A short post about change and random news…
Change is always in the air. Or so they say. Even, though my students seem skeptical, on the western front in World War I. It’s such an odd war. In almost every respect the defining conflict of the modern and post modern age, it has suffered from a good deal of neglect. Perhaps because it is regarded as the quintessence of a useless war. Ultimately, it spawned more problems than it solved, and it didn’t even solve those very well. It fed problems it was in capable of solving. And while I’ve become reconciled to Strachan’s claim that it was a war “about big ideas,” I still cannot shake the doom and gloom of Owen’s and Sassoon’s poetry. It was a war blundered into by societies with plenty of big ideas but with those ideas in bloody, fatal competition. Societies that had no clear aim or purpose or method in mind for their war, just a sense that military action would solve a couple apparent threats. Which it did, I suppose. Hmmm…I think I just described most wars over most eras. Deep.
Anyway, all this is to say, change happens. For the blog, I’ve made some small ones, to include a revised CV section, and the return of the Flickr album. I’ll be putting more pictures up there in the coming weeks. In terms of news coverage, I also linked my Twitter and WordPress feeds, so pay attention to the Twitter bar in the right column. Retweeting individual interesting websites, databases, and news items is a lot more practical than blogging them–for instance, I would never have stumbled upon Medieval Illuminators without Twitter. For extended discussions and essays, blogging still has a considerable edge; look this week for an essay post on the Late Roman Army, and in the following three-four weeks a couple posts on the Humanities and the Digital Humanities. Or at least my take on them.
On a digital topic, change affects even digital art and archives. And speaking of digital archives, the following link is a wonderful image resource for your class slides and presentations: http://www.kornbluthphoto.com/archive-1.html.
To dip into contemporary affairs for a bit: here’s a short column from Tenured Radical on the Lance Armstrong on Oprah show. Sometimes the blog’s columns make me shake my head more than nod it, but this column is quite good. Right on the money. Because Dr. Potter is right, it’s all about the money.
On a cheerier note, inauguration, anyone? NPR has been keeping up a string of interesting posts about Presidential Inaugurations past and present. The food disaster that was Lincoln’s second inaugural ball, in 1865. An Inauguration Trivia Quiz, yipee. And so on. Good luck in your second term, Mr. President.