Category Archives: youtubinated history

December 22, 2011, 10:35 am

This history blog has its own history.

November 10, 2011, 9:31 pm

“Wikipedia had nothing!”

Having taught the War of 1812 the other day, I have to say I only did marginally better than this. And I’ve got no excuse. I’ve read Alan Taylor’s new book.

October 21, 2011, 8:44 am

Early Blogginheads footage discovered (or: Vidal pwns Buckley).

Look, I’m aware of Gore Vidal’s excesses: in literature, politics, and appetite. And yet, there’s something positively delicious about the moment when, after Buckley calls him a queer, a sly smile creases Vidal’s face. “I got him,” he’s so obviously thinking to himself, “I’ve got this pompous little bigot right where I want him.”

As for context, remember, as Eric notes below, that the country was literally falling apart in 1968: the aftermath of Tet brought the realization that Vietnam would end in a stalemate (at best), the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy shattered many people’s hopes for a better world, and, of course, the Democratic National Convention in Chicago (where Mayor Daley screamed at Senator Ribicoff, “Fuck you, you Jew son of a bitch, you lousy motherfucker, go home.”) suggested that even the…

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November 25, 2010, 9:29 am

We all moved away from him on the bench …

It wasn’t two years ago, or on Thanksgiving, but this song is a Thansgiving song, so it makes sense to re-post it on Thanksgiving … anyway. Happy Thanksgiving, all.

August 26, 2010, 8:44 am

Here lies poophead.

You won’t learn anything!

January 28, 2010, 11:29 am

Just try to stop watching.

What’s there to say? In 1966, Sam and Dave went overseas as part of the Stax-Volt European tour. As Ta-Nehisi Coates says in his post, these guys just killed it every time they performed. Otis Redding, who headlined the shows, apparently became enraged at his manager because he had to take the stage after Sam and Dave. I can see that. I never like teaching in a classroom that Kathy has recently used.

August 11, 2009, 11:35 am

“This is no place for white men.”

On this day in 1965, violence raged in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles (contemporary coverage here and a more detailed tdih here). A few points about the newsreel above: First, the voiceover uses both “riot” and “insurrection” to describe the mayhem. The difference in moral valence between the two is pretty clear, so I was somewhat surprised to hear the word “insurrection” used at all.

Second, in other spots the narration remains more complicated than I would have expected: for instance, when, around the 40 second mark, we hear that “the looters…stole everything from liquor to playpens.” Maybe I’m off base, but I think looters who steal playpens sound reasonably sympathetic — as looters go, I mean. Of course they become a lot less sympathetic, it seems, in the next paragraph of the script, when it turns out that…

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July 16, 2009, 12:01 am


May 12, 2008, 3:15 pm

Michael Bérubé on privilege.

Part three of this conversation (part 1, part 2). About privilege, rhetoric, and when it’s okay to tell your students you’re gay (especially if you’re not).

Ari asks Michael about privilege, so you have three middle-aged, tenured, straight white guys in a room talking about privilege. Well, you’re getting the insiders’ perspective, anyway.

There is no wiggling. Giblets and I are going on the lam, to a land where wiggling is properly appreciated.

In case you’re curious, the deal is, the YouTubes don’t do just-audio (afaik). So there needs to be a picture of some kind. One could simply stick on a still and have done with it, but I thought our readers would want more. And maybe you do, but you want a flavor of more—a non-wiggly flavor—I don’t stock.

May 10, 2008, 10:55 am

Michael Bérubé on antifoundationalism

This is part two of this interview, in which Michael talks about why he is an antifoundationalist in matters of social justice, and you should be too. Ari still isn’t talking in this part. I promise he was there, and he shows up in the next bit.

Also, as promised or threatened, the wiggling remains for now, though after reading all your complaints I tried to come with more creative uses of animation in the latter bit of the video.

Please, as before, comment on form and/or substance.

May 9, 2008, 4:38 pm

Michael Bérubé and some new media

The below represents an experiment for us. This is the first portion of about a half-hour conversation Ari and I had with Michael Bérubé this week. In this portion Michael talks about the Sokal Hoax and why it’s still important. Later parts of the interview include why you should be an antifoundationalist, ruminations on blogging and books, and three middle-aged heterosexual white guys (with tenure, no less!) talking about “privilege.”

Please comment on form or substance, as the mood strikes you.

January 19, 2008, 9:39 pm

Not the first Thanksgiving. With hats.

Rare footage from seventeenth-century Massachusetts. Because Kelman tells me I’m writing too much boring historical stuff.

December 20, 2007, 4:53 pm

Louisiana, treble invalidity of sale, 339.

Sometimes even your index does interpretive work. The title of this post is a real index entry from Henry Adams’s History of the United States, which does not handle Thomas Jefferson and the Purchase tenderly.

Adams first shows Napoleon in the bath — “the water of which was opaque with mixture of eau de Cologne,” thank heaven for small favors — mocking his brother Lucien, who objects that the cession of Louisiana would be unconstitutional without consulting the Chambers.

Constitution! unconstitutional! republic! national sovereignty! — big words! great phrases!… Ah, it becomes you well, Sir Knight of the Constitution, to talk so to me! You had not the same respect for the Chambers on the 18th Brumaire!

Thus did Napoleon dismiss fraternal scruples — boldly, as a despot should. Contrast Adams’s portrait of Jefferson, who writes that conscience and his strict construction…

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December 19, 2007, 2:47 pm

But not too odious for Congress.

Just to tie together the below two posts, about how historians used to write and what you should really oughta know about the Tariff of Abominations, let us have recourse to the invaluable Davis Dewey, which I have on paper and we all have on Google:

Jackson called in 1824 for “adequate and fair protection,” saying “it is time we should become a little more Americanized, and, instead of feeding the paupers and laborers of Europe, feed our own, or else in a short time by continuing our present policy we shall all be paupers ourselves.”

That’s not too hard to understand, is it? Even without animation. What, we all need to have animation now?

In fact, Jackson was so clear on this point that, as the invaluable Dewey puts it:

Recourse was consequently had to political strategy, which it was hoped would prevent legislation and…

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