Tuesday, October 11, 2011

On the Boston Massacre

LOL of the day, courtesy of The Globe and Mail:
Right next door is the Granary Burying Ground. Here you find the graves of three men who signed the Declaration of Independence - John Hancock, Robert Treat Paine and Samuel Adams. Benjamin Franklin's parents are buried here, too - victims of the Boston Massacre. The spot where the patriots were killed is marked by a circle of cobbles, right in the heart of Boston's bustling financial district.
This reminds me of one of my colleagues, who tells an awesome story about getting flustered during an oral examination and telling his examiners that Anne Hutchinson was eaten by a bear. I can just see 112-year-old Josiah Franklin throwing snowballs at those darned redcoats.

This is an old article (4/10/1982), so I can't link directly. I found it while doing a little research on modern perceptions/uses of Boston's burying grounds. If you want to look it up, the title is "Boston's Freedom Trail Leads to the Birth of a Nation" by Helga Loverseed and it was published in the Travel section.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Two Thoughts

1: Tea Party partisans deride Occupy Wall Street as a "mob." It's not like I expect Sean Hannity to read Gary Nash, but seriously. I can't even wrap my head around the idea of someone simultaneously embracing the Boston Tea Party as the height of patriotism and rejecting crowd actions — mobs — as inherently unlawful/illegitimate/bad.

2: Lee Fang at ThinkProgress argues that Occupy Wall Street is the real heir to the Boston Tea Party. His particular arguments aside for the moment, why does this matter as much as it does? Why isn't it enough to be right in the present? What do progressive movements gain by appealing to the authority of the past? Arguing over who really embodies the legacy of the Founders sounds like Civil War-era posturing — why is it still so effective today?