Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Spin moves in the Paint

Alas, as the afternoon lapsed into another forzen evening my attentions did not go to Solzhenytsin but drifted more detailed reports from the tsunami in South Asia and following that catlyst into the Obituary Issue of the New York Times Magazine. While i found the writing quite electric (the piece on Brando from an anterior, over-the-shoulder, perspective) it was interesting to ponder the distillation of a life into four paragraphs and what circumstances could've possibly led to the omission of Elvin Jones?

I did return to read 40 more pages of the Foote as the sun had declined into memory and procurirng chinese food became the order of the evening. The infighting between Lincolne and McClellan (largely fostered by Stanton, that rogue) has obsfucated key opprtunities for Army of the Potomic to potentially end the war with a strike on Richmond. The Confederates are hampered by dwindling reserves and an indifferent Europe. The south enjoys supperior efforts on the ground, thanks to it being a defensive struggle (this is more sound than the some "natural" attribution), and the Union only dominates, as such, with its naval and artillerial capacities. The historical approach of viewing the conflict as a panopoly of personalities is also suspect, especially given the apparent seizure disorder of Jackson, the familar liquid moodiness of Grant and the babes in the woods which were Davis and Lincoln. A dearth of intelligence appears to lord over the various campaigns like a penumbra of fear and doubt, thus prompting disorganized routes of adjustment and retreat, thus allowing irascibles in politics and press to speak of folly and treason. What a recipe for armageddon it must have appeared!


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