Monday, February 1, 2016


Welcome to February. Groundhog Day is tomorrow, or Imbolc if you are of that tradition. I rather like the notion of marking the passing seasons and we are now at the mid point of winter. It has been mild this year, so far. January was very warm and most of the snow and ice were very short lived. No snow mountains like we are used to and the snow hills vanished quickly. I am not the only one noticing robins remaining when they should have gone south.

The Medievalist has a post on five things a Medieval time traveler would hate about our modern world. I agree with every one of them. There are times when progress--isn't.

Now this is an idea which has been rattling around in my brain for sometime. The promise of technology boosters thirty years ago that the advances in technology would create more than enough new industry jobs to replace those made obsolete in the process. Hasn't happened. Yes, new jobs have been created but not in the numbers of old jobs lost. And lets be honest--not everyone is suited to or wants jobs programming computers or manning call centers. The structure of work has changed and there aren't as many traditional full-time jobs (defined as 40+ hours/week with paid vacations and benefits) in manufacturing (which have largely moved overseas) and those that remain come with a lower wage and fewer benefits.

At last someone has the balls to call bullshit on the argument over "cultural appropriation." I remember the beginnings of this quarrel when blacks insisted that white historians couldn't possibly understand and write about the black experience. By similar logic modern historians can't study and write Medieval or Ancient Greek history. To say that modern white Americans can't appreciate yoga, tai chi, or Buddhist meditation is pure crap. And white American culture is an amalgam of all the cultures of Europe and the rest of the world. And, by the way, black American, Indian, Native American and other "cultures" aren't "pure" either. Everyone has borrowed from others. Live with it, you idiots.

No comments: