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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Well, I suppose this is the last day of Ol’ Robbo’s bachelor stay-at-home week, as the ladies of the house start returning to Port Swiller Manor tomorrow.  Some odds and ends, then:

♦  I really wanted to devote this week to getting back into some serious exercise, and I’m happy to report that I’ve been good about it. I’ve been alternating daily between an hour’s routine on the treadmill that involves hand-weights as well, and a half-hour on the rowing machine.  Not only have I felt an immediate effect in muscle-tone, I’m also rediscovering the sweet, sweet rush known to endorphin junkies.  The big challenge will be maintaining this once I go back to work. (It’s tough to keep motivated after an hour’s hot commute home in the evening.)

♦  Related, I suppose, I finally broke down and bought some new khakis and dress shirts for the office.  I really dislike clothes-shopping for some reason and generally wear my old things until they disintegrate or else Mrs. R gets disgusted and throws them away behind my back.  (This what I might call “disgust event horizon” has been a topic of some occasional controversy between us over the years.)

♦  I’ve also spent a good bit of time this week reading.  Currently I am a little over half way through Rivers of Gold: The Rise of the Spanish Empire by Hugh Thomas, kindly sent to me by long-time friend of the decanter Old Dominion Tory.  It goes far deeper into the Spanish conquests in the Americas (and elsewhere) than Ol’ Robbo has previously studied, discussing in considerable (I should at times say too much) detail not just the voyages of people like Columbus and Magellan, and the routes of the conquistadores such as Balboa, Ponce de Leon, and Cortez, but also the treatment of the natives, the bureaucracy of Caribbean colonization, its relationship to Old Spain, and the historickal context of the whole shebang.  (Fun fact: Mrs. Robbo’s father’s family were Sephardic Jews who were chucked out of Spain during the Inquisition.) And much to his credit, although Thomas is a modern author, he lays it all out pretty objectively: There is very, very little 21st Century virtue-signaling.

And that’s about it for this week, apart from watching movies and ballgames (and, of course, ministering to attention-craving cats and dog).  Next weekend the Elder Gels are off to college, so Ol’ Robbo really wanted nothing more than to relax and take a deep, long breath, so to speak, before that happens.

Oh, I should add that I have paid almost no attention to the nooz this week, not even to most of my go-to blogs like Ace and Insty. It’s been mighty refreshing!




Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo learned this morning that this week marks the 40th anniversary of the original release of “Animal House“.

I must admit that I’ve never thought it an especially good movie, but of course I love all the iconic lines that have survived the test of time and made their way into the cultural vocabulary.

Well, welcome to 2018 and the Neo-Jacobin attempt to establish the new Reign of Terror.  Legal Insurrection has an article up reporting that the SJW Committee for Public Safety are now gunning for AH.  I can’t cut and paste the excerpts from the articles cited by LI, but the general tone is “OMG, how can anyone watch such blatant celebration of alcoholism, sexism, toxic masculinity, yadda-yadda-yadda, in this day and age?  And what kind of example does it set?  We should all throw this movie in the trash! REEEEEE!!!!

Ol’ Robbo has a modest proposal:  Don’t like it? Don’t watch it.  But leave me the hell alone.  After all, I have never suggested the censoring of your modern homages to pedophilia, rape/bondage fantasies, or pornographic Dungeons and Dragons, as much as they disgust me.

But of course, that assumes a mere difference in artistic sensibilities.  And as I mentioned in the post below about Civil War reenactors, this is really about the biznay of control.  In the end, the SJW’s don’t really give that much of a damn about the underlying substance.  Instead, they’re all about the Will to Power.  And doing away with wrong-think – in this case, juvenile party-hardy wrong-think – is very much a part of that.

Well, as I say, I never thought “Animal House” was all that great a movie.  But when I read this article, I was immediately prompted to skitter over to the Devil’s Website and buy a copy of the DVD.  While I was at it, I also picked up Mel Brooks’ “Blazing Saddles“.  Again, this is a movie that I don’t think is all that great as a whole (it has nothing on “Young Frankenstein“, which is pure Gene Wilder genius), but which contains numerous individual grains of comedy gold.  It’s also another movie that could never be made today, and which is sure to raise the ire of the SJW’s.  I also picked up the series of Christopher Guest’s mockumentaries.  These all happen to be gems, but again are likely to run foul of the New Jacobinism.

Better to get the disks in-house before they’re suddenly disappeared in the night.

(A glass of wine with J.J. Sefton manning the Morning Report over at AoSHQ.  Which report, by the bye, has become my go-to morning nooz round-up.  I haven’t looked at Drudge in months and months.)

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Regular friends of the decanter may have seen this NYTimes article on the Decline of the Civil War Reenactor.  (The pics that accompany the article are pretty neat.)

Enthusiasm for this sort of thing peaked in the 90’s, but apparently has been tailing off since then.  Shifting demographics and distracting alternate forms of entertainment are mentioned, but it’s pretty clear that the New Woke Jacobinism is at the heart of things:

The military details are meticulously researched and recreated down to the stitching of a uniform, but the broader social and political realities of the Civil War — the profound struggle over slavery and emancipation, racism and equality, citizenship and disenfranchisement — are largely confined to the margins.

Still, those issues can’t be ignored. After a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017, where demonstrators wore swastikas and carried Confederate flags, and where an anti-racist protester named Heather Heyer was killed, at least two smaller Civil War re-enactments were canceled. That the battle flag Confederate re-enactors carry is still used as a means of intimidation makes it hard to defend as a purely historical object, independent of its racist implications.

Hard to defend if you have the intellectual capacity of a five-year-old and rely for guidance solely on Muh Feels, that is.

I’ve never done this sort of thing myself, although I’ve watched a few reenactments. (Indeed, I accidentally almost got caught between the lines at a reenactment of the Battle of Droop Mountain one time when I thought I was just going there to hike.)  But it seems to me that if somebody is going to invest that much time, energy, and money into such a hobby, one is probably also going to find oneself thinking about “the broader social and political realities of the Civil war” – the article cites no data to support its assertion to the contrary.  If you’re going to go to the trouble and expense of decking yourself out as, say, an authentic, dirt-poor, foot soldier in the 10th Alabama, you’re probably also going to try and get into that fellah’s head – the real one, not the one assigned to him by some smarmy 21st Century NYTimes soy-boy.

But of course, that’s not what this is about. The New Woke Jacobinism is not interested in the complications, partial justifications, or nuances that make up historickal realities.  Instead, it deals in absolutes.  And wrong-think, including historickal wrong-think, is not to be studied or put in context, or otherwise allowed to exist in any form whatsoever, but is to be completely eradicated.

Because the New Woke Jacobinism is all about control, not about truth.


Incidentally, it wasn’t like that even until very recently.  I have Tony Horwitz’s Confederates In The Attic, which explores race relations and includes several chapters on Southern Heritage and the Civil War Reenactment movement.  It is perfectly clear that Horwitz does not agree with some of the attitudes and justifications he finds, but he at least has the honesty to delve down into the roots of said attitudes, to frankly admit that the issues generally are a lot more complicated than an absolutist position can accommodate or even comprehend, and to recognize that you can’t deal with history that you don’t like simply by trying to erase it.  For that, I respect him greatly even where I don’t necessarily agree with his conclusions.  (I find the same thing in his other books I own, including Blue Latitudes and A Voyage Long and Strange.)

(And no, Ol’ Robbo is not a Southern Apologist.  My people were Scots Presbyterian Abolitionists.  The family ran a station on the Underground Railroad in southwestern Ohio, and my great-grandfather was a lieutenant in an Ohio artillery battery that fought in the Atlanta Campaign.  So, there.)

And speaking of such things, Eldest was telling me yesterday about some people who are claiming that Charlemagne never really existed but was an invention of the  Church and the Holy Roman Emperors?  To her credit, the Gel said, “There’s even written documentation related to Charlemagne from the goddam Chinese, for Pete’s sake!” Heh.

A glass of wine with The Puppy Blender!

“Haaaappy BLOG-day! Missster….Robbo…(tee-hee, *hic*)”

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

I would invite all of you to fill your glasses, gunn’ls under, and raise a toast with three times three and no heeltaps, because today is the tenth anniversary of Ol’ Robbo’s pulling of the cork here at The Port Stands At Your Elbow.  Huzzay! Huzzay! Huzzah!!

As a matter of fact, I can’t really believe it myself.  On the one hand, it seems I’ve been slogging along forever.  On the other, seems like just yesterday that I decided I needed my very own bloggy platform away from the Llamabutchers.

I was musing on this blog-framed decade last evening.  What’s the same now? Well, Mrs. R and I are, of course, still manacled together. (A joke, people.  A joke!)  I swam the Tiber the Easter before I started here, and still consider that to be one of the best decisions I ever made.  I still live at Port Swiller Manor, although we’ve done a lot to it in that time.  I still have the same job, which I really enjoy, and which would be a positive gold mine for posting material if I didn’t care about losing it.  (Oh, the ridiculous stories I could tell.  Think John Mortimer.  Perhaps if I’m still blogging when I retire……)

What’s changed? Well, the Gels are pretty much all grown up now.  We’ve had various family losses. Friends have come and gone, both on the Innertoobs and in Meatspace.  Society has become downright psychotic.

In other words, Life has gone on….

So, what about this place?

First, I know perfectly well that there aren’t all that many of you ’round the table, but I truly appreciate those of you who drop in for a dram, either regularly or even only now and again.  You have all certainly had an impact over the years on me, and I like to think that I have had at least some small impact on some of you.  Cheers!

Second, I feel I should apologize again for the feebleness of my posting, especially lately.  As I said in the gardening post below, it’s been a rough year for me, and sometimes I have slapped things up here knowing perfectly well I was only phoning it in.  Also, I have been loathe to get too deep into some subjects near and dear to my heart due to the toxic politickal climate that has existed for some time now.  Curiously, even as it seems to be reaching a point of frenzy, I actually feel less concerned about the consequences of saying exactly what I think.  Perhaps I’m finding a second wind to get back into the Culchah Wars.  Perhaps I’m just getting too old to care much anymore about potential fallout.

Which leads me to Thirdly.  It’s my hope to start putting out better quality posts going into this second decade – more in depth, more substantive, more thought-out ahead of time instead of served on the half-volley, more topical.  And more organized.  Alert friends of the decanter may have noted that Ol’ Robbo recently has got into the habit of throwing up a regular Saturday Gardening Post.  I find this regimen really helps me focus and concentrate, and very shortly I hope to start doing the same thing on Sundays with regular posts on Matters Religious.  On the other hand, I’m not yet at the point of trying to assign out specific themes for other days of the week since I don’t want to give up spontaneity completely and I also find that the traffic rate really doesn’t warrant more than one post a day.

Finally, who knows what we’re going to see going forward in terms of the future of blogging in general.  I doubt that we’ll ever quite get back to the Golden Age of the early 2000’s in terms of ubiquity and interconnectivity, but I do like to think that the general disillusion with other social media platforms like FacePlant and Twooter (I almost never post on the former anymore, and have never had an account on the latter) might push people back towards the good ol’ Blogsphere, at least enough folks so as to re-establish some of those nifty little circles that were such a joy back in the day.  Whether this pans out or not, I plan to be around at any rate.

So once again, pray raise your glasses!  Here’s to the next ten years!  Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzay!!


(**NOTE: About the pic, just in case you were wondering, Ol’ Robbo wouldn’t have had anything to do with Marilyn if you’d served her up to him on a plate with watercress round her.  Never, ever understood the appeal.)

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

This weekend saw the Family Robbo head on down to Eldest’s new school for orientation.  Because she’s a transfer instead of a freshman, a lot of the program was fairly unnecessary from her point of view, and indeed we didn’t even bother to stay for the second day.  However, she got her picture done for her school ID, we got to see where she’s going to be living and otherwise nose about campus some, and she picked up some valuable information on some of the social, religious, and service organizations available (which were her main reasons for transferring in the first place).

Of greatest interest, however, we got to sit down in an extremely small group with the chair of the History Department.  (The Gel has decided to stick with her history major, although she’s now also going to minor in non-profit management.)  It was nice to sit and chin-wag with the fellah, and it was plain that he takes a real interest in what happens to the majors coming up under his guidance.  (He insisted that, as a rising junior, the Gel should not be taking a Western Civ survey as recommended by the guidance counselors, but instead should be jumping straight into 300-level classes.  We duly got the change made. He also has a very real sense of what can and cannot be done with an undergrad history major these days.)

This particular prof specializes in military history, and as I sat looking about his office, I found myself drooling over his books and gewgaws (many of which seemed to be centered around the Napoleonic Wars). But the thing that really got me was a very large table in the middle of the room.  It was covered by a large diorama with lots of little Union and Confederate troops all over it, plus a couple of D&D dice.  Eventually, I couldn’t resist asking what it was.

“That,” he said, “Is basically “Risk” on steroids.”  It turned out that he and whatever faculty and students were around at the moment, were busy gaming The Wheat Field.  He said that he held wargames of various sorts every Friday afternoon, and that anyone interested was invited to stop by.  The only rule was that the first time, one could just watch.  The next time, one had to play as well.

I think I like this man.  I think the Gel does, too.

Anyhoo, the visit was so successful and the Gel was so pleased with what she saw, that she’s decided she doesn’t need us to help her move in next month after all.  This was especially good news because Middle Gel has her freshman move-in the same weekend about four hours away, and we’ve been going through contortions of logistical analysis trying to figure out how to be in two places at once.

(Incidentally, the Gel will be about half an hour from my brother’s house.  We stayed with him while we were down there.  All three of his kids will be in college starting this fall.  As we all sat at the dinner table – furiously debating whether Macbeth could have become King per the Weird Sisters’ prophecy without all that dirty work – I looked about me and was astonished again at just how grown up our family’s next generation has become.)

Vought F4U Corsair, courtesy of Wiki

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Quite some time ago, perhaps a year or more, Ol’ Robbo tossed the teevee series “Black Sheep Squadron” (1976-78) into his Netflix queue.  My request immediately went to the “Oh, we can’t find that right now” bin, and I reckoned I’d never actually ever see it.

Whelp, surprise surprise, “BSS” suddenly rose to the surface this week, so instead of watching the All Star Game last evening, about which I cared little or nothing per my post below, I instead checked out the, er, pilot episode.

I loved this show when I was a kid (I was 16 when it first aired) and was curious to see if it still had any of the old appeal now that I am so much older and (debatably) wiser.

Well, I think it does based on what I’ve seen so far.  For one thing, I enjoyed hearing the theme musick again, ( I remembered it perfectly even after forty years or so.  This is not a brag, just a thing with me.) For another, I again enjoyed Robert Conrad as the no-nonsense tough-guy Pappy Boyington character. (Show of hands for those who remember Conrad’s later I-dare-you-to-knock-this-battery-off-my-shoulder commercials.) I was further delighted to discover that John Larroquette was one of the squadron regulars. (Back in the day, how was I or anyone else to know who he was?) And while the dynamics and tensions among the flyboys, and between the squadron and the brass, were pretty predictable, even formulaic, the writing seems pretty good, too.

Also, in the past few years Ol’ Robbo has read Pappy Boyington’s autobiography on which the series is based, and I now see (as I couldn’t have back then) how the writers evidently have tried to incorporate his style and tone (which, frankly, are quite rough) into the screenplay.  I appreciate that effort.

But for me, the real enjoyment now is still what it was back then: Watching a bunch of Vought F4U Corsairs being put through their paces.  What a handsome aircraft!  That extra-long cowling and those gull wings just radiate power and force.  I’d argue that the P-51 Mustang was probably the best all-around American fighter plane of WWII, but I still put the Corsair in a class by itself.

Even though I tossed the whole series into my queue, I’m non-committal about sitting through all of it.  But I’ll at least check out the next few episodes that I have in hand, and I’m very glad I was able to circle back and confirm one of the good memories of my misspent yoot.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo finally got around to watching “Dunkirk” last evening after it bobbed up in his Netflix queue.

Overall, I guess I liked the movie, although it certainly didn’t live up to some of the hype I’d heard about it when it first came out in theatres.**  I loved the cinematography, and was pleased that the CGI effects were kept to a bare minimum.

But there were some things that bugged me about it, too, both in terms of craftsmanship and in terms of historickal presentation. May I share them with you?  Well, here goes.  First, however, even though I imagine just about every friend of the decanter has already seen the thing anyway, blogging rules require that I issue a:



(And no, the spoiler is not that the British Expeditionary Force gets off the beach.)

First, I was rather surprised at the lack of any real exposition or backstory at the beginning.  I mean, one minute blank screen, the next a group of Tommies getting shot at.  And the next, the sole survivor of the squad trying to find a place on the ships. We never learn a single thing about him (not even his name, I think).  Ditto for the Spitfire pilots and the man and his son driving their boat across the Channel who are the centerpieces of the other two interwoven stories here.  You and I, who know something about history, can take all this in, but what is the average young victim of our public education system supposed to make of it?  Also, so far as character development went, yes, they’re all protagonists because they’re Brits, but besides that why am I supposed to feel any particular attachment to them?  There’s nothing to connect with. (This is the same problem I have with “Rogue One”, by the bye.)

Second, it took Ol’ Robbo a while to figure out the whole “one week/one day/one hour” biznay and that those were the lengths of the three different plot lines the movie was weaving together to build to the final scene.  And once I did figure it out, I found it frankly irritating: A day and a night and another day with our Tommy and then the story cuts back to the same damn dogfight we were watching earlier.  Yes, the final point where all the lines merged was a good one, but it seemed to me an obnoxious way to go about getting there.  Also, it didn’t seem to me that anyone was paying much attention to continuity – even taking into account the leaps in time, I couldn’t help noticing that the weather seemed to be changing an awful lot.

Third, I’m no expert on the Evacuation, but it seems to me that the movie’s suggestion that the Royal Navy bugged out and left the rescue largely to the private craft, and that London didn’t really expect many of the BEF to get away anyway, is…..incorrect.  IIRC, there were something between 40 and 60 British destroyers on hand, of which about 10% were sunk and twice as many damaged, and that they continued to aid the operation the entire time.  And of the 400K soldiers who set out with the BEF, I think they took off something in the neighborhood of 330K, the other 70K being casualties for the entire operation, not just the evacuation.

Also, I thought the air-battle portion was a bit thin.  I know the story’s POV was mostly confined to the two Spitfire pilots mentioned above, but each side lost something like 150 planes in the battle.  I don’t think the Heinkels were stooging over one at a time, nor the Stukas in groups of three, when they attacked the beaches, nor were the Spits attacking them in similar numbers.

So there you are.  I’d probably watch “Dunkirk” again if I came across it on cable, but I don’t feel any particular need to make an additional effort.

(Incidentally, the fact that the Brits were able to get so many men away under the Luftwaffe’s onslaught lends credence to the theory I’ve seen in Derek Robinson’s Piece of Cake and elsewhere that Hitler did not try to invade Britain because the Royal Navy still controlled the invasion route and he knew the Luftwaffe could not beat them on its own.  I will at least say that such theory makes sense to me, even if I don’t completely buy into it.)

** You know what’s really beginning to irritate me? When people say that they saw a movie “in theatres”.  No you didn’t – you saw it in a theatre.  “In theatres” is just marketing talk, but it’s slipped into conversational form.  Grr….

UPDATE: Speaking of movies, I know what it was I wanted to mention here.  A week or two ago, Eldest Gel and I watched “Tropic Thunder” together.  (I hadn’t seen it before but she has it more or less memorized.)  Anyhoo, Robert Downey, Jr.’s riff on Russell Crowe was about the funniest durn thing I’ve seen in a long time.  To paraphrase the old New Yorker’s review of the Marx Brothers’ “Night At The Opera”, it was doing to Russell Crowe what ought to be done to Russell Crowe.  And why Crowe didn’t hunt down Downey and beat the daylights out of him for it, I really don’t know.

Heh, indeed.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers and happy Independence Day!

A very quiet one this year for Ol’ Robbo.  Middle Gel is the only other family member home at the moment.  Our big plan for this afternoon is to go over to Bed, Bath, And Whatevs and buy all her college dorm stuff, which will be a nice little time together.  Afterwards, she may or may not be going with some of her friends to see the big downtown fireworks display.  (As so often seems to be the case with teenagers, the plan at this point is “I have no idea”.)

In the meantime, Ol’ Robbo will be content to sip an adult beverage or two and, if the weather isn’t too beastly, perhaps sit out on the porch and listen to the rumble and bump of neighbors letting fly with their own home displays.

Two completely un-related but apropos thoughts for the day:

First, Ol’ Robbo doesn’t buy into the “Second Civil War” talk I see here and there on the webz these days.  Instead, I see a mirror of the late ’60’s, only this time with twitter.  A small, but very noisy gang of radicals has abandoned their “For the Children” pretense, ripped off their masks, and exposed themselves for what they really are.  Most normal people are, I think, repelled by such things, which is why we got Nixon in ’68 and ’72, Reagan in ’80 and ’84, and Trump in ’16 and (most probably) ’20.  The Hard Left seems to go through these periodic meltdowns, which ironically is probably what has saved us from them these past 100 years or so.

Second, is there a “Fire Dave Martinez” bandwagon yet? Cos’ if there is, I’m feeling the increased urge to jump on board.  This is not where Ol’ Robbo’s beloved Nats ought to be right now.

Anyhoo, have a safe and pleasant holiday, and God bless America!

UPDATE: A delightful trip to BB&B.  It turns out Ol’ Robbo had never actually been there before and was thinking instead of the local TJMaxx, which is a rather ratty, depressing place.  This, instead, was enormous, well-stocked, and staffed by very friendly people who seemed delighted to be helping the Gel get together her school things.  We tricked her out in sheets, blankets, pillows, towels, and the like, but she’s holding off on some of the other more purely decorative things until she can coordinate with her roommate who is bringing what.

Col. Strong Vincent

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

As I’m sure all the Civil War history sharks amongst you know, this year is the 155th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3), and today specifically is the anniversary of the Battle of Little Round Top.

Since Groovy Vic, who is a friend of the decanter ab origio, is not blogging these days and thus can’t do so as she used to, Ol’ Robbo feels it to be incumbent upon himself to raise a glass in honor of Brigade Commander Strong Vincent, who recognized the value of anchoring the far left of the Union line on Little Round Top on the Second Day after the idiot Dan Sickles went walkabouts, and took sole responsibility for diverting his brigade to that position.

The limelight of Little Round Top has since fallen mostly on Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and his 20th Maine regiment for their gallant defense which included both a “refusal of the line” and a bayonet charge.  Not in any way to discredit the man, who was truly an exceptionally good fighting officer, but as Vic loves to point out, Chamberlain never would have been there in the first place had it not been for Vincent’s brilliant but now largely overlooked action.

Vincent, by the bye, was mortally wounded during the early stage of the fight and died a few days later.


Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Did you all see the story this week that Laura Ingalls Wilder’s name has been removed from a children’s literary award because of double-plus ungood wrong-think?

Yes, the new name of the award will be “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” because that show contained correct views of the 19th Century frontier, including the voice-over in the radio commercials from years back (which Ol’ Robbo is not making up) where the beta-boy says in a sing-song, Mr. Rogers voice., “It’s the wonderful diversity that makes this place so special!”

Just you wait.  It’s only a matter of time before the Kennedy Center disappears its Mark Twain Humor Award on similar grounds. (“How dare they give a prize named after a man who used that word in his writings?”)

UPDATE:  Speaking of frontier writers never likely to have a children’s book award named after them, I’m currently re-reading John C. Cremony’s Life Among the Apaches.  Cremony was part of the 1850 Border Commission sent to sort out the line between the United States and Mexico after the war.  Since he was apparently the only member of the party who could speak Spanish, he became the main mouthpiece between them and the Apaches of New Mexico and Arizona.  He published his observations in 1868.

Cremony is a major source for George MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman and the Redskins, since the first part of that story has Flashy in the southwest in 1849/50 and dealing extensively with Mangus Colorado, James Gallatin, and other figures of the time and place.  Through Flashy’s mouth, GMF has this to say about post hoc armchair virtue-signaling:

I know the heathen, and their oppressors, pretty well, you see, and the folly of sitting smug in judgment years after, stuffed with piety and ignorance and book-learned bias.  Humanity is beastly and stupid, aye, and helpless, and there’s an end to it. And that’s as true for Crazy Horse as it was for Custer – and they’re both long gone, thank God.  But I draw the line at the likes of anthropological half-truthers; oh, there’s a deal in what they say, right enough – but it’s only one side of the tale, and when I hear it puffed out with all that righteous certainty, as though every white man was a villain and every redskin a saint, and the fools swallow it and feel suitably guilty…well, it can get my goat, especially when I’ve got a drink in me and my kidneys are creaking.


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