By Lambert Strether of Corrente
This is my favorite Louis CK sketch of all time:
And there really is a punch line. At the end. And since I don’t to play spoiler, I’ll say how much Louis CK’s riffing on historical context reminds me of this passage from David Graeber’s Debt:
In the last chapter, I offered a glimpse of how human economies, with their social currencies — which are used to measure, assess, and maintain relationships between people, and only perhaps incidentally to acquire material goods — might be transformed into something else. What we discovered was that we cannot begin to think about such questions without taking into account the role of sheer physical violence. In the case of the African slave trade, this was primarily violence imposed from outside. Nonetheless, its very suddenness, its very brutality, provides us with a sort of freeze-frame of a process that must have occurred in a much slower, more haphazard fashion in other times and places. , played a key role in the rise of markets everywhere.
Or, as Louis CK puts it, 140 (now ~150) years ago: “That’s how recently you could buy a guy.”
“And it’s not like slavery ended and then everything has been amazing.”
No, indeed! So perhaps a little useful context for the Ferguson protests and #BlackLivesMatter.
Happy New Year! I will resume full Water Cooler programming on Monday of next week.
Readers, feel free to contact me with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant:
Plant struggling to stay green and grow even after the first snowfall amaze me. Still looking for more images of wintry plants….
If you enjoy Water Cooler, please consider tipping and click the hat:
Talk amongst yourselves!