The Rockstar is recording his LAST track for his upcoming CD. It's pretty righteous, and I can't wait until it drops. The Boy went off with his Bestie to go roller skating - apparently kids still do that, and the Girl was up all night with her Bestie, so we've had a pretty quiet day. I am just lazy enough to enjoy ONE day at home doing pretty close to nothing (I did sweep the floor, twice). I have just about finished my latest blanket, but ran out of yarn.
The Girl and I have been watching movies off and on. We watched The Spongebob Movie (her choice), and I rewatched Erin Brockivich because it is just funny as heck. Afterwards, I watched The Suffragettes which was pretty intense.
I don't know too much about the Suffragettes, which is really a shame when you think about it. I did some light reading after the movie and am by no means an expert but it seems to me that I ought to have been taught more about them. I mean I know a TON about Abraham Lincoln because of his signing the Emancipation Proclamation and all, but these women fought for the right to vote. The worst part in the movie was when one of the women's husband decided to give their son up for adoption because he couldn't manage working and taking care of the kid - and she wasn't allowed to raise him because of her being a rebel and all. He gave her child away without her permission because he had every right and she had none. She knew it, too. She was helpless.
Did you know that most people assume that the Underground Railroad was made up MOSTLY of Quakers who did not believe in the enslavement of others. Although not black themselves, these Quakers filled with compassion, helped hide runaway slaves. It is a really good story but it isn't true. The Underground Railroad was composed mostly of runaway slaves, and free blacks. You've heard of Harriett Tubman, right? People like her were the Underground Railroad, and although slaves were sometimes hidden in Quaker homes, the lifeline of the Railroad were people who had been freed, and couldn't bear to think of their family members still trapped in slavery. Also were you aware that Harriett Tubman went on to serve as a spy and a general in the Civil War? She led a raid and everyone involved accepted her as the leader of the men who fought. Guess who didn't get a Veteran's pension after the war was over?
I read this great book, a long time ago called Lies My Teacher Told Me. It was all about the things left out of history and it is a really good book. It talks about how complicated and controversial history actually is, but how schools who don't want to stir up trouble present a bland platter of historical happenings.
Example: When discussing the amazing and important events that led to the separation of the United States from Great Britain, lets turn a blind eye to the flawed men who fought for it. Let's ignore the stormy arguments about slavery and the men who argued to keep it in place at the very days of our foundation. Thus, the men who built America become empty flat, unsmiling portraits, and not the complicated, flawed and often racist humans that they were. No wonder kids say history is boring - we washed out all the parts worth talking about.
The Suffragettes were terrorists. They waged war because, they argued, "war was the only language to which men would listen." They broke windows, destroyed property and caused disruption. They were beaten, arrested, most rejected by their husbands, and when they protested by refusing to eat - they were force fed. They had no control - not even over the decision of whether or not to eat. They were militant and radical, but I have the right to vote because of them. I do not know their names. The only name I remember is Susan B. Anthony because that is the only one I was ever taught.
We like pretty history. We like rebels who are pure in heart, and founders who truly believe in the idea of equality. We aspire to the stars, but are forced to live on earth where things are muddy and heroes quite human. In these days of celebration of our Nation's freedom, it seems that we have come to a moment in time when we must choose what kind of Nation we will be, and this moment is deeply rooted in the past.
In my favorite poem, Ulysses tells us:
I AM A PART OF ALL THAT I HAVE MET
YET ALL EXPERIENCE IS AN ARCH WHERETHRO'
GLEAMS THAT UNTRAVELED WORLD WHOSE MARGIN FADES
FOREVER AND FOREVER WHEN I MOVE - Ulysses by Tennyson
I love that poem because I can so relate to Ulysses, great warrior, not ready to quit and rest, but eager to fight. But even he recognizes that it is his past that shapes him, and it is his past that directs his future. We cannot ignore who we once were as we race toward an uncertain future. We must accept the truth of the past, and see it as it was, and then build a future as close to the ideal as we can, but always understanding that our future will be a past that our children's children must bear as they build a future all their own.
Keep moving forward,