PHILIP A. FARRUGGIO—Yes, those were truly the ‘ Dog days of summer’ that August of ’69. This writer’s ‘ street smarts ‘ were fine tuned a bit by becoming a yellow cab driver during my summer break from college. Driving the day shift in Brooklyn and Manhattan revealed so much to me. Like Travis Bickell in the film Taxi Driver, the smell and sense of the Big Apple was eye ( and ear ) opening. From the businessmen in Manhattan to the hookers going from score to score, to the blue collar working stiffs of Brooklyn , this talkative young man learned so much about people.
CULTURE & HISTORY
- AMERICAN STUDIESAMERICAN WAY OF LIFECULTURE & CRITICISMCULTURE & HISTORY
ED CURTIN—The Spaniard, Ignatius of Loyola, was a soldier seriously wounded in war at the age of thirty. He subsequently underwent a religious conversion. He founded the Jesuit order eighteen years later and was sainted in 1556, sixty-six years after his death.
ROB URIE—Since 2016, race activists have faced the political paradox of affirming the restorationist’s ‘America was already great’ thesis by 1) claiming great difference between then and now that isn’t supported by the evidence and 2) promoting the circular theory that racists are self-generated. To the latter point: if racism causes racists, then what causes racism? Necessarily, racists cause racism. This isn’t an empty logical point. It illustrates the closed (metaphysical) nature of the concept of race being used. One more time now, if dog whistles don’t appeal to ‘real’ racists, to whom do they appeal?
- AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISMAMERICAN STUDIESCULTURE & HISTORY
ED CURTIN—How, I wondered, would this Dylan documentary “story” fashioned by Martin Scorsese, whose own work is marked by themes of guilt and redemption, affect an audience that might never have taken the roads less traveled of their youthful dreams but “fell” into the conformist and oppressive American neo-liberal way of life? Would this film, in Dylan’s words, get the audience wondering “if I ever became what you wanted me to be/Did I miss the mark or overstep the line/That only you could see?” Would nostalgia for their youth be a liberating or mystifying force, now that forty plus years have transformed American society into a conservative, postmodern, shopper’s paradise where commodity capitalism has reified all aspects of life, including art objects and artists such a Dylan, imbuing them with magical powers to redeem those who buy their products, which include songs and celebrity “auras”?
Agincourt, the legendary battle in the 100 Years’ War, upset all calculations, and ended the primacy of knights, while exposing the uselessness of the old chivalric code when confronted by new more modern tactics.