By Anjuli Kolb

SPOILER ALERT: DON’T READ DOWN IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED IN THE NINTH YEAR OF THE TROJAN WAR (also at the end of Step Up Revolution, which climaxes with a militant hoedown on a stack of shipping containers, seized for a moment and reconfigured in the spirit of Judith Butler’s improvised publics).


“…after that earth-shaking final dance, a marketing executive approaches Sean and asks him if 'The Mob' would sign on for an 'edgy' new Nike ad campaign. Sean instantly agrees. What else could this development be but a slap in the face to Adbusters, the very point of inception for Occupy Wall Street?”

—Ezra Dulis, “ ‘Step Up Revolution’ Review: Political Treatise of the Century, 2012


“Homer with his musike cured the sick souldiers in the Grecian camps, and purgeth every mans tent of the plague. Thinke you that those miracles could bee wrought without the playing of daunces, dumpes, pavins, galiardes, measures, fancyes, or newe streynes? They never came where this grew, nor knew what it ment.”

—Stephen Gosson, The Shoole of Abuse, Conteining a plesaunt invective against Poets, Pipers, Plaiers, Jesters, and such like Caterpillers of a Commonwealth, 1579


“…When we think about what it means to assemble in a crowd, a growing crowd, and what it means to move through public space in a way that contests the distinction between public and private, we see some way that bodies in their plurality lay claim to the public, find and produce the public through seizing and reconfiguring the matter of material environments; at the same time, those material environments are part of the action, and they themselves act when they become the support for action. In the same way, when trucks or tanks suddenly become platforms for speakers, then the material environment is actively reconfigured and re-functioned…”

—Judith Butler, “Bodies in Alliance and the Politics of the Street,” 2011

Let Me Recite What History Teaches (LMRWHT) is a weekly column that flashes the gaslight, candlelight, torch, or starlight of the past on something that is happening now. The citational constellations work to recover what might be best about the “wide-eyed presentation of mere facts.” They are offered with astonishment and largely without comment. The title is taken from the last line of Stein’s poem “If I Told Him (A Completed Portrait of Picasso)."