state of connecticut

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Giovanni Paolo Panini (1691-1765)
“The Gallery of Cardinal Valenti Gonzaga”
(1749)
Oil on canvas
Located in the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut, United States

What’s your favorite Woody Allen movie? Before you answer, you should know: when I was seven years old, Woody Allen took me by the hand and led me into a dim, closet-like attic on the second floor of our house. He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me. He talked to me while he did it, whispering that I was a good girl, that this was our secret, promising that we’d go to Paris and I’d be a star in his movies. I remember staring at that toy train, focusing on it as it traveled in its circle around the attic. To this day, I find it difficult to look at toy trains.

For as long as I could remember, my father had been doing things to me that I didn’t like. I didn’t like how often he would take me away from my mom, siblings and friends to be alone with him. I didn’t like it when he would stick his thumb in my mouth. I didn’t like it when I had to get in bed with him under the sheets when he was in his underwear. I didn’t like it when he would place his head in my naked lap and breathe in and breathe out. I would hide under beds or lock myself in the bathroom to avoid these encounters, but he always found me. These things happened so often, so routinely, so skillfully hidden from a mother that would have protected me had she known, that I thought it was normal. I thought this was how fathers doted on their daughters. But what he did to me in the attic felt different. I couldn’t keep the secret anymore.

When I asked my mother if her dad did to her what Woody Allen did to me, I honestly did not know the answer. I also didn’t know the firestorm it would trigger. I didn’t know that my father would use his sexual relationship with my sister to cover up the abuse he inflicted on me. I didn’t know that he would accuse my mother of planting the abuse in my head and call her a liar for defending me. I didn’t know that I would be made to recount my story over and over again, to doctor after doctor, pushed to see if I’d admit I was lying as part of a legal battle I couldn’t possibly understand. At one point, my mother sat me down and told me that I wouldn’t be in trouble if I was lying – that I could take it all back. I couldn’t. It was all true. But sexual abuse claims against the powerful stall more easily. There were experts willing to attack my credibility. There were doctors willing to gaslight an abused child.

After a custody hearing denied my father visitation rights, my mother declined to pursue criminal charges, despite findings of probable cause by the State of Connecticut – due to, in the words of the prosecutor, the fragility of the “child victim.” Woody Allen was never convicted of any crime. That he got away with what he did to me haunted me as I grew up. I was stricken with guilt that I had allowed him to be near other little girls. I was terrified of being touched by men. I developed an eating disorder. I began cutting myself. That torment was made worse by Hollywood. All but a precious few (my heroes) turned a blind eye. Most found it easier to accept the ambiguity, to say, “who can say what happened,” to pretend that nothing was wrong. Actors praised him at awards shows. Networks put him on TV. Critics put him in magazines. Each time I saw my abuser’s face – on a poster, on a t-shirt, on television – I could only hide my panic until I found a place to be alone and fall apart.

Last week, Woody Allen was nominated for his latest Oscar. But this time, I refuse to fall apart. For so long, Woody Allen’s acceptance silenced me. It felt like a personal rebuke, like the awards and accolades were a way to tell me to shut up and go away. But the survivors of sexual abuse who have reached out to me – to support me and to share their fears of coming forward, of being called a liar, of being told their memories aren’t their memories – have given me a reason to not be silent, if only so others know that they don’t have to be silent either.

Today, I consider myself lucky. I am happily married. I have the support of my amazing brothers and sisters. I have a mother who found within herself a well of fortitude that saved us from the chaos a predator brought into our home.

But others are still scared, vulnerable, and struggling for the courage to tell the truth. The message that Hollywood sends matters for them.

What if it had been your child, Cate Blanchett? Louis CK? Alec Baldwin? What if it had been you, Emma Stone? Or you, Scarlett Johansson? You knew me when I was a little girl, Diane Keaton. Have you forgotten me?

Woody Allen is a living testament to the way our society fails the survivors of sexual assault and abuse.

So imagine your seven-year-old daughter being led into an attic by Woody Allen. Imagine she spends a lifetime stricken with nausea at the mention of his name. Imagine a world that celebrates her tormenter.

Are you imagining that? Now, what’s your favorite Woody Allen movie?

—  An open letter from Dylan Farrow

OKAY SO I JUST REALISED SOMETHING

SO back in during the revolutionary war the British soliders sang a song called Yanke Doodle (which is now a famous American song and even the state anthem of Connecticut).

SO MY QUESTION TO YOU IS, WHAT DOES THIS SONG HAVE IN COMMON WITH THE 2004 GREEN DAY SONG AMERICAN IDIOT?

1. Okay so American Idiot is quite simple what the title means. But you don’t really know what Yankee Doodle means right.

Okay so Yankee is basically an American person. But what the fuck is a doodle?

Wait wait. So Doodle means “fool” right. Technically this means that the song is literally called American Idiot. But that’s not everything.

2. The meaning in American Idiot is according to Wikipedia that Green Day and Billy Armstrong makes fun of the American people.

Examples:  “American Idiot” contends that mass media has orchestrated paranoia and idiocy among the public. Citing cable news coverage of the Iraq War, Billie Joe Armstrong recalled, “They had all these Geraldo-like journalists in the tanks with the soldiers, getting the play-by-play.“ He felt with that, American news crossed the line from journalism to reality television, showcasing violent footage intercut with advertisements.[2]  and Armstrong went on to write the song after hearing the Lynyrd Skynyrd song "That’s How I Like It” on his car radio.[3] “It was like, ‘I’m proud to be a redneck’ and I was like, 'oh my God, why would you be proud of something like that?’ This is exactly what I’m against.” )

But what is the meaning of Yankee Doodle? According to Wikipedia:

Traditions place its origin in a pre-Revolutionary War song originally sung by British military officers to mock the disheveled, disorganized colonial “Yankees” with whom they served in the French and Indian War, apparently written c. 1755 by British Army surgeon Dr. Richard Shuckburgh while campaigning in upper New York.[13] The British troops sang it to make fun of their stereotype of the American soldier as a Yankee simpleton who thought that he was stylish if he simply stuck a feather in his cap.[1]

You see a pattern here? Yankee Doodle IS LITERALLY A 18TH CENTURY VERSION OF AMERICAN IDIOT.

Eustache Le Sueur (1617-1655)
“Portrait of a Young Man” (1640)
Oil on canvas
Located in the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut, United States

6

North double-barreled percussion pistol

Manufactured by Simeon North in Middletown, Connecticut c.1820′s for the civilian market.
.75/19mm caliber cap and ball, twin 20cm long smoothbore barrels, swivel ramming rod.

Simeon North is one of the contender for the invention of the milling machine, due to being the first recipient of a military contract mentioning part interchangeability. It was indeed during the early 19th century only that firearm manufacture truly started to industrialize itself, with the most direct result being that parts from a single musket for example would fit any other of the same model thanks to new precision tooling replacing hand-filing.

J. M. W. Turner (1775-1851)
“Mount Vesuvius in Eruption” (1817)
Watercolor on paper
Romanticism
Located in the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut, United States

flickr

Fall at Burr Pond by Violet Bliss Dietz

flickr

Siscowit Reservoir by Homemade