Monday, December 31, 2012

HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF (AGAIN)



Spielberg's "Lincoln" accurately portrays the events that brought about the so-called end of slavery in the United States.  Even though the 13th Amendment broke the physical chains of slaves it seems to have had little effect on the views and attitudes of present day descendants of those times. Even though the Civil War was nothing more than a tragic and senseless war among ourselves there are those who year after year spend countless hours reenacting and reliving it; dressing up in uniforms of the times and going off to places like Gettysburg to play war.

There are those who would say; what's the big deal. Their just a bunch of over zealous history buffs  having a little fun. This may be true for some but, for others, this is their way of blowing off steam and releasing pent up anger and resentments about the course of history that brought us to a time when a black man became President of these United States. A time when blacks outnumbered whites at the polling place. A time when more and more people are coming to terms with the reality that America still practices slavery; just in a more subtle and sophisticated way. Racism is alive and well in many parts of this great land of ours even though many are reluctant to use the "R" word for fear they would be politically incorrect. After all, if no one talks about it or points it out when they see it, then we can act as if it doesn't exist. We make believe that having a black President has nothing to do with a half dozen or more states petitioning to secede from the Union. We act as if there are no similarities to our history.

Living in denial is much more comfortable than facing reality when it comes to those things we don't like to admit about ourselves. Racism, bigotry, violence, greed, often referred to as the 'seven deadly (or capital) sins". We like to blame all of our troubles on a few "loners" who star in "isolated" events and are not a part of our mainstream society. We hide our flag draped coffins of today's soldiers because we can't admit that we still act and behave the same way we did 149 years ago other than showing the piles of corpses wars produce. We just want to play war at Gettysburg sans the stench of death and destruction.

Even though Spielberg's  "Lincoln" is not a documentary it does portray sharp similarities when it comes to our politics and how the process hasn't changed much. The games played in Congress then looks much like we witness on C-Span today. Ironic how history seems to repeat itself.

Johann Wagener 12-30-12
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