That’s right. The Master’s Thesis is complete. It’s done. It’s dead. Well, until I lengthen it and make it more reader-friendly and turn it into an eBook. Details to follow on that, but for now, it’s over. Honestly, I didn’t think I could do it. I set out 16 weeks ago to argue that the American Revolution was not a terrorist war. I successfully proved it. My rough draft was submitted in week 11; the final in week 14. Seriously, how the crap did I pull this off? Anyway, it’s finished. I’m relieved. You may now call me “Master.” Just kidding.
Independence Day is not about fireworks, and it’s not about grilling hotdogs. That’s like saying Christmas is about a tree and Santa. These are just some of the ways we celebrate our holidays, not what these days are all about. Independence Day is something entirely different from chillin’ by the pool and an extra long weekend.
It’s about blood and sacrifice. It’s about revolution and it’s about our heritage.
This weekend, close your eyes to the fireworks for a moment. Imagine they’re not harmless colorful sparks shooting in the air, but cannon fire intending to kill you and your brothers at arms.
When you rub your sunburnt skin against your clothing and feel a jolt of pain, imagine being so cold that it burns. Imagine a day before anesthesia. Imagine what it would be like without a shirt on your back, day in and day out, without shoes on your feet, and tattered rags for your pants.
As you grill your hamburgers, your hotdogs, or steaks this weekend. Imagine that the delicious meat is literally shoe leather, and you’re cooking it over a campfire in an effort to make it more palatable because something semi-edible is better than starving to death.
You may have gone for a run this Saturday morning. Imagine running from enemy fire, the Redcoats at your back, without a handy bottle of water in your hand. Then imagine having to march through brush and along uneven terrain once you’ve outrun the infantry and cavalry that followed your retreat for a time. Imagine you’re doing so barefoot, and that you’ve been doing the same thing for months.
You may take advantage of one of the big sales this weekend. When you sign your name to your credit card slip, imagine that you’ve just signed your own death warrant. Imagine knowing that by signing your name, you are committing treason – in a time when they actually took it seriously.
On July 4, 1776, this is exactly what our founding fathers did. They signed their lives away; they officially became enemies to the Crown. They set in motion a series of events that sent men into fields of battle, facing an enemy bent on their elimination. They set in motion the creation of the greatest nation in the world.
Grabbing whatever weapon within their grasp, many men set out to defend their homes and families from the tyranny of the British government.
This weekend, as you are enjoying the time with your family and friends, beer and hamburger in hand remember what has paid for such freedom. When you pop off to someone, speak your mind, tweet what you want, got to church on Sunday, vote, go to the shooting range, paint a picture, decide to change your occupation, anything, remember what it cost. Remember those men who put their lives on the line to give us those freedoms.
Remember those men and women who continue to do so.
Oh. Em. Gee.
I was tempted to blog about this the other day, when I was angry. I didn’t, and that’s a good thing. Out of the moment, I can be more rational and actually use my grown-up words, instead of something along the lines of: “Friggin’ fraggin, stupid head! Blaaargh!!!!!!”
There are very few things that get me in a smoke-coming-out-of-my-ears, I’m gonna hurt somebody up in herre kinda mood, but rewriting history is one of them.
A little background info: I’m a historian. My particular expertise (yes, I think I can call it that now that I’m writing my thesis and am almost done with the whole graduate degree experience) is in the American Revolution.
Imagine, for just a moment, the horror I experienced when I heard this:
Oh holy crap! This has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with being a friggin’ fraggin’ stupidhead!!!! Oh, dang it. I got all emotional anyway.
P.S.: Brian Williams, the real life version involves lanterns and a whole lotta other details she killed too. This seriously frustrates me to the point that I can’t do anything but huff and puff about the idiocy. Why bother even writing a blog about it? - Probably because it demands attention.
Here’s the quote:
“He who warned uh, the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms, uh by ringing those bells, and um, makin’ sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be sure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed.”
I think my head is going to explode!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On his ride, Revere said, “The Redcoats are coming,” not “Hey British, you don’t get to take our guns away.” (((rolls eyes)))
Of course the midnight ride has been morphed into something along the lines of American mythology, with the phrase “The British are coming,” at the center, no matter how incorrect the “quote” may be. Revere would never have distinguished the Redcoats from the Patriots by calling them British – the colonies were still under British control, and most colonists considered themselves British. That would have been like riding like a madman just to say, “We’re coming, we’re coming.” On second thought, maybe Palin saw similar commentary and it confused her…
Anyways the point is, it’s American myth, but you at least owe it to the nation to get something as simple as the midnight ride correct. When you’re touring the country in a painted up bus. On national television. In Boston, where the Revolution spent its infancy.
I really can’t defend this woman. What is she trying to do? Hopefully not run for office again. I mean, she’s got a reality TV show (which everyone knows you have to do if you want people to take you seriously. You know, if a sex tape doesn’t do the trick) and she’s makin’ crap up on the fly? It makes my brain hurt…
In short, if you want to keep me happy, and if you don’t want to look like a fool on national television, thou shalt not rewrite history.
UPDATE: There’s been some talk that perhaps Palin was right because Revere supposedly “warned” the British once he was captured of something. I’ll cite one of my go-to sources: Six officers captured Revere, but soon let him go, since they had bigger fish to fry. Revere told one of the officers who captured him “that the British would ‘miss their aim,’ because he had alarmed ‘the country all the way up’ from Boston.” (George F. Scheer and Hugh F. Rankin, Rebels & Redcoats: The American Revolution Through the Eyes of Those Who Fought and Lived It. Cambridge: Da Capo Press, 1957.)
This sounds like more a threat than a warning, AND it was not said with bells clanging, guns shooting and on the back of a horse. Revere didn’t warn the British, he warned the Americans, and there was no mention of anyone taking away anyone’s arms. Sorry, Sarah. Try again.
Okay, I’ve kinda been failing at this whole Post-A-Day thing this week, but I have a good excuse…or at least *I* think it’s a good excuse. I’m in the midst of writing a huge paper for school. This is the last semester of the Masters, which means that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and all I’ll have to do come April is my thesis – which makes me wonder if that light is actually a speeding train. But whatever. I’m pushing through this semester like a crazy person and it’s been a kind of all-absorbing writing project. As it turns out, I may actually use it as part of my thesis, but we’ll see, so I’m trying to be extra meticulous in the writing.
Adding to the paper writing is the music writing I’ve suddenly been doing. I was contacted by an agent this week to write a review for an indie rap/rock band from New York. Wow. Um, yes please!
So, I promise, I’m not being a writing slacker, just kind of a blogging slacker. But, if you want to see what I’ve been writing, here’s a quick sample from the paper I’m throwing together for Tuesday:
In the latter years of the American Revolution, an important strategic shift occurred. The news of America’s victory at Saratoga reached Paris on December 4, 1777, and the years of hard work by American ambassadors in the Bourbon country finally paid off. No longer believing that “America must accommodate or submit” to Britain, King Louis XVI and foreign secretary the Comte de Vergennes finally agreed to back the Americans. Benjamin Franklin’s grandson, William Temple Franklin, wrote that Saratoga “immediately turned the scale” of the war, and he was right. Encountering a rebel force better skilled than they had anticipated, the British faced colonists imbued with a sense of patriotism and revenge. The Americans were armed with skill and tactics gained from years of frontier and Indian fighting, and they finally got the better of their enemy. The combination of American zeal and determination, and British difficulties in logistics and strategy led to a veritable stalemate in the Northern colonies. It was after this halt in progress that the British turned their strategy southward, where a quick return to British rule was assumed based almost solely on the uninformed reports of Loyalist numbers waiting in the Southern colonies to aid the British. During this, the most violent and fast-paced portion of the war, American General Nathanael Greene stepped into the role of commander for the Southern Department and turned the tide of the war to the Americans’ favor. Greene, a businessman in civilian life and a meticulous commander in the military, focused on a broad strategy in order to keep the Continental Army and the Patriot cause alive in the South, long enough to serve British General Charles, Earl Cornwallis up to General George Washington on the decisive battlefield at Yorktown – the last battle of the American Revolution.
And if you’ve made it through that segment and didn’t switch the page you are A) a true friend, B) a dedicated blog reader, and C) informed as to why my brain turns to mush after a couple of hours writing like this.
Have a happy Saturday! Mine here in Tejas is bright and sunny, if a little cool.