A beautiful, powerful letter from Our Family Coalition, an LGBTQ rights organization in the San Francisco Bay Area.
In the U.S., today is Thanksgiving, billed as a day of giving thanks for our blessings, in commemoration of the story of the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians feasting together. (You’re supposed to do it with your birth family, unless you’re too queer or trans or many other marginalized groups, of course. Or too political. So many of us spend the day with chosen family if we can. )
For many Native American people, however, today is the Day of Mourning, marking a characteristic and systemic way in which the shameful history of colonization and genocide by Europeans of Native Americans has been elided and erased. Find out whose land you stand on. See here and here for starters, and beautiful image results from a Google search on “Native American script.”
I wasn’t able to find any reputable references to writing or transcribing the Wampanoag language, but I did find this 2002 article about the relative ease of rendering the Cherokee and Inuiktitut (Inuit languages) syllabaries in Unicode type. It’s great that people are interested in keeping the first languages of this country and continent alive.
My love to you all, however you are spending the day.
The below is an article from October 2016, but worth a rerun in light of Trump’s recent (impeachment hearings 2019) adventures in writing speech notes for himself.
Although he’s known for his incessant tweeting, an interesting fact about Donald Trump is that he doesn’t really use computers outside of his iPhone. Although he aspires to lead the most technologically progressive nation on Earth, the Republican presidential hopeful has admitted he didn’t own a computer until 2007. Heck, the only proof he has ever used a computer is this photo of him sitting in front of a Mac from July… and even then, Trump looks like he’s going to try to prod the screen with one of his granule-sized fingers.
But that’s not to say that Trump doesn’t read what’s written about him on the internet. He does. His assistants laboriously print out articles on him, like this one from Vanity Fair, which he then covers in crazily scrawled editorial notes, such as “BAD WRITER!”, “BAD PICTURE (NO SURPRISE)” and “OH REALLY!”
Jacobus Publicius was a fifteenth-century rhetorician and physician who is remembered today for being the author of the first ars memoriae (or ars memorativa), a work dedicated to techniques concerning the organisation and improving of memory. Publicius’ ideas were gathered in a book called Ars Oratoria. Ars Epistolandi. Ars Memorativa published in 1482, which included this wonderful illustrated alphabet featured here. Each letter of the alphabet is paired with an object (in some case more than one) which echoes its shape. A is associated with a folding ladder, B with a lute, C with a horseshoe, and so on. Publicius’ book proved very popular and influenced many subsequent scholars concerned with memory, including the English polymath Robert Fludd, who came up with his own mnemonic alphabet. We are featuring the original 1482 edition here (see source link below), but you can also see a copy of the slightly expanded second edition (with additional imagery) at the Wolfenbütteler Digitale Bibliothek. For some further reading on the subject we recommend The Book of Memory (2008) by Mary Carruthers.
“We wanted people to see this in the wild and be like, ‘What the HELL is wrong with my computer?’” says the typeface’s creator, Matthew Woodward.
Hold your favorite graphic design tome close. We now know what the classic typeface Helvetica would look like if it came from the underworld. Yes, it will keep type enthusiasts up at night.