Sunday, February 20, 2011

That Was The Week That Was - Once More

President Abraham Lincoln
And what, pray tell (or is that prey tell?) does a long dead former president of the United States have to do with my week? Well, I watched the PBS documentary by Ken Burns on the Civil War on Netflix streaming video. I am not sure war should be viewed on high definition television even if there is only black and white stills of its horrors. And Hollywood thinks I would go see a movie about 9/11? What are they thinking?

I was thinking. This nine part series really got me thinking in so many directions. You think you know the history of something and then you read a book or see a documentary and know that you had only part of the truth. It was the bloodiest war America ever fought. 600,000 lives were lost. And the north was only partly invested in the activity.

So the civil war was my background music, as it were, last week. I was, as I have said on Facebook, a social butterfly. I seem to shun invitations and then they cluster around an event in the calendar and I get peopled out as it were. Meanwhile I was trying to work on my art business. Now is the time to apply for the summer fairs and exhibits. My mind meanwhile was crunching away on the ramifications of such a horrid war on our nation. We seem to have not learned the lesson of compromise even with ourselves.

Then a long standing friend from the old Yahoo!360 days posts on Facebook that she wants all to begin blogging more like we did in that bygone era. I never stopped. I just moved my platform. Several others did that. Facebook is great battlefield of the blog war. It allows us all to link our blogs and chat. But it isn't Y360.

Did you know that one of the reasons so very many were killed in the Civil War was because of the repeating rifle? I knew that. No stopping and loading musket balls and powder into old single shot long rifles. Toward the end of the war the north even had a 15 shot repeating rifle. And I heard that fact so often but Ken Burns put it in context. Yes, there were repeating rifles, but generals were still fighting a bayonet war stratagem: fire and rush the enemy. The ones that don't have to reload? The advantages of trenches was not even discovered till near the end. Whole forests were mowed down (and all soldiers in them) by the number of bullets fired. At one battle 7000 men fell in 7 minutes.

We're strange creatures us humans. We seem so inventive and open for new gadgets and technologies and yet we can doggedly hold on to the past and the ways our parents used to do things or how great it was in the day. Include your favorite decade. Marilyn Ferguson in her book The Aquarian Conspiracy writes about rats in a maze that will continue to follow the former route to the cheese even after it has been moved. Us humans add prayer and goosestepping and ritual to the same path hoping for a different result. Isn't that insane? Until some smart rat looks somewhere else and yells, "Hey, over here."

Well, Bee did rally some of the old timers to blog again regardless of their platform. And one of my former favorite bloggers even posted that he was looking forward to reading some interesting blogs. This interesting enough for you, Sir Mutt?


  1. Your blogs are always interesting Lady J...smiling.

    I did watch an excellent tv series several years ago on your civil war by the historian Shelby Foote.

    He contented that your nation was only now coming to terms with fellow countrymen fighting each other, divided families etc. This is not the natural way of any nation.

    Of course, time heals as it has done with our civil war although sometimes I do think we could do with an another dose of Puritanism.

    Sadly, war is the continuation of politics by other means

  2. One of the interesting points one of the Civil War Historians makes on the last episode is that the US brags bout having never lost a war. But the south did. War was fought largely on their soil and so their bitterness has been very slow to dissipate.

  3. The more one learns about the War between the States, the more one starts to doubt the simplified version of Good North/Bad South/Great Abe that is taught in popular history. What IF the South had simply been allowed to secede? Slavery would probably have ended sooner or later as it did elsewhere. Another alternate history I would like to visit.

  4. You do know Ien that the South fired the first shot. The launched the first major battle within a picnic distance from the Northern capital.

    After that seceding was no longer the issue.

  5. I had forgotten about that. It is not exactly an aera of expertise.

  6. I love history of any sort and am always open to reading things that I never knew before.

    Where is sir Mutt???

  7. Sir Mutt, Bee, is Shouting at Street Lights linked on this page.

  8. Laughing - I know! I meant where is he on your page - reading this???

  9. He did comment under his other identity of Michael. I don't know if Sir Mutt holds the same opinions.


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