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Confederate States of America


Jerry
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I saw this film on independent cable last night and it's a wonderful re-creation of my homeland as envisioned by the South winning the Civil War. It's a mockumentary with talking heads, newsreel clippings, animation in phony commercials, and alternative political leaders.

 

It's droll fun through the tears it brings. It portrays the rebels as extending slavery to the west coast, enslaving those yellow creatures that had slipped in from the Orient to build our railroads and wash our clothes. It continued to put womanhood on pedestals within cages, and it extended it's cotton empire to include bananas and coffee plantations south of its previous borders. It sort of incorporates the Thomas Jefferson and Sally story within a faux southern dynasty of politicos (My Gran Pappy did not have sex with that woman!) and JFK was a Republican who sought to free the slaves in 1960 but got assassinated down south. Our brightest northern citizens such as Mark Twain fled to Canada, and women's liberation up there took hold, also the migration of our more athletic types saw Canada's collection of gold medals exceed those of the Confederate states in the Olympics. Classic films extol the virtues of white supremacy and our forefathers wisdom.

 

Yes, only the BBC or our European cousins could have told the story so well. Bravo, bravissimo.

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I presume you are very, very correct. This is idle speculation that amuses me. For want of a nail, the horseshoe was lost, for want of the shoe, the rider was lost, for want of rider's leader's stategy, the battle was lost, for want of the battle the nation was lost, and all for the want of a nail.

 

What if -- is the basis for all fiction stories. But fiction can be helpful to understanding our culture.

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A further point on your original post Jez; Lincoln gave his emancipation speach in the 1860s; we then had a 100 years of segregation in the Southern States - so, perhaps the inevitable Union victory in the Civil War, didn't make all that much difference?! :?:wink:

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You said it, Obs! President Rutherford Hayes withdrew the Union Army and let the freed captives fend for themselves, and they soon fell into segregated apartheid situations.

 

And the Dixie politicos have held command over our armed forces and congress ever since with their disciplined brotherhood.

 

Republican Ron Paul (I think from Texas) congressman, on TV last night said that the Civil War was not necessary and it was wasteful. The North could have closed down the slave trade and then purchased the freedom of all the slaves and set them free. (sigh) Simple minds have simple solutions.

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Just re-watched part one of a civil war trilogy (Gods and Generals); which was quite historically accurate and used re-enactors as extras. :wink: A point was made in the diologue; that the CSA was fighting "for their freedom", in which case, such a belief in "freedom" should have ended slavery! :wink: The only surprise about the American Civil War, is that it lasted as long as it did; with a two to one advantage in manpower, and overwhelming industrial resources, the Union should have finished the job in half the time, based on the sound "anaconda plan" of Winfield Scott. :shock: However, it appears Union Generals tended to be rather incompetant and suffered from political interference from Washington; conversely the Confederate Generals, led by Lee, seemed to have more flair and finesse, in outmanoevering Billy Yank! :wink:

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I don't agree with the 'interference from Washington' -- Lincoln begged McLellan (?) for eons to get moving, take initiative, do something instead of drill field practice forever. It seems our northern volunteers and conscripts were not anxious to engage their lives to save the Union and the enslaved down south. Then too, the South had the home field advantage in the struggle. I was hoping to provoke an analysis of the British role or non-role. The BBC CSA version suggested British supplies could have swung some victories to Lee, but it was not forthcoming until conditions were met. I suspect that the Brits at the time still remembered The War of 1812 and didn't see the Union as the greatest force for their interests, in addition to their interest in the South's cotton crops.

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Think you may find, that the Brits boycotted the Southern cotton exports, which produced unemployment and near starvation in Lancashire - still, most working folk supported the Union. :shock: Re political interference; your correct, Washington did continually keep "spuring on" their Generals, irrespective of military circumstances. :shock: Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers at the beginning, despite General Winfield Scott's prediction that it would take over 300,000 men and two to three years to put down the rebellion. :shock:

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An old colleague of mine from L.A. County Supt's office wrote me that our mutual colleague, Harry Turtledove, PhD, wrote an alternate history of the Civil War. The only one I could find at Abe Books was SO FEW REMAIN, and from the jacket it appears the two sides had a truce, and then went at each other in 1881 on the western frontier with the Apaches, the Mexicans and other interests at stake.

 

When I was at the County office Turtledove was churning out novels about the Romans and their wars. Probably studied a bit about the weapons and tactics and stuff. He also did World War I and II. I remember when he retired from the office because his books brought him enough to live on.

 

Yes, I'm aware that the Brits opposed slavery, and the USA was the last to join the civilized world (did the Saudis ever join?) I think the BBC CSA mockumentary made it clear the South could not get the Brits to supply them -- and it must have been because the South wanted to exchange cotten for weapons and such

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(gasp) I'm guilty of referring to our Southern states as 'civilized'. I agree -- the word is what we hoped they were -- our history books are so optimistic and sugar coated. I remember in college even, in the 50s, the professor arguing that the Civil War was 'to preserve the union' -- not to free the slaves. Now that I think about it, I suppose he was right. Did you see Martin Scorsese's New York Gangs? The Irish immigrants in NYC in 1860s rioting because they declined to be cannon fodder on behalf of the darkies. Another recent film (that went nowhere) took the lid off the Irish immigrants in the U.S. Army sent into Mexico in the 1800s, deserting their regiments, hiding in the haciendas of friendly senoritas, and then fighting against the U.S. Army on behalf of the Mexican people.

 

And your earlier post suggesting that the post civil war period reverting to 'no significant change' was spot on. In some ways the imposed apartheid was as brutal as slavery itself. Owners had less maintenance costs.

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If you thought Scorces's was surreal, I shudder what you would think of a film called WARRIORS. Some places on the 'net I see people using lines from that modern adaptation of the Oddessey (after a meeting in Central Park the gangs must return to their home turf meeting obstacles along the way) "O Warriors!! Come out to pla ay!"

 

I don't seek out Daniel Day Lewis films but he was decent in Last of Mohicans and Incredible Lightness of Being. Haven't seen his latest where he sips others milkshakes.

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My grandson and I have watched THE DEPARTED a half dozen times and GANGS OF NEW WORK maybe three times. We had previously seen the Chinese version of 'departed' as a police story with an undercover officer -- think it's English title was Internal Affairs. Anyway, didn't you love it, that both versions have a Celtic Kilted bagpiper for the funeral ceremony. I'm 73 and have told my family I want a bagpiper at my funeral too. It creeps me out in life, but at that point, I won't care, will I?

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Yes, it was a code word for intimidation. It may have started with university students demonstrations -- I know of one incident where they broke into a campus office and set it on fire. It was not

Viet-nam protests, it was about college policy on student aid -- to force the policy to fire an administrator. Use was 'we may have to go mau mau on their backsides' - to put it politely. It seemed that no matter what area the word was used with, the connotation was 'extreme measures with extreme consequences.

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