Well, I don't usually get frothy about something I see on television, but this just burns my bacon to no end. Gene and I have been recording PBS'
Colonial House, and have been literally screaming at the idiots that were picked to be on this project. At first it was funny, then it was annoying, now it's just blatantly stupid. These people appear to have not read the rules of the game and we get to watch them try to force their 21st century mores and convictions on 1628.
Folks. It DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY. Your job was to live as a 17th century settler in New England. Your job was not to rewrite history. It absolutely makes me see red to watch the lack of historical knowledge be justified by "individualism" or "reality"...no, this IS your reality. Your reality is that you live in 1628. I simply don't get it...were these families picked because they so clearly had no clue what they were getting into, thus providing entertainment? Were there really no rules beyond having to wear 17th century dress and eat maggoty oatmeal? This is shoddy history. It's not living history, it's a bunch of whinging, self-absorbed, selfish, obnoxious, ignorant brats having a camping trip where no one knows how to put up the tent and everyone eats all the beef jerky the first night and then bitches about why there's no 7-11 in the middle of the Maine wildnerness.
Seriously, I almost can't watch the rest of this show, although I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they all get the plague or dysentery or something. There's 17th century realism for you. History ain't pretty, folks...no matter how hard you try to shove round pegs into square holes.
**Addendum: We attempted to watch the final two episodes. I informed Gene that either we delete them or I would be forced to go as mad as Lady Macbeth. This is the biggest travesty of social history that I have ever seen...and I don't even need to see the final episode wherein the "Colonial House Company" passes judgement on the success of the colony. I *know* that even in the face of all the insane nonsense that went on, the colony will be found "successful" and they will all go on their merry way, patting themselves on the back for having had a true time travel experience.
by at June 11, 2004 9:05 PM
Except that's not even close to the truth. Deciding to not attend Sabbath services because it conflicts with your 21st century beliefs wouldn't have resulted in you being allowed to stay home and get all bitchy with everyone about how unfair they are to you. No, you probably would have been burned as a witch, or at the very least, run out of town. Maybe that's what they were angling for, I don't know. Not taking the advice of the Cape merchant and clamming on the shore wouldn't have resulted in more free time to sleep in and argue about your status in the community...it would have meant that you starved. Creating a "school" for only a select group of young men wouldn't have led to the bloody establishment of a university, it would have meant that you starved. Colonial universities sprang up where there was more money, more established communities, less need for every available hand to be out in the damn fields or forests. Case in point -- Yale University was founded in 1701. My nine thousands-great grandfather, John Cooper, arrived in New Haven, Connecticut, with the ancestors of the future founders of Yale University...in 1637. You do the math. My vitriol really knows no bounds at this point, which is probably making me look as crazy as these jokes of "colonists", but it is just maddening. I don't know why everyone says they hate history...it's apparent to me that none of them ever paid the slightest bit of attention.