The Monday Morning Teaser

So we had the January 6 anniversary.

In this week’s featured post, I’ll lay out my theory of news-event anniversaries: News and History interface badly. News inevitably tends to be detail-focused, and to lose track of the larger story in favor of the new detail we just discovered. History, on the other hand, waits for all the dust to settle, which could take years. In the meantime, there’s a need to occasionally take stock of what we know so far, and retell the whole story as we now understand it, putting things in the perspective we expect historians to take eventually.

That’s what anniversaries are for. News may claim to be the first draft of History, but an anniversary report is a much-needed second draft.

So that’s what I’ll do today in “One Year Later”, which is still under construction. I’ll guess it comes out between 10 and 11 EST.

Meanwhile, the Omicron surge continues to push daily case-counts to record highs, and hospitalizations and deaths are beginning to rise as well. The Supreme Court heard arguments about Biden’s vaccine mandates, a case that has implications way beyond the current pandemic. The daylong traffic jam on I-95 may not seem like a big story nationally, but a WaPo columnist turned it into an attack on electric vehicles in an article that got a lot of national attention; that fear-mongering column needs a rational response, which I try to provide. The guys who lynched Ahmaud Arbery got an appropriately harsh sentence, Sidney Poitier died, and a few other things happened.

All in all, I thought the week needed an escapist closing, so I went with a video from the National Zoo of their panda cub enjoying his first snow. But the Covid horse race call was also irresistible, so I decided to have a double closing this week. We deserve it.

The weekly summary should be out between noon and 1.

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  • reverendsax  On January 10, 2022 at 11:53 am

    Heather Cox Richardson (Letters from an American) is an historian who does sort of what you say can’t be done. She documents the days news as the raw ingredients of what will become history and she makes connections with what has happened before. She also observes many anniversaries of news events to review them in the light of what has followed. The meaning of events is always stated in light of the integrity or lack thereof in the actors and their faithfulness or faithlessness to previously stated values. Many of us are in awe of seeing history in the making through her work.

    • Thomas Paine  On January 11, 2022 at 8:10 pm

      A hearty second to this recommendation. It’s an almost-daily must-read.

    • weeklysift  On January 15, 2022 at 5:37 am

      I’m an HCR subscriber, and I eagerly await the day when her approach becomes the journalistic standard.

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