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26 November 2011

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walrus

.........and the Pilgims weren't rugged Libertarian individualists either.

Babak Makkinejad

Col. Lang:

May be I am too cirtical; but when I look at how Mexico is suffering as a consequence of North Americans' drug culture and it potential impact on US well being and security and the threads on this forum on containing China and waging war against Iran; I feel like Mike Royko and his "Governor Moonbeam" cooment.

Earth to the United States, Earth to the United States, Come in please, come in!

turcopolier

Babak

You are an enemy and so I care not what you think or say. My comments are for my deluded countrymen. pl

turcopolier

walrus

Much about them was pathetic. pl

walrus

Col. Lang, apparently David Frum has joined the reality based community out of frustration with deluded Republicans. Would you call Frum a respectable Conservative?

"Backed by their own wing of the book-publishing industry and supported by think tanks that increasingly function as public-relations agencies, conservatives have built a whole alternative knowledge system, with its own facts, its own history, its own laws of economics. Outside this alternative reality, the United States is a country dominated by a strong Christian religiosity. Within it, Christians are a persecuted minority. Outside the system, President Obama—whatever his policy ­errors—is a figure of imposing intellect and dignity. Within the system, he’s a pitiful nothing, unable to speak without a teleprompter, an affirmative-action ­phony doomed to inevitable defeat. Outside the system, social scientists worry that the U.S. is hardening into one of the most rigid class societies in the Western world, in which the children of the poor have less chance of escape than in France, Germany, or even England. Inside the system, the U.S. remains (to borrow the words of Senator Marco Rubio) “the only place in the world where it doesn’t matter who your parents were or where you came from.”"


http://nymag.com/news/politics/conservatives-david-frum-2011-11/

Babak Makkinejad

Col. Lang:

I never considered you an enemy.

Therefore, I am personally insulted by your statement.

And since I do not have a thick skin, I once again must decline to participate in this forum, which I had joined again per your own earlier invitation.

Cronin

Col. Lang -- I'm a native of the Old Colony, and I'm glad that the more varied, nuanced, and more truly human reality of New England colonization is becoming more widely known. It has the virtue of not only being true, but also more interesting. I suppose I hadn't realized that the Pilgrim Fathers myth was as entrenched in other regions of the country -- though I will say that I think New Englanders are beginning to have a more accurate and less mytho-poetic understanding of their own past (full disclosure: I'm working on my doctoral dissertation on Plymouth County, 1740-1840; also, not to be pedantic, but the Wampanoag territory didn't actually extend to Boston -- that was Massachusetts territory, who were devastated at a much higher rate by the plague of the period c. 1618, and thereby left themselves more vulnerable to acculturation and conversion - Eliot's 'praying Indians', who got the worst of both sides in King Philip's War. Wampanoag territory extended along a line sloping southwest from Scituate Harbor, dipping southward to take in some of the great ponds and cedar swamps of western Plymouth County, and then continuing southwestward to the Narragansett lands along their eponymous Bay).
I would want to say, though, that the only thing that I somewhat object to is your apparently strong dislike of New Englanders; perhaps this comes as a reaction to having a myth of uniquely pure and virtuous Pilgrim Fathers pushed down your throat. Sir, let me say that I could take the same attitude toward Virginians (as many do here -- thus the Internet meme "f--- the South", which is popular in Northern and Great Lakes states), especially given that we fought on opposite sides of two civil wars -- Cavaliers and Roundheads, Yankees and Confederates. And while it is true that Jamestown was 'turning the corner' in 1620 away from its first disastrous years (the 'starving time'), it's also true that, for most of its residents in the 17th C., Virginia was more likely to be a place of indenture or fever than wild success (unless you were a wealthy widow, of course, in which case you were likely to acquire even more wealth). But I think to focus on differences like these is ultimately beside the point -- New Englanders and Virginians fought together on the front lines of the 18th Century struggle for independence, and in all American wars ,save one, since. That matters more to me than the - admittedly significant -- differences in political economy and culture. I'd like to lastly say that, though I'm glad your people found new homes in the west, 'those who stayed behind' did not tamely submit to a theocratic order -- quite the contrary, as the success of the Jeffersonians in breaking, at long last, in the first decade of the 19th C., the Federalist stranglehold on New England politics, showed. This is not to say the struggle between free-thinking individualism and rigid orthodox school-marmism in New England is over -- but nor is the struggle between the great planters of the Tidewater and the plain yeomanry of the Piedmont and the Shenandoah (I speak figuratively in both cases). On this weekend of gratitude, looking across the Bay at Plymouth -- the steeple I see now adorns a synagogue, which I think is a fine reminder of the current reality and historical roots of American religious pluralism (in Plymouth, in Virginia, even Mass. Bay and Connecticut, though against their wishes, and of course Rhode Island and Maryland) -- on this weekend, I am grateful that there are men and women, of New England and Virginia and all the several sections of the far-flung Union, that remain committed to republican government; what a pity that so few of them hold elected office in this ostensible 'republic' of ours.

turcopolier

Babak

Everything about you says enemy. Goodby. pl

turcopolier

Cronin

"New Englanders and Virginians fought together on the front lines of the 18th Century struggle for independence"

My Revolutionary War kin were all in the Connecticutt Line and various engaged militai units.

"F--k the South?" you associate yourself with that? pl

turcopolier

Walrus

Frum? A Canadian immigrant and Zionist neocon. pl

turcopolier

Cronin

In addition, thanks for geography lesson. I take it that the metes and bounds describe an area roughly the same shape but somewhat smaller. I never lived in that part of New England. My wife and mother were/are New Englanders of Canadian descent. Their/my people arrived in New France before 1650. I lived in Maine when I was in hIgh school. It was not my intention to dump on New England although I subscribe to the view that "if the US had been settled from west to east, New England would still be uninhabited." My father's people did not begin to leave NE until around 1800 having arrived between 1620 and 1640. My point had to do with the utterly false and destructive mythology that underlies the aggressive, self, righteous attitude displayed by so many Americans on both the right and left. That attitude ultimately comes from New England and it has permeated the country. The "poor f-----g South" has little in the way of such mythology as a native ideology. Jefferson and Washington are revered but Jeffersonian ideas can hardly be said to predominate. No. "Exceptionalism" prevails now in the south and that is from New England. "F--k the South?" well, why not. the North and Middle West already did that and now they reap the fruits of "a love so strong it could not let them go..." Tant pis pour eux. " pl

Adam L Silverman

Sir,

This pretty well sums up the advertising/corporate driven nature of what you referenced in terms of marketing of pop culture:
http://blog.thephoenix.com/BLOGS/talkingpolitics/archive/2011/11/25/romney-s-ad.aspx

Cronin

Colonel -- I don't want to get into the War here (you know which one), because I think fightin' words would soon be spoken, but I want to say firmly -- I do not at all side with any fool who says 'F--- the South.' Quite the contrary. I think it's stupid and corrosive, a species of nonsense and chauvinism. I will admit that I had, several years ago, quite a bit of New England sectional bigotry, and probably still do -- but the experience of having the best-read person I've ever met, a native Alabamian and historian of the antebellum South, as a dissertation advisor disabused me of some of my facile notions about the former slave states (as well as southern-settled parts of the Midwest, e.g., lower Indiana, Illinois, Ohio).
As for who is responsible for 'City on a Hill' exceptionalism -- I can't abide it, wherever it comes from politically, and though I think New England has a lot to own for it, I hardly think it's alone in terms of the sections. The War Hawks of 1812, after all, Clay and Calhoun, were hardly New Englanders, and we really didn't want much to do with Texas and the Mexican War. It seems to me that there are multiple versions of chauvinism, one almost for each section (which really are more analagous to European or Latin American nation-states in some ways) -- e.g., there is the above-mentioned City on a Hill syndrome, from New England; but also, for instance, isolationism, which, to me, seems to be the great sin of the Midwest - the delusion that the rest of the world is both wicked and irrelevant. Western or West Coast chauvinism, at least in my experience, often finds expression in the conviction that everything east of the Sierra Nevada is backwards and unfree. Southern chauvinism had (and has) to do, I would suggest, with the maintenance of a system of white supremacy over several centuries. Perhaps some of your ire comes from the fact that, whereas Southerners have had to actively confront their history (I mean, look at Faulkner, one of my all-time favorites), almost as a part of who they are, the rest of the regions are able to whistle through the historical graveyard, as it were (e.g., Ohio's 19th Century 'black laws' were the most restrictive in the Free States). At any rate, you're absolutely right about one thing: no one in their right mind would settle the Gulf of Maine if they had the choice of Santa Barbara. But then again, there is something to the idea of climate and culture being related, and I will not deny that New Englanders are a bit crazy, myself included from all the snow and wind. (Have you ever seen Jefferson's list of north-south differences? Very enlightening). Anyway, do keep up the good work around here, I read your blog daily and value it highly (especially the commenter-community).

Cronin

Let me add also: you're entirely right about the parlous state of our body politic. I wonder if a free people can subsist with this much advertising.

turcopolier

Cronin

There is an interesting paper for someone to write cmparing the Powhatan Wars and king Philip's War. i had kin in king Philip's War. pl

Cronin

Col. -- you're very much correct about those two conflicts -- it's amazing, but a paper like that would, I think, be really looked down upon by the proponents of gender and cultural studies that currently rule the American historical academy (I don't have a problem with either category per se, I just don't think they are the end-all-be-all of human existence). For instance, Harvard's Jill Lepore wrote what I thought was an entirely inadequate account of King Philip's War (THE NAME OF WAR), but it was very well received in the graduate seminar in which I read it. It had very little about the war itself, instead concentrating on its cultural influence decades later. I was so outraged, as someone who grew up amidst those once-dark and bloody grounds, that the one book talking about Anglo-Indian warfare that we read concentrated almost not at all on said warfare. These were people's lives! These events literally determined the course of nations, yet we'll not examine them closely? I've never seen such a faddish bunch as a lot of today's academics.

Ramojus

Col. Lang:

As I recall, being a Chicagoan, Mike Royko's "Governor Moonbeam" label was his moniker for the past and current California governor, Jerry Brown, when he was running for president in 1976(?)

Cold War Zoomie

Whenever I hear the modern conservatives talk about how we were founded as a Christian nation, I think of this:

http://www.nchistoricsites.org/bath/legends-whitefield.htm

It's quite possible that I had family members there as early as 1717. I'd really be proud if some of them pissed off Whitefield!

highlander

Babak,

You best have a thick skin,when you cross swords with the Colonel!

Hell, he has thrown me off the train before, and our ancestors wintered at Valley Forge together.

Such is life.

turcopolier

babak

highlander reminds me of my ill nature. i do not accuse you. sorry. pl

The Twisted Genius

Although I'm now comfortably ensconced in Virginia, I still consider myself a New Englander. Looking back on my early education, I can see the signs of regional bigotry. I attended the Algonquin School from 4th through 8th grades. We were raised on a steady diet of King Philip's War, the Pequot War, Queen Anne's War and the Revolution. Funny, we learned about the Civil War during the war's centennial, but it just seemed so far away and foreign. We read lots of Nathaniel Hawthorne and James Fenimore Cooper in our literature classes. Oppressively heavy stuff for us kids, but it was seasoned with Kenneth Roberts and Mark Twain (because he settled in Connecticut, no doubt). We had to read some Cotton Mather rantings. Most of us kids decided the Pilgrims and Puritans were a bunch of ass hats (or whatever the 1960's grammar school equivalent of that term was). We were more the Natty Bumpo or Langdon Towne types. I really didn't start widening my world until the Jesuits took me by the ear in high school.

Cronin, I appreciate your learned and even handed defense of the old sod... cold, rocky sod.

turcopolier

TTG

Marguerite tells me tat we did the Pequot War. So, I guess we were features in your curriculum. the Algonquin scholl in Prospect, CT. pl

Fred

Texas? There's a whole new mythology there.

Green Zone Cafe

I think you are missing irony in the Colonel's statement, Babak. Consider the context.

turcopolier

GZC

He doesn't do irony. pl

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