". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Monday, September 22, 2014

For the First Day of Fall, A Little Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow (2013) Fox, first season, first four episodes.  I dunno about this show.

New Berne, North Carolina
Would that be because it’s obvious that instead of New York this is North Carolina?  Spanish Moss in the cemetery’s a dead give-away.

Maybe because at this point it looks a like a Monster of the Week show? Those MOW’s were detraction and distraction from the elements for which I, at least, re-watched BtVS multiple times.

Princess Isabella of France was 3 years old during Wallace's actions. No, they were never married, much less had children.
Or is it because it takes such liberties with historical reality? At this point Sleepy Hollow may as well be Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter – in which vampires are responsible for slavery, rather than human greed and power drive. However, for someone like me who is an historian I see the consequences of pretending history is different than it was, “just for fun” – for example: Scotland’s voters invoking secession based on watching Braveheart – which lacks even a shred of historical fact or reality, including the wardrobe, geographical distance and who is who and who is married to whom in Edward I’s reign.* To make things even more ridiculous, the so-called serious news media, like NPR's "All Things Considered," interviewed the script writer and director of this fantasy film for insights into how the vote might go.  That's the best you guys could come up with?  It's not only them, of course -- in the run-up to the vote, lines from Braveheart were quoted all over the internet by those who were supporters of secession.

What I do like about Sleepy Hollow is its anti-Whedonish racial diversity that was present in these first episodes. In that sense it’s a little reminiscent of the first two seasons of Lost Girl, which were a lot of fun.  So far, though, Sleepy Hollow feels more predicatable than fun.  If, however, the relationship between Crane and Abbie develops into a nuanced professional, shared mission loyalty and friendship, that would be promising.  If, however, the writers start pushing it into sexual romance tension – ho-frackin’-hum.

Should I keep watching this?


*  It’s hilarious that many of those who insist women in had no roles of consequence in medieval centuries, thus most women in the middle ages are whores, invoke a (fictitious, at least in chronology, marriage and galloping alone around the country-side to meet her rebel lover, while wearing not even a shawl for modesty or protection against the damp chill) princess from Braveheart to prove the reality of another equally fictitious, non-historical fantasy.

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