“The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.”
Margaret Sanger, Women and the New Race
I sort of get Margaret Sanger‘s bitterness. Her family arrived in the New World fleeing the Irish Famine (see the real and disturbing causes HERE). Her mother had 18 pregnancies and died young. So young Maggie gets it into her head that some babies are better off dead–not her, of course, but some other babies.
In Nicaragua I met a lot of unwashed, under-nourished children and not one of them asked me to put them out of their misery. In fact some had dreams of America or finding a cute boy to have a baby with (like people have done since the beginning of time). The girls liked having their nails painted and the boys were big flirts.
As a fifth grade teacher I met kids with alcoholic parents, criminal parents and neglectful parents. Some of these kids loved poetry and being read to.
Poor Maggie transferred her bitterness onto others. Yes, poverty is horrible, but it seems to me that extermination is a little worse (even if it’s done for the supposed good of the children or the environment). Case in point: Buster, the baby born to criminal parents who turned out alright.
Sweatpants and baseball caps, be gone!
The pristine heaven on earth created by some people who may have gotten to the “new” world first was destroyed by adorable, playful tricksters. Yes, before that ugly Columbus came there was the evil seal laughing as it spread tuberculosis. I wonder as we go to war with a group of crazies we helped create and fund how we continue to believe in revisionist history and a corporate political class that keeps us all at each others throats. We fail to think, Hey wait! They wanted to go to war last year, but a few brave people said no way in hell. And here we are a year later. As the seals might say, it seems a little fishy.
But back to the past with a fascinating article about the seals:
If you LOVE the mix of melancholia and mystery that is abandoned buildings please visit this guy’s site! Delicious photos and histories–my favorite is the Bennett School for Girls.
Imagine this: You fall in love with your stepbrother. He’s smart. He’s a writer and secretly you’re smart and maybe want to be a writer. You marry and have a bunch of kids, but there’s a few red flags. You know you shouldn’t let him talk to you the way he does–especially in front of the kids. Your young son, Frank, sees it all–when the hitting starts.
Year after year your children see it. They hear the muffled cries. Their emotions swing with yours down into the depths of self-loathing (what did I do to make him hate me?) and up with the high moments when your husband pleads for forgiveness and promises never to hit you again. You leave him. You come back and finally that look in your 17-year-old son’s eyes and the way your husband bites your finger to the bone in a bizarre fit of rage during your pregnancy persuades you to leave for good.
But your stepbrother husband doesn’t give up. He taunts, he stalks and abuses you from afar. And your son sees. He grows into a man–a tortured man who has depressive spells and weird seizures. He intercepts the letters your husband sends, takes up a gun and shoots your husband–his father– and kills him. There. It’s done.
But not done. Ellen Harden Walworth is free. Her son is sentenced to life in prison. Their secret hell is public news now. Family murders sell papers. Her son, the small boy with the sensitive eyes now locked behind bars haunts Ellen’s every waking moment.
Ellen. The Ellen, who for all these years hid, comes into the light. She will get a law degree from NYU and free her son! How dare society salivate over a tortured boy’s misguided attempt to save his mother! And so she will save him. And she does.
No more bruised eyes behind dark veils. Tragedy led her to the law degree, but she doesn’t stop there. She blooms, big time. Always a lover of history, she writes and writes and wins some acclaim. She practices law in New York and DC. She forms the Daughters of the American Revolution when she’s refused entrance into the historical associations for men. She proposes a National Archives. She holds a seat on her local Board of Education, writes for scientific journals and establishes the Women’s National War Relief Association during the Spanish American War.
Just the other day we heard that a local boy living with his mother killed his mother’s boyfriend. How many times had he seen the cruelty played out? At a time when passive men are the most accepted men, some boys tap into the heroic blood of the past. They see suffering. They realize that long, pleading chats and therapy sometimes don’t work. Sometimes it’s not good enough to feel sorry for the abuser because he had a bad childhood. When is it heroic to kill a man? I have no answers. Abuse after all of these years of study exists on a grand scale. Evil exists.
Women still marry men who drag them out of elevators like a slab of meat after clocking them. I hope they don’t wait for their sons to take a stand.
Originally posted on Emerging Civil War:
Now that Sherman is marching through Georgia, albeit retroactively, I thought it time to discuss a little ditty that is guaranteed to make Confederate blood boil: Henry Clay Work’s Marching Thru’ Georgia. This song is still so inflammatory that the Band of the California Battalion, which played a concert last July at Fort Sumter, was asked specifically not to play it.
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What a great find!
Originally posted on First Night History:
Originally posted on The Public Domain Review.
Leaving her close-knit artistic community on the Isle of Wight at the age of sixty to join her husband on the coffee plantations of Ceylon was not an easy move for the celebrated British photographer Julia Margaret Cameron. Eugenia Herbert explores the story behind the move and how the new environment was to impact Cameron’s art.
The Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron is currently undergoing a revival with a recent exhibition of her work at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. She has long evoked interest not only because of her distinctive style but also because of her eccentric personality, her dominant — very dominant — role in a circle that in many ways prefigured the Bloomsbury of her grandniece, Virginia Woolf. But there was another strand in her life that was…
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