Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Peggy Noonan: "Shonda"

It's a shame, Peggy Noonan asserts, that the National Cathedral doesn't choose to continue celebrating the people who rebelled against the US government in favor of slavery because they were pretty great...gentiles or something. Because when the Civil War was finished, we supposedly fixed racism.

I think she might be missing a few chapters here. Like Jim Crow and segregation and stuff. But I really feel uncomfortable about her slipping "shande" in here. (It just doesn't feel like her word to use--it's a shame people held slaves and were ready to tear a country apart over it. It's a shame--but the way Yiddish uses "shande" is different.)

White Supremacist apologia is just weird. But she just made it weirder. Confederates being killed or willing to be killed didn't make them right. It made them just as wrong, but traitors. We need to abandon the hagiography of the lost cause. They were wrong. They stay wrong. Their privations on the way to being defeated did not sanctify their cause, because the cause of enslavement is always wrong. We can do away with the monuments to their wrongness, and just read in history books that they lost and were wrong.

It would more than suffice.

2 comments:

Yastreblyansky said...

There's a wonderful bit of clueless white person self-centeredness in there, I think. The Yiddish expression she was thinking of is shande for de goyim, meaning shande in front of the goyim or while the goyim are watching and presumably gossiping about it; but what she's imagining would be shande far de goyim, shande for the goyim or something for all the nonwhite people to gossip about.

She fears that by taking down Lee statues the goyim are washing dirty linen in public, revealing that some of the white people who fought in the Civil War were on the wrong side. Like oh, no, really?!

Formerly Amherst said...

Greetings, Vixen.

History is disappointing, is it not? The history of the world is one of tyranny, exploitation, wars, and religious conflicts. One of the things less known about the War Between the States is that in some ways the South was trying to mimic the American revolution. The U.S. Managed to go to war with Britain to secure our sovereignty, and the South saw this as a model that could be followed in order to secure freedom from what they felt to be tyranny.

Naturally, today we focus on the evil of slavery which was a more complicated issue than is generally discussed. It has been estimated that 3-4% of the South's population may have owned slaves. When the southern states withdrew their senators and congressmen they drew up a new constitution. It was an exact replica of the Constitution of the time, except it contained language to specifically outlaw slavery and to terminate some trade practices that had been revealed to be prone to corruption.

But history is a disappointment. Nothing but conflicts, wars, disagreements, and all this still goes on today,

This is not really surprising though, is it? Because most of us are disappointments to ourselves. My younger self would be disappointed by the man I have become. And I haven't done too bad. I'm happily married, I am educated in the area of metaphysics and esotericism far beyond the majority of people who explore these subjects. I've made some money in the stock market. Although I'm a little guy compared to your father, I am 6'1'', about215 lbs of mostly muscle. I do a lot of pushups, pullups, situps, dips and walking. Yet despite the aforementioned accolades I am a disappointment to myself.

I expected at my age to be on top of every situation. Capable of dealing with whatever life presented. I expected to live in a country that was not completely politically corrupted on both sides. Motherhood has taken a huge blow over the last 40 years or so. We found out about infanticide and sexual abuse. The priesthood has a significant number of pedophiles. Female schoolteachers are bopping little kids in the back seats of cars and swapping nude photos.

And despite my knowledge and accomplishments I don't know as much as I would like to know. I'm not as sure of my judgment in some matters as I used to be. (Most of us at a certain age think that if we feel something, that means it's divine law.) Let's not forget the vaunted potential of computers now manifests in porn downloads or endless bitching that previously was only endured by one's spouse or best friend.

History and our personal lives are freq disappointing. And that's the way it goes. It's the nature of things. So the South contained evils. But the South was by no means alone. And the current discussions about all of this are largely superficial and mob-driven, and saner heads rarely prevail. Robotics is rapidly changing knowledge about labor and professional fulfillment. Will the future contain a dream or a nightmare? I suspect it will be simply more of the same, with the end of the Kali Yuga beckoning in the distance.

***

Who dreamed that beauty passes like a dream?
For these red lips, with all their mournful pride,
Mournful that no new wonder may be tied,
Troy passed away in one high funeral dream,
And Usna's children died.

We and the labouring world are passing by;
Amid men's souls, that waver and give place
Like the pale waters in their wintering race,
Under the passing stars, foam of the passing sky,
Lives on this lonely face.

Bow down, archangels, in your dim abode:
Before you were, or any hearts that beat,
Weary and kind one lingered by His seat;
He made the world to be a grassy road
Before her wandering feet.

--The Rose of the World, by W. B. Yeats