Web Cowgirl 衛 思 維 (webcowgirl) wrote,
Web Cowgirl 衛 思 維

Civil War interpretive center tomorrow

One of the most memorable events of my Christmas was talking about a Scottish World War II vet I know, and having an elderly man at the dinner party (a party where I knew no one) somehow switch the conversation over to the Civil War, with his daughter turning to me and commenting, "We refer to it as the war of Northern Aggression, out of respect to my father, who is 92."

My immediate thought was, what the fuck? How is it a sign of respect to her father? The gentleman I was speaking about would have the right to express HIS opinions on a war he fought in; I could not understand how simply being old gave you the right to redefine history. Is it a sign of respect to let someone continue to turn their back on reality? Or was this a secret signal to me to avoid a fight with someone who for some reason felt they had skin in the game of a war that was over 150 years ago, a war which I could just as easily call, "the war of Southern Incompetence?"

Or how about we all show respect to reality by calling it "the war the south won and can't fucking get over," as it seems they prefer to revel in their noble victimhood rather than getting their shit in gear and making the South an awesome place to live instead of the hive of unemployment, drug use, and teen pregnancy that it is? Is this the fault of the North somehow? Or is it the fault of people who've got so much vested in their noble past they prefer to look at it rather than getting on with ... getting on with it?

Anyway, tomorrow we're planning on going to the Civil War Interpretive Center in Corinth, Mississippi (as featured in Faulkner's The Unvanquished), but I think what we need instead in a Civil War Translation center, where someone can explain just how the fuck this shit is still going on 150 years later; what people here think the war was really about, how that differs from what the rest of the world thinks (we call it "reality" where I come from, or "history"), and how that affects their world view, both positive and negative. I mean, it's one thing to be proud to be a "nation" of brave men (as the Scottish are and rightfully so), but I do see cherishing this huge military loss for this length of time is keeping this part of America from making a now they can be proud of.

And, for the record, at least three people at the party started talking about Scotland as if they were confusing it as the home country of the IRA. So there's some serious educational gaps that could use filling, and it's not just about letting old men act like a war they had nothing to do with personally is still the number one defining event of their lives.
Tags: american fanaticism, cultural differences
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