Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It was over in 1865, wasn't it?

I always advocate for freedom of speech, and I am a long-time shareholder in the firm of Live & Let Live. You got a hobby, I ain't gonna try to stop you from enjoying it.

But, for crying out loud, will someone please explain Civil War buffs to me?

I saw a guy wearing a sweatshirt, upon which was emblazoned "THE CIVIL WAR." Then there was a giant map showing all the major battles, and smaller pictures of cannons, rifles, soldier uniforms from both sides, and other such items. All on a sweatshirt, size "M."

Why not make a sweatshirt that salutes "Recurrent Pellagra" or "Head-on collisions" or one that celebrates accidental drownings at picnics? Those are horrible things, too, and let me tell you something, the Civil War was pretty doggone gruesome. And a lot of people died. Why dress up and play soldier? Why pretend to be killing someone?

Is this another huge gap in my cultural awareness? I can't get the hang of modern art. Ballet leaves me itchy. Mime, forget about it; my mock-o-meter goes berserk. I am aware of these shortcomings, but at least I understand why people would get involved in them, as either participant or spectator.

And I also will need to have this explained to me: how come it's that war - the Civil War - that draws all the action from the re-enactors? Is no one willing to don a Teddy Roosevelt suit and pretend to lead the Rough Riders up San Juan Hill? Is there not a pretend-Pershing who would like to start up a World War I recreation society?

Here's an idea for something fun to do - costumes optional! Get a bunch of friends to come over, and take turns recreating great moments from your life: your first date, your most successful job interview, and the time you opened a library book and found that the previous borrower had used a dollar bill as a bookmark!

Doesn't that sound like more fun than dressing up like an 1860's soldier and traipsing all over the countryside faking like you're shooting at people?

Bang. You're dead.


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