Je me souviens (Remember!)

"Other than chance encounters, we can only encounter in reality what we have previously encountered in fantasy." (Gordon Hirshhorn)

"Say their names." (Harrison Barnes, NBA)

"Never forget. And never forget to listen."

"Je me souviens": I remember. Quebec Canada automobile license plate.Next2a.gif

One theme of my (BMcC[18-11-46-503]) pages here is to remember. There are at least two reasons to remember:

  1. Remember bad things to try to prevent them from being repeated in our own or anyone else's living.
  2. Remember good things to give opportunity to enjoy them more and to incorporate them into new pleasures in our own and others' living.

Where to start remembering?

Service mark of Pinkerton's National Detective Agency: "We never sleep."

Every perception is a judgment (that its object is such-and-such in terms of some purpose entertained by the perceiver). Wisdom of judgment needs knowledge of what is being judged.

A (BMcC[18-11-46-503]) memory: You know things are bad when The great defender of Truth, Justice, and The American Way: Superman [Typo: that should read "Superman"], has to cheat (cook the clock) to beat the bad guys (early 1950's U.S.A.).

In one episode of his TV show, there was a crook who had sealed himself inside a super-stainless steel (titanium, whatever) cube which Superman could not penetrate. The crook was waiting for the statute of limitations on his crimes to expire to come out and be free. (He had been a very patient crook.)

Superman was frustrated. He figured out a solution to the problem: He went to the U.S. Naval Observatory (USNO), and got the honorable civil servants there to speed up, i.e.: falsify their clock.

The crook emerged from his cube 5 minutes after his statute of limitations expiration date. But, in reality, it was still something like 5 minutes until his magic moment The crook had made the big mistake of believing in the accuracy of USNO time signals. Crook arrested! Justice served! Superman had saved the day, yet again, as always! The U.S. Naval Observatory (¿headed by Attorney General William Barr?) readjusted its clock.


Go to The Internet Archive. (Historic web image)Go to The Internet Archive. (Historic web image)

A souvenir is a memory trigger. Of course it can be such a thing as a kitsch tchotchke trinket of a generic "vacation" (vacating?) setting, e.g., the Boardwalk of Rehoboth Beach Delaware, which has printed on it the text: "Rehoboth Beach Deleware", along with a picture of said Boardwalk.

I prefer to think of souvenir as a document of juridical disposition of a person's trial of something that has been done for or to said individual, a blessing or malfeasance of commission or omission.

I collect souvenirs. I collected a cobblestone that once I deployed as part of a sculpture celebrating a beloved home, in its back yard, which the subsequent owner of said house/home had no use for, but graciously let me take away when I asked if I could have it even though I no longer was its owner.

I collected a length of discarded "FIRE LINE DO NOT CROSS" tape from an electric fire due to a shorted out electric power line to the neighborhood wherein my current house is, after a hurricane had passed thru, igniting a bright electric fire which I had seen and talked with a firemen about. The electric power line breakage that caused the fire initiated an approximately 6 day long electric power outage.

A souvenir, for myself, is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual Je me souviens. (Also: We remember.)

A gottcha

People do not seem to relish a person "digging up the past", when it is anything which does not shine themselves or their ancestors or their intimates in a flattering light. Digging up somebody else's past is sometimes OK, e.g., when a person with oppressed ancestors digs up the past of a different person who had oppressing ancestors.

It seems to me that bad news from the past should be a problem only when it is still going on in the present. "The past" which is still going on is not past at all. Suppose you were born to a prostitute who got pregnant from an encounter with Adolf Eichmann two years before the end of the war, and that she didn't know he was anything other than a military officer with a fancy uniform and a fat wallet. You would have no connection with The Third Reich. If one day somebody ran a DNA test and found out your paternity, what relevance would that be to you except for learning about possible genetic vulnerabilities to disease? I think it would be really great if my ancestry traced back in a direct line to King Vlad the Impaler. I do not turn anybody into a human shish-kabob, but it would be interesting to think I had "blue blood" since maybe I could cash that in? And, instead of just pitying my ancestors for never having had anything to lose, I would be curious to find out how one or more of them may have managed to lose what they had. "Oh, aristocrats of today! I am one of you, except that my grandfather was spendthrift."

There is, of course, one very good reason for not wanting to talk about one's negative ancestry: if people will hurt you for something you didn't do, for some agenda they have. In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is well advised to keep his eye a secret, because if people find out about it they will subject him to surgery to remove his eye so that he will be healthy, normal and whole like themselves, and they will not remove his eye for any malign reason, but "for his own good", because they want to share their good fortune and make him healthy, normal and whole -- and happy -- like themselves.

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