Did that actually just happen?

Or words to that effect, from Rachel Maddow, describing her stunned reaction to watching pieces of Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony on 6/28 before the Jan 6 committee (the US House select committee investigating the 1/6/21 insurrection at the US Capitol). And yes, it did actually just happen. And I was stunned too; I watched the whole thing, amazed and appalled. (Also moved to recall my rapt attention through the Army-McCarthy hearings when I was 13 and the Watergate hearings and House impeachment hearings when I was 33).

6/28 is also Stonewall Day (remembering 1969), this year an occasion for a mixture of extreme emotions, among them distressed disbelief that we lgbt-folk are threatened with a return to the mindset — and the laws — of the Pinko Communist Scare fostered by Joe McCarthy about 70 years ago.

6/28 is also Sarajevo Day (remembering 1914), the anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Archduchess Sophie, which somehow tipped the world into the nightmare of the Great War. Followed by the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the great influenza pandemic of 1918 — the wars echoed now in the monstrous evil of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Great Flu mirrored in the Covid pandemic we’re living through now.

Meanwhile, here in 2022 everything is happening at once, and a lot of it is unbelievably awful. (Did that actually just happen?) See the above, and add last week’s US Supreme Court decisions on concealed carry of weapons in public and on abortion. The last of which moved Ann Burlingham to whip off a postcard of rage and protest to me (written and mailed in Pittsburgh on the 6/25, arrived in Palo Alto on 6/28, whoopee!):

The image: “Volcano”, from the Ricardo Levins Morales art studio (text by Morales):’

(#1) Power comes from below / from the hidden places where it gathers / until, discovering itself, it blazes into view, lighting the sky and reshaping the landscape / sweeping away barriers it seems would stand forever!

And then AB’s message:

We’ll be volcanoes.

Right to the point.

More Morales. About the artist, from his website:

Ricardo Levins Morales is an artist and organizer based in Minneapolis. He uses his art as a form of political medicine to support individual and collective healing from the injuries and ongoing reality of oppression.

He was born into the anti-colonial movement in his native Puerto Rico and was drawn into activism in Chicago when his family moved there in 1967.

Ricardo left high school early and worked in various industries, and over time began to use his art as part of his movement work. This activism has included support work for the Black Panthers and Young Lords and participating in or acting in solidarity with farmers, environmental, labor, racial justice, antiwar and other struggles for peoples empowerment. He was a founding member of the Northland Poster Collective (1979-2009).

He also leads workshops on creative organizing, social justice strategy and sustainable activism, and mentors and supports organizers. The worker members of RLM Art Studio are represented by the Newspaper and Communications guild/CWA.

Ricardo’s work is widely used by grassroots movements, organizations and communities.

One more work, “I Can Do It”:

(#2) [from Morales:] Another riff on Rosie the Riveter and “We Can Do It!” The person in this poster declares that they’re in charge of their own sexuality. No one’s outdated rules apply here.

The image and the comment are deliberately cagey on racioethnic and gender identity. (Morales’s work seems to include no unambiguous depiction of lesbians or gays. #2 seems to be as close as it gets.)

Earlier on this blog:

— in my 10/7/13 posting “Yes we can”:

(#3) The WWII propaganda poster produced by J. Howard Miller in 1943 for Westinghouse Electric as an inspirational image to boost worker morale: the “Rosie the Riveter” image

— in my 10/8/13 posting “¡Sí Se Puede!”:

(#4) Poster by artist Robert Valadez, using the Rosie the Riveter image

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