Here’s a recent exchange between a reader and the great Mr. Mick LaSalle, in the Sunday Datebook’s “Ask Mick LaSalle” feature.
Dear Mick LaSalle: Which Civil War movie would you recommend?
Martin Vesely, San Jose
Dear Martin Vesely: The treatment of the Civil War in our popular culture has been fairly peculiar. For reasons that are understandable, the North has felt it necessary to act the way you do when you win an argument with your spouse: “No, honey, you weren’t completely wrong; you had a point.” After all, if you win completely, it’s always smart to make the other party feel as good as possible. And so our national culture has turned itself inside out ignoring that the Confederacy was a disgrace – that the leaders who brought it about were uncomfortably close to Nazis, willing to ruin the Earth’s last best hope for the sake of perpetuating an absolutely evil institution, which they not only wanted to maintain but also to extend all the way to the Pacific and into Central and South America. For all their noble cavalier posturing, they were greedy, cruel, power-driven and yet somehow convinced of their own superior honor and virtue, and they came closer to obliterating this great country than Adolf Hitler ever did in his wildest dreams.
Every Sunday morning I have two of Resident Expert’s breakfast burritos out on the deck with my coffee and the Datebook. When I read this, I said “right on”. Although it probably sounded more like “rye alm” because of the burrito consumption.