So, Project X features a lot of first-person stories from throughout Nashville’s history. I’ve been fretting the most over Dr. Jack Macon, wanting to include him and wanting to get his voice right. My assumption is that he must have been brilliant and he would have, as his master’s constant companion growing up, at least had the opportunity to see someone else learning to read and write.
So, the conceit in the story is that he’s literate, though self-taught. It goes (at least in this early draft):
I said, I would like some paper & a pen & some ink & I would like for Mister Macon to let me use it & not be crossed that I can do it. Who taught you? Me, I say. I learned myself. & he laughed, because they never believe what I can do until they have need of it.
He said, but I could set you free. I do not let myself hear it. That which is crooked cannot be made straight.
It’s that last part, the last sentence, that does me in. To me, it says everything about this character there is to be said. This is a man who can read the Bible, who knows it in his soul, who can quote the Preacher from memory when his own words fail him. And who feels something has been done to him that will never be undone and that the promise of its undoing is false. Is a vanity, like all is vanity.
Oh, and Sam Houston is a werewolf. Or was, until he got married.
You have to give him credit. He motherfucking gaslit his whole district, just told them up was down with enough conviction that they believed him. And now? Now here’s the story of the three abortions, the multiple affairs with patients and other folks. And the pattern of him just lying and lying and reshaping the world to smooth over his controlling, abusive behavior.
I don’t say this lightly. I’d like to believe he’s somehow not this man anymore, but the fact that he continues to lie and to do so in such an egregious manner makes me think he hasn’t. But I’m terrified for his current wife.
This man seems to be motivated solely by what’s convenient for him at the moment.
I hadn’t been giving much thought to the secessionists until I saw how deeply they bothered Coble and then another friend of mine told me he thought it was a good idea. I laughed and told him I’m not sure life as a Basque separatist suited him.
But then I got to thinking about it on the walk this morning and I think that this is one of those times when it’s really obvious that people don’t know their history. Because, even if we let, say, “Tennessee” secede, do these fools really think the U.S. government would give “Tennessee” the land it sits on?! We have a LONG track record, going back to the very founding of our country of relations with sovereign nations who share this land with us that don’t have big enough armies to defend this land (even if they are well enough armed that getting this land from them is very difficult).
Name me just one time when we’ve said “You can have all this land that we want and already kind of consider ours and we promise we won’t make your lives miserable about it” and stuck to it. Show me once in history where we’ve said “Of course you can live on the land of your ancestors unfucked with even though we want that land for ourselves.”
Do the secessionists think we’d do better by them than we did, say, the Cherokee? Why? Because the Secessionists are “civilized?” White? We considered the Cherokee civilized when we set out to either annihilate them or drive them out of Tennessee and “we” white people were intermarried with “them.”
Do secessionists think the U.S. wouldn’t dare pull any bullshit like Indian Removal on them with the whole world watching? Motherfuckers, we drone strike children and wedding parties with the whole world watching and we don’t even bat an eye. “Dealing with” separatists? Who’s going to complain? Not our allies. So, who? Russia? China? Look how they deal with their separatists. So, I doubt it.
It’s a fairy tale in a lot of ways–this secessionist talk. But the rosy faith it has in the United States government to behave with honor if this extremely unlikely scenario were somehow to come to pass is kind of charming. Contrary to all our history and current way of being in the world, but charming.