one day at a time…
Tuesday, April 16, 2002

perpetrator or victim?

Christine Keeler in that chairthis photograph of christine keeler became an icon in 1963. the same year as the great train robbery in england, the buddhist monk immolations in vietnam and the assasination of john f. kennedy. the photographer lewis morley tells the story behind the image from the 'victoria and albert museum' website.

keeler's ghosted autobiography 'the truth at last' is discussed in this 'guardianunlimited' interview which also has a chronology of the 'profumo scandal' that rocked britain at the time.

a quotation from caroline coon, a campaigner on liberal issues and a friend of keeler's since the sixties, came as a shock: "remember, in all of this, she was the only one who ever went to prison for what happened", though actually she went to prison on an 18-month perjury sentence relating to a detail in the trial of johnnie edgecombe, a former lover, who fired shots at her. maybe somebody should send monica lewinsky a copy of this book.

american treasures of the library of congress

The original of the Declaration of independencejune 1776: thomas jefferson (1743-1826) original rough draft of the declaration of independence: "we hold these truths to be self evident..." i was gratified that in its introduction to american treasures of the library of congress the curators saw fit to rank the early compositions of jelly roll morton with the top treasures gallery.

the introduction says "the written word plays a uniquely significant role in america's history. documents such as the declaration of independence, the constitution, and the gettysburg address define who we are and what we aspire to be as a people. the library of congress holds documents associated with george washington, george mason, james madison, jefferson, abraham lincoln, and christopher columbus among others -- in trust for the american people."

there they are for you to see folks, the founding fathers original documents as they took the inheritance of magna carta and declared themselves free people. it's easy to be cynical about the behaviour of any particular current US administration and forget that what these men achieved has become an implicit part of the aspirations of people all over the world.

pix of the day: life in inner mongolia

Nomadic herders' dwelling in Inner Mongoliathe minolta website has a monthly feature photograph. the one i have chosen is from the backnumber archives entitled 'the frozen wastes of inner mongolia' and is by ken hosaka. in the accompanying text ken says that the exceptionally bitter mongolian winter has claimed 7,000,000 head of sheep, which does not seem to have had the same press attention as the foot & mouth losses in the UK. life must be very hard for these nomadic herders.

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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)