Independence Day – 2020

Independence Day (colloquially the Fourth of July or July 4) is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the Declaration of Independence of the United States, on July 4, 1776. The Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American colonies were no longer subject (and subordinate) to the monarch of Britain, King George III, and were now united, free, and independent states. The Congress had voted to declare independence two days earlier, on July 2, but it was not declared until July 4.

800px-Fourth_of_July_fireworks_behind_the_Washington_Monument,_1986

Wikipedia

Concord Hymn

Sung at the Completion of the Battle Monument, July 4, 1837
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
   Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
   And fired the shot heard round the world.
The foe long since in silence slept;
   Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
   Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.
On this green bank, by this soft stream,
   We set today a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
   When, like our sires, our sons are gone.
Spirit, that made those heroes dare
   To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
   The shaft we raise to them and thee.

 

Ralph Waldo Emerson

via https://www.poetryfoundation.org/

Acts of Kindness, examples


What’s a small act of kindness you were once shown, that you’ll never forget? from AskReddit

plantlifer
I missed my train to go home for Christmas from uni due to a crash near the station. I was completely broke and knew I wouldn’t be able to afford another ticket. Life just got on top of me knowing I’d have to spend Christmas alone in my shitty student house and not being about to see my grandad who was in rapidly declining health. I was bawling my eyes out on the platfrom when a janitor(?) appeared out of a hidden stock room under a stair well and brought me some tissues.

He found out why I was so upset and said leave it to me. Took me to the customer service desk and got them to reissue me a ticket for the next train home. I was so thankful I started bawling again and he went on his way. Then just before I was about to get my train he found me on the platform and gave me some snacks and a can of coke and its just the nicest thing anyones ever done for it.

Mads_83
I broke my foot and was trying to limp my way across campus with crutches in the pouring rain. Someone ran over with their umbrella and walked across campus with me so I wouldn’t get rained on.

COBNYC
I was in NYC taking a lunch break at a job I absolutely hated. I was sitting eating alone at a McD’s and after about 15 minutes this man in his 40’s or 50’s (I’m a 28 yr old male at the time) goes up to me and says something like “Hey man, you look really sad. Things will get better.” and just shook my hand. Takes a lot for one adult man to offer that up to another strange man. Really cheered me up.

cranberryboggle
After my Dad passed away my depression kicked into over drive. I went to the Doctor and got a prescription for anti depressants. While I was picking up my prescription I started crying. When I apologized to the pharmacist for crying like a child the pharmacist said, ” You don’t have to apologize. You recognize you have a problem and you are trying to fix it. That is a brave thing.” It changed my perspective on treating my mental illness.

PhreedomPhighter
At work I was complaining about heartburn once. I was still pretty new to the job. Didnt really have any work friends. Felt like an outsider. My life outside of work was pretty shit as well.

The bartender on shift overheard me and ran to a nearby coffee shop to get me a chocolate milk. It definitely made the heartburn go away but it was such a needlessly kind act. I dont think ill ever forget it. 2 years later we’re still friends and she is definitely one of the kindest people I’ve ever met.

At a Texas Foundry, An Indifference to Life. NY Times 2003

It is said that only the desperate seek work at Tyler Pipe, a sprawling, rusting pipe foundry out on Route 69, just past the flea market. Behind a high metal fence lies a workplace that is part Dickens and part Darwin, a dim, dirty, hellishly hot place where men are regularly disfigured by amputations and burns, where turnover is so high that convicts are recruited from local prisons, where some workers urinate in their pants because their bosses refuse to let them step away from the manufacturing line for even a few moments.


On June 29, 2000, in his second month on the job, Mr. Hoskin descended into a deep pit under a huge molding machine and set to work on an aging, balky conveyor belt that carried sand. Federal rules require safety guards on conveyor belts to prevent workers from getting caught and crushed. They also require belts to be shut down when maintenance is done on them.

But this belt was not shut down, federal records show. Nor was it protected by metal safety guards. That very night, Mr. Hoskin had been trained to adjust the belt while it was still running. Less downtime that way, the men said. Now it was about 4 a.m., and Mr. Hoskin was alone in the cramped, dark pit. The din was deafening, the footing treacherous under heavy drifts of black sand.

He was found on his knees. His left arm had been crushed first, the skin torn off. His head had been pulled between belt and rollers. His skull had split.

At a Texas Foundry, An Indifference to Life
David Barstow and Lowell Bergman
NYTIMES

Actor Clark Middleton Interview

You have said that your wish for people with arthritis is that they not be defined by their disability, but empowered by it.

You have to take the lead, redefine your narrative. Disabilities certainly create obstacles, but how you interpret those obstacles can become a creative act. I work in a business where one’s appearance matters, at first, perhaps more than anything else. However, people get to know you, your character and confidence, how you transform a room or engage others. Those factors can change how people see you. Not because of, but in spite of our disabilities.

Actor Clark Middleton Shares Insight Into His Shows, The Path and The Blacklist
Jeryl Brunner
Parade

Short Timeline of Events – The American Revolution’s Beginning

March 5, 1770: Boston Massacre
In Boston, a small British army detachment that was threatened by mob harassment opened fire and killed five people, an incident soon known as the Boston Massacre. The soldiers were charged with murder and were given a civilian trial, in which John Adams conducted a successful defense.

April 18–19, 1775: Paul Revere’s Ride and the Battles of Lexington and Concord
On the night of April 18, 1775, Paul Revere rode from Charlestown to Lexington (both in Massachusetts) to warn that the British were marching from Boston to seize the colonial armory at Concord. En route, the British force of 700 men was met on Lexington Green by 77 local minutemen and others. It is unclear who fired the first shot, but it sparked a skirmish that left eight Americans dead. At Concord, the British were met by hundreds of militiamen. Outnumbered and running low on ammunition, the British column was forced to retire to Boston. On the return march, American snipers took a deadly toll on the British. Total losses in the Battles of Lexington and Concord numbered 273 British and more than 90 Americans.

June 17, 1775: Battle of Bunker Hill
Breed’s Hill in Charlestown was the primary locus of combat in the misleadingly named Battle of Bunker Hill, which was part of the American siege of British-held Boston. Some 2,300 British troops eventually cleared the hill of the entrenched Americans, but at the cost of more than 40 percent of the assault force. The battle was a moral victory for the Americans.

July 3, 1775: Washington assumed command of the Continental Army in Cambridge

Washington_at_Cambridge_1925_Issue-2c

July 4, 1776: Declaration of Independence adopted
After the Congress recommended that colonies form their own governments, the Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson and revised in committee. On July 2 the Congress voted for independence; on July 4 it adopted the Declaration of Independence.

https://www.britannica.com/list/timeline-of-the-american-revolution

Scenes from the American Revolution

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Paul Revere’s House

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACharlestown, Massachusetts – Walking back from the Bunker Hill Monument

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACambridge, Massachusetts

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Plaque Commemorating George Washington Taking Control of Continental Army in Cambridge Massachusetts

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARed Coat Actors

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Old State House

The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile-long (4.0 km) path through downtown Boston, Massachusetts, that passes by 16 locations significant to the history of the United States. Marked largely with brick, it winds between Boston Common to the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown. Stops along the trail include simple explanatory ground markers, graveyards, notable churches and buildings, and a historic naval frigate. While most of the sites are free or suggest donations, the Old South Meeting House, the Old State House, and the Paul Revere House charge admission.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_Trail

Two Janitors – Their Prospects and Compensation, 35 Years Ago Vs. Now

The $16.60 per hour Ms. Ramos earns as a janitor at Apple works out to about the same in inflation-adjusted terms as what Ms. Evans earned 35 years ago. But that’s where the similarities end.

Ms. Evans was a full-time employee of Kodak. She received more than four weeks of paid vacation per year, reimbursement of some tuition costs to go to college part time, and a bonus payment every March. When the facility she cleaned was shut down, the company found another job for her: cutting film.

Ms. Ramos is an employee of a contractor that Apple uses to keep its facilities clean. She hasn’t taken a vacation in years, because she can’t afford the lost wages. Going back to school is similarly out of reach. There are certainly no bonuses, nor even a remote possibility of being transferred to some other role at Apple.

Yet the biggest difference between their two experiences is in the opportunities they created. A manager learned that Ms. Evans was taking computer classes while she was working as a janitor and asked her to teach some other employees how to use spreadsheet software to track inventory. When she eventually finished her college degree in 1987, she was promoted to a professional-track job in information technology.

To Understand Rising Inequality, Consider the Janitors at Two Top Companies, Then and Now
Neil Irwin
NYTIMES

When I walk at this time in Oxford Street by dreamy lamplight – De Quincey Quote

“I believe that all minds which have contemplated such objects as deeply as I have done, must, for their own protection from utter despondency, have early encouraged and cherished some tranquillising belief as to the future balances and the hieroglyphic meanings of human sufferings.  On these accounts I am cheerful to this hour, and, as I have said, I do not often weep.  Yet some feelings, though not deeper or more passionate, are more tender than others; and often, when I walk at this time in Oxford Street by dreamy lamplight, and hear those airs played on a barrel-organ which years ago solaced me and my dear companion (as I must always call her), I shed tears, and muse with myself at the mysterious dispensation which so suddenly and so critically separated us for ever.  How it happened the reader will understand from what remains of this introductory narration.”

Quincey, Thomas De. Confessions of an English Opium-Eater

John Waters on Fresh Air 1988

RACHEL SWEET: Hey, girl. What you doing over there?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Can’t you see? I’m spraying my hair.

SWEET: (Singing) Let me tell you ’bout the latest craze. Mama’s hoping that it’s just a phase. But I know it’s gonna last forever. You gotta see the way it keeps my head together. I gave my dollar to the drugstore man. I bought that magic potion in a 12-ounce can. Now I know when I make the scene, they’re gonna stop and wonder, who’s that beauty queen? Yeah.

UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing) Hairspray.

SWEET: (Singing) Mama told me not to use it.

UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing) Hairspray.

Fresh Air

Girls who took notes using 50 different colored pens, where are you now? Do you still continue to write using all those colors?

Girls who took notes using 50 different colored pens, where are you now? Do you still continue to write using all those colors? from r/AskReddit

Novachey
Unfortunately not allowed in the line of work i chose. So now i use 50 different colored Post-It notes. Improvise, adapt and overcome.

SixtySaints
If I may ask, what line of work are you in that prohibits the choice to use different colored pens?

Novachey
I work in an office, so it’s sort of a silly rule. However, it does look more professional, and blue/black ink is just better for scanning/printing purposes.

whtbrd
I used to work for a CPA/professional auditor who advised me to keep purple pens on hand for original signatures. She did.
She said you’ll always be able to tell at a glance if you’re really the one who signed it, since almost no-one will have a purple pen around to fudge your signature. and no-one will kick up a fuss since it’s basically a blue pen.

Boob-on-Boob-Action
Unless my grandma decides to go on a fraud spree. Purple’s her favorite color and the ONLY color she ever writes with.. so beware

Old mad blind despised and dying king

ENGLAND IN 1819

An old, mad, blind, despised, and dying King;
Princes, the dregs of their dull race, who flow
Through public scorn,—mud from a muddy spring;
Rulers who neither see nor feel nor know,
But leechlike to their fainting country cling
Till they drop, blind in blood, without a blow.
A people starved and stabbed in th’ untilled field;
An army, whom liberticide and prey
Makes as a two-edged sword to all who wield;
Golden and sanguine laws which tempt and slay;
Religion Christless, Godless—a book sealed;
A senate, Time’s worst statute, unrepealed—
Are graves from which a glorious Phantom may
Burst, to illumine our tempestuous day.

The sonnet describes a very forlorn reality. The poem passionately attacks, as the poet sees it, England’s decadent, oppressive ruling class. King George III is described as “old, mad, blind, despised, and dying”. The “leech-like” nobility (“princes”) metaphorically suck the blood from the people, who are, in the sonnet, oppressed, hungry, and hopeless, their fields untilled. Meanwhile, the army is corrupt and dangerous to liberty, the laws are harsh and useless, religion has lost its morality, and Parliament (the “Senate”) is a relic. In addition, the civil rights of the Catholic minority are non-existent “Time’s worst statute unrepealed”. In a startling burst of optimism, the last two lines express the hope that a “glorious Phantom” may spring forth from this decay and “illumine our tempestuous day”.

This poem was written as a response to the brutal Peterloo Massacre in August 1819.

Wikipedia

If I Want Boring I Can do that on My Own

“Myself, I found A Woman is a Woman resistable and My Life to Live tedious and yes I know that’s the point and life is like that but I prefer to live mine outside the movie theatre and it’s not as boring as M. Godard’s film.”

Dwight McDonald, On Movies
Commenting on the criticism of, and disagreeing with, critic John Russell Taylor, regarding Godard.