Just Wanna Know

Revolutionary Propaganda Organ

Monday, June 25, 2007

Cleaning Up

I made some long-overdue repairs to this blog over the weekend. I had some dead links that I've now fixed. Also, in the wake of the demise of Le Blogue Berube, I had to find some other English-y blogs to replace him. So I chose Crooked Timber; Long Sunday; The Valve, mainly in honor of Ignatius J. Reilly; and Scott Kauffman's Acephalous, in honor of Meyer Fortes.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


I've been waiting to get this up for the past several years. If you're a punctuation nerd like me, you might also have noticed Sears leading the way in the campaign to eradicate the apostrophe. Not only does the apostrophe signify possession and contraction, but it also is used by some to mark plurals of single letters or numerals. This plurality of uses confuses many writers, who even now are plotting to get rid of the apostrophe.

Ah, but the ghost remains in the registered trademark. There are many questions to pursue here--a lot of ins, a lot of outs, a lot of what-have-yous--but one of these is, does the trademark work to motivate any semantic content? If so, what?

Is the ghost aware of its own ironic presence/absence?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Fathia Nkrumah, 1931-2007

Fathia Nkrumah, the First Lady of Ghana from 1960 to 1966, died May 31 in Cairo. Her son Gamal Nkrumah (pictured with his mother at left), an editor for the al-Ahram newspaper, has a really touching tribute to his mother here, written seven years ago. The piece details how a 27-year-old school teacher and bank teller, third daughter of a civil servant, came to marry the 49-year-old anti-colonial pioneer:
For a month before the wedding, the young bride could not sleep a wink. She had been summoned by President Nasser, who asked her if she was sure that she wanted to accept Nkrumah's proposal of marriage. Marrying a head of state -- of the first African country to achieve independence from British rule, in fact -- entailed duties and responsibilities, sacrifices and potential risks. Having heard the president's warning, Fathia replied promptly: "I would like to go and marry this anti-colonial leader. I read his autobiography -- I know of his trials and tribulations, of his struggles during his student days in America and Britain, and of his spearheading the anti-colonial struggle upon his return to his homeland. I am deeply impressed." Only her family stood in the way, she informed Nasser. She had little idea of the challenges that lay ahead.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Why I don't believe "TB Andy"

I've heard him say four sketchy, lawyer-speak-type things:

1. I never heard them say, Don't travel, before I left. Conveniently leaving out that time in Italy, when they did say, "Don't travel."

2. They said I wasn't contagious, before I left. Ditto. Why did being in Italy affect his hearing? If he thought they wanted him to travel, why did he go via Prague and Montreal? Didn't the NO FLY ORDERS he was consciously subverting give him the hint that he wasn't supposed to fly?

3. I was scared for my life, I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE.


The contradiction between the last two statements ought to be clear. Why no criminal charges?