Oh, Democrats, Never Change

So, as I said, I was caught up in working the debate, so I didn’t really have an opinion about who won. But I came home to find the general internet consensus was the Wade Munday had out-performed the other two candidates. I thought he did fine, don’t get me wrong, but, if the response today from Kuhn’s and Forrester’s camps are any indication, he must have freaked them the fuck out, since both camps came out with statements implying, if not outright saying, that Munday was going to leave the race (see here and here).

Nice.

So, I guess the unity and getting along starts after the election?

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Oh, Huck

I think that, if the word “nigger” appears too many times in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to make it appropriate for school-children, it’s better to have them wait to read it when they’re ready than to give them a sanitized version. It goes back to our discussion this morning–let’s not bear false witness to kids about the book.

But, hey, modifying a work of literature in the public domain substantially enough that you then can copyright it is not a bad way to make a living.

I’m already planning my next book, The Scarlet Letter, which I will change to “B” and thus make the book about bigamy, not adultery.

You’re jealous you didn’t think of it first, I know. But there are 24 other letters waiting to be claimed.

Ha, you know, I’m joking, but Huck Finn is in the public domain. It would be an interesting form of social protest for folks to make “school-safe” versions of Huck Finn with various words swapped in for the offending one. Or the word just deleted. Undermine the market for this version.

That would be funny.

In Which the Butcher’s Car about Killed Me

As you recall, our neighbors’ were recently broken into. So, I’m sitting there on the couch last  night when I hear what sounds like a short series of whistles by the front door. “Twee-twee-twee-twee” and then the same thing over by the dining room window. The dog is freaking the fuck out. I am freaking the fuck out.

I call the Butcher. “Where are you?”

“I just got home.”

“Someone’s here. I mean, in the fucking front yard. I heard them whistling.”

The Butcher bursts into the house. He grabs a large object with which to beat someone. I tell him about the whistling. “Twee-twee-twee-twee.”

He slumps a little in relief and starts to laugh.

“Yeah, that was my car. When it’s cold it squeaks like that.”

Shoot, it still took a good ten minutes for the adrenaline rush to wear off.

False Witness

I’m talking about Nathan Bedford Forrest over at Pith this morning. And I’m thinking about this post I read yesterday or the day before but can’t now find about bearing false witness. In the post was this discussion about how the perniciousness of bearing false witness lies not only in the lie and the harm it can do immediately to the person you’re lying about, but the long-term damage it does to a whole community, in part, because the bearer often acts so long like what he or she has said is true that he or she comes to believe it.

So, it’s like a double-whammy. You have all of the problems of lying and the evil perpetrated against the person being lied about, but you also have the rot it does to the community to have within it members who have had to commit to a false reality, to a version of events that they know is not true.

In some ways, I’ll say that this is the thing I find most baffling about the Civil War discussions down here. The historical documents are widely available. People’s own accounts of why they did things are or why they thought things were happening to them are easy to find.

And yet, at some point, people became committed to this idea that the war wasn’t about what everyone said it was about, but about something else. Not slavery, but states’ rights. And it seems like they became committed to believing it, not because it was true, but in fact because they could not come to terms with what it would mean that they had been lied to, that someone consciously made the decision to say “we will move from the truth and commit to this lie until everyone believes it.”

But that is a pretty hard thing to come to terms with.