Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Material 1, originally released May 27th, 2015.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
Drew: Like most Americans, I first read A Tale of Two Cities in high school, and like most Americans, that experience utterly ruined the book for me. My 9th grade teacher proudly trotted out all sorts of historical information about the French Revolution, making it all the more difficult to keep in mind that its themes of privilege and oppression are, unfortunately, timeless. Indeed, I’d long seen the famous opening paragraph’s use of past tense as an affirmation of that historical distance, but only because I’d forgotten the less-quotable final clause that reminds us that this is mostly remarkable for being “so far like the present period.” It’s that same “present period” that is reflected in Ales Kot and Will Tempest’s Material 1, which offers a tale of many cities that is just as timeless as Dickens’, but also decidedly more of-the-moment. Continue reading