a few notes to start

I’d sworn off blogging after this graphomaniac exercise, but here we are.

Today is typical. As I sit here, trying to sort out today’s work, between the transcription I need to finish for next week’s stories at the paper and my trip today to NYPL’s Schomburg Library, news old and new shouts for attention:

  • The Nation’s Chris Hedges, of course, has begun compiling the Iraq war’s Winter Soldier testimony, in this must-read. I had coincidentally just begun to spend time with the 1971 testimonies, since I’m shifting my research focus more directly to the Vietnam era; the stories out of the Iraq vets offer eerie echoes and some lucid differences. I’m having to pace myself as I read both.
  • Meanwhile, the court-martial of Lt. Ehren Watada is now set for October 9, despite a mistrial declared this spring. Will the Supreme Court end up hearing this case? Do we want this Court to do so?
  • On a much lighter note, this tireless group of “garmentos” I’ve been chronicling hit the big time with their “Pin Day.” They got the attention of Women’s Wear Daily, Newsday, the global textile newswire Bharattextiles, and even the TimesSewell Chan! I’d say it’s not my story any more – which makes sense, given my rather spectacular lack of a fashion sense – except that almost all the stories either ignored crucial parts of the story or got them literally wrong. (Perez at AM New York, for example,writes as if the glitz was already in the Garment District, and limits her definition of “apparel industry” to the disappeating factory floors.)

Time to go to the library and dig into manuscripts and letters from”Negro” soldiers in World War II. Their dissent had so many layers and notes, it’s like a piece of modern music.


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