Activism History Science

The colonial stink of museums

Replied to America’s Museums Fail to Return Native American Human Remains by an author (

The remains of more than 100,000 Native Americans are held by prestigious U.S. institutions, despite a 1990 law meant to return them to tribal nations. Here’s how the ancestors were stolen — and how tribes are working to get them back.

Something is very, very wrong with museums.

It’s despicable enough to steal the cultural heritage of people whose homes your nation has colonized, and it’s another altogether to refuse to return human fucking remains.

How colonialist to claim that an institution is the most appropriate place for human remains simply because there isn’t a written record of heritage — to dismiss oral histories as evidence. How unethical and vile to use that excuse to keep people’s ancestors as “specimens” to study. How paternalistic to claim that a museum can better caretake people’s remains than any tribe who would honor the person once embodied.

Comics History

Read Days of Sand

Read Days of Sand by Aimée de Jongh

United States, 1937. In the middle of the Great Depression, 22-year-old photographer John Clark is brought in by the Farm Security Administration to document the calamitous conditions of the Dust Bowl in the central and southern states, in order to bring the farmers’ plight to the public eye. When he starts working through his shooting script, however, he finds his subjects to be unreceptive. What good are a couple of photos against relentless and deadly dust storms? The more he shoots, the more John discovers the awful extent of their struggles, coming to question his own role and responsibilities in this tragedy sweeping through the center of the country.

Absolutely stunning artwork, thoroughly researched. I wish the story had been a little richer to go with it — I would have liked a little more time spent with Betty and Cliff, more interactions, to build such a bond. The focus of the story — the ethics and value of documentary photography — felt a bit shallow. I’d have been more interested in further exploring the photographer’s relationship with his family and how he feels seeing these families. It’s a challenge to convey historical details without falling to stereotype or inserting modern interpretations based on hindsight, and I thought the interactions with the agency suffered there, though I understand the need for efficiency in storytelling.

Cool History

Uncovering history through curiosity

Liked Personism, Communism, and Feminism by Siderea (

It all started when I decided I wanted to know the origin of the expression “male chauvinist”.

I appreciate her dedication to following a thread of curiosity down multiple avenues of research!

Chauvinism is the unreasonable belief in the superiority or dominance of one’s own group or people, who are seen as strong and virtuous, while others are considered weak, unworthy, or inferior.

But why “male chauvinism”?

Somehow, somewhere along the line, a term for nationalism became used to express an idea about sexism, and that is not an obvious thing to do.

Her hypothesis and research traces its origins back to communism, before the House Un-American Activities Committee drove it underground:

Communism sees human affairs as organized by what communism terms classes, which mostly lump out to workers and bosses; communism seeks to elevate the status of workers by getting workers to realize that they are workers before all else, and that it is only by banding together in solidarity with other workers that they can have the power to improve their lives. Thus all other identities are seen as threats to the communist project, at least when those other identities are not subordinated to one’s identity as a worker…

“Chauvinism”, thus, is an excellent term for what communists reviled: it doesn’t just neutrally designate a preference for identifying with one’s nation and taking pride in it, but ridicules having absurd, self-sabotaging levels of loyalty and devotion to a nation that will never appreciate or reciprocate it.

History Music

History of synthwave

Bookmarked Synthwave Universe (

This article needs serious copyediting but has a list of bands that exemplify each synthwave subgenre and some key tracks in the development of the genre, plus an in-page playlist?

History Political Commentary

Minority rule, past and present

Liked April 28, 2023 by Heather Cox Richardson (Letters from an American)

The attempt of a radical minority to enforce their will on the rest of us, who constitute a majority, by stealing control of the states and then, through them, control of the federal government is precisely what the Confederates tried to do before the Civil War: it is no accident that one of the insurrectionists who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, carried a replica of a Confederate battle flag.

Culture History Political Commentary

Reason 5379 we need better statistics education

Replied to Gun Violence Is Actually Worse in Red States. It’s Not Even Close. (POLITICO)

America’s regions are poles apart when it comes to gun deaths and the cultural and ideological forces that drive them.

Using raw numbers / absolute values instead of per capita data is so misleading. I know that data don’t actually change minds, but some skepticism around statistics couldn’t hurt 🤷‍♀️

Culture History

Watched The History of Super Mario Bros 3 100% World Records

Watched The History of Super Mario Bros 3 100% World Records from YouTube

I have no interest in video games but this oral history is told in such a compelling way I kept getting sucked in over what I was reading. For an hour and a half! The amount of research done is incredible. This is the type of cultural record that should be archived somewhere official, it’s that well done. And it’s made by some person funded by Patreon supporters — exactly what crowd funding is meant for, to create niche things like this that probably wouldn’t have been made otherwise.


1941: “Who Goes Nazi?”

Bookmarked Who Goes Nazi? by Dorothy Thompson (

It is an interesting and somewhat macabre parlor game to play at a large gathering of one’s acquaintances: to speculate who in a showdown would go Nazi. By now, I think I know. I have gone through the experience many times—in Germany, in Austria, and in France. I have come to know the types: the born Nazis, the Nazis whom democracy itself has created, the certain-to-be fellow-travelers. And I also know those who never, under any conceivable circumstances, would become Nazis.

Who does

His body is vigorous. His mind is childish. His soul has been almost completely neglected.

His code is not his own; it is that of his class—no worse, no better, He fits easily into whatever pattern is successful. That is his sole measure of value—success. Nazism as a minority movement would not attract him. As a movement likely to attain power, it would.

He is a snob, loathing his own snobbery. He despises the men about him… because he knows that what he has had to achieve by relentless work men like B have won by knowing the right people. But his contempt is inextricably mingled with envy. Even more than he hates the class into which he has insecurely risen, does he hate the people from whom he came… He has an ambition, bitter and burning. It is to rise to such an eminence that no one can ever again humiliate him. Not to rule but to be the secret ruler, pulling the strings of puppets created by his brains.

She speaks disapprovingly of other “masculine” or insufficiently devoted wives. Her husband, however, is bored to death with her. He neglects her completely and she is looking for someone else before whom to pour her ecstatic self-abasement. She will titillate with pleased excitement to the first popular hero who proclaims the basic subordination of women.

Those who haven’t anything in them to tell them what they like and what they don’t—whether it is breeding, or happiness, or wisdom, or a code, however old-fashioned or however modern, go Nazi.

Activism History Society

The suffragettes’ fight for equality

Liked A hunger striker’s medal, a Danish love token, and Hello Kitty by Monica McLaughlin (Dearest)

The medal above was awarded to suffragette Ada Wright (1861-1939) by the English women’s suffrage organization The Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), in recognition of her efforts in the campaign to grant women the right to vote… Wright was a small, slight woman who was tireless in her work for the campaign, contributing both funds and action.

The WSPU’s motto was “deeds, not words,” and in addition to organizing rallies and protesting outside Parliament, they also advocated more aggressive means of demonstration. Members smashed windows, set buildings on fire, and assaulted the police — sometimes in a deliberate effort to be arrested and therefore gain more publicity. When incarcerated, the women often went on hunger strikes and were brutally force fed.

In a bit of serendipity, last night I reread one of my favorite books, The Suffragette Scandal, about an investigative journalist and advocate for women’s rights — and this morning read this auction newsletter about a real-life suffragette’s hunger strike and advocacy.

Reading about the hell these women went through to change public sentiment makes it all the more distressing that a hundred years later, women’s rights — and women ourselves — are still under siege. And voting rights — even the very concept of democracy — seems at risk in America.

Comics History

Read A Bride’s Story 13

Read A Bride’s Story 13

Acclaimed creator Kaoru Mori’s tale of life on the nineteenth century Silk Road continues. Mr. Smith keeps on his journey retracing his steps, stopping next at a seaside village where he is greeted by a pair of enthusiastic young brides! Laila and Leily are eager to prove themselves as capable hostesses, but failing in the attempt could have serious social consequences. As the twins scramble in the kitchen, the discussion around the table turns to recent rumors of danger in the region. Mr. Smith now faces a difficult decision—turn back, or risk pressing on to his final stop?

Crafted in painstaking detail, Ms. Mori’s pen breathes life into the scenery and architecture of the period in this heart-warming, slice-of-life tale that is at once wholly exotic, yet familiar and accessible through the everyday lives of the characters she has created.

This was an enjoyable volume. I love Talas and was happy she got some feature moments in this volume. The twins are still mildly annoying but a little endearing in their earnest enthusiasm. I liked a bit more attention given to Ali and the bodyguard Mr. Nikolovski, who reveals a soft spot for kids.

Been a while since I read the previous volume: Read A Bride’s Story 12