Friday, October 22, 2010

Carry me back to OLD Virginia!

All of a sudden, Virginia is in the news.  First, the state of Virginia, where a new textbook for elementary school kids teaches those unsuspecting youths that "Thousands of Southern blacks fought in the Confederate ranks, including two black battalions under the command of Stonewall Jackson."

That would be the Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee's right-hand man, killed by his own troops in 1863. (The war had two more years to go.)

Historically inaccurate by any measure, that statement brings up the question of how many enslaved people would be willing to go to war to support the rights of their enslavers.  And how many slaves were handed guns and told to go fight as part of their slavish tasks?  And how great is the statement from the state's school spokesman, Charles Pyle? "Clearly they overlooked something here," Pyle said.

The book (pictured here)  is the work of author Joy Masoff, who was quick to point out that she is not a historian.  I mean, why would you want a historian to write a history book?  They'd just stuff it full of history! She has written other books, though, so it's not as if she just rolled in here on a head of cabbage. Among her other works:

Oh, Yikes!: History's Grossest Moments 

Oh, Yuck! The Encyclopedia of Everything Nasty  
 The Boo Boo Book

In other Virginia news, can you imagine how breakfast went at the fashionable home of Clarence and Virginia Thomas yesterday?  Can you just hear Clarence saying, "Honey, why'd you have to go and stir up all that Anita Hill trouble again?"

Demonstrating her remarkable grace with our beloved language, Ginni offered this statement:

"I did place a call to Ms. Hill at her office extending an olive branch to her after all these years, in hopes that we could ultimately get passed [sic] what happened so long ago. That offer still stands, I would be very happy to meet and talk with her if she would be willing to do the same."

If you're scoring at home, that's two sentences, one spelling error and one grammar boo-boo, since she misused a comma where a semicolon was called for. I guess she's been too busy making phone calls to remember how to write correctly.
And worst of all, as reported by Brian Williams on NBC last night: Professor Hill's students at Brandeis, startled by the media blitz of reporters and cameras following her around, had no idea that she was famous, or why.  Yikes. Yuck.  Boo Boo.

1 comment:

Ralph said...

Ah, you couch all the reasons we are grateful to be out of the Old Dominion--the birthplace of my grandfather and his fathers--in a nutshell.

Shocking, that part about the students not knowing the Hill/Thomas story.