David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

07 March 2017

S is for swear, salute, signal, sign...

Senator Sessions swearing. Lying.
LOGOS/HA HA : Speaking unTruth into Being

Jeff Sessions being sworn in before his confirmation hearing.
Theatre of the Advocates of Rectitude 
Such a strange shape that swearer makes... 

Here's an explanation from NWSidebar - The Voices of Washington's Lawyers and Legal Community :

Why Do We Raise Our Right Hands When Testifying Before the Court?

“Please raise your right hand to take the oath” is a phrase that has become commonplace in the modern courtroom and is required of all witnesses before they take the stand to offer testimony at trial. However, many attorneys may not be aware of the purpose or history of the practice of “raising your right hand” when swearing to tell the truth before the court.

Most have located the origin of the practice in the central criminal court of 17th century London. Judges in London’s courts, from the late 17th century to the early 20th century, could choose from a wide range of punishments, which varied in severity from a full pardon to the death sentence. However, judges lacked a sophisticated means to maintain a criminal defendant’s records to help them assess which penalty was most appropriate to the defendant’s circumstances. As a result, judges sometimes chose to punish criminals with a branding.

Jonathan Walker's branded hand, SS for Slave Stealer, 1845

Branding, which literally meant the application of a branding iron to the convicted defendant’s body, was generally imposed upon convicts who received leniency from the court. For example, convicts who successfully pleaded “benefit of the clergy” — a practice which would spare a defendant affiliated with the Church from a death-penalty punishment — “were branded on the thumb (with a “T” for theft, “F” for felon, or “M” for murder), so that they would be unable to receive this benefit more than once.” (The Proceedings of Old Bailey, Punishments at the Old Baily : http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/static/Punishment.jsp)
Similar brands were issued to convicts who were found guilty of manslaughter instead of murder.
FIAPCE ideo brand, c.1976/77

Should the convict appear before the Court again, they would be required to raise their right hand, which would allow the Court to assess whether they had committed any previous crimes or received leniency in the past. This indelible “criminal record” was thus a sort of pre-cursor to the “character evidence” of today.

Like today’s courts, however, London’s 17th century courts also saw the value in limiting access to certain forms of character evidence. For example, for a short period of time, thieves were branded on the cheek. However, the practice proved far too prejudicial, as convicts often were left unable to find work. The practice of branding on the hand — and, therefore, the practice of raising the right hand in court — continued.
Theatre of the Actors of Regard 
Although the practice has clearly outgrown its initial purpose, it still takes place in courtrooms across the country and serves as an interesting reminder of the history and tradition that has paved the way for the modern American judiciary.

Jeff Sessions being sworn in before his confirmation hearing in January.  Photo Stephen Crowley/The New York Times
Theatre of the Angle(s) Right 
A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
someone looks at something...