[racket] [ANN] RacketCon 2013: 29 September

From: Norman Gray (norman at astro.gla.ac.uk)
Date: Sun Sep 22 14:02:31 EDT 2013

Eric, hello.

On 2013 Sep 22, at 16:30, Eric Hanchrow <eric.hanchrow at gmail.com> wrote:

> My wife and I will be in Boston a day early (Friday).  Does anyone
> have a "must-see" touristy suggestion for us?

Along with seemingly everyone else, I'd recommend the Freedom Trail.

I don't know where you're visiting from, but speaking as a visitor to Boston and to the US, I found the Freedom Trail to be a very illuminating account of the US foundation myth, at a humane scale.  I can't think of an analogue for the UK myth (which itself is rather thought-provoking), and the analogues for other countries tend towards the bombastic.  It also shines an oddly-angled light on one phase of my own country's colonial history, and on its current pseudo-colonial adventures.

The trail goes past, but doesn't explicitly include, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/54th_Regiment_Memorial>, from which (I think) I 'got' the US civil war in a way I hadn't before, and which made me feel more foreign in the US than anything I've noticed since, in a smattering of visits across the country.

I'm not normally a fan of heritage sites, which generally call out for rather detached and against-the-grain interrogation.  But the Boston Freedom Trail is both successful in its own terms and (not, I think, accidentally) interesting as rhetoric.

Enjoy RacketCon.

All the best,


Norman Gray  :  http://nxg.me.uk
SUPA School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow, UK

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