Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for February 7th, 2023

Longhorn Cavern, part 3

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On January 26th we visited Longhorn Cavern State Park, which is only about an hour’s drive west of home.



All the pictures here came from my iPhone 14 in raw mode at 48.8 megapixels per image.



In many cases I went for abstractions of light and shadows.



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If you’ve read history books or watched documentaries about Nazi Germany in the 20th century, you probably know about the mass burnings of books that the Nazis deemed counter to their Fascist movement. You probably also think that the organized mass destruction of books is a thing of the thankfully distant past.

Not so, alas.

A book burning held by an Ontario francophone school board as an act of reconciliation with Indigenous people has received sharp condemnation from Canadian political leaders and the board itself now says it regrets its symbolic gesture.

The “flame purification” ceremony, first reported by Radio Canada, was held in 2019 by the Conseil scolaire catholique Providence, which oversees elementary and secondary schools in southwestern Ontario. Some 30 books, the national broadcaster reported, were burned for “educational purposes” and then the ashes were used as fertilizer to plant a tree.

“We bury the ashes of racism, discrimination and stereotypes in the hope that we will grow up in an inclusive country where all can live in prosperity and security,” says a video prepared for students about the book burning, Radio Canada reported.

In total, more than 4,700 books were removed from library shelves at 30 schools across the school board, and they have since been destroyed or are in the process of being recycled, Radio Canada reported.


Note the Orwellian claim that books were burned “for educational purposes.” You can read more about this in a 2021 National Post article.

I learned about the Ontario situation from Andrew Doyle’s January 2023 article in Quillette titled “A Puritanical Assault on the English Language,” which I recommend. Here’s a paragraph that also deals with books:

I am aware of how ludicrous the concept of “woke librarians” might sound, but the evidence is compelling. Even the British Library has a “Decolonising Working Group,” which has successfully persuaded its management to review its collections, “powerfully reinterpret” statues of its founders, and put more than 300 authors on a watchlist if they have even the flimsiest of connections to the slave trade. One of the group’s more risible findings is that the library’s main building is a monument to imperialism because it resembles a battleship.


© 2023 Steven Schwartzman




Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 7, 2023 at 4:32 AM

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