A Homosexual, a Pioneer, a Human rights Activist, & a Fiery Freedom Fighter—Hung by the Crown for Treason: Meet Sir Robert Casement

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Untold story of one of the most horrifying crimes of the twentieth century.

In September 1910, the human rights activist and anti-imperialist Roger Casement arrived in the Amazon to investigate reports of widespread human rights abuses in the vast forests stretching along the Putumayo river. There, the Peruvian entrepreneur Julio César Arana ran an area the size of Belgium as his own private fiefdom; his British registered company operated a systematic programme of torture, exploitation and murder.

Fresh from documenting the scarcely imaginable atrocities perpetrated by King Leopold in the Congo, Casement was confronted with an all too recognisable scenario. He uncovered an appalling catalogue of abuse: nearly 30,000 Indians had died to produce four thousand tonnes of rubber.

From the Peruvian rainforests to the City of London, Jordan Goodman, in The Devil and Mr. Casement, recounts a crime against humanity that history has almost forgotten, but whose exposure in 1912 sent shockwaves around the world. Drawing on a wealth of original research, The Devil and Mr Casement is a story of colonial exploitation and corporate greed with enormous contemporary political resonance.

Reviews

“Meticulously researched … A riveting, if harrowing, narrative which, in its treatment of corporate greed and exploitation, is full of contemporary resonance. A rich, moving, important book.” – Independent on Sunday

Above, clockwise: Casement in his 50s, he would be executed shortly; walking out of court after his appeal had been denied; Casement’s funeral in Ireland.

The New Yorker:

In 1910, the British government asked Roger Casement, a consular official, to investigate reports that a British-registered rubber-trading company was exploiting Barbadian workers in the Amazon. Intrepid and resourceful, Casement gathered testimonies about the armed extortion and debt bondage that supported the rubber trade. Back in London, he championed the rights of the Barbadian migrants as well as those of the indigenous Indians, tens of thousands of whom had died harvesting wild rubber for their masters. Casement was knighted for his efforts. But the adulation did not last. An Irish nationalist, he eventually left the consular services and devoted himself to organizing and arming the Irish Volunteers. In 1916, he was arrested and hanged for treason. With vivid touches of imagination and humor, Goodman captures the drama and paradox of Casement’s varied life. ♦

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In 1910, the British government asked Roger Casement, a consular official, to investigate reports that a British-registered rubber-trading company was exploiting Barbadian workers in the Amazon. Intrepid and resourceful, Casement gathered testimonies about the armed extortion and debt bondage that supported the rubber trade. Back in London, he championed the rights of the Barbadian migrants as well as those of the indigenous Indians, tens of thousands of whom had died harvesting wild rubber for their masters. Casement was knighted for his efforts. But the adulation did not last. An Irish nationalist, he eventually left the consular services and devoted himself to organizing and arming the Irish Volunteers. In 1916, he was arrested and hanged for treason. With vivid touches of imagination and humor, Goodman captures the drama and paradox of Casement’s varied life. ♦

Further Reading

https://www.firstworldwar.com/bio/casement.htm

http://www.easter1916.ie/index.php/people/a-z/roger-casement/

https://www.planetromeo.com/en/blog/gay-history-sir-roger-casement/

https://www.rte.ie/centuryireland/index.php/articles/the-life-and-death-of-roger-casement

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/sep/28/roger-casement-gay-irish-martyr-or-victim-of-a-british-forgery

https://www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/roger-casement-easter-rising-executed

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v34/n17/colm-toibin/a-man-of-no-mind

https://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2011/11/roger-casement-the-gay-irish-humanitarian-who-was-hanged-on-a-comma

Click thumbnails to enlarge images:

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Link to The Devil and Mr. Casement

Must-Read!—Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business or Keeping Us Hooked by Adam Alter

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Prologue: Never Get High on Your Own Supply

Chapter 1: What Is Behavioral Addiction and Where Did It Come From? An Excerpt…

A Poem a Day #7: “Good Bones” by Maggie Smith

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Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.

(Waxwing, Issue IX, Summer 2016)

Ghosts are what survive of love…what they’re really trying to prove is that love lasts forever…

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“Every ghost story begins with a love story, and usually more than one. Once they are untangled, you will always find eternal love, unbearable loss, and unconquerable fear.

Everywhere, every minute, people all over the world are desperately begging God and any other power they can think of to not take someone they love, their child, their husband or wife, mother or father or friend. And finally, at the end, don’t take me.

There is no spot on earth that is free from loss. On this street, or in this room, someone lay down or was put down and was no more. Someone held someone else for the last time here. Rivers and lakes and oceans are full of people who vanished beneath the surface and were never seen again. Wherever you are standing, wherever you call home, someone left the earth there.

Everyone we love dies and disappears.

Something more substantial than a memory must survive of all that love. It’s unthinkable that the dead are truly and completely gone. And if the dead are not completely gone, we, as every generation that came before, are compelled to look for whatever remains.

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What is death but the end of all we love? Ghosts are what survive of love. Real or unreal, they are a testament to love, and the hope that no matter what, love lasts.

The men and women of the Duke Parapsychology Laboratory were scientists. They never would have phrased it this way. But when all is said and done, as they tried to prove that death is not the end, what they were really trying to prove is that love lasts forever.

The problem was how to scientifically demonstrate that life and all the feelings that go with it survive death. A medium relaying messages of continuing love from a dead wife might be enough for an inconsolable widower, but it will never be enough for the scientific community, which demands not only more convincing evidence but also experiments that can be reliably repeated to produce consistent results. To move an idea out of the realm of belief and into the world of accepted fact, others must be able to verify your results. There are no shortcuts to this process, and no exceptions. Like those we pray to when death is imminent, the scientific method is immune to longing, hope, and pleas.”

7B9B371A-9356-4D86-84C8-51E6AE71249EStacy Horn, from the Preface to Unvelievable: Inveatigations into Ghosts, Poltergeists, Telepathy, and Other Unseen Phenomena, from the Duke Parasychology Laboratory (HarperCollins 2009)

[Image: Still from the 2017 David Lowry film A Ghost Story, starring Casey Affleck (mentor-less.com).]

The Map That Should Be in Every History Book…

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(MostlyHistory/tumblr)

“I’m mad about the boy…” Meet The Housesitter—A beautiful indie adult film that’s getting some recognition at the Pop Montreal cultural festival

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Canadian Rapper Josh “Socalled” Dolgin discovers the joys of making an arthouse adult film, “The Housesitter,” which will have its premiere at the Pop Montreal cultural festival.

A Canadian rapper and record producer has made his own adult film—and shot the whole thing in his parents’ house, while they were away on holiday.

Joshua Dolgin, whose stage name is “Socalled”, kept his plans from his parents and only told them after he had finished shooting.

The openly gay artist said the film was “in part” a reaction to turning 40; adding that he didn’t think of it as a “mid-life crisis movie,” but rather as a “mid-life celebration movie”.


You know here at The Sanguine Woods I have always—and will always—openly and proudly support love that rebels agains the expectations of obtuse societal mores, themes and symbols that stand up to ugly gender-normative stereotypes, and anything else that hurts love for love’s sake and the right of every person to be true to who they are.

So when I came across this trailer and read about this film, I wanted to share it.

It looks like a beautiful piece…


Everything is very casual and very natural—all integral to Socalled’s vision for the film project. But it’s not your common everyday shallow adult film. There are also forays into the fantastical—there’s a strange dream sequence, for instance, when Wilson and Braun meet up in the snow wearing 17th-century-style masquerade accessories. (No more spoilers!)

“I love sex and I love great photography and film,” Dolgin said, “so this is a combination of the two. I’m blessed as an artist because I have enough of a name that I can try new things, but I’m not so famous that I have limits. “I just want to pursue my passions. This is part of that,” he added.

Dolgin saw his opportunity to make the film after he learned that his parents would be away for at least a month during the winter. “I think it’s still sinking in with my dad,” Dolgin said, “but he’ll deal with it.”

He wrote a script for the film and also cast German adult film star Valentin Braun to appear alongside actor River Wilson in the film. Dolgin’s vision was a film “that’s beautiful and has integrity, you know, just in case you decide to whip it on after the appetizers have been served.”

Oh, but, the evening’s just beginning, Socalled.

I’m getting more of a dessert vibe here.

😉