Monday, August 08, 2005

Beth's niece visiting so we took her to Sturbridge Village in central Mass. it is a living replica of a 19th, or 18th, century village, like Williamsburg. friends of ours, the whole family, participated in an encampment, which being a gathering of various groups of reenactors. colonial militia groups (to which our friends belong), Redcoats, Civil War, camped all over the place. I think it is utterly useful to see life put into what we read about. the weight of it doesn't seem anachronistic, tho I suppose that's one carrying thrill for participants. there was a reenactment of a Civil War battle. I don't know if it was based on an actual one, or if it were a generic one. the reenactment gives you some scale to work with, like how close combatants were to each other. there were such touches as boots being covetously removed from a corpse, a deserter shot. a child asked, why are the Confederates running? to which an adult replied, because the good guys are winning. which is the simplistic sort of thinking you can get for free in public schools. one guy was bellowing, Johnny Reb wouldn't run like that, Stonewall Jackson's troops would never run. yeah, let's not forget that the Southern team had some good players too. look now at the mindless Support Our Troops sloganizing. the world is a little larger than this home team view. I believe in compassion, in case you're wondering. the machine needs no sympathy, however, nor do those who don't question that machine. after the battle, we watched a demonstration of a Revolutionary Era cannon. it's a loud noise. which is a lot of what we boil war efforts down to. if you've ever seen airshows, in which fighter jets show off their power, it is hard not to be enthralled. these vortices of speed and noise can suck you right in. hence video games, I suppose, except I guess I am too generationalized to get into video games. I'm from I remember when we usedta. yet zowie, what if you controlled all that? a swordfighting demonstration was interesting. the combatants had parrying knives as well as swords. the pace of their battles was about 1/4 of Flynn versus Rathbone, and mostly were over within seconds. I was also pleased to look at examples of colonial glassware, hear that our friends cooked up bubble and squeak, watch a fellow carve the handle for a bow saw. well, it was neat stuff going on. we plan to return when Massachusetts enjoys beautiful autumn. I think I'm trying to say here that there's a real world inside of what we think. I believe there are a lot of unconsidered words. kick out the jams.

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