29 September 2018

Black 47 & Irish Identity

UPDATE: I did watch this film Saturday evening and it is every bit as good as the critics claim. Great acting, some good action scenes and a compelling story. It's also a very dark film. The film has an interesting (and creative) ending. One of the main characters is faced with a choice; with one of those choices being the hope that America represents. I  highly recommend this film.

I hope to watch this tonight. Some have noted this film is a must see for anyone interested in Irish history. As a descendant of Coffeys, that would include me. The trailer looks awesome.

Set in Ireland during the Great Famine, the drama follows an Irish Ranger who has been fighting for the British Army abroad, as he abandons his post to reunite with his family. Despite experiencing the horrors of war, he is shocked by the famine's destruction of his homeland and the brutalization of his people and his family.
And IrishCentral.com notes:
The famine is the backdrop rather than the main theme which is just as it should be.  The film would be hopelessly dark otherwise. Consider that twice as many Irish starved to death as died in the American Civil War and you get some perspective of the reality. . . . Without the Great Hunger there would hardly be an Irish America, a JFK, a Henry Ford -- all roads lead to it when seeking to understand Irish identity.

28 September 2018

Historians' Perspectives

If you want to know a historian's perspective and understanding of a particular topic or subject area, read their books. If you want to know what informs that historians' perspective and understanding, read their tweets.

27 September 2018

"I Work To Be an Ancestor"

Though I'm not a Springsteen fan, this quote from an essay at the Imaginative Conservative is quite profound:
I work to be an ancestor. I hope my summation will be written by my sons and daughter, with our family’s help, and their sons and daughters with their guidance…. But this kind of story has no end. It is simply told in your own blood until it is passed along to be told in the blood of those you love, who inherit it. As it’s told, it is altered, as all stories are in the telling, by time, will, perception, faith, love, work, by hope, deceit, imagination, fear, history and the thousand other variable powers that play upon our personal narratives. It continues to be told because along with the seed of its own immolation, the story carries with it the rebirthing seed of renewal, a different destiny for those who hear it than the painful one my father and I struggled through. Slowly, a new story emerges from the old, of differently realized lives, building upon the rough experience of those who’ve come before and stepping over the battle-worn carcasses of the past. On a good day this is how we live. This is love. This is what life is. The possibility of finding root, safety and nurturing in a new season. The tree sprouts, its branches thicken, mature, bloom. It is scarred by lightning, shaken by thunder, sickness, human events and God’s hand. Drawn black, it grows itself back toward light, rising higher toward heaven while thrusting itself deeper, more firmly, into the earth. Its history and memory retained, its presence felt. ~ Bruce Springsteen

24 September 2018

On My Nightstand

I can't wait to get into this book. I've read some of the author's blog posts and the book is basically a compilation of those posts. I'm writing a review for a magazine and I'll post a short version of that review here in the near future.


21 September 2018

Victor Davis Hanson Nails It

Americans increasingly are either proud of past U.S. traditions, ongoing reform, and current American exceptionalism, or they insist that the country was hopelessly flawed at its birth and must be radically reinvented to rectify its original sins. . . . Will America keep dividing and soon resort to open violence, as happened in 1861? Or will Americans reunite and bind up our wounds, as we did following the upheavals of the 1930s Great Depression or after the protests of the 1960s?

The answer lies within each of us. ~ Victor Davis Hanson
And, just to be clear, I'm in the former camp of Americans described by Professor Hanson.

03 September 2018

Hiding History: Not Telling The Whole Story

Networks crop Farrakhan from Clinton/Jackson/Sharpton image at Aretha's funeral
Yet you have talking (empty) heads in the mainstream media and academia who just can't figure out why they're no longer trusted. Bubble dwellers. Sigh . . . sooo predictable.

More here.