20 7 / 2014
“But if you forget to reblog Madame Zeroni, you and your family will be cursed for always and eternity.”
not even risking that shit
04 7 / 2014
At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! had I the ability, and could reach the nation’s ear, I would, to-day, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.
What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy-a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour."
Frederick Douglass, The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro, delivered at Rochester, New York, July 5, 1852
This is one of the most brilliant pieces of American oratory ever written. People always quote that second paragraph, but I think the key to understanding the speech is in the previous one. Besides being beautifully written (despite his moment of mock humility near the beginning) and stirring, this speech is bitterly funny. His “scorching irony” is really the only way a man in his position could have remarked on the murderous hypocrisies of the social, political, economic, and religious establishment (his comments on the church remain entirely relevant today) that sustained slavery.
Every July 4th celebration ought to follow the obligatory reading aloud of the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence with Douglass’ speech.
04 7 / 2014
Independence Day, when we celebrate that fateful day way back in 1996 when Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum saved us from the alien invasion