Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

In any society with a recent past of genocide, one of the most important questions is: What are you going to teach schoolchildren about it?

For thirty-five years after Stalin's death, the answer was, essentially, nothing. Nowhere was after-the-fact denial of reality more blatant. Every student across all eleven time zones of the Soviet Union used the same textbooks. Schools teach twentieth-century Russian and Soviet history in the final two years of high school. When the latest pre-
glastnost edition of the textbook for the first of these courses (up through 1937) came off the presses in 1986, the print run was 3,890,000 copies. The book has exactly ten lines about Stalin. It praises the collectivization of agriculture, ignoring the 7 to 10 million people who starved to death as a result. It does not mention the Great Purge. This ignoring of history is as if the Holocaust did not appear in a German textbook. And, because the Soviets were the main victims of the Purge as well as its perpetrators, it is also as if the Holocaust did not appear in an Israeli textbook.
- from The Unquiet Ghost by Adam Hochschild

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Monday, May 15, 2006

It is very unnerving to be proven wrong, particularly when you are really right and the person who is really wrong is the one who is proving you wrong and proving himself, wrongly, right. Right?
- Lemony Snicket, The Reptile Room

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Many young men find that they can do much better work if they get the girl out of their dreams and into their kitchen.
- from a 1949 Ladies' Home Journal as quoted in From Front Porch to Back Seat by Beth L. Bailey

Now that Judith is sixteen and old enough to earn money and help herself in other ways to recover from her unfortunate childhood, she has taken on the additionally crippling circumstance of a steady boyfriend. How pathetic. . . . The love and attention of her steady boyfriend are a substitute for other more normal kinds of success. [...] A good deal of the time she spends going steady with Jim could be used to make herself more attractive so that other boys would ask her for dates.
- from Joyce Jackson's Guide to Dating as quoted in From Front Porch to Back Seat by Beth L. Bailey

If you didn't have Freddy, you'd be spending a lot more time in front of the mirror--deciding how to bring out your best features. You'd be poring over fashion magazines and exploring shop windows to find out what the perfect style is for you. Without Freddy, you'd be putting your best foot forward and there wouldn't be an old sneaker on it.
- from Datebook's Guide as quoted in From Front Porch to Back Seat by Beth L. Bailey

If your date is very good-looking, exploit it. Meet her at your dorm and take her to college places. If your date is not very good-looking, tell your friends you are having an affair with a married woman and take her to the movies.
- from a 1962 Esquire as quoted in From Front Porch to Back Seat by Beth L. Bailey

Gender roles are bad!
- Greg Crowder

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

When they head big offices, German women can be quite difficult, as their femininity somehow recedes into the background.
- from Berlin Diaries: 1940-1945 by Marie Vassiltchikov


Monday, May 01, 2006

Just so you all know, your slacker tendencies are rubbing off on me. Now, instead of studying for my tests, I read or play video games or watch movies or TV on DVD. BAD residents, BAD! I invoke the curses of Nut and Ptah and Isis and Osiris and Horus and Hathor and Nephthys and Re, and Seth most of all! (Well, I would if I could. Or if that would give me a better grade on my Egypt test. Sigh.)