Monday, December 07, 2009

Say what? Two weeks? Really?

Apparently, time can fly when you're not having fun, too. It's been two weeks since anything was posted here, an unintended hiatus of a sort I've previously warned folks may occur from time to time, alas.

It's been a time of developments both personal and political, the latter making it not a good time to pull one of my occasional disappearing acts but the former making it inevitable. Unlike some, I generally reveal little of my personal life; unlike still others, I do reveal some. So I will simply say here that apart from some depressing news from the extended family involving a cancer thought to have been controlled but that appears to have spread to the lungs, there is the matter of the nuclear family's new status of no job, no health insurance, but prescriptions aplenty. So let's just say I've been a bit, um, distracted.

In fairness to myself, it's not like I've been completely dormant: I got into exchanges (some extended, some relatively brief) on other sites on global warming (particularly around the hacked emails, of which more later), how change occurs and whether or not it's a relatively rigid process with a series of well-defined steps that can't be hurried, health care, and, what would November be without it, Thanksgiving - particularly in that case with some semi-literate dunderhead who waved around a claimed masters degree in history but didn't know the difference between Puritans and separatists or between Plymouth and Boston. The former, while central to a true understanding of the history of the era and the area, is admittedly a bit arcane but should be known to anyone laying claim to expertise on the matter. And the latter is, come on, pretty damn basic to anyone claiming to be making informed comment.

That particular exchange reminded me of what I wrote last year on the matter, which said in part:
Once again Thanksgiving has come and once again we are treated to the historical revisionism that has become as traditional as turkey and cranberry sauce. In place of the happy talk mythologies of peace, love, and harmony we were spoon-fed as children we find people snarling out dark tales of murder and mayhem by the bloodthirsty "Pilgrims." ...

I remember a friend of mine some years ago talking about “the urge to find angelic forces in the world,” that is, the seeming need many of us have to fix on some group, some movement, some something that we can convince ourselves is utterly pure in its motives and behavior. In our attempts to find some better balance in our understanding of what was done to the natives of North America, the cruelties inflicted on them, the racism and bigotry which targeted them, too many of us in considering the “Pilgrims” of Plymouth have simply swapped the mythology of savage natives and noble settlers for the perhaps more satisfying but equally false mythology of noble natives and savage settlers.
The difference this year was that the angle was religious bigotry toward dissenters rather than racial bigotry toward natives, argued exclusively by reference to things done decades later by officials of the MassBay colony (i.e., Boston) - but the basic thrust of simply flipping the coin from the "Pilgrims" of Plymouth being honorable human deities to being horrible human demons remained intact. As I said last year, "Balance, it seems, is still a long way off."

Enough of that. "Duty" does call so let's get on with it. Over the next two days, I expect, I'll be doing for lack of a better term "catch up" posts on Afghanistan, global warming, the economy, health care, and privacy/secrecy issues, although not necessarily in that order but in the order of how I get them done.

Back later.

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