If you haven’t come across Jourdon Anderson’s 1865 letter “To [his] Old Master” yet, do read it; it’s marvelously pointed, far more rhetorically adept than its recipient deserved. Jason Kottke did a little digging–wait, is this some of that digital humanities stuff all the kids are doing nowadays?–and found out <a href=”http://kottke.org/12/02/what-happened-to-the-former-slave-that-wrote-his-old-master”>what happened to Jourdon Anderson</a> and his family. The short version seems to be that they lived happily ever after.

The Guardian/Observer and Roman Polanski

by Chris Bertram on February 5, 2012

Today’s Observer (at the Guardian website) has a review of Roman Polanski’s new film Carnage by Philip French. Here’s what Mr French had to say about Polanski’s past:

bq. At the age of six, Polanski began a life of persecution, flight and the threat of incarceration – first from the Nazi invaders of Poland, then an oppressive communist regime, and finally the American criminal justice system after his newfound sense of freedom led him into transgression. The world must seem a prison, society a succession of traps, civilised values a deceptive veneer, life itself a battle against fate.

Like a number of other people, I posted a comment on the site. I can’t reproduce my comment exactly, because it has now been deleted for “violation of community standards” but it read something like “What? ‘transgression’ hardly seems to be an appropriate word.” Other commenters have been deleted, again for “violation of community standards” merely for quoting Mr French’s exculpatory paragraph _in extenso_ and say that it is “ludicrous”. The Guardian’s guidelines on “community standards” are here. They are not unreasonable and contain the assurance:

bq. In short: – If you act with maturity and consideration for other users, you should have no problems.

It is hard, therefore, to see why politely objecting to Mr French’s words should provoke deletion. Apparently, the Guardian thinks otherwise.