Thursday, February 18, 2016

Only the Victorious Get to Write the History

This morning was taken up with spelling out in great detail why my ex husband should not have any information on any asset I own, deal I'm involved in, or anything else to both my real estate agent and the title company. I shared with them legal things that even my kids do not know about my former relationship and legal status from my first short disastrous marriage. Stuff I share with no one. My husband knows, my father knew, but not too many others know.

Not going to spill the beans on what it is because it involves a branch of law enforcement and a pretty serious allegation. But sharing the info certainly made the title company very aware as to why I was unwilling and unable to give them the info on him and why no information on my doings should be released to him.

I am still frightened and upset over certain ancient history with him.

One day I'll write a book about our relationship and the subsequent gaslighting I went through after the divorce. Today's not that day. Today is the day when I push through to get this sale to go through. I would feel much more comfortable in my mind if I had a personal financial cushion now that Jim has retired. Things come up. I've had a huge bunch of medical bills from Thumbageddon and I'm going to be on meds for the next year. Still healing here.

It was a good distraction this morning to read through the back issues of our local newspaper, the same one that took their times (4 months) to pay my husband for his writing. They have us still waiting for his 1099-MISC tax form. We keep calling. But I digress...

One of the things that caught my eye and tickled my fancy were the ravings by a local judge's wife. She's upset with one of my new favorite television shows "Mercy Street" on PBS for their portrayal of Confederate spy Frank Stringfellow. She's claiming Culpeper's own Frank never killed anyone like it was shown on "Mercy Street". She and her society friends are clutching their pearls very hard over Frank and how the South is being portrayed on the show.

I feel bad for her that she's so incredibly invested in a historical figure from our area, so invested that she wrote a Civil War bodice ripper that essentially glorifies all the old false tropes of the old South, glorifying the mythology of the gracious and perfect South caught up in a war of Northern aggression. I read her novel, and thought it was pretty bad on many levels. This Amazon review pretty much sums up how I felt about it.

 I laughed and I cried too. I laughed at the glut of fluttering eyelashes, smoldering stares and swishing crinoline. I cried for the po' inconsolable darkies ripped from the loving care of their Ol' Massas, longing for the good old days of comfortable slavery and left to fend for their incompetent selves in a world of cruel, barbarous northern pillagers. I gagged at the representation of the saccharin southern belle whose mind, though amply educated, apparently was occupied solely in her pursuit of "gallant" Confederate trophy officers. One of the reviewers has compared the author of this shameless piece to Allan W. Eckert, whose historical narratives of the American frontiers were incredibly well researched. That is an insult to Eckert. The only redeeming feature I have found in this girly novel is the effort by its author to weave in real Civil War events with some accuracy. I am dismayed at the number of highly favorable reviews, most of which seem to come from Virginians. I have learned thereby that there are many in that commonwealth who haven't healed from their losses in the War of Northern Aggression.

I read many different histories and love the fact that since I received a Kindle as a present I can wallow through the many scholarly tomes from places like Harvard Press and other universities without bankrupting us or leaving my bedroom. The reviews on Amazon save me from being tricked into purchasing novels like this one.

I've been watching 'Mercy Street' from the first night it aired and I'm not seeing anything 'insulting' to anyone. It seems pretty thoroughly researched. If you look at the behind the scenes clips at PBS it is apparent that they have taken much care to be as authentic as it's possible to be in our modern age.

It still astounds me when I run across people in my area of Virginia who still believe that the South should have won the war. It's not always toothless rural folks with Confederate flags flying from the backs of their pickup trucks. Sometimes it's people you would never expect to hold such views, people like women in the local Junior League, banks, doctors, lawyers, judges. Very polite civil-seeming people holding racist views that harken back to the mid 1800s.

I must be naive because when Obama was elected president I was genuinely happy, thinking that it was a big sign that this great nation was post-racial finally, that racial equality was celebrated and embraced. From my childhood in the 1960s until 2008 I'd seen things change from overt open racism to what seemed like a much more accepting climate.

It was with deep dismay when I first heard relatives of mine, friends and others at large in the community spout racist views increasingly as time has passed in the last eight years. It's been the opposite. Racism never ceased, it was just driven underground until Obama was elected.

Okay, wow, I ended up in a very different place than I intended when I first started writing this evening. I'd been trying to decide how much information to put in here about my ex and his crimes and I end up on racism? Time for bed I guess. Sorry if I'm rambled.

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