(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Confederate States of America

“If you’re not a liberal when you’re 25, you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative by the time you’re 35, you have no brain.”*

NPR takes a look at a striking dimension of the generation gap:

A new survey from the Pew Research Center finds wide gaps in how different generations view politics. Older voters are more conservative, more angry at the government and less hopeful about the future of the country. Younger voters lean left, wish the government played a greater role in their lives and believe the nation’s best days are yet to come. If the “silent generation” controlled the country, Mitt Romney would win the election next year. If millennials had their way, President Obama would win a second term — and his health care law would be expanded. Boomers and Gen Xers fall in between these extremes, but seem to grow more conservative with age.

See the full– and fascinating– infographic at “How Age Shapes Political Outlook.”

And for an interestingly (and chillingly) resonant perspective on the stock market, see this report from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco… given the employment prospects– and thus, likely investment activity– of (too) many Millennials, many of those “Silents” and “Boomers” looking to depend on their investments, and get government out of healthcare and retirement, may now have an answer to the question “when can I plan to retire?”   Never.

* routinely, but incorrectly, attributed to Winston Churchill– who was, in fact, a Conservative at 15 and a Liberal at 35.

As we muse, with Churchill, that we’re only as old as we feel, we might recall that it was on this date in 1861 that Jefferson Davis was elected to a six-year term as President of the Confederate States of America.  In the event, re-election was not an issue.

source

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan…

an exhibit in The Opium Museum

This website is a virtual museum dedicated to a little-known subject: the artistry of antique Chinese opium-smoking paraphernalia.

The controversy of the Opium Wars and the subsequent British opium trade with China is still widely remembered today. What has been forgotten is that by the time the trade was banished, and opium smoking began to be effectively eradicated in China, it had already become an integral part of Qing dynasty culture, indulged in at every level of Chinese society – from the lowliest rickshaw pullers to the court eunuchs within the luxurious chambers of old Peking’s Forbidden City. And to satisfy the sophisticated tastes of China’s noble, mandarin, and merchant classes, the paraphernalia and ritual of opium smoking reached dizzying artistic heights. Opium pipes, opium lamps and other accoutrements were crafted from the finest materials – ivory, jade, silver, cloisonné and porcelain.

Beginning in the 18th century, opium accompanied the Chinese diaspora: first to the Chinese quarters of Asian cities, and later to the Chinatowns of the West, particularly North America, where opium smoking in the Chinese manner and with Chinese-made paraphernalia became fashionable among non-Chinese.

Once the drug was banned and its paraphernalia outlawed, these illicit items were heaped into piles and burned in public bonfires. From Shanghai to Saigon to San Francisco, the means to smoke opium were destroyed along with the drug itself. So few examples of these relics remain that most experts on Chinese art are blithely unaware of just how sumptuous and opulent this art form had become during its heyday.

We at the Opium Museum believe that, right or wrong, opium smoking was a part of the human experience, and as such, examples of its paraphernalia should be preserved for posterity. We are not advocating the use of opium. Our appreciation lies in the unique design and aesthetic genius of opium paraphernalia, as well as the ritual that evolved around its preparation and ingestion. In no other addictive substance did man’s quest for mood-enhancement reach such artistic heights.

As we admire the accoutrement of vice (even as we abhor the vice itself), we might recall that, on this date in 1861, the Confederate States of America began selling postage stamps.

The 5 cent Jefferson Davis

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Written by (Roughly) Daily

October 16, 2009 at 12:01 am

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