Thursday, June 17, 2021

The Peculiar Blindness, Part 5: Missing Dates

 

Museum and Tourist's Center list of Important Dates in history of Washington, Louisiana. March 2015.
Museum and Tourist's Center list of Important Dates in history of Washington, Louisiana. March 2015.

I'm in Birmingham, Alabama.

Juneteenth 2021 is coming up this weekend.  

I've been going through past photos, editing and organizing. 

I bumped into a photo I took in 2015: A list of Important Dates in the history of the historic village of Washington, in Louisiana. 

Apparently not a thing in Washington, Louisiana:

  • Slavery
  • Civil War
  • Emancipation
  • Opelousas Massacre (with its catalyst in Washington) (or heck, even call it the Opelousas "Riot")

Nor are these noteworthy events: 

April 9, 1866: The first civil rights act in the United States, which overturned the Black Codes and which established that "all persons" (including Black persons) born in the U.S. are citizens. [But: The Act specifically excluded most Native Americans from citizenship.]

July 9, 1868: The 14th Amendment to the Constitution re-affirmed that all persons born in the U.S. are citizens. [Note: But voting rights were denied to all women and to most Native Americans. The 14th Amendment was generally interpreted to deny citizenship to most Native Americans, as well.]

June 2, 1924 (less than 100 years ago!): The Indian Citizens Act allowed as how Native Americans are U.S. citizens, too.

Here in Alabama, the state scrubs out the federal holiday that commemorates Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday by bleaching it with a state holiday that honors Robert E. Lee, the Confederate general. 

In fact, Alabama has three PAID holidays that honor those who fought and died to protect their right to enslave fellow human beings.

In good news, there are efforts afoot to make Juneteenth a federal holiday. 

 

A couple of days ago, the U.S. Senate voted unanimously to make Juneteenth a federal holiday. 

Yesterday, the U.S. House voted in favor of same, over the objections of, yes, two of Alabama's four representatives. (On the other hand, Governor Ivey recently proclaimed Juneteenth as an important day.)


Related posts

 


Wednesday, June 2, 2021

10 Years Ago: On Being Location Independent

 

Internet cafe, Vakhtangisi, Caucasus Georgia.March 2012.

 

Stuff has happened in the last 10 years re: location independence for working people.

My 10 year-old article on location independence for workers was a snapshot of that time. 

Today, we might put location independence into three buckets:

  1. #vanlife digital nomads: The worker lives out of a home on wheels (car, van, bus, RV) and relocates with their wheeled home every few weeks or months.
  2. Tourist digital nomads: The worker lives out of hostels, short-term rentals, or house-sits, and relocates every few days, weeks, or month(s).
  3. Settler remote workers: The worker settles in a community for a year or longer (hey, like me!):  More and more cities, states, and and countries are trying to entice such workers to settle in their communities. Such as here and here.

Next to the genre of nomad, the most important variable in location independence is the worker's internet access needs: Do they need real-time, on-camera internet access (and how often) for 1:1 or group meetings or is most of their work in not-real-time? Do they have lots of stuff to upload? If yes, do they need to upload daily, weekly, or less often? 

And what's their budget?

Sadly, I've not yet been able to find writers in categories 1 and 2 who offer realistic, reliable, under-the-hood information on how they manage the technical aspects of their remote work. 

Instead, there is a glut of writers who litter their sites with the words like "you should do this, too!" and "freedom!" and "amazing!" as if internet access were universally accessible, reliable, and fast enough for the nomad worker's needs.

There were informative nomadic writers I used to follow, but who, since I published the 2011 post below, have turned to other interests.

Because I teach English online most days, and require real-time, on-camera, upload/download reliability and speed, neither #vanlife nor tourist nomad life are realistic for me. Not for the lack of trying, but my experience has shown me that one cannot rely on the internet service in hotels, motels, airbnbs, so-called free wifi spots at cafes, libraries, or even at friends' houses in a Major Urban Center.

Quel dommage.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

On Being Location Independent

In my view, working "location independent" will only get more popular as technology and imagination gloriously expand, freeing people to live where they want. Location independence could rejuvenate small towns foresighted enough to invest in distance technology for their current and potential residents.


From asimov wikia
Puts me in mind of an Isaac Asimov series with robot Daneel Olivaw and robot-phobic and agoraphobic police investigator Elijah Baley. The Spacers can live and work on huge estates, in physical isolation, but in virtual proximity to anyone, anywhere.










A comprehensive site on location independence:

Location Independent: Connecting You With All the Resources You Need to Live and Work Anywhere You Choose [2021 UPDATE: The link is thanks to the Wayback Machine aka Internet Archive, as the site owners moved on to new endeavors since 2011.]

One example of Location Independent's resources is house-sitting, a concept I thought went the way of schemes such as "vacation for free while delivering a car across the country!" or "see the world as an airline courier!" But apparently house-sitting is alive and kicking. On further reflection, this makes sense - I'm guessing pet care is a common expectation for house sitters.

Agencies the site recommends, among others:

House Sitters America

Mind My House

House Carers

 

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Word of the Year: Joy 6: Color

 

Colorful coverlet, Birmingham, Alabama. May 2021.
Colorful coverlet, Birmingham, Alabama. May 2021.

 

At the thrift store, a cotton coverlet called to me from atop sedimentary layers of cloth.

The colors!

Sweet 'n juicy cantaloupe, butterscotch hard candy, periwinkle blossoms, hot-skinned August tomatoes.

My spirit soaked 'em up like a parched plant does water.

I felt deeply satisfied. Joyful. I even sighed, I think.

I brought the coverlet home. I shook it out, let it fall floaty-like onto my airbed, and smoothed my hand over the slightly nubby surface. I'm pretty sure I sighed again. These colors, like a dawn that cracks a crevice of red-orange-yellow light from behind the dark.

A few weeks later, I saw a flash of a young woman on the street in a summer dress, ostentatiously, outrageously, loudly, flowery colorful. So fresh! Ah! 

And then, and then ...... when I stepped into a Target, I saw more splashy, happy, joyful colors!  A produce stand of a summer's first fruits. 

 

Colorful summer dresses at Target. Birmingham, Alabama. May 2021.
Colorful summer dresses at Target. Birmingham, Alabama. May 2021.

Colorful summer dresses at Target. Birmingham, Alabama. May 2021.
Colorful summer dresses at Target. Birmingham, Alabama. May 2021.

Colorful summer dresses at Target. Birmingham, Alabama. May 2021.
Colorful summer dresses at Target. Birmingham, Alabama. May 2021.


The colors bring hope that the end of a long sepia COVID winter is coming. They bring joy.