It has been too, too long since my last post.  Some updates:
I’m still mapping
My sisters, husband, brothers-in-law, and I surprised my dad for his 70th birthday in Austin thanks to the mad coordinating skills of my stepmom, Heather

For those of you interested in the intersections between digital and print worlds, here is a link about the “listsicle” of Thomas Nashe, who wrote in the late sixteenth-century on “Eight Kindes of Drunkennes” Listsicle Article

For those curious about how exercise can “change your DNA”– can you smell the spin?– check out this little ditty about what we already know: working out is the best thing ever, and people who don’t do it are lame. Feeling guilty? You should!


[skip transition] I’ve noticed– in news and in recent articles floating about my laptop– an increased curiosity in changing perceptions of wealth.  For instance, Mitt Romney seems rather unapologetic about his gazillions, and his wife doesn’t consider herself wealthy at all (see abc article here). 

Mitt and Ann Romney, image from The Telegraph
ARE THOSE PEARLS REAL?

But according to Michael Dean Crews, The US would not be the first nation to pull extraordinary wealth from the flames of socio-religious condemnation.  In his master’s thesis, he examines “the various ways that the perception of bankers and banking in Florence changed from the 13th to the 15th century” within “three categories, scholastic attitude, law, and public image, and utilizes a socio-intellectual style of historical inquiry.”  
He continues:

Dante in Florence

“The purpose of this study is to demonstrate that the positive acceptance of banking from a formerly profane vocation was due to a more advanced understanding of industry and economics, a more relativistic interpretation of theological and juridical sources, and an aggressive campaign by the humanists to redefine moral values and to reshape the Florentine culture and urban landscape in order to bring esteem and power to the elite bankers. ” The rest of the article is here.

Sounds familiar, no?  Allow me to be clear– I’m passing no judgment on Romney or the Florentine bankers; I’m only drawing a parallel.  

Yet banking isn’t the only arena to benefit from the reworking of wealth’s righteousness.  In 2007, John R. Black published an article called “Tradition and Transformation in the Cult of St. Guthlac in Early Medieval England” in The Heroic Age: A Journal of Early Medieval Northwestern Europe.  In it he finds that: “[a]nalysis of the variations introduced into the hagiographic corpus, both textual and iconographic, for a saint’s cult over the course of the medieval era demonstrates the vitality of that corpus, reveals the cultural significance of the variations introduced, and offers insights into (re)conceptualizations of sainthood.” 
St Guthlac and Demons, Guthlac Roll (13th century)
Fascinating? Yes. Relevant to this post? Almost.  
Here’s the good part: “Such analysis elucidates, for example, the ‘evolution’ of St. Guthlac from ascetic solitary to promoter and defender of a wealthy religious establishment.” Article here.
I wonder, then, if the Republican voters, and later, the larger body of American voters, will reorder the narrative of Romney’s wealth (if they need to).  What other forms might his money-making take in the public eye?

Until soon, patient readers!