Saturday, September 14, 2002

Greatly exaggerated

[Fragmentary post follows; it's been a busy month or so. I'm going to keep up with this weblog, though most likely on a different server, which is just beginning to approach viability. More details to come.]

I've been on a vacation of sorts, and will soon leave on a vacation of an entirely different sort, so my already sluggish blog will continue to languish in obscurity.

I've been reading Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison and it's got me thinking about the civil rights movement, as well as social protest movements in general. I want to learn more about the civil rights movement, what I know now is the fairly facile information one picks up in your basic American History class.

It strikes me that in a lot of ways it isn't really all all that important if, eg, Martin Luther King's non-violent protests directly affected the laws; what is more important is that there was a highly emotional symbol associated in the public eye with the movement for civil rights, and this makes him relevant regardless of his actual effectiveness. (Note that I think King and the civil rights movement were very effective, but it's hard to pin down a single cause for an historical change.)

Anyways. Invisible Man is interesting. The first several chapter reminded me strongly of Dante's Inferno, and the book as a whole has a very theatrical mien, with lots of monologues and stagy-seeming settings (eg, an auditorium). I don't like theater all that much, and especially one-man shows, but this book seems like a good candidate for one.