goodbye, haloscan

Some of you may notice that all the posts here are now sans comments. It’s not because I suddenly got defensive about Rev’s ribbing or because I wanted to get rid of Martin Ssempa’s famed tirade.

It’s part of a grand WordPress rollover that will happen sometime in the next…er…year? Or so? And having all new comments in Blogger will make preserving all of your lovely thoughts much, much easier.

So: goodbye, Haloscan, and hello, brave new world.

history and hindsight

As part of a side project for a professor of mine, I’ve spent much of this week buried in New York University’s Tamiment Library, combing through the archives of Picture Magazine, a leftist newspaper published daily in New York from 1940-1948.

Today I relived the entire Allied invasion of Europe, including the Italian surrender, the takeover of Rome, D-Day and the liberation of Paris. When I go back on Saturday, the Soviets will reach Auschwitz.

It’s strange to read through these archives, day by day, already knowing what will happen: knowing that the first mention of “forced labor” in Poland in late 1941 will eventually lead to a 1944 photo essay that includes a picture of a pile of shoes discarded by Jewish gas chamber victims; anticipating American troops landing at Normandy. Reading brave articles that claim that the war will be over by the year’s end — articles published in 1943 and in 1944. Knowing that Jews were proposing a Holocaust memorial before American newspapers were even reporting Rabbi Stephen Wise’s first press conference on the genocide.

(According to some accounts, it took almost two years for reports of the Holocaust to be taken seriously, largely because they were difficult to corroborate. I wonder what things would have been like had Ushahidi existed?)

It’s a lot of history to take in in seven hours, and my head is spinning with the thought that, with the help of microfilm, I condensed 60 million deaths into a day’s work.

looking for africa

People ask me what I miss about Uganda other than the people, and as I’m drinking real coffee (sorry, Dennis) and watching the leaves change colors, sometimes it’s hard to come up with a quick answer. Yesterday, though, I was listening to a mix my friend made right before I left, and this song came on.

Blogren, you know what I’m talking about: the remix of Toto’s “Africa.” The one that’s played every 83 seconds in Kisementi? With the rappers? And the a cappella? And the “CH! ch ch ch, ch ch ch ooooh”? Yeah, you guys know.

The thing is, I don’t know. Who remixed it, I mean. The name of the group. So, armed with my delicious coffee and my fast American internet and a gchat window with the Comrade open, I went on a search.

I found MIMS:

And then the eurotrash dance remix:

And the Notorious B.I.G.:

And this, which I’m still having trouble explaining:

And the requisite terrible embarrassing amateur cover:

And this Wikipedia article. But not my song. Blogren, help.