Tuesday, January 03, 2017

New Year's Day

Black Eyed Pea Soup + Collards + Corn Bread

A standard thing to say about the USA, along the lines of "war and Christmas", is that Americans (USers) are war-prone because, in their experience, the war with fascism shocked them out of their depression and put people to work.

Life had meaning again and the spoils of victory, mostly side-effects of gearing for war, proved life could be sweet in the 1950s.  Unlike most peoples, Americans still harbor some nostalgia for war, as long as they're winning and reap their reward.

However I'm thinking any telling that begins with either World War is too Euro-centric to explain Americans and their militant streak.  The polarizing experience of a Civil War has far more to do with the US psyche having a schizoid flavor.

The PTSD of a brutal war, followed by a crack down on self medication through alcohol (Prohibition) turned us into a gangland, from which we've hardly recovered.

As I was pointing out on Facebook, when looking for commonalities in US presidents, don't overlook ties to organized crime.  But don't respond with shocked moral indignation, a favorite mask of pure ignorance.  Innocence is an annoyance sometimes.

The crowds are looking for specimens, be that in a pants suit, and/or in orange.  They're looking for a quality called "worldly" which Obama has, Michelle too.  They were big city slickers more than hillbilly hicks.  Of course Bill was a Rhodes Scholar.

My thoughts on the Civil War were inspired by the black eyed peas stories I was getting.  The troops were eating all the food, not unlike in Aleppo. Fighters need to eat to fight. Civilians get to be extras, like in Hollywood movies, except the blood isn't ketchup.

Southern Belles found themselves eating black eyed peas, the food of slaves and other livestock. They turned this intolerable sign of oppression into a badge of honor and now cook the same peas voluntarily, and in a way that's really tasty.

Philosophy of Mathematics

Winter Storytelling