia were always magical times. The orphans had very little and Christmas was the one time that they felt truly buck happy. Little Robin especially was fond of Christmas, for he had terminal polio and was quite depressed throughout the year. For little Robin, Christmas was like a ray of hope that blasted through him and made him happy...at least for a couple of days anyway.

    "This is the best snowman evar! Let's give him a briefcase too!" exclaims Johnny.
    "Why would a snowman need a briefcase silly? He doesn't have a job!" calls back Gertrude.
    "Don't be a silly goose Johnny!" yells Betty Sue.
    "I think he'd look cool with a briefcase!" says little Robin.

    "Haha! I think he'd look darn good decked with a briefcase too! Let's set this dude up with one!" says Steve Jeltz as he fastens an old briefcase he found in the shed into the snowman's arms.

    "Woah! He's a businessman!" says Johnny.
    "Yeah! a Snow-Bussinessman!" yells Betty Sue.
    "Oh my! I wonder what he sells?" wondered Gertrude.
    "What does he sell Steve Jeltz?" asks little Robin.

    "I wonder. I bet the dude sells icepops...he's a cool brother." answers Steve Jeltz.

    "Yeah! Icepops! Mmmmmmmm!" scream Steve Jeltz's friends.

    Steve Jeltz missed his friends terribly, he began to wonder what he was doing there. The French leauge offered him a great deal of money, you understand, to play ball there over the winter. The Napoleans gave him a 700,000 Franc 2-year deal, the third highest in league history. With that kind of money Steve Jeltz could do some serious revamping to the orphanage. They could fix the squeaky floor boards, put neon lights in the gymnasium, purchase 12 NES systems, and build a fireplace in the mess hall. Steve Jeltz felt the orphanage needed a fireplace in order to give Christmas morning that "just-right" sorta feeling. Now he wasn't so sure, what's the point of trying to make everything perfect? Steve Jeltz would have to miss two Christmases just to give the orphanage that perfection. He was beginning to think that this was the biggest mistake of his life.
    
-TWO-

Steve Jeltz side steps, fields the ball, tuns, pivots, and fires the ball to first in the nick of time. He makes all plays look easy. The fans cheer as the final out of the game means another victory for the Napoleans. Steve Jeltz barely even notices the cheering or the fans, for his heart is in a constant perpetual ache.

    "C'est quoi la probleme, Steve Jeltz?" Jean Marteau, the first baseman asks Steve Jeltz.
    "C'est rien Jean, sauf mon coeur, sa fait vraiment mal," replies Steve.
    "Ton coeur? T'es triste? Pourquoi Steve Jeltz?" asks Jean.
    "C'est le premier foit dans mon vie que je manque le Noel..." replies Steve Jeltz sullenly.
    "Ah, oui, c'est bien triste sa. Le Noel c'est le temps pour la famille," says Jean.
    "Je sais Jean...Je le sais bien."

    Steve Jeltz follows his teamates back to the dressing room, looking down, his heart heavy and achey. Steve Jeltz sits down at his locker and puts his elbows on his knees, and then his head into his hands. Steve begins to think once again of the good times with his friends at the orphanage.

    "You think Santa will have time to see us Steve Jeltz?" asks Betty Sue as the group enters the mall.
    "Don't be silly Betty Sue, Santa Claus doesn't have time for orphans," replies Johnny.
    "Yeah, he's right, I've only ever gotten presents from Steve Jeltz when I came to the orphanage," says Gertrude.
    "Oh my, but we must see Santa Claus..." whimpers little Robin.
    "Cool your breezes babies...The Clause'll peep us. No worries..." reassures Steve Jeltz.

    "Hiya Santa! MY name's Johnny! I'd like a race-CAR!!!!!!!" exclaims Johnny to the mall's Santa.
    "Hi Santa! I'm Gertrude and I'd like a KOOL-BREEZ oven for Christmas this year!" Gertrude says cheeringly.
    "SANTA! I'm Robin! I can't believe it's really you!" yells little Robin, with so much emotion in his face.
    "Oh my Steve Jeltz, Robin sure is happy to see Santa..." says Betty Sue.
    "Oh my, " says Steve Jeltz, so happy to see his friends so happy.

    Steve Jeltz raises his head from his hands, another teamate has come to attempt to cheer him up,

    "T'est okay Steve Jeltz?" asks reserve outfielder Pierre Lamarchand.
    "Oui, je suis okay..." replies Steve Jeltz, yet unconvincingly.
    "Est-ce-que t'es prete pour le grand serie contre les Babillards la semaine prochaine?" asks Pierre.
    "Oui, ne t'inquiete pas de moi Pierre, j'ai prete," answers Steve Jeltz.

    The series against the Babillards would in effect determine the winner of the Alsace division and mean a berth into the France Series to the victor. The Napoleans were never that strong a team and it would only be their second playoff berth in league history if they were to succeed. The fans were going absolutely bananas at this point and normally Steve Jeltz would be ecstatic at an oppurtunity for victory such as this yet his insides did nothing but remain heavy and painful. He oft wondered what his orphans were doing and if they were all right. Steve knew he couldn't leave, the French took their baseball very seriously, to leave your team at such a crucial moment would be unacceptable and seriously ruin his reputation and likely forfeit his lucrative contract.

    "'Ang in der Steve!" said Pierre Lamarchand in his best attempt at Steve's native langauge.

-THREE-


    "Gertrude come quick! Little Robin has taken a nasty spill!" shouts Betty Sue.
    "Oh my! I'll go get the nurse" says Betty Sue.

    Nurse Kimberly enters Little Robin's room and sees him lying on the floor, she gently picks him up and places him in his bed while Betty Sue and Gertrude look upon him, worried.

    "Will he be alright Nurse Kimberly?" Betty Sue asks teerfully.
    "..."
    "He's gonna be alright won't he?" gingerly asks Gertrude.
    "..."
    "Nurse Kimberly?" both girls notice Nurse Kimberly sullen silence and begin to worry and cry even more.
    "Children, we all knew Little Robin was weary for this world when he came to the orphanage. Polio is a very painful disease. I suggest you go find Johnny and say...oh my...say your goodbyes to Little Robin before it's too late," she replies.
    "Oh my!"
    "oh my!"

    When Steve Jeltz found young Robin in the snow that faithful morn he knew this child was not long for such a difficult world. The state physician diagnosed Robin with polio and said he had only a few years to live. Steve Jeltz vowed at that moment to make those years the greatest years a child could ever live. That's why Christmas had to perfect, that's why Steve took the contract to play for the Napoleans, he needed to make Christmas perfect for Little Robin...yet this particular Christmas would likely be Robin's last.

    "Is he gonna...?" asked Johnny as he entered Robin's room.
    "..." replied Gertrude.
    "No! This can't be!" cried Johnny.
    "st...st...eve...jel" murmured Little Robin.
    "Don't speak Little Robin save your energy" says Betty Sue.
    "steve jeltz..." murmurs Robin.
    "He's not here Robin, remember? He went to France to learn to dance, remember?" says Gertrude painfully.
    "Why did he have to learn to dance?" says Johnny.
    "I hate Steve Jeltz! Abandoning us like this just to learn to dance in France! I hate him!" proclaims Betty Sue.
    "Argh! We can't let Robin go! We must save him!" yells Johnny.
    "But how?" asks Gertrude.
    "We gotta go see Santa!" proclaims Johnny.
    "But the mall is closed now Johnny..." says Gertrude.
    "No, we gotta go see the real Santa in the North Pole! He'll save Robin!" says Johnny confidently.
    "Oh my!" says Betty Sue.
    "How do we get there?" asks Gertrude.
    "Easy, we sneak out at night and go north, my compass points there!" confidently replies Johnny.
    "Okay! Let's do it!" says Betty Sue.
    "Hang in there Robin...We're gonna save you!" says Gertrude.
    "steve...jeltz..." he murmurs.

    The children wait for night and when the nurses and caregivers fall fast asleep they sneak out of the orphanage. Johnny's boy scout compass points north with a bright red arrow and they abide by its judgement. They walk past familiar streets and familiar sights, then they walk past less familiar streets and less familiar sights, then they walk past places they've never seen, and soon enough they are walking where there are no streets at all and no familiar sights. As far as their eyes can see is snow...falling snow.

-FOUR-

    Steve Jeltz rips a single past the drawn-in Babillard infielders, his teamate and speedster Louis Augustine scores from third and the Napoleans clinch the Alsace division. The crowd goes absolutley wild as their Napoleans are going to the France Series. Steve Jeltz is hoisted onto the shoulders of two of his larger teamates and carried into the locker room for what is to be a fete to end all fetes. Steve Jeltz is set down in front of a buffet of fine french cuisine and fine french wine.

    "On va feter! Oui!" exclaims Louis Augustine.
    "Non, je peut pas..." sullenly states Steve Jeltz.

    His teamates are shocked as Steve Jeltz walks out of his locker room and back to his hotel room. On the way home Steve Jeltz remembers the last time he saw his friends...

    "Why must you go to France?" Asked Little Robin.
    "I gotta homey, it's just something I gotta do," answered Steve Jeltz.
    "Yeah but why Steve Jeltz? We'll miss you," said Gertrude.
    "I'm sorry, I have my brothers wedding to attend next fall and I never learned to dance," answers Steve Jeltz.
    "Oh my! In that case you must learn to dance Steve Jeltz!" exclaims Betty Sue.
    "Yes, if you go and dance poorly, your brother's wedding won't be perfect, you must go Steve Jeltz!" said Gertrude.
    "Yeah Steve Jeltz! You gotta go to France and learn to dance!" said Johnny.
    "Oh my Steve Jeltz! Why didn't you say so!" says Little Robin happily.

    Steve Jeltz hadn't the heart to tell them he was going to play baseball for a lucrative contract. He knew it was for their best, but he didn't think they'd understand. He was going to give them the best Christmas ever when he came back with his 700,000 Francs, but he knew they would have rather him stay home for two years rather than have nice things.
 
    Back at the hotel Steve Jeltz was feeling lower than ever. Why was he here? Was money going to give them the best Christmas ever? Would 700,000 Francs give Little Robin the best Christmas ever? These questions did nothing but burn holes through his soul, these questions began eating away at his heart.
 
    Steve Jeltz tried to sleep that night, images of baseball games, victories and glory were washed away in his dreams that night by horrible images. In his dreams at night, Steve Jeltz saw Little Robin lying in his bed, sick and worried, begging for Steve Jeltz to come home and tell him things were going to be alright. He saw Johnny, Betty Sue, and Gertrude, alone in a blizzard in the middle of nowhere crying and calling his name. Steve Jeltz tried to burst out of bed and awake from this dream yet the immense gravity of his saddness within him weighed him down. He lied there motionless, unable to move, unable to awake and remove those horrible images from his mind.

    "Reveillez-vous!" cackled a voice Steve Jeltz has never heard before.
    "AAAAAAAAAH!" yelled Steve Jeltz as he awoke from this dream.
    "I gotta go home!"

    Steve Jeltz burst awake like a freight train and ran to the door, his jerry curls were completely slept away and his hair looked terrible but the preminitions of his dreams that night felt too real to him. He didn't care about the Naploleans, he didn't care about the France Series! Steve Jeltz didn't care about his reputation within the French League or in all of France for that matter. He knew it was time to step up and do the right thing no matter what the consequences. Seven hundred thousand francs? He didn't care about that. He had to get himself back to Philidelphia for Christmas, he had to be there himself for his friends.

    "Steve Jeltz? Ou est-ce-que tu va a cette heure?" it was Jean Marteau, his teamate, asking him where he was going.
    "A Philly mon grand! Pour Noel! It's just something I gotta do homey!" yelled Steve Jeltz brimming with strength and vigor.
    "Jes someting you have to do? I am not here to stop you monsieur Steve Jeltz," says Jean.
    "Then why won't you get outta my way!?" yelled Steve Jeltz.
    "I would like to help you Steve Jeltz. My femme is with ze french air forze and I can borrow her avion!" exclaimed Jean.
    "Why didn't you say so homey!?" Exclaimed Steve Jeltz with a huge smile on his face.

-FIVE-

    It was now T-minus 3 hours until Christmas morning. Steve Jeltz and his teamate Jean Marteau have borrowed Jean's wife's f117-a fighter jet and are screaching through Atlantic airspace in a desperate attempt to get Steve Jeltz home for Christmas. Meanwhile, back in Philly Little Robin is drawing his last breaths while his friends are lost and freezing in the outskirts of the city.

    "Can't you make this thing go faster!?" Cries Steve Jeltz.
    "Quoi?" asks Jean Marteau.
    "Plus vite!" yells Steve Jeltz.
    "Non non, c'est a la max Steve Jeltz! J'ai n'a pas le puissance pour le faire!" exclaims Jean.

    Just then, a strange unidentifyable object whizzes onto the radar and is gaining on them.

    "C'est quoi ca!?" yells Steve Jeltz.
    "Sa peu pas etre une avion, il va trops vite! Je sais pas!" yells Jean.
    "Holy smokes! That thing is...is A SLED!" yells Steve Jeltz as he sees it through the back window.
    "Une Sled!?" exclaims Jean.
    "Man, that thing'll get me to Philly right quick! Homey raise your altitude so I can jump outta the bay doors and into it!" says Steve Jeltz.
    "T'es fou! You cannot jump out of ze bay doors, this avion is travelling over 200 miles par heure! Not only zat, but that thing is a sled! Pouquoi une sled est dans l'air!?" answers Jean.
    "Homey! Get me on that SLED!" yells Steve Jeltz.

    Jean Marteau nervously begins rising in altitude in accordance to Steve Jeltz suggestion, as insane as it is he sees that Steve Jeltz is serious about this. Jean then release a chaff grenade to blur the sled's radar and confuse it's trajectory for a moment time. This mere moment would have to be timed perfectly by Marteau and Steve Jeltz. While the sled is passing underneath the f117-a jet the chaff must intercept the sled and Steve Jeltz must drop down from the bay doors and into the sled. Marteau releases the chaff, and notices the sled slow down to percieve what the interference may be. Just then, they notice a round red figure bail out of the sled via parachute, what could it have been?

    "Maitenant!" Steve Jeltz go now!" exclaims Jean Marteau.
    "Aye-aye captain!" exclaims Steve Jeltz.
    
    Without a parachute and only his luck to protect him, Steve Jeltz falls through the bay doors and is in mid air. His life begins to flash before his eyes...He sees his mom, dad, sister, brother, and of course his friends at the orphanage. He sees them building a snowman, and making snow angels. Visions of his glory days during his baseball career whiz by his eyes. What a way to go he thinks, trying to highjack a sled in midair. What kind of a bonehead move was this? Why did he do this...

    Just then Steve Jeltz lands squarely in the sled's front seat. He sees Jean give him a thumbs up through the jet's cockpit window and watches him fly back to french airspace. Looking down at the sled he notices it's radar is still jammed from Jean's chaff.

    "Oh no! The trajectory thingy is all busted up!" exclaims Steve Jeltz horrified.

    It looks like his daring midair sled highjack is a recipe for disaster...

-SIX-

    Steve Jeltz awakes in the middle of a horrible snow storm. The sled crashed and both it and Steve Jeltz lay on the cold ground broken.

    "Reveillez-vous!" cackles a voice.
    "You, the one from my dream? Who are you? Where am I?" asks a distrought Steve Jeltz.
    "Ho ho ho..." says the voice.
    "S..s...Santa?" asks Steve Jeltz.
    "Of course it's me homey. Who did you think it? Why'd you have to jack my sled like that?" replies Santa Clause.
    "I...oh...I...ow...," answers Steve Jeltz.
    "Don't sweat it brother. You have more important things to worry about now anyway," says Santa.
    "What? ow..." says Steve Jeltz.
    "You're in the outskirts of Philidelphia right now homey and there's some very troubled orphans who need you now," says Santa.
    "I'm...I'm in Philly!?" excalims Steve Jeltz.
    "Yeah homey. Here let me give you something..."

    Santa reaches into his big red overcoat and hands Steve Jeltz a gold bell. Steve reaches out from the ground with his badly injured hand and accepts his offering along with some help to his feet.

    "Now brother, I gotta deliver these presents, I hope y'all didn't wreck my sled too bad! Ho ho ho!" says Santa as he boards his sled and disapears into the night's sky in a flash of red.

    Steve Jeltz begins walking towards the city, and something catches his eye. In the distance he can see three silhouettes schlepping their way through the blizzard. He screams to them with all his steve Jeltz might! He cries Betty Sue's name...and Johnny's name...and Gertrude's name...but his voice is blocked by the falling snow and absorbed into the night sky. He sees the silhouettes one by one tumble to the ground and try to get up again, and then he himself falls to ground. With his last bit of strength Steve Jeltz lifts his hand up to the snowy night sky and rings the bell Santa entrusted to him. Ring-a-ding-ding-ding, its sounds piercing the blizzard like a ray of Christmas hope and then Steve Jeltz loses consciousness.

    "What was that noise!?" asks Betty Sue.
    "What noise?" asks Johnny.
    "I heard it too! A bell ringing!" exclaims Gertrude.
    "A bell!? It must be Santa! We must be at the North Pole!" Exclaims Betty Sue with renewed vigor.

    The children run toward where the ringing originated as fast as they can! They run like an urgent van attempting to deliver food to the hungry elderly.

    "There! It's him!" Yells Johnny.
    "Who? Santy Claus!" says Gertrude.
    "No, even better! It's Steve Jeltz!!" Exclaims Betty Sue!

    As the children eyes meet his own, Steve Jeltz springs to his feet faster than turning a double play. He cries with glee and hoists the children unto his back and starts running. Steve Jeltz does not know where he is or where he's going but continues to run like he's never ran before. He runs as if he was legging a single into a double, then a double into a triple, then he runs as if he was legging and triple into an inside-the-park-homerun! The snow covers his whole body, he has no visibility yet keeps on pressing forward! He runs over hills and valleys and small mountains! He hurdles and pivots and jumps and veers. He is a man possessed...a man possessed with the spirit of Christmas!

    He sees a light in the distance. He can't run any longer but in his heart he knows that light is his destination. He can no longer run so he slows to a walk towards the light. He walks ever more slowly and slowly yet gradually gains distance toward the light. He falls to his hands and knees and begins crawling. The weight of his three friends hanging at his back weigh him down but its a good kind of weight. It was not the weight which held him down before, not the weight which made him unable to live his life...it was a weight he could bear, a weight he wanted to bear. As he approached the light he saw a face, a face calling his name.

    "steve jeltz..." said the voice.
    "Steve Jeltz..." reitered the voice.
    "STEVE JELTZ" called the voice.     

He looked up and saw the beatiful face of nurse Kimberly! He had made it home at last, and everyone was safe and sound. Nurse Kimberly took the children and bundled them up in blankets and put them to sleep in front of the fire place. Steve Jeltz brushed the hair behind their ears and gently stroked the hair behind their necks and cried many tears, he was so relieved that they were safe. He made his way towards little Robin's room. As he opened the door he smelt the smell of sickness, and he began to cry more tears...sad, painful, heart destroying tears.
    
    "St..Ste...Steve Jeltz, is that you...?" asked little Robin gasping for life.
    "Yeah homey, it's me..." replied Steve Jeltz.
    "It hurts." said little Robin.
    "Let me sing you a song little Robin," said Steve Jeltz reassuringly.

    He started singing. He sang about love and hope and beauty. He sang about friends and family. He sang about all in the world that was worth seeing. He sang about far away places and distant lands. He sang about baseball and football and the Olympic games. He sang about literature and poetry. He crescendoed and altoed and took it down to the bridge. His voice pierced the very fabric of time and space. He sang so beautifully and his song traced the mountains and seas. He hummed a saxophone solo which made doves and pigeons on the nearby windowsill fall to open tears. He made the wind gently brush through the trees. He sang about every glorious event in modern times, from the fall of the berlin wall to the 1984 World Series which saw the Detroit Tigers defeat the San Diego Padres. He sang about every major world religion and about world peace. He sang to the angels in the outfields and the dragons of the infields. And then he stopped...

    "Wow, that was really beatiful Steve Jeltz," said a tearful little Robin.
    "I try homey...I try." replied Steve Jeltz.
    
    Little Robin arose from bed and gave Steve Jeltz a great big hug. The polio fell out of his body and lay there right on the floor. Steve Jeltz knelt and picked the polio up and he and Little Robin proceeded to the bathroom.

    "Flush it down the toilet Steve Jeltz! Flush my polio away like an icky wicky spider bug!" said little Robin.
    "Say bye-bye polio!" said Steve Jeltz.
    "Bye-bye polio!" said little Robin.

    Steve Jeltz flushed the polio down the toilet and into the sewers where it was feasted upon by Christmas rats and the like. Little Robin looked up at his hero and proclaimed...


    "Thank you Steve Jeltz. Thank you Everyone! Merry Christmas!!!"

                    -THE END-