Sunday, May 22, 2005

Lewis and Clark

I know this is jumping around history, but Alex (my son) and I were watching the National Geographic DVD of Lewis and Clark this afternoon. It was my reward for going to the new Target store with Karen and Alex this afternoon. Good Imax film, but Alex and I got into thinking how we would make OUR version. I think some of the Mandan Indians, in the Dakotas would be wearing war paint and masks similar to the masquarade party in The Phantom of The Opera. Only at least one of them would have a mask half covering his face that is a "happy face" . Part of the barter process with the Sioux would involve demands for Casino rights and land set asides for a Walmart Superstore. Instead of 6 weeks to cross the Cascades, the L&C Corpes of Discovery would rent a Winnebago (Indian tribe name by the way) from the Nez Pierce tribe to make the trip much easier and probably only a day and a half. I think there is humor to be had in history, if only we look for it. By the way, the movie glossed over a lot of the great miseries on this epic trek. They did not mention the buying of dogs for food to allow the corpes of discovery to survive the Sierra hike. And they glossed over the diet of almost 100% protein (elk meat, etc) that led to many ills, not the least of which was constant eruptions of boils on their skin. Just how far can you go on a low carb diet? Just think, the history noted below (around 1905-10) was a hundred years after L&C (who were doing this about the time of the Trafalgar Battle and Nelson (the Napoleonic Wars) ... and who were very much tied into the struggle between France and England at the time because ... think about it... Napoleon sold "Louisianna" to the USA for the price the USA expected to pay for just New Orleans ... all because Napoleaon wanted the USA to be a thorn in the backside of any North American aspirations by Great Britain. Look for a video on this website soon ... re the French and Indian Wars (1756). A fantastic book on the French and Indian War is "Crucible of War by Anderson. Interesting stuff.
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