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civil war

I waited to write about Django Unchained because I couldn’t figure out how to account for its maddening effects. But they’ve gotten more and more maddening over time, to the point that I found myself in a restaurant the other night ranting about the sheer horror of hearing Jim Croce’s soporific ‘70s soft-rock ballad “I Got a Name” scored over should-be-exhilarating shots of Django as a newly freed man riding a fine horse through a grand Western snow-scape.

Sorry, other patrons of the restaurant in question! But consider the provocation! “I Got a Name,” for the love of Christ, right there in the middle of my pre-Civil War slave-revenge epic that I’ve been waiting a year to see! “I Got a Name”! I mean, why not the mellow stylings of James Taylor while we’re at it? Maybe Django could sing “You Got a Friend” to his horse or something! My God! Has the whole world gone crazy?

So what the hell, after that there’s no point holding back.


January 6th, 2013 | Comments (126)

War Nerd: Ben Grierson, Actual Hero

There are actual American heroes. Not a lot, and you don’t hear much about them, but there are a few. I don’t mean working moms who spend their Saturdays spooning soup into winos. I mean classic citizen-soldiers who get it right every…

October 16th, 2011 | Comments (81)

Rat Bastard Jesse James and a New Film Genre, “The Southern”

It’s Jesse James’ birthday today, September 5th. I mean the famous “frontier outlaw,” sometimes referred to as “America’s Robin Hood,” but actually an obnoxious Missouri sumbitch still venerated and romanticized by an addled public. In movies he tends to get…

September 5th, 2011 | Comments (45)

War Nerd Blog Day 14: Four Blessed Years without Dixie

Thaddeus Stevens: Weird-looking, huh? That’s because he was a real American. Extinct now. Looks like they’re starting to find the mass graves in Ivory Coast right on schedule, but I’m going to leave the hard war news for the five…

April 3rd, 2011 | Comments (106)

War Nerd Blog Day 13: Civil War Caturday

Grant: Never Got Over Junior High   Friday nights I read Civil War books. I noticed a European said in the comments last week how sick he is of the US Civil War. Well, my hemispherically-challenged bud, you’re not going…

April 2nd, 2011 | Comments (40)

Mark Twain’s Autobiography: A Pre-approval

You might have heard that Mark Twain’s autobiography is going to be published this fall—the real one, not the abridged, expurgated, censored, compromised, cleaned-up, Sunday school superintendent version that’s circulated over the years. 5,000 pages of sheer bile, cussedness, and…

June 17th, 2010 | Comments (54)

A Memorial Day War Nerd: Gettysburg Was The Finest Fight Ever In The World

When the fourth of July rolls around, you’re supposed to think of, I don’t know, the Constitution and backyard cookouts like in old Chevy ads—but for me, it’s really Gettysburg we’re celebrating. Greatest battle in American history. But the battle,…

May 30th, 2010 | Comments (34)