Some pieces of humor, no matter how old, seem to be as fresh as yesterday’s headlines in the blogosphere.
One of the most amusing claims offered by folks who insist that a good number of African Americans served willingly in the ranks of the Confederate military is the assertion that the Confederate army was an integrated force, in contrast to the use of black soldiers by the Union army, where they were in segregated units. Of course, given that the officers were white in Union regiments, that would make them integrated, too, by such standards, but I won’t hold my friends who embrace the notion of thousands of black Confederate soldiers to standards of consistent logic, standards, and definitions. Nor will I ask these folks who tell me all about Confederate heritage about what happened to this legacy of integration after the war, although you would think that as committed as they were to integration, white Confederates would make sure that commitment to their fellow black Confederates would persist after the end of the war. Someone will have to explain why this wasn’t the case.
One way to tap into how popular culture views famous people is to take a glance at You Tube. As an example, we can look at some of the more creative takes on Ulysses S. Grant that people have decided to share on You Tube, sometimes as the result of school assignments.
Who can forget this rather classic take on Grant, the first of a series that has gotten attention on other blogs? A second video builds on the theme of the first video. It is rumored that the second video is addressed to Grant’s biographers, but we know that’s not true, because Grant didn’t like swords.
And for those of you who know Grant did not ride a scooter, how about this? Talk about a DUI on GTA.
I’ve always been intrigued by how they make videos. This cured me.
Then again, some of these assignments are not quite so successful, for reasons as various as they are obvious.
No wonder Grant said that there were only two tunes he recognized: one was Yankee Doodle, and the other wasn’t.
Have you always wanted to be known as a Southern Confederate American? Do you mourn the fact that somehow you cannot join the Sons of Confederate Veterans or the Daughters of the Confederacy as a full member? Well, folks, I have the answer right here. The Southern Legal Resource Center wants you to assist in its mission of creating a separate census category of “Southern Confederate American.”
In my world, “diversity” and “multiculturalism” are terms invoked at various times in support of various policies and programs usually deemed to cater to what some people call “political correctness.” My own view is that people walk a tightrope between issues of identity, multiculturalism, and diversity all the time, and I’m much more interested in people who live their lives embracing such notions than in talking about them. In short, I’m well aware of the uses and abuses of these terms as deployed in the world around me, and I wonder about the sincerity or commitment of some of the people who seem eager to inject them at every opportunity, even as I see that there’s much to be learned and valued from incorporating the merits of these concepts into one’s own life and approach to living.
I offer this as background to bringing up a topic that is a cause of amusement and bemusement for me: the claim that the Confederacy was a multicultural experience and that it embraced diversity.
For those of you who are coin collectors or who have a fascination with our seventeenth president, I’m here to tell you that today is the day that the Andrew Johnson $1 coin is available for purchase … in rolls of $25, and for a bit more than that, of course.
Sometimes we overlook important stuff.
Somehow not too many people paid attention to the fact that recently Read more
Here’s an extended video covering the events in Montgomery, Alabama, yesterday, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the inauguration of Jefferson Davis as provisional president of the Confederacy. I am a little disappointed, however … a video on Kevin Levin’s Civil War Memory included a Harry Potter reference. Go to the ten second mark (most of the rest of this speech is captured on the first video, as are other addresses and a different perspective on those in attendance).
One of the most interesting things about being a historian of the era of the American Civil War is that you encounter so many people who present themselves as knowledgeable about the war, the scholarship about the war, and the people who write about history. Sometimes those folks even present themselves as knowledgeable about both your skills as a scholar and your motivations.
One of the consequences of the invention of the internet, the WWW, and so on is the creation of “virtual communities” where people chat/argue/flame about things. At times I’ve participated in these groups, although I’m not inclined to do much of that now outside of one Yahoo discussion group, known as StudyoftheCivilWar. I have found most of these groups to be curious mixtures of folks who want to learn things and folks who want to express their views. Join any of these groups, and you’ll learn that many participants are refighting the Civil War or participating out of deeply personal reasons that have little to do with learning or sharing information. That’s not true of all of the participants, and it’s far less true of groups such as Study: moreover, when it comes to groups dominated by professional historians, such as H-Net’s H-CivWar, there is usually very little discussion, period, although things can get heated once in a while. At times I’ve had my undergraduates in my historical methods course at ASU join these groups so that they can get a taste of how people interested in history understand that history. They come away with several impressions, including a sense of what draws people to learn about history and chat about it, as well as a sense that many time people are just repeating the same themes and offering the same opinions. Read more