So, I’ve been reading Confederates in the Attic, in which the author–Tony Horwitz–explores the South’s enduring CSA obsession. While it delves into issues like the Confederate battle flag (which I’ve commented on before and have since changed my mind about) and the families of long-dead soldiers, the interesting parts are about the reenactors.
Unfortunately—or fortunately, depending on your perspective—there is a dearth of Union reenactors compared to Confederates, so much so that Southerners often have to pose as Yankees just to get the numbers right for battles. Apparently, people in the North don’t harp so much about a war that they won 144 years ago.
What are die-hards obsessed with a war over states’ rights [to slavery ] to do when their Northern counterparts don’t want to play along anymore?
But don’t take his word for it:
Civil War Reenactors
|Overenthusiastic interest in subject matter most of America only shares when a new movie comes out.||Overenthusiastic interest in subject matter most of America only shares when a new movie comes out.|
|Wear elaborate costumes based on 19th century materials and technology, aiming for realism.||Buy or fabricate actual costumes and props.|
|Sometimes criticized for wearing anachronistic items like wristwatches and modern glasses.||Call themselves “steampunk.”|
|Still believe to this day that their rebellion was just, if only certain things had gone their way.||Will go on and on about the goram Alliance and Serenity Valley.|
|In addition, believe that the Cause is still worth upholding today, no matter how slavery is at best impractical.||Still defend the Prime Directive, though it was broken weekly by every starship captain.|
|Use models of wildly inaccurate, yet cool-looking guns.||Use models of stormtrooper blasters.|
|Write themselves into history through historical fiction.||Write themselves into Buffy through fan fiction.|
It’s a match made in heaven. Of course, I’m certain that Confederate reenactors are insulted by the comparison, but you win out here, fellas.
Red Shirts accept their fictional mortality.
One of the chief complaints among Confederwannabes is that Union reenactors typically don’t fall when pretend-shot. Horwitz relays the common complaint for this as “the Kevlar f&%king army.”
But, much like caste-system India, geeks recognize the inherent risk that comes with donning their choice of Star Trek uniform. Red shirts know they’re going to die and do so willingly with honor. And if they’re dressed like Klingons, then they’ll really celebrate it.
And just like the majority of Civil War fatalities, all Red Shirts die nameless to be buried in mass graves of unknown soldiers.
Latex prosthetics are as impractical as wool uniforms in the summer.
You think it’s next to impossible to convince your coworkers to wear heavy wool overcoats, long pants and three layers of underwear in Gettysburg in July? Or, if female, the 40 layers of cloth that dressed one woman?
Not a problem for cosplayers who will cover their entire face with latex parts and make-up and carry around leather outfits and Transformer parts made from Yaffa and cardboard. And that’s to go to San Diego and Atlanta!
They’re already organized.
All it takes is a costume change and the 501st Imperial Stormtroopers will march to Antietam and back in perfect rows.
And, to go back to an earlier point, you won’t have to fall every volley because stormtroopers can’t shoot for s#@t anyway.
The Civil War is rewritten every generation.
In 20 years, who’s to say that the Union didn’t win because of their advanced armor plating or prototype tank design? Based on America’s history scores, it’s amazing that Confederates vs. Stormtroopers hasn’t won the Best Picture Academy Award, much less been made yet.