We watched Waco last Sunday night. It was, for me, unimaginably powerful. Here’s a trailer from YouTube. In 1993 the ATF got a search warrant for the Branch Davidian headquarters in Waco, Texas, and an arrest warrant for David Koresh, the religious leader of the group, on weapons charges. Instead of serving the warrants, the … Read more

Heritage of Hate

I hadn’t planned to write about Southern identity any time in the immediate future. I decided to do it because of this excellent video by The Cynical Historian. He does interesting work and this one is particularly good. The video is particularly timely right at the moment, when America is governed seemingly by un-reconstructed Confederates … Read more

Daughter of Time

As a Riccardian, Josephine Tey’s novel Daughter of Time is an old favorite. Re-reading last night. I didn’t expect it to provide an example of how researchers go wrong. The story goes like this. Inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard is convalescing after an injury. A friend triggers his interest in Richard III and the … Read more

Victorian Soft Porn

History doesn’t change but our interpretation of it does. It’s all the same events and and the same material culture (as far we can discover it), but when we look back on it we often see different things than our ancestors did. I’ve been looking for a good example to add to my “toolkit” of … Read more

White American Culture

Here’s a guy, someone I watch now and then on YouTube, complaining that White Americans have no culture. It’s hard to know what to make of this. It’s an idea generally associated with White Supremacists, but I don’t think that’s his point. He says most white Americans lack a sense of culture and a sense … Read more

American Exceptionalism

White supremacists make a basic mistake about history. They imagine we live in the same world our ancestors did. They’re just wrong. Our ancestors in America had to learn how to live on the Frontier. The Indians knew how to live here, but the settlers didn’t. In the process of adapting the settlers created a … Read more

2020 Census

I wrote a little piece called “American Identity” back in 2008, looking to the 2010 Census. Now here it is, almost the 2020 Census. If I hadn’t written it then, I’d want to write it now. Not changing a thing.

Think About Culture Changes

Let’s take some time to think about how culture changes over time. Justin King talks a bit here toward the beginning about White American Southerners who tried to save their culture by moving to Brazil. It didn’t work. They assimilated. And that’s exactly what happens to people in the European diaspora. Our ancestors might have … Read more

Faerie Lore Among the Scots-Irish

More from Barry McCain on faeries. I look forward his posts, and I like the way he introduces the idea of faeries and faerie lore: After talking about the immigration of Ulster Scots to America in the 18th century, he says, “Some of the Faeries from Ireland followed these people to the Colonies. From the … Read more

Romanticizing Cowboys

In the 1880s, “America was no more impressed by a cowboy than by a railroad employee or a shopkeeper,” according to Lynn Jacobs. That will come as a surprise to almost everyone I know, because cowboys are the embodiment of our regional heritage and culture. But that all comes from Teddy Roosevelt’s deep-seated insecurity about … Read more