Magazine | October 10, 2016, Issue

From the Newspaper Archives

The Roman Citizen & Chronicle, August 26, 410:

. . . unclear at this time who, exactly, is conducting a long-term interaction with the people of Rome. Some local politicians have used the work “sack” to describe the series of spirited encounters between Roman citizens and the undocumented visitors from the northern regions who have arrived within the borders of traditional “Rome,” but it’s impossible at this early juncture to define either their motive or their specific ethnic makeup.

Alaric the Visigoth quickly claimed responsibility for the series of attacks early yesterday morning but has so far offered little in the way of proof that he and his “Goths” are behind the loosely organized collection of lone-wolf-style operations. Local officials and experts have called for more investigation into the root causes of these disturbances, noting especially the complicated and hard-to-navigate Roman citizenship rules that have created such a powerful backlash to the north, and religious scholars maintain that Alaric and his army are followers of what is essentially a peaceful religion that worships a deity who appears as a fire-

breathing dragon wearing a necklace of human skulls.

Some have suggested that the Roman warlike “culture” — which has made powerful weaponry such as spears, javelins, maces, and even assault axes readily available to anyone with enough coin — is ultimately responsible for the “clash of narratives” now unfolding in parts of northern Rome.

Outreach efforts in schools and temples designed to welcome new visitors from the north are ongoing but currently underfunded by the Republican-controlled Senate, which includes many senators who represent rural and more traditionally “Roman” regions, and who have veered closer and closer to a xenophobic and racist outlook. Many in fact still use the term “Roman Empire,” which has been criticized by progressive groups for its racist and privileged . . .

The Hastings Advertiser, October 16, 1066:

. . . learning about the diversity and culture from across the Channel, such as the multitude of sauces and ways to prepare egg-based dishes.

Already, citizens of Hastings and its surrounding areas are rolling their “r”s and taking a bit more pride in their appearance and their home décor. This “invasion” — a complicated word that can mean many things, depending on the racial and ethnic makeup of the speaker — has been more like a “merger” of two cultures, both finding a balance after an uneasy and fraught relationship.

For his part, William the Conqueror — and while he and his team acknowledge the aggressive nuance of that honorific, they quickly point out that in their native language of French, the word has a more romantic, even erotic, connotation — has made it clear that his culture doesn’t permit the subjugation of another. And while it’s unclear right now whether the French army intends to stay, the sheer number of rapes and maraudings taking place suggests that it does.

It should be remembered that King Harold and his forces have also taken part in invasions and rapes during his rocky tenure as King of the Realm, lending context and nuance to events now unfolding . . .

The Vienna Times Diplomat, September 28, 1529:

. . . colorful banners, exotic music, and the tantalizing smell of roasting lamb and doner kebabs.  The scene outside the gates of Vienna was a delightfully chaotic array — more like a church fair or feast day than what some Viennese conservatives are calling, with scant evidence, a “siege.”

Suleiman the Magnificent reposed in splendor, enjoying the dates and sweets from his homeland to the east. “I’m a peaceful person,” he murmured recently to a journalist. “I really have no particular issue with the people of Vienna. I merely ask that they subjugate themselves to the Ottoman crown and either convert to the True Faith of Islam or pay a tax. Or, you know, other stuff. But let’s keep this upbeat.”

Indeed, experts and religious scholars echo Suleiman the Magnificent’s interpretation of his faith, and military strategists suggest that the “siege of Vienna” — as it is already being called in the populist press — is nothing more than a state visit accompanied by flaming catapults.

“The important thing here,” said Geerst Trondleheim, lecturer in Cultures and Diversity at the University of Vienna, “is to remember that it’s okay for foreign visitors to camp out by the city gates. The wall we built was, in many ways, a racist act, an ‘othering,’ if you will, and this is the natural response to that. Let’s not overreact. I, for one, would like to hear the voices and perspectives that Suleiman the Magnificent would like to share with us.”

It is not clear whether Herr Trondleheim’s head was one of those spotted on pikes surrounding the Ottoman camp, but his delegation to the visitors was greeted with a noisy and affectionate volley of arrows and . . .

In This Issue

Articles

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Trade or the Trade Establishment? Robert D. Atkinson’s “Four Myths about Trade” (September 12) are almost correctly stated; which is to say, incorrectly stated. “The first assumption is that America is the ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Honestly, the thought of her becoming president makes us feel a little faint, too. ‐ Hillary Clinton abruptly left a 9/11 commemoration at Ground Zero, stumbled off a curb, and ...
Athwart

Crass Couture

Will we look back on Trump's tenure as an era of refinement and elegance because he said “Excuse my French” after he dropped the effenheimer?
Politics & Policy

Poetry

SOME ANGELS Lying on their backs, looking up at the sky, The boys have made angels in the snow. Eyes to heaven, with heaven looking down, They wave their arms like wings, while seraphs In ...

Most Popular

Culture

What We’ve Learned about Jussie Smollett

It’s been a few weeks since March 26, when all charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and the actor declared that his version of events had been proven correct. How’s that going? Smollett’s celebrity defenders have gone quiet. His publicists and lawyers are dodging reporters. The @StandwithJussie ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Lessons of the Mueller Probe

Editor’s Note: The following is the written testimony submitted by Mr. McCarthy in connection with a hearing earlier today before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on the Mueller Report (specifically, the first volume of the report, which addresses Russia’s interference in the 2016 ... Read More
Elections

Kamala Harris Runs for Queen

I’m going to let you in on a secret about the 2020 presidential contest: Unless unforeseen circumstances lead to a true wave election, the legislative stakes will be extremely low. The odds are heavily stacked against Democrats’ retaking the Senate, and that means that even if a Democrat wins the White House, ... Read More
World

Why Are the Western Middle Classes So Angry?

What is going on with the unending Brexit drama, the aftershocks of Donald Trump’s election, and the “yellow vests” protests in France? What drives the growing estrangement of southern and eastern Europe from the European Union establishment? What fuels the anti-EU themes of recent European elections and ... Read More
Energy & Environment

The Climate Trap for Democrats

The more the climate debate changes, the more it stays the same. Polls show that the public is worried about climate change, but that doesn’t mean that it is any more ready to bear any burden or pay any price to combat it. If President Donald Trump claws his way to victory again in Pennsylvania and the ... Read More
White House

Sarah Sanders to Resign at End of June

Sarah Huckabee Sanders will resign from her position as White House press secretary at the end of the month, President Trump announced on Twitter Thursday afternoon. https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1139263782142787585 Sanders, the daughter of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, succeeded Sean ... Read More
Politics & Policy

But Why Is Guatemala Hungry?

I really, really don’t want to be on the “Nicolas Kristof Wrote Something Dumb” beat, but, Jiminy Cricket! Kristof has taken a trip to Guatemala, with a young woman from Arizona State University in tow. “My annual win-a-trip journey,” he writes. Reporting from Guatemala, he discovers that many ... Read More