Just a few notes today. I am not feeling particularly “loquacious” as my favorite Hermione Granger puts it (I am such a nerd). Today I got to write a blog post for the next taping of our show Humanities on the Road, which basically will tell people what the presentation will be about and is intended to “hook” them in. (By the way, this was offered with the enticement that now when people google my name, my post will come up…woo? Unless I manage to become the next Miley Cyrus (and that ship has sailed) I don’t see that happening) It is an interesting type of writing because my supervisors at PHC want it to be purely informational, but it makes me wonder what the point of a blog is…when I think of a blog, I assume it will be editorial in nature, hopefully even with a little bit of funny sprinkled in there somewhere. Not a requirement, but definitely a plus. Over the years, I have found it more and more difficult to write in a way that eliminates my personal voice. I find writing research papers interesting but stifling, and in the end I’m always left feeling that this type of writing is a bit…dry. I understand that I am supposed to write diplomatically about Thaddeus Stevens (the subject of my work for today at PHC) and his hugely radical work as an abolitionist, but I have a hard time saying in more flowery terms that he could also be a bit of a prick. Saying he had a “sharp tongue” only takes you so far. It makes me wonder what this kind of writing achieves. I understand that it isn’t particularly “well-bred” to say that this great historical figure was a prick, but it can be really frustrating to hide his “prickishness” behind lots of words and subtle meanings. I think this outspokenness is an important part of his character, and quite frankly, I respect it.
The irony of this just struck me because Thaddeus Stevens was notorious for essentially calling out President Abraham Lincoln (and anybody else who angered/displeased him) for what Stevens perceived to be his sluggish and cowardly reluctance to abolish slavery. I figure if you will lay it down on Lincoln, you’ll probably lay it down on just about anybody…and look how much Stevens accomplished. Through sheer will power and brutal honesty, he made things happen that nobody else could have in that time. I think we could really take a lesson from Stevens.
I’m not much of a history buff (I actually really hate history, unless it entails what Julia Roberts wore to each of the past Oscars ceremonies for the last ten years), but today I just have to say:
THADDEUS STEVENS, YOU MAY HAVE BEEN A JERK AT TIMES, BUT I RESPECT THAT.