Friday, May 10, 2013

The Bleat: Slaves; Miracles; Dreams

"Good Times!"
Hidden History: Woody had ALMOST forgotten how deeply buried is the depraved, historical denial is in the South, but was reminded by this piece about Monticello, Jefferson's (slave-built, staffed, and maintained) plantation in Virginia, which notes just how MUCH the actual history of these places is distorted by time and tourism.
I lived 10 years down in Red Stick (Baton Rouge), and observed it close-up.
The whole "ante-bellum" tourism industry in the South is based on the same sorts of strategic elisions and euphemisms as are reported at Monticello. 
Hey, it's "awkward" when the man who is the icon of freedom. liberty, rights, and the rest of the democratic canon was a slaver and a rapist. Adjustments must be made.
There's an old plantation house right off the LSU campus in Baton Rouge--Magnolia Mound--where the house and grounds have been restored, there's been significant preservation, including a slave cabin, but there are some (not-so-curious) absences: for instance, the wagon-wheel buried half deep, to which slaves were tied to be flogged, and the stocks in which baulky slaves were confined, are nowhere to be seen.

You can, if you so desire, however, rent a room in a nearby 'plantation home' turned bed-and-breakfast, though I don't think they provide 'darkies' to shine your boot and bring your food or satisfy your other carnal desires, anymore... 


Woody reckonz:
Fire was once miraculous, mysterious, the "gift" of the gods, the provenance only of priests.
And eclipses! They were still regarded by many people as "miraculous" as recently as the 15/16th century. Columbus used his knowledge of a predicted eclipse to convince the Arawak natives that he could foresee and control the light of the sun.
And atoms! And Germs! And the speed of light...
All that stuff was formerly "God's" business.
Now it's science. And all that we now cannot comprehend, CAN BE REVEALED, once the scientific tools are available to examine them. 

Your Wildest Dreams?
Woody acknowledges the truthiness of the sentiment. ("Verisimilitude" was the pre-Colbertian word, but okay.) The gummint IS doing worse things than you know or want to know.
But of course the same can be said for the banksters, the businessmen, the ad men, the marketers, the industrialists, the manufacturers, the oil men, and the retailers. And they're doing it without the fig leaf/foliage of "national security." They're just in it for the money. They PROUDLY proclaim it.
And you get to pretend you can exchange the former without firing a shot; whereas the latter will take you down with 'em if you so much as threaten.

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