Saturday, January 16, 2010

History Scrub - The Haiti Chapter

In February of 2009, FAIR noted my use of the term history scrub regarding NPR's coverage of Afghanistan. As I noted in my post on Afghanistan back then,
"...if the essential background history to a story reflects poorly on the actions of the US government - that history will be deleted, scrubbed, sanitized - sent down the memory hole."
NPR's Haiti earthquake coverage has been as dismally truncated as any of its censored-history stories. Everyone can agree that the earthquake in Haiti is a horror and that immediate rescue and relief is needed. But people do wonder why the devastation was so overwhelming and complete, and it does have a history. If the history is not honestly covered then the answers are provided by the creepy, rightwing fringe (sort of fringe) types like Pat Robertson (not always fringe on NPR either), or the creepy, respectable rightwing sorts like the smirking NPR regular, David Brooks who states in the NYT,
"Haiti, like most of the world’s poorest nations, suffers from a complex web of progress-resistant cultural influences. There is the influence of the voodoo religion, which spreads the message that life is capricious and planning futile. There are high levels of social mistrust. Responsibility is often not internalized. Child-rearing practices often involve neglect in the early years and harsh retribution when kids hit 9 or 10.

We’re all supposed to politely respect each other’s cultures. But some cultures are more progress-resistant than others, and a horrible tragedy was just exacerbated by one of them."
So how was NPR's coverage of Haiti's history?
  • On Wednesday, January 13, 2010 Morning Edition Deborah Amos interviewed Miami Herald writer Jacqueline Charles about how great the past year was for progress in Haiti: "I've been reporting on this country for years now and in the last couple of the last two or three years, the country has been enjoying relative stability. I just recently wrote a story about how it was going to get its first international hotel franchise in a decade because investors were starting to feel confident, both Haitians and non-Haitians alike." Ah yes, investors have brought such wonderful benefits to Haiti over the years.
  • On Thursday, January 14, 2010 All Thing Considered NPR turns to Johanna Mendelson Forman - stalwart of the US foreign policy and military establishment - to sing the praises of the UN's role in Haiti. Michelle Kellemen tells us that "she said the U.N. mission in Haiti had a lot of successes in recent years, ....everybody was looking at a 2010 that was going to have a much more significant investment future, a greater opportunity for jobs." That's an interesting take on the UN, because as Peter Hallward notes in the Guardian/UK, after the US-backed coup against Aristide in 2004, "The UN has subsequently maintained a large and enormously expensive stabilisation and pacification force in the country....[and] the same countries scrambling to send emergency help to Haiti now, however, have during the last five years consistently voted against any extension of the UN mission's mandate beyond its immediate military purpose."
  • On Friday January 15, 2010 ATC NPR goes looking for a Haitian willing to carve up history, and so heads over to the cynically named right-wing Haiti Democracy Project [which the above Timothy Carney once chaired - surprise!]. NPR finds Arielle Jean-Baptiste who -guess what? - blames Haitians for their disastrous history: "They resign themselves to what they have. They don't demand accountability from their government....So it is frustrating because there is a certain mindset in Haiti where they get together to get rid of a bad government, but they are unable to get themselves together to build." Her answer to "fix" Haiti? Got a guess? "We [the international community] should get more involved in agro industry in Haiti and economic growth." Just like the good old days, I guess. (NPR obviously knows just how unbiased [hee, hee] this "marching with the President Aristide's opposition" Jean-Baptiste character is.)
If the scale of this assault on memory and historical accuracy weren't such a potent weapon for continuing the US-led predations on countries like Haiti, the nonsense and myth that passes for coverage on NPR would be humorous. But as it is, this kind of aggressive rewriting of the past has consequences that are as deadly and tragic as the natural disaster it is supposedly trying to explain.


Anonymous said...

Whether it is the C.I.A, Iran, Haiti or any "news" NPR touches on, NPRCheck is where the thoughtful analysis, context and reality based coverage is provided.
Too bad NPR isn't more like Check!

Thank you Matthew for giving us this!


geoff said...

How U.S. policy has impoverished and devastated Haiti
has a clear history of the whys and wherefores of Haiti.

Despite its own abandonment of neoliberalism and newfound love of state intervention to rescue its own rulers' banks and businesses, the U.S. continues to push neoliberal plans for Haiti.

As a result, the U.S. continues to create the conditions for future unnatural disasters, a terrifying thought given that the hurricane season has only just begun. The U.S. didn't cause the storms, but it created the conditions that turned them into mass killers.

geoff said...

More Haitian history: Brian Kwoba reviews C.L.R. James' groundbreaking account of the Haitian revolution, The Black Jacobins, on the 70th anniversary of its publication. From When slaves defeated an empire

Anonymous said...

Obama is having his own Katrina moment.

And like Bush, he's looking like a deer caught in the headlights.

like Bush on katrina, Obama seems to be totally oblivious to the magnitude of the destruction.

Obama pledged $100 million (a drop in the bucket -- only 33 cents for each person in the US) and the help o f the military (which so far, seems to be giving only sporadic help)

I must say that I expected a little more from Obama.

He seems to be almost completely incompetent as a leader.

geoff said...

Re Obama, I saw those deer-in-the-headlights looks in the eyes of Clinton/Bush team while awkwardly reading forced script and seated side by side...OMG, these guys must know how badly, especially Bush, they've screwed this miserable half-island. I suspect Clinton might have done better but that he went with the "New Neo Liberal World Order," or whatever these bilderbergers call themselves with their sacrificial owl at the Teddy Bear picnic up in Bohemian Grove, or whatever voodoo the doo doo when they do do.

Give to lambi fund or Grass roots on line or Partners in Health

geoff said...

they doo doo. They sure do.


"History Scrub" v.: the journalistic practice to over look, ignore, and esp. actively excise all references to historical events that are inconsistent with Right Wing orthodoxy, or a specific political dogma, or document behavior that reflects poorly on a nation, party, or person.

Ex.: NPR, despite water boarding being unambiguously in violation of numerous treaties, International Law,and being prosecuted by the US government as war crime, preformed a history scrub in its coverage by never mentioning any of these facts in its reporting and called this torture "aggressive interrogation."

Love the poetry of the oxoymorn of "scrubbing" to "clean up" unpleasant facts nice that it indicates active participation, not a passive over-site. Much more accurate, and damning, than "sweeping under the rug".

Excellent work, I don't know enough about the history of Haiti, I was detecting the fetid scent of Neocon Think tanks in NPR's coverage.

Nate Bowman said...

Thank you MM.

Each time an event happens that makes me pay attention to its part of the world, I marvel at how little I know about it.

I am grateful that you wrote this post.

One of the things that surprised me about Haiti is that the US occupied the country from 1915-1934 and controlled its finances till 1947.

I know it's only Wikipedia, but I'm struck by how many times the US, and especially our military, were involved in changes of leadership in Haiti.

I am also concerned by the troops, especially the number of them, that are sent to help in the disaster.

If I were Haiti, I would wonder which is worse: the disaster or US military presence.

Anonymous said...

Good short breakdown of the United Staes failure in HAiti:

geoff said...

Jesse Hagopian, who happens to be my nephew, and happened to be in Haiti last week, is interviewed by the Socialist Worker:

Anonymous said...

I happened to be scanning around the radio and heard that piece with Ms Jean Baptiste. It intrigued me. What I found interesting was her insistence that the country not rely on handouts anymore. I didn't hear the part about agro business. She must be carrying someone's water with that.

The local news - in DC - is pretty atrocious too, interviewing Haitians of clearly different economic backgrounds without ever once commenting on it. As someone who just has a basic idea of the situation, it's aggravating. The Post did a good story on the way the different classes are faring.

I've pretty much stopped listening to NPR in the morning and evening for any length of time.

Too many commercials!

And yeah, I've emailed them about it. They deny it.

But it's commercial radio.

Anonymous said...

"it's commercial radio."

actually, it's worse:

"it's commercial radio that claims not to be commercial radio."

No better way to destroy one's credibility than to deny the obvious.

geoff said...

I'm hearing alot of advertisement for Fox TV: the new season of 24, you know. Can they say torture?

Anonymous said...

My feeling on why it "became" necessary to air commercials probably won't be too popular. NPR wanted to grow and grow (so it appears to my amateur commentator eyes) and so it needed more money but Gingrich and co had cut off a large portion of funding. Why?

Is it possible that the programming on NPR was just too offensive and ... possibly (come on bear with me) not representative enough of the wide spectrum of opinion in America that he did that? And, had NPR included more conservative-slanted programming, then maybe Gingrich would not have set his sights on it like he did? Is it just possible?

I know we are supposed to hate neocon everything. Or con everything. But isn't the idea of PUBLIC radio worth saving? And can we not admit that at that time, it was fairly antagonistic to conservatives' views?

Why not (have) give(n) conservatives more air time?

Just some ideas....

geoff said...

Anon - I think your frame is too short. True, Gingrich's Contract On America marked a significant rightward and corporate sponsored tilt at NPR, but the real problems at NPR have little to do with the liberal/conservative (false) dichotomy and everything to do with the Pentagon/CIA/Military Industrial Complex. I'd love to hear from conservatives like Justin Raimundo or even Ron Paul people, but you won't because they don't support preemptive war and imperialistic adventurism/economic exploitation in Mexico, Central and South America, Africa and the middle east, etc.

If you extend the frame to Reagan (who simultaneously advanced the Contras and the War on Drugs and funded the Contras by selling drugs to poor inner-city blacks) and then further to the Bushes (have you read Family of Secrets?) and then to Nixon/Johnson (Vietnam) and Truman (created the CIA) then you're starting to get a perspective on how NPR got to be the propaganda machine the Pentagon/CIA needs to keep the homefront placated.

You wrote, "I know we are supposed to hate neocon everything." What did you mean by that?

Anonymous said...

Obama is every bit as incompetent as Bush, as his "response" to the Haiti disaster demonstrates.

The following is from
"Is the Haiti Rescue Effort Failing?" (By Danny Schechter, AlterNet. Posted January 18, 2010.)

"Everyone wants to believe in the best intentions of all involved, but five days after the quake, with so few being helped, we have to ask: how did this get so badly done?"

Anonymous said...

According to NPR, "Help [is] On Horizon As Haitians Fight To Survive" ...

and only six days after the quake hit!!

"Confusion and growing concerns about security on the broken streets of the capital of Port-au-Prince have so far frustrated efforts to get relief supplies and medical care to increasingly desperate and hungry survivors.

ah yes, "confusion and concerns about security" is another name for "US Leadership" [sic]

What a joke. Send in the clowns indeed.

I'm having serious buyers remorse about Obama. I feel like a just bought a TV whose speaker works but has no picture and no clicker to change the channel.

The following is from
Frustration Mounts Over Haiti Aid
Tensions are rising on the streets of Haiti as the bulk of earthquake survivors continue to go without food, medicine or proper shelter.

"Aid organizations continued to struggle to reach them with supplies on Sunday, six nights after the devastating earthquake that killed tens of thousands of people and left hundreds of thousands homeless.

"People could see helicopters flying overhead, US military vehicles in the city and airplanes arriving at the airport with supplies, so it was difficult to understand why little aid appeared to be reaching the people, she said."

Anonymous said...

I have to jump in re: Obama"s Katrina. Yes the fall out is horrific but Obama is having to fight, push back against the neo lib/blderberg bs Clinton influence (Frumpy's post)that makes up his staff/advisors.

Bush/Rove had years to perfect their staff/agenda while Bush was Govenor that Obama hasn't. Nor anyone other than a gov would have,imho.

I think it's harder for Obama, but he is at least trying, while we don't know that Bush didn't let Katrina fall apart by design.

Clearly, I still have hope!!

Anonymous said...

btw, someone please explain how the Israeli's were able to get past the "bottle neck"?
Am I being too cynical to think this may have been by design, a deal for pr?? I have listened to BBC more, NPR less as I am in Dallas, so maybe this was addressed and I missed the explanation??

Anonymous said...

I think it's harder for Obama, but he is at least trying, while we don't know that Bush didn't let Katrina fall apart by design.

Whether Obama is "trying" or not is irrelevant.

What is relevant is the result, which does not appear to be any different than the Bush/katrina result. People are being left to fend for themselves and in some cases die because of the failure of people like Obama to do what is within their power to do.

I think people really need to get away from this ridiculous
"It's not the outcome but the effort that matters."

This is not Little league baseball we are talking about, for God's sake.
This is precisely the kind of nonsense that has produced such mediocrity in our leaders.

These people have never had to confront real failure (because they have never had to confront reality), never gotten anything below a B+, in fact (hence Obama's distorted view of his own grade on the economy).

The Ivy league seems to breed this type of leader.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the fault of Obama was appointing the former prez the point special envoy to Haiti.
NPR has a youtube clip of Bill and Chelsea touring the capitol and visiting the wounded.
I couldn't watch the shameless exploitation.
Don't you think the 3 Clinton's may be a bit in the way??

Anonymous said...

The interview goopDoggy linked to at socialist worker was excellent.
Sadly, it must have been soul altering to have been there at the time.

Anonymous said...

Anon, the Schecter/Alternet piece is indeed damning.
I really hate to think Obama is part of the Shock Doctrine ideology but I'm willing to admit I might be suffering a bit of denial. I heard a bit from Hillary saying the goal was to empower the pres and I was/am an Aristide fan so..who is Obama :( and is he free to be who he wants to be or is he machine run...

Anonymous said...

Operation Restore Democracy deposed an elected President of a country and sent him into exile. Who was President in US? Why George (Cash) Bush

And why is it that a Cuban foot on American soil guarantees asylum but Hatians drown cause they are somehow different. Or they end up in camps awaiting deportation. And whose policy is/was that? Bill (Cash II) Clinton's.

And a torturer and a perjuror are the best America can put forward as the face of American "aid" to Haiti? I guess one could say that at least that (Obama/Clinton/Bush love fest) provided evidence that criminals return to the scene of their crimes.

And Obama is definatly an adherant of the Shock Doctrine school of Capitalism.


geoff said...

"Many believe Aristide's return would add political turmoil to Haitian recovery," or some such says Carrie Kahn. This is a Rush Limbaugh talking point. Why the hell are these words coming out of Kahn's mouth? "Many?" How many? Who many? Why many? Where many? Who cares about this "many?" Aristide would bring great healing to Haiti now and there should be no bones about his return. It is the shame of the USG and the CIA that the duly elected Aristide was ousted in a CIA-backed coup de'tat. That Kahn puts this tag line on her commentary is indicative of the corruption NPR suffers and the overall shallowness and bias in the Haiti disaster coverage.

Anonymous said...

Many believe Aristide's return would add political turmoil to Haitian recovery,"

This "Many" fellow sure gets quoted a lot on NPR.

As an NPR source, he ranks right up there with "Some".

This is precisely the kind of anonymous sourcing that has essentially destroyed journalism.

No self-respecting journalist would use "many", "some", "experts", etc without identifying them.

it is essentially an admission that one has not done any kind of investigation and is relying on hearsay evidence.

It's garbage. carrie kahn is a purveyor of garbage.

Anonymous said...

According to NPR (and most of the rest o f the media in this country)
Confusion and growing concerns about security on the broken streets of the capital of Port-au-Prince have so far frustrated efforts to get relief supplies and medical care to increasingly desperate and hungry survivors.

but according to Dr. Evan Lyon who has been at General Hospital (main public Hospital for Port-au-Prince) (Doctor: Misinformation and Racism Have Frozen Recovery Effort at General Hospital in Port-au-Prince (Democracy Now!))
"One thing that I think is really important for people to understand is that misinformation and rumors and, I think at the bottom of the issue, racism has slowed the recovery efforts of this hospital. Security issues over the last forty-eight hours have been our-quote "security issues" over the last forty-eight hours have been our leading concern. And there are no security issues. I've been with my Haitian colleagues. I'm staying at a friend's house in Port-au-Prince. We're working for the Ministry of Public Health for the direction of this hospital as volunteers. But I'm living and moving with friends. We've been circulating throughout the city until 2:00 and 3:00 in the morning every night, evacuating patients, moving materials. There's no UN guards. There's no US military presence. There's no Haitian police presence. And there's also no violence. There is no insecurity."

//end quotes

So, who you gonna believe?

NPR's anonymous BS claims or those of someone actually at the center of the disaster?

NPR is criminally negligent in this case because their perpetuation of the "no security" myth is undoubtedly keeping people from helping.

These reporters from NPR who quote anonymous sources should be locked up.

geoff said...

NPR is criminally negligent in this case because their perpetuation of the "no security" myth is undoubtedly keeping people from helping.

These reporters from NPR who quote anonymous sources should be locked up.

Yes - except I'd rather have them locked out. No free room and board. No access to your upscale mcmansion. O.U.T. spells out.

I have never been so angry with NPR as I was today hearing these ridiculous and racist speculations about violence and looting. God damn the NPR man.

There's a real problem with the aid distribution here. We spoke with an aid worker here at the Matthew 25 house and she described how there are these red(?) zones where you need a UN security escort to go and when the UN does come through, it really looks like an occupying force. There are soldiers, they are heavily armed, they have helmets, they rush by, their sirens on, they quickly distribute aid and then leave, and they're not interacting with the people of the community, they're not interacting with people who can distribute aid in neighborhoods [] And I just want to describe a story that I think is extremely illustrative of the problem. Yesterday when we were in leogane we came to an area where a helicopter from a Mormon charity had landed, it was on the ground and there were Hatians of every kind all around, young and old, and they were waiting for food to be handed out. This helicopter took off, off the ground and began throwing the food down at the Haitians, it did not distribute it while it was on the ground, it threw the food from the air, these were packets of bread they were throwing. It ignited just fury and indignation on the ground by the people who were there, they began screaming, one man was crying, he said, "we are a proud people, we are not dogs for you to throw bones at. It was a scene I while never forget, and it really illustrates the problem with aid distribution." - Sharif Abdel Kouddous. (twitter feed)

Anonymous said...

This is just unbelievable "Haitians Dying In Hospital From Lack Of Supplies

Haiti is less than 700 miles from Miami (just a little over an hour by plane) for God's sake.

The rescue effort has been completely botched by the US.

There is no excuse for not fully equipping the surviving hospitals in haiti within 1 day of the quake with emergency supplies (antibiotics, anesthesia, painkillers, sterilizing equipment, surgical equipment, IV's, etc, etc.)

or for not having several portable hospitals up and running within the first couple days after the quake,...

or for not beginning to airlift patients (eg, by helicopter or military transport) to the nearest intact hospital within hours o f the quake.

The way the US responded to haiti is a disgrace.

Did it take a week after 911 to respond with emergency equipment, supplies and workers?

Of course not.

Anonymous said...

It is a drag is already taken and it is owned by a Zionist Necon. NPR Check is a good idea.

"Now, in its attempts to help Haiti, the IMF is pursuing the same kinds of policies that made Haiti a geography of precariousness even before the quake. To great fanfare, the IMF announced a new $100 million loan to Haiti on Thursday. In one crucial way, the loan is a good thing; Haiti is in dire straits and needs a massive cash infusion. But the new loan was made through the IMF's extended credit facility, to which Haiti already has $165 million in debt. Debt relief activists tell me that these loans came with conditions, including raising prices for electricity, refusing pay increases to all public employees except those making minimum wage and keeping inflation low. They say that the new loans would impose these same conditions. In other words, in the face of this latest tragedy, the IMF is still using crisis and debt as leverage to compel neoliberal reforms."

"The international effort to deliver humanitarian aid to the victims of last week's Port-au-Prince earthquake was hit by bickering today as a French government minister accused the Americans of trying to occupy Haiti instead of helping it.

Thousands of American soldiers have poured in to Port-au-Prince airport since President Obama announced that he was ordering a "swift and aggressive" campaign to help millions of Haitians left homeless by last week's 7.0 magnitude earthquake.

Six days after the quake, however, precious little aid is getting beyond the airport perimeters - largely because of security concerns - and aid agencies with long experience of operating in disaster zones have complained that their flights in are being blocked unnecessarily."

Anonymous said...

I really need to get over this denial re Obama. He is clearly down with disaster capitalism er long term development for the greater good racket, rather like Tony Blair's mi$$ion.
It is incredibly sick to watch this misery and wretchedness knowing Clinton(s), Bush and yes Obama are watching this play out w/ an eye on payoffs and exploitation.

A very disillusioned

Grace said...

Democracy Now delivers the real stories by getting out *there* wherever that may be, with out the security teams the other "journalists" seem to need.
DN breaks down barriers while NPR builds them by telling us Haitians are poor, voodoo loving people who can't govern themselves and post quake are wild dangerous looters.
Their fault we can't help them.

Yes they should be locked up/out.

Anonymous said...

RE NPR's (Jason Beaubien's) focus on "looting".

I say shut the whole slimy racist organization down.

This stuff has gone on WAY too long.

Forget about writing to NPR and it's ombuttsman.

It's a waste of time.

My suggestion is this: write to your Congressman/woman and say that you are tired of the racism on NPR and would like to see an end to ALL public funding for NPR AND its member stations.

The latter is critical because if NPR member stations can no longer afford to buy NPR news [sic] programming (which would be the case if their federal funding were yanked), NPR would almost certainly cease to exist.

Note that this would NOT necessarily mean the member stations would go under. They would simply not be able to buy the very high priced NPR news programs (which are basically sucking up all their dollars, anyway)

Anonymous said...

The following is from
"When the Media Is the Disaster"
Covering Haiti
By Rebecca Solnit
"Within days of the Haitian earthquake, for example, the Los Angeles Times ran a series of photographs with captions that kept deploying the word "looting." One was of a man lying face down on the ground with this caption: "A Haitian police officer ties up a suspected looter who was carrying a bag of evaporated milk." The man's sweaty face looks up at the camera, beseeching, anguished."

Another photo was labeled: "Looting continued in Haiti on the third day after the earthquake, although there were more police in downtown Port-au-Prince." It showed a somber crowd wandering amid shattered piles of concrete in a landscape where, visibly, there could be little worth taking anyway."

Anonymous said...

More BS from NPR:

"Though estimates reach into the tens of thousands, nobody really knows how many badly injured survivors there are in Haiti's earthquake zone. However many there are, it's safe to say only a small portion have been treated so far, despite the best efforts of medical teams on the ground.

My comment: However many there are, it's safe to say that there are far fewer than there would have been if the rescue effort had been handled competently by Obama and the US government. Many of the badly injured undoubtedly have died.

More BS from NPR:
"U.S. military officials say they're beginning to hit their stride [after only a week] in the distribution of food and water. The USS Carl Vinson is producing 100,000 gallons of potable water daily, and water distribution sites have been set up in 45 locations on the island. The U.S. government is setting up nine water treatment units to provide enough clean water for 90,000 [!!!!!] people a day [for a city of "only" 3 million] Meanwhile, deliveries of bottled water have been stepped up, the White House says." [from one pickup truck per day to two??]

My comment/question: Where do they find idiots like the NPR clown (Richard Knox) who wrote the above?

doopqoob said...


Yeah, those little tags like "despite the best efforts of medical teams on the ground" kind of slide right by and make you want to believe it's true. Just like you tell your kid, "hey, you did your best" when they fail algebra I because they never really learned how to study...mostly because they never really wanted to and so didn't really spend much time at it.

Unknown said...


Does your rant about scrubbing history include the pakistani influence in pakistan? You know, the people that brought the taliban to power and TO THIS DAY support them? The central issue in obama's afghanistan policy right now is making pakistan drop that support. Yet we don't see afghans or pakistanis or the 'humanist' left denounce any of that and talk about 'scrubbing' the pakistani part of history.

This is nothing but a bunch of zealots angry their irrational narrative of the world isn't being repeated everywhere all the time. Cry more.

Anonymous said...

GeneralOreo Kooky says: "This is nothing but a bunch of zealots angry their irrational narrative of the world isn't being repeated everywhere all the time."

"Irrational zealots"?

You mean like the folks who orchestrated the invasion of Iraq, allegedly to save the world from WMD? (that the Zealot in Chief thought Saddam Hussein had hidden behind the Oval Office couch)

Those kind of irrational zealots??

PS OreoKooky: I think you meant to say "Pakistani influence in Afghanistan"

While I'm sure the latter type of irrational zealots are upset by the "Pakistani influence in Pakistan", some of us accept that other countries have some rights to influence their own populations.

Anonymous said...

And the other media on Haiti:
Disaster Porn by David Sirota:

"Yes, thousands of miles from the San Fernando Valley’s seedy studios, the adult entertainment business is alive and panting in Haiti. This year’s luminaries aren’t the industry’s typical muscle-bound mustaches of machismo—they are NBC’s Brian Williams pillow-talking to the camera in his Indiana Jones garb, CNN’s Sanjay Gupta playing doctor and, of course, CNN’s Anderson Cooper in that two-sizes-too-small T-shirt “rarely missing an opportunity to showcase his buff physique,” as The New York Times gushed. They are all the disaster porn stars in the media with visions of Peabodys and Pulitzers dancing in their heads."