Friday, June 18, 2021

Paved A Way: Extermination as Government Policy


Who is the worst villain in history? Hitler, right? And what makes him the worst villain? Genocide, right? The word was even coined for him. Where does Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar rank on the list? Top ten? Top hundred? Or so far down the list that your first reaction is "Who is Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar?"

I'm reading "Paved A Way: Infrastructure, Policy and Racism in an American City" by Collin Yarbrough. The city is Dallas, Texas. I'm blogging as I go, using whatever parts of the book catch my attention. It fills us in on Mirabeau B. Lamar.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Paved A Way: "Dallas Doesn't Give a Damn About its History"


I've begun reading "Paved A Way: Infrastructure, Policy and Racism in an American City" by Collin Yarbrough. The city referenced in the title is Dallas, Texas. Instead of reading it all the way through and then writing a short review (my usual practice), I've decided to blog as I go, using whatever parts of the book catch my attention.

A good place to start is with this quote in the opening chapter:

Robert Lee Thornton, Dallas’s former mayor, once said, "Dallas doesn’t give a damn about its history; it only cares about the future."
Paved A Way

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Raya and the Last Dragon (2021)

Rotten Tomatoes
Raya and the Last Dragon (2021): A conventional quest movie. 5 yr-olds will like the plush friendly dragon. (Are all dragons friendly now?) 10 yr-olds will like the quick, smart dialog. Parents will like the message of inclusiveness and trust. Me? I'm not the target audience. B-

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

TIL: Whatever were the Founders Thinking?

Growing up, I heard a lot about what the Founders were thinking when they drafted and adopted the confusingly worded 2nd Amendment to the Constitution. The dominant argument (by NRA types) was that the Founders intended the right to bear arms as a safeguard against tyrannical government, a protection should an evil King George III ever arise again and seek to take away our precious liberties. It seemed to be a compelling argument to my young self. But it wasn't the last word on the subject.

Monday, June 14, 2021

In the Heights (2021)

Rotten Tomatoes
In the Heights (2021): Caribbean-American musical. The block is gentrifying. Neighbors are being priced out or moving to follow their dreams. Yet, the neighborhood holds together. Cast and plot are a little crowded, but the joy and message of "Paciencia y Fe" come through. A-

Friday, June 11, 2021

Review: The Ministry for the Future

From The Ministry for the Future, by Kim Stanley Robinson:
Everything was tan and beige and a brilliant, unbearable white. Ordinary town in Uttar Pradesh, 6 AM. He looked at his phone: 38 degrees. In Fahrenheit that was— he tapped— 103 degrees. Humidity about 35 percent. The combination was the thing. A few years ago it would have been among the hottest wet-bulb temperatures ever recorded. Now just a Wednesday morning.
Ministry for the Future

This is speculative fiction from the near future, when the world can no longer ignore global warming. Lots of things touched on here, from science to economics to government to terrorism, sometimes dramatized, sometimes just straight talk.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Halston (2019)

Rotten Tomatoes
Halston (2019): Documentary about the fashion designer who was a demanding, demeaning coke addict. He is treated more favorably than in the 2021 TV series, maybe because there is no video to show of his private excesses. There's more focus on his successes than his failures. C+


Compare with the 2021 5-part Netflix drama.