02 May 2014

Should Civil War Reenactments Simulate Life?

I’ve said it before, but I find most Civil War battle reenactments to be disrespectful to the memory of Civil War soldiers . . . It becomes problematic when reenactors cross the line from representing how units drilled and maneuvered on battlefields to simulating death. ~ Kevin Levin
Some folks might get the impression that Levin's hobby is disrespecting "the memory of [Confederate] Civil War soldiers". But, as to his complaint, what does he expect battlefield reenactments to simulate? The Blue and Gray didn't exactly meet on battlefields to practice the Virginia Reel.

Maybe Levin and the boys would prefer the reenactors all lay down their muskets, hold hands and sing Kumbaya. And do films and documentaries also "cross the line" when actors simulate death? Should Saving Private Ryan have all the death and violence edited out of it?

My suggestion would be not to attend reenactments if you don't like them. Good Lord. What a bizarre post.  


ropelight said...

Seems something is always getting Levin's goat, he doesn't like battlefield reenactments any more than he liked seeing Mississippi's state flag when he and his students were recently touring sites in what he called the civil rights South. (Vicariously reliving scary civil rights marches long after any danger lingers only in faded memory?)

Visiting a Mississippi courtroom, Levin said the sight of the word Justice combined with the Dixie Cross on the State flag enraged him. Surely he didn't expect to see a Red Sox pennant in a Magnolia State courthouse?

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

He's demonstrated on numerous occasions that his experience with these kinds of things is rather limited. It's also the incessant Puritan busy-bodiness, once again, raising its head. Again, quite bizarre.

Dick Stanley said...

I'm not fond of battle reenactments myself because, in addition to being overweight, everyone is so clean and well-tailored, but Levin really outdoes himself much of the time and this one is a beaut.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Hello Dick. Though I live in VA, I've been to one reenactment in my whole life. But I've watched several on film. But for Levin, I actually believe some of his "dislike" for reenactments is cultural.

Thanks for taking the time to comment.