America’s comfortable connotation of ice cream goes back to its founding. George Washington spent about $200 on ice cream in a single summer—more than $5,000 in today’s dollar—and Thomas Jefferson studied ice cream production in France before returning to Monticello with a sorbetière, four ice-cream molds, and a handwritten recipe for vanilla ice cream that’s still archived in the Library of Congress. Immigrants to Ellis Island were traditionally fed ice cream as part of their first American meal—a gesture ordered by the island’s commissioner and preserved in a headline from the summer of 1921: “Ellis Island Authorities Gently Lead Immigrants to Appreciation of Good Points of America by Introducing Them to the Pleasures of Ice Cream Sandwiches.” [link]
By 1943, American heavy-bomber crews figured out they could make ice cream over enemy territory by strapping buckets of mix to the rear gunner’s compartment before missions. By the time they landed, the custard would have frozen at altitude and been churned smooth by engine vibrations and turbulence—if not machine-gun fire and midair explosions. [link]
No group has shifted their position more dramatically than white evangelical Protestants. More than seven in ten (72%) white evangelical Protestants say an elected official can behave ethically even if they have committed transgressions in their personal life—a 42-point jump from 2011, when only 30 % of white evangelical Protestants said the same…Notably, religiously unaffiliated Americans have remained constant in their views; six in ten (60%) believe elected officials who behave immorally in their personal lives can still perform their duties with integrity, compared to 63% in 2011.” [link]
Folding clothes, it appears, is a critical moment of reciprocity in an otherwise lonely life without emotional connection; it’s “an act of caring, an expression of love and appreciation for the way these clothes support your lifestyle” — a task that demands that we “put our heart into it.” Kondo claims to revel in the “historical moment” when a client’s “mind and the piece of clothing connect.”
(Clothes, apparently, are also nativist and insist on segregation: “Clothes, like people, can relax more freely when in the company of others who are very similar in type, therefore organizing them by category helps them feel more comfortable and secure.”)
Accordingly, Kondo seems to view objects mainly as a source of guilt rather than joy, a source of unending responsibility that can only be terminated by eventually discarding them altogether. But this is also why she implicitly aspires to become a thing; things are allowed to indulge feelings about how they are treated without any guilt; things can’t make any mistakes in how they treat their owners. [link]
From the website Insightfulinteraction.com, a chart displaying “People obtaining lawful permanent resident status by region or selected country of last residence: 1820 – 2015.” The graphic is interactive at the source, so it is better viewed there.
See the chokepoint during the great depression where immigration slows to its lowest level before resuming. You can also see how the demographics shift over time, with Italy and Ireland and Germany almost entirely vanishing and Mexico and Asian countries showing up strong in more recent times.
For three days, I can’t speak to my son. I can hardly bear to look at him. I decide this is rational. The last thing we need, I think, is an explosion of white-hot words that everyone carries around for the rest of their lives, engraved on their hearts. In any case, I’m not even sure what it is I want to say. In my mind’s eye I stand there, a bitter old woman with pursed lips wringing my black-gloved hands. He’s done the one thing that I’ve said for years, please don’t do this. It would really upset me if you did this. And now it’s happened. So there’s nothing left to say. [link]