Notes from our travels across a mysterious world.

Category: Arts & Literature (Page 2 of 16)

A good speech, for all the blood

Theodore Roosevelt’s speech in 1912, just after he had been wounded by a would-be assassin:

Now, I would not speak to you insincerely within five minutes of being shot. I am telling you the literal truth when I say my concern is for many other things. It is not in the least for my own life….

I don’t know who the man was who shot me to-night…. He shot to kill me. He shot the bullet. I am just going to show you (Col. Roosevelt then unbottoned coat and vest and showed his white shirt badly stained with blood)….

Now, I wish to say seriously to the speakers and newspapers representing the Republican and Democratic and Socialist Parties that they cannot, month in and month out, year in and year out, make the kind of slanderous, bitter, and malevolent assaults that they have made and not expect that brutal and violent characters, especially when the brutality is accompanied by a not too strong mind….

Don’t you pity me. I am all right. I am all right, and you cannot escape listening to my speech either….

I wish to say that the Progressive Party is making its appeal to all our fellow citizens without any regard to their creed or to their birthplace….

In New York, while I was Police Commissioner, the two men from whom I got the most assistance were Jacob Riis, who was born in Denmark, and Oliver von Briesen, who was born in Germany, both of them as fine examples of the best and highest American citizenship as you could find in any part of this country….

At one time I promoted five men for gallantry on the field of battle…. two of them were Protestants, two Catholics, and one a Jew. One Protestant came from Germany and one was born in Ireland. I did not promote them because of their religion, it just happened that way. If all of them had been Jews, I would have promoted them, or if all had been Protestants I would have promoted them, or if they had been Catholics….

I ask that in our civic life that we in the same way pay heed only to the man’s quality of citizenship—to repudiate as the worst enemy that we can have whoever tries to get us to discriminate for or against any man because of his creed or his birthplace…. in the same way I want our people to stand by one another without regard to differences of class or occupation. I have always stood by the labor unions…. It is essential that there should be organization of labor…..

Now, the Democratic party in its platform and through the utterances of Mr. Wilson has distinctly committed itself to the old flintlock, muzzle-loaded doctrine of States’ rights, and I have said distinctly we are for people’s rights. We are for the rights of the people. If they can be obtained best through National Government, then we are for national rights. We are for people’s rights however it is necessary to secure them.

Mr. Wilson has made a long essay against Senator Beveridge’s bill to abolish child labor. It is the same kind of argument that would be made against our bill to prohibit women from working more than eight hours a day in industry. It is the same kind of argument that would have to be made; if it is true, it would apply equally against our proposal to insist that in continuous industries there shall be by law one day’s rest in seven and three-shift eight-hour day….

I ask you to look at our declaration and hear and read our platform about social and industrial justice and then, friends, vote for the Progressive ticket without regard to me, without regard to my personality, for only by voting for that platform can you be true to the cause of progress throughout this Union.

Copyright and Restrictions on Use

The Chronicle of Higher Education has an interesting article about the difficulties faced when negotiating rights fees for essays an editor wants to include in a volume about New Criticism. It makes an interesting point: Doesn’t the rights holder, often a publisher, have an obligation to promote the work and make it available for scholarship?

Here’s an idea that I’m sure has been said before: Copyright law should require the rights owner make the information available to the public in some fashion. If not available for more than, say, ten years, the copyright term would be severely shortened. In the case of printed material, it would mean that the rights holder would need to make the information available for some fee to the public either in a digital or printed form. That wouldn’t take care of the problem faced in putting together the New Criticism book, since the rights holder could still charge an exorbitant fee for the material, but it would give the publisher an incentive to not charge as much, because any use of the material in a book would count as being publicly available.

What that would affect is my greatest worry about long copyright terms. The lack of financial incentive to publish some material, combined with the fact that it can’t fall into the public domain for an extremely long time, causes works to fall into a limbo where they exist, but they aren’t truly available. We shouldn’t have to rely on the used-book market to find a majority of books published in the Twentieth Century. There are vast video archives locked away by rights holders who have little incentive to make them available even through lower-cost digital publishing systems.

However, put that information in the hands of thousands of individuals who have personal interest in the material and low-cost publishing systems…well, you can see it happening all over the place today, often illegally. But why should the public good of rescuing information be illegal?

Of course, DRM also has a hand in this question. Does it do us any good for a work to fall into the public domain if the only copies of it are encrypted? Particularly when it’s illegal to attempt to break that encryption? I have a lot of faith in the ability of the masses to break or otherwise circumvent encryption, but it should be explicitly legal to break encryption on public-domain works.

Anyway, enough pontificating for today. 🙂

Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Animal Head

Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever! has seen some changes down through the years, as seen in this Flickr gallery. The best part is that they added more girls, but did so by adding bows to heads and flowers to clothes. And let’s not forget nearsighted cats. 🙂

Did they really have to change the caption “He comes promptly when he is called to breakfast” to “He goes to the kitchen to eat his breakfast”? Perhaps children in 1963 could count on being called for breakfast, while children in 1991 were counted on to make their own.

Link courtesy of Amazon Bookstore Blog and Boing Boing.

Magical Raccoon Testicles

No, those three words are not from a spam promoting the way to greater girth…no, that would make too much sense. They are, however, the main plot device from movie #1 on the Cracked.com list The 10 Best Animated Movies for (Traumatizing) Kids.

And here I was thinking Watership Down, which still bothers me, would be the freakiest movie on the list.

(A commenter on the article points out the characters are not Raccoons, but Tanuki, otherwise known as Raccoon Dogs. I’m thinking adding the word Dog does not improve the idea.)

Link courtesy of Too Many Topics, Too Little Time, which points out that the words are not magic. Probably just the actual testicles. 🙂

Finally, a Crisis…

The DC Universe will be experiencing a Final Crisis next year, with a crossover series that appears to be the end of the Crisis on Infinite Earths > Identity Crisis > Infinite Crisis chain. Now, given the fact I was kind of disappointed with the results of Infinite Crisis (aside from 52), what could make me interested in this one?

It’s going to be written by Grant Morrison. Well-played, DC…well-played indeed.

Final Crisis

Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but the characters pictured above — from left, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Superman, Hawkman, and Batman — are all close to the original Silver Age Justice League of America. Everyone except Hawkman was in the original lineup, and he was one of the first ones to join. So where’s the Atom, Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter? (Okay, so right now Ray Palmer’s Atom and the original Aquaman are indisposed, but I don’t think it’s a good sign for J’onn J’onzz.) Just as long as we don’t get Snapper Carr (“Snap, snap!”). 🙂

Jonah Hex, Movie Star

Looks like Warner Bros. wants another $8.50 from me. Jonah Hex — hard to explain if you don’t already know — may get his own movie soon. I wonder if it will end with him running across his own stuffed body?

While growing up, I was always a big costumed hero fan, reading a lot of Superman, Batman, and the Legion of Super-Heroes. However, I also really liked the “real-world” comics DC was putting out at the time, usually dealing with various modern wars or the American West. Jonah Hex was one of my favorite characters, along with Hans von Hammer (Enemy Ace), largely due to the moral complexity of the stories.

Of course, then he got pushed into the post-apocalyptic future in Hex. Not quite as good, but he did get to see himself dead. 🙂

Jonah Hex 34

Link courtesy of Bureau 42. Image courtesy of the Grand Comic Books Database.

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