The film that is:
An annual viewing tradition around July 4th. From a time before the dark days of Multiculturalism taught us to ignore the myriad sins of the world while refusing to forgive the sins of the West.
Adapted from Michael Shaara’s The Killer Angels, it marked that last point where the Civil War was popularly understood as driven by the issue of slavery, but also about many complex issues, as history always is.
But that was then. Today history, like so many things, has been whittled down to a soundbite. Hence the end of the Confederate memorials; hence raising new bigotries and racisms to replace the old. Those hellbent on ignoring the past are, after all, doomed to repeat it. Or – good news for the post-war generations – our posterity will be doomed to repeat it.
Sometimes I think the reason we spend so much time focused on the sins of the past is because, deep down, we can’t help but think they were better than we are (exceptions noted). As a generation, our greatest accomplishment is watching the civilization we inherited crumble under our feet. And in the end, that’s not much to endear us to future memory. A generation that has concluded “we can climb higher by kicking down the ladder by which we have come thus far” has shown why the”progressive habit of thinking we can make the world better for our children by murdering the memory of our grandparents is folly.”
The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Just some whimsy on this Independence Day celebration. Now off to the fireworks!